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|Top 3 Tech Startups to Watch|
Leading Cape Town-based incubator, the Telkom Bandwidth Barn, recently held another round of training and development for entrepreneurs. The training programme, called VeloCITi Y, lasts for six months’ and is sponsored by the Provincial Government of the Western Cape. It focuses primarily on giving entrepreneurs the knowledge, tools, training, mentoring and insight that it takes to be a successful business owner.
“Cape Town is proud to be the hub of entrepreneurial development in South Africa,” says Chris Vermeulen, General Manager at TheBarn. “Many people have ideas, very few of them put them into action. TheBarn helps those who do have an idea through the VeloCITi Y programme, and supports new startups who have been operating for more than six months through the VeloCITi programme, plus we have a host of events and initiatives all of which support sustainable entrepreneur development.”
TheBarn nominated the top three entrepreneurs from the VeloCITi Y programme, all of which have tech-based ideas. “The programme focuses on supporting viable technology and design projects,” says Ansi Gillfillan, the Programmes’s Manager. “We take on any entrepreneur who is passionate, has a good, clear idea, and who is committed to making this succeed.”
The following nominations received the top three spots in the latest VeloCITi Y programme.
1st Place: Perk, by Jess Green
Jess shot to fame when his company, UbuntuDeal was sold to Bidorbuy recently for an undisclosed amount. Jess’s next venture is Perk, a mobile loyalty programme that picks up when a client enters a store.
“I’ve always had faith in myself,” says Jess, “In order to be a successful entrepreneur in South Africa you need to have the right idea, a bit of funding, a lot of energy and a ton of luck!”
Jess’s advice to other startups is:
2nd Place: Saving Xena, by Marco-Hans van der Willik
Marco has over 9 years’ experience as a software engineer and has worked with several blue-chip South African companies. “At times the journey has been tough but my motto is ‘push on and you will succeed!’” says Marco-Hans.
Marco-Hans has the following advice for aspiring entrepreneurs:
3rd Place: PhraZApp, by Glenn Stein
Glenn Stein recently won top awards for his mobile phone application PhraZApp. The app provides translations for popular phrases in English, Afrikaans, Zulu, Xhosa and Tswana and is available from the BlackBerry App World and Vodacom App Store. The also app took third place at the Vodacom competition, won the BlackBerry 10JAM Lightening Pitches competition on 31 July, and went on to win the MTN App of the Year ‘Best Garage Developer’ award on 1 August.
“Being an entrepreneur is exhilarating. It’s definitely the ‘extreme sports’ of business,” says Glenn. “VeloCITI Y got me to refine my pitch and pushed me to understand my market better.”
Glenn’s advice to anyone thinking of becoming an entrepreneur is:
VeloCITI Y is our idea stage ED programme running every three months. Apply here for our next programme.
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