From 13 to 15 August 2018, the Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) hosted a UJ Student Entrepreneurship Week. The three-day programme featured topics ranging from problem-solving skills, business model generation tools, the power of persuasion, and social entrepreneurship – some of the necessary elements in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Student entrepreneurs were afforded the opportunity to give a 3-minute elevator pitch which saw six student entrepreneurs winning a prize to go to Slush in Helsinki, Finland to engage with international investors, accelerators and other tech start-ups for potential partnerships.
The entrepreneurs include Dada Opeoluwa, Melbourne Nyamadzawo, Refilwe Lediga, Victor Mofokeng, Themba Mkize and Siyabonga Ndwalane.
Slush is a world-leading event in Helsinki, Finland, which connects start-ups and tech talent to top-tier investors, accelerators, executives and media.
The 2018 Slush Winners with the Director of the Center of small business development Moipone Molotsi
THE SLUSH WINNERS
Dada Opeoluwa | Co-Founder of Chat2Cars
Dada, a UJ student enrolled for a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering Science, is a co-founder of Chat2Cars. Chat2Cars, founded in 2016, is a tech platform with two facets: one is a mobile App which allows car owners to communicate (call or chat) to other car owners via their vehicles’ registration numbers. The mobile app platform allows users to notify each other if a car is about to be stolen, towed or is wrongly parked. Added to this platform is the ability for car owners to request roadside assistance and technical services. The second facet to the tech is a web enabled platform where car dealers find car buyers – a virtual car dealership.
Melbourne Taunya Nyamadzawo | Co-founder of Gogli Group
Melbourne is a second-year student enrolled for Entrepreneurship and Business Management. He is one of the founding members of Gogli Group, a tech start-up that works on super application software and hardware products. A super application is an all-in-one application that integrates applications of major sector categories (i.e. health, education, e-commerce, finance (banking), education, wellbeing, artificial intelligence and machine learning). This allows users to interface with these applications using one application. With Golgi, the user interacts with the applications through the Gogli application which connects all applications in one intuitive way. This allows users to no longer have to download several applications which are either only needed once, not used often or are hardly ever used. Gogli is also currently developing a smart paper and SMART pen to be used at Universities to replace the normal paper and textbook. The SMART paper and pen work with Gogli’s super application software for a synchronized symbiosis. One can write an assignment, take notes, read textbooks/journals/memos etc., draw and design structures as well as video chart with tutors in real-time.
Victor Mofokeng | Co-Founder of The Brothers Engineering Solutions
Victor is currently a Quality and Operations Management PhD student at UJ. In 2015, After realizing the need for Health and Safety visual software systems, he and his brother started a company called The Brothers Engineering Solutions (TBES) using their collective engineering expertise and experience gained from working with leading corporates to develop high-end quality products and services – making them pioneers in improving the state of health and safety in various industries through technology. The company specialises in visual Health and Safety Software Solutions for industrial corporations. QORE SHEQ, a TBES products, is a paperless health, safety and environment reporting device for safety officers and SHEQ departments that assist in speeding up the resolution of safety findings in labour intense industries. QORE SHEQ gives the organisations an overview of the health and safety, and performance and analytics within the workplace which resolves workplace health and safety findings quicker.
Themba Mkhize | Founder of Themba Mkhize
Themba is a UJ student who founded a company called Power Plus Energy (Pty) Ltd. The company is a Johannesburg-based business which provides products created as tabletop and free-standing digital advertising units, enables customers to charge their mobile devices on their tables while dining at a restaurant. Power Plus Energy (Pty) Ltd is an in-store charging systems to restaurants, retailers, bars, airports, casinos, beauty salons and any other establishments.
Refilwe Lediga | Founder of 3D Printcrete
Refilwe Lediga, also a UJ student, founded 3D Printcrete which specialises in the design and manufacturing of industrial size 3D concrete printers. These machines have the capacity to automate construction process with an added advantage of significantly reducing the cost and time of construction.
Siyabonga, an alumnus of Durban University of technonlogy is the inventor of Bluetooth speakers called “Turnup” He describes himself as an innovative industrialist entrepreneur who was born and raised in the KwaMakhutha Township. The Turn Up company has a team of ten young people. Five of them work full-time and the other five work on a part-time basis. He invented the speakers a result of frustration from using speakers that kept breaking after he bought them from retail stores. “When I built my own speaker I used broken electronics from my previous speakers together with used PVC pipes from construction sites. I started to design my own and improve on the features of the previous speakers I had bought. Late last year, I finished my first speaker and was very happy with the end product,” he said.
“Over 20 000 people attend slush every year and we are excited that we are sending five of our own students to Slush 2018. We know that they will have great interactions that will help them launch their products and ideas into the international market,” says Ms Moipone Molotsi, Director: Centre for Entrepreneurship, UJ.
The Centre has developed an integrated business development model that broadly encompasses the tenets of an evolving entrepreneurship system to ensure impactful results in all programmes undertaken. The model provides nurturing and handholding process to ensure that new ventures are established and existing ventures are supported where required