27th February 2024 8:20 pm
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Young SA entrepreneurs need your vote to get to global contest finals

Five young South African startup owners have been selected as semi-finalists for a US-based international entrepreneurship competition.

Now they need your help to get to the finals and win both cash and business support being offered as a grand prize.

The US Department of State’s Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) Tech-I Competition is an annual contest for the most promising young science and technology entrepreneurs from emerging economies around the world.

Contestants had to go online and submit a 90-second video of their ideas and startups related to critical science and technology sectors, including agriculture, ICT, education, energy and health, by 29th January

The top 102 semi-finalists, representing 51 countries, were chosen from over 1 000 entries by a panel of experts and it’s now up to the public to vote for their favourites to move on to the top 30.

Here’s a look at the five South African semi-finalists and their 90-second pitch videos:

Matsebe Phasha

MoveeCom mobile internet cafe and services kiosk

Hollo Matlala

The NH1-MSsp Water Security system (an energy efficient renewable management water system aimed at reducing and identifying water losses)

Theo Pistorius


Neil du Preez

Mellowcabs (environmentally-friendly city mini-cabs)

Matthew Wainwright

Standard Microgrid (electricity grid management hardware and software for rural villages)

The 30 finalists will be flown to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Silicon Valley to showcase their ventures and to receive intensive training from 23rd to 24th June.

Prizes up for grabs include cash, further mentoring and training and business support.

You can vote for more than one startup at a time, but you can only vote once every 24 hours.

The Europe and Asia (Eurasis) region currently leads the regional voting bord with 45 822 votes. Voting closes on 1st May.

GIST is also hosting a startup boot camp in Johannesburg for young African entrepreneurs starting tomorrow, offering on-the-ground training and mentoring delivered by top US mentors and in-country partners.

Applications for the boot camp are already closed and the programme will until Friday, 15th April.

[Source and image – GIST Tech-I]

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