One of the better known annual startup compos is Cape Town’s Startup Knight, which is organised by software outlet Byte Orbit, and began life a couple of years ago. The winners of this years’ compo were announced this week, with nascent companies grabbing a mix of cash and in kind prizes to help develop their business ideas to commercial reality.
According to Martin Ras, COO of Byte Orbit, the firm received over 150 entries for Startup Knight this year. And the overall winner was Vula, an online learning app.
Vula is independently managed by two University of Cape Town students for both students and staff. Using Vula, they can upload announcements, past exam papers, talk in chat rooms and listen to the university’s campus radio.
As the winner of Startup Knight, the developer Tiger Bytes received R150 000 for software development and R100 000 for public relations resources.
The first runner-up position went to MediaBox, which has created a video streaming box that’s similar to Apple TV, but runs on Android. MediaBox comes in two flavours – a USB dongle and a set-top box – and includes a 3G modem alongside traditional WiFi and ethernet ports. The team won a R50 000 prize for public relations and software development.
In the Concept Phase category, Mobisurance received the R100 000 cash prize for its idea to adopt mobile and satellite technology to provide insurance to low-end crop farmers in rural areas where standard insurance is inaccessible.
LanteOTC, an online marketplace that connects SMEs with investors was named as the first runner-up and all-in-one loyalty card, Twanga, was named second runner-up. Each team received R35 000 and R25 000 cash respectively.
The 2014 Startup Knight winners will also be given the opportunity to present their businesses at the Standard Bank Fintech Innovation Showcase in Johannesburg on 5th December 2014.
“Startup Knight is an ideal platform to showcase innovation at work, and we congratulate the winners of this year’s competition. In our continued journey to bring innovative solutions to our customers, we look forward to exploring partnership opportunities with these inspiring tech entrepreneurs,” said Paul Steenkamp, head of innovation capability at Standard Bank.
[Image – Startup Knight]