Medical response startup to represent SA in global social entrepreneurship competition

Posted on January 15th, 2016

Medical response startup to represent SA in global social entrepreneurship competiti

CrashDetech, a transport safety smartphone application, was announced the South African winner of Chivas Regal’s The Venture, a social entrepreneurship competition.

The app is the brainchild of Jaco Gerrits and hopes to address the country’s 47 daily, on average, road fatalities by reducing emergency response times. The app is able to automatically detect a serious car crash, pinpoint the location, dispatch an ambulance and provide paramedics with lifesaving information.

A positive impact

Now in its second year, the global search by the Chivas Regal brand hopes to support promising aspiring social entrepreneurs looking to make a profit as well as positively impact the lives of others.

Gerrits competed with four other local social enterprises to walk away with the ultimate prize; I’m Not Plastic (INP), a bio plastic innovation company; Mama Mimi’s, a township baking and empowerment business, Safe and Sound which wants to provide alarms systems for the deaf and hard of hearing; and Connectmed, an online doctor video consultation service aiming to increase access to medical care.

The social entrepreneurs were judged by a panel made of group chairman of GEM GroupLebo Gunguluza; executive creative director at Joe PublicXolisa Dyeshana; CEO and President of Ditshego MediaTebogo Ditshego; director of the Centre for Entrepreneurship at Wits Business School, Chimene Chetty. Media personality and founder of Fix ScholarshipFikile “Fix” Moeti was the new addition to the judging panel.

Global exposure

As a global finalist, Gerrits, will take part in The Venture’s Accelerator Week in the United Kingdom, where he will, together with other finalists, receive training and mentoring. He will also represent South Africa at the global finale of the social entrepreneurship competition in New York, where he will be one of 25 finalists who will present their final pitches for a chance to win a share of $1 million.

Last year’s winner was Lumkani Fire Detection, a fire detector and alert service designed for informal settlements. David Gluckman, director at Lumkani, competed against twenty other social entrepreneurs from around the world in Silicon Valley, California last year, where the startup was chosen among the top five.