Fri. Jul 19th, 2019

Five local inventions which will create a safer South Africa

Santam Safety Ideas Challenge Season 3 South Africa“Simple, smart ideas have the power to improve the well-being of South Africans.”

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Five finalists of the Santam Safety Ideas Challenge Season 3
present innovative ideas which have the propensity to create a better South
Africa for all.

Earlier this year we looked at JONGA; a cost-effective home security system, invented by Ntsako Mgiba, which aims to improve safety in low-income communities. Mgiba’s ingenious security gadget won the first season of the Santam Safety Ideas Challenge in 2017. Since then, the budding entrepreneur has managed to secure start-up capital and crucial partnerships with investors and development programmes.

The Santam Safety Ideas Challenge, in partnership with LaunchLab – a network of African university campus-based business incubator – exists as an ode to innovation and creativity, pushing the boundaries of resourcefulness, with the promise to promote progressive ideas which seek to better the lives of South Africans. The mission statement is clear:

“Simple, smart ideas have the power to improve the well-being of South Africans.”

This year’s finalists were selected based on their market-readiness at a Showcase Day, which took place on 29 March. With a focus on ideas that help to make South Africa a safer place, the ideas were judged in two categories: mature Fintech and Insurtech startup companies, as well as early-stage safety concept ideas.

Five inventions for a better South Africa

Here are the five companies which have made it to the final
of the Santam Safety Ideas Challenge.

Aerobotics SA

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Aerobotics – Bentzy Goldman

A pest and disease management platform providing tree crop
farmers with aerial imagery and actionable insights on the health of their
orchards and vineyards.

Deep Data

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Deep Data – Jasper Horrell

Focuses on real-time video analytics and alerting using deep
learning, internet-of-things, and cloud technologies.

FinchatBot

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FinChat Bot – Krystle Hastings

Develops bespoke Artificial Intelligence-powered chatbots to
help financial service providers acquire and retain customers.

Virtual Drive

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Virtual Drive – Chantelle Napel Wilson

An auto-tech solution in the pre-owned automotive industry,
benefiting buyers and sellers by streamlining the process of vehicle trade.

Vizibiliti Insight

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Vizibiliti – Courtney Bentley

Specialises in alternative credit scoring platforms for
consumers and companies.

Three early stage inventions with room to grow

In addition to identifying five finalists in the mature
business category, the Santam Safety Ideas Challenge also unearthed a few
ingenious inventions which need more time and expertise to develop. These three
start-ups will receive further assistance from LaunchLab and will, hopefully,
in time, contribute to a safer South Africa.

Cloudline

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Cloud Line – Spenser Horne

Transforming unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) use cases with
autonomous airships.

Machine Kind

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Machine Kind – Nerudo Mregi (left) and Lesego Mokgothu (right)

Provides driver behaviour insights and advice to first-time car buyers and owners.

Vigeo

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Vigeo – Ntando Kubheka

A niche insurance provider, targeting communities that are
previously not covered or accessible by traditional insurers.

The Santam Safety Ideas Challenge

Santam’s Chief Marketing Officer, Mokaedi Dilotsotlhe, has
lauded the positive prospects proposed by South Africa’s innovators. With
safety and efficiency forming the foundations of the Santam Safety Ideas
Challenge, Dilotsotlhe explained the importance of unique problem solving
models, saying:

“With increased risk and uncertainty catalysing an array of shared challenges, Santam is committed to giving South Africans the platform and incentive to find Safety Solutions.

With this challenge, we strive to help South Africans safeguard what is important to them by investing in solutions-driven innovations.

This challenge shows promising opportunities to secure a sustainable future and create safer communities while focusing on our core business of providing insurance, good and proper. Our expectations were exceeded by the quality of the pitches and the relevance to our business.”

The CEO of LaunchLab, Philip Marais, echoed Dilotsotlhe’s
sentiments, adding that the Santam Safety Ideas Challenge served as a testament
to the growth of South Africa’s start-up environment. Marais praised the
diversity and ingenuity exhibited by this year’s entrants, saying:

“The quality of the start-ups that pitched in this Showcase Day is an indication of the start-up ecosystem maturity and the opportunity for corporates to engage with local start-ups. We are very pleased that our incubation process has again delivered and exceeded the expectations of Santam.”

Looking ahead

Another Showcase Day will take
place in August 2019 at which point one mature start-up and one concept will be
selected as the overall winners of the Santam Safety Challenge Season 3 and
will be awarded seed funding to assist with piloting with Santam. Altogether
123 entries were received since inception.

About Santam, Insurance Good and Proper

Santam is South
Africa’s leading general insurer with a market share in excess of 22%. Listed
on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), the Santam group provides a
diversified range of general insurance products and services in Southern Africa
and internationally through a network of over 3 600 intermediaries and direct
channels. Santam is committed to growing the SME landscape in South Africa and
creating an enabling environment to assist SMEs to thrive.

The group’s more than
1 million policyholders range from individuals to commercial and specialist
business owners and institutions, including 85 of the Top 100 companies listed
on the JSE. The group employs over 6 000 employees and is recognised by its
peers as having the most technically competent employees.

Santam’s competitive
advantage within South Africa has been entrenched over 100 years by offering
its clients a wide range of short-term insurance products that has been
scientifically modelled to suit their needs, as well as having the highest
claims efficiency in the industry.

About Stellenbosch University LaunchLab

LaunchLab is Stellenbosch University’s start-up incubator, founded for university spin-outs and also incubates start-ups from the start-up ecosystem and partner universities in South Africa and Africa. The LaunchLab facilitates valuable connections for start-ups and corporates and is an initiative of Innovus, Stellenbosch University’s industry interaction and innovation company. For more information, visit www.launchlab.co.za.

This article was paid
for by Santam.

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