Startups Invoiceworx, Empty Trips, CommuScore and Muzi Advance to Seedstars World South Africa Grand Final

Updated on 29 May 2017

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Today's Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (29 May)


Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup ecosystems brought its third pre-selection round to a successful close during Seedstars Johannesburg, targeting startups in the Gauteng area. The event took place last week at the Standard Bank Incubator, where 10 selected startups were invited to present their ideas in front of a jury panel.

The South African competition is carried out with the support of local lead partner, Standard Bank and local ambassador Entrepreneur Traction. Additional support is provided by regional partners Enel and Merck and local partner Payfast. The Seedstars World South Africa production has received tremendous support from local ecosystem players such as Simodisa, The Swiss Embassy in South Africa, Startup Grind, Sikhulasonke, Principal Matt&Co Advisory, Principal Partners, Edge Growth, and Business Partners amongst others.

“Our congratulations to the first round of finalists. We are proud to be partnering on an initiative that recognises the innovativeness of entrepreneurs across South Africa and we are thrilled with the quality of submissions, the pitches of the entrepreneurs and the winners of the 1st leg. We look forward to welcoming our second group of finalists in Cape Town on the 8 June,” says Jayshree Naidoo, Head of Incubator at Standard Bank.

The top three startups from Gauteng  that advance to the grand finale are Invoiceworx, an inventory financing platform that gives small retailers access to lines of credit from suppliers, Empty Trips Pty Ltd, Africa’s first online smart transport marketplace connecting transporters, brokers and shippers, CommuScore, an alternative credit scoring model focusing on the savings schemes and loan repayments that happen in the informal market, and Muzi, an app that aims to improve accuracy and create valuable epidemiology data for HIV screening by the use of a smartphone. The other startups invited to pitch were Arcus Capital, BeaconWorx, Powershare, WiPo Wireless Power, Easy equitiesLenoma Legal.

The top four startups will be invited to the Johannesburg final where they will compete with the best startups from all parts of the country, of which one will be crowned the most promising seed-stage startup of Seedstars World South Africa 2017.

African Businesses Urged To Find Ways Of Creating More Value For Communities

Barclays Africa head of Citizenship, Sazini Mojapelo, said that businesses have to change their practices and shift focus from extracting value to contributing positively to the communities in which they operate.

Mojapelo was speaking on the sidelines of the inaugural Africa Shared Value Summit in Johannesburg which started last week Thursday where she delivered a keynote address.

Creating shared value has existed as a business strategy for more than 10 years. But it’s the first time the subject has been the primary focus of a conference in Africa with the two-day summit.

Mojapelo said business’ societal contribution has moved from grant making and pure philanthropy to examining how business can make a real impact in a community.

“The Africa Shared Value Summit looks at how we can get tri-sector leaders to hold hands and tackle social issues that we face,” Mojapelo said.

Mojapelo said there were very few businesses across the continent who had made a shift towards creating shared value. She said for its part, Barclays Africa had made a strategic decision to investigate ways of working that can be part of meaningful and sustainable impact in communities where they operate.

Barclays Africa chose education and skills, enterprise development to support and train entrepreneurs, and financial inclusion to bank the unbanked as areas of focus for it to create value in communities. (via African News Agency)

Western Cape Chardonnay Named World’s Best

Paul Cluver winery in Elgin near Cape Town received the Platinum Best in Show award for its Seven Flags Chardonnay 2016 by the Decanter World Wine Awards 2017, announced last week, the Western Cape government said.

Another Western Cape winery Klein Constantia received a Platinum Best in Show award for its Vin de Constance, one of the estate’s well-known sweet wines.

More than 200 experts started the judging process for this year’s awards in London last month.

Western Cape eonomic opportunities MEC Alan Winde congratulated both establishments for their wins at the Decanter World Wine Awards, which was one of the world’s largest wine competitions.

“Over 17,000 entries were recorded for the 2017 Decanter World Wine Awards. Winning top awards at this competition speaks to the high quality of Paul Cluver and Klein Constantia’s wine offerings. Their wins are excellent promotion for our wine industry,” he said. (via African News Agency)

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