Ask any business analyst on how to strengthen a country’s economy, and they will more than likely tell you that the secret lies in nurturing entrepreneurs and startups. And that is exactly what the Seedstars World is doing – but on a global scale.
The South African final kicked off last night, with the 10 best startups from Cape town, Durban, Soweto and Johannesburg delivering their best pitches to an investment panel with the hopes of being crowned the South African winner.
That honour went to IDWork, who was announced last night as South Africa’s most promising seed-stage startup of Seedstars South Africa 2016 leg.
But by now you are probably wondering what it is that made IDWork the winning pick for the South African competition. Well, if you have home improvement projects that you need help with, the IDWork web based app will let you find a service provider, manage the home improvement project through a dedicated WhatsApp group, and review the service afterwards for others to read.
But the journey for IDWork doesn’t end on the stage in South Africa. Since it is an international event, it will be joining the other global Seedstars winners at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland, which includes a bootcamp to further develop IDWork idea, and an investors forum.
Ultimately, if IDWork can knock it out of the park at the Summit, it could walk away with over R5 million in investment money.
Marcello Schermer, Regional Manager of Seedstars Worlds, explained that through a competition such as Seedstars, it is able to set up ideas and companies for future success. But it also wants to help those that didn’t win.
“We want to bring people together, not only in countries, but on the continent and across the world. As part of that plan, we are building a network of co-habiting spaces to grow businesses. It’s a safe spot for the community, and can be very helpful,” he said.
He added that Seedstars pro-actively pass people on to investors across the world. “There might be an investor in one country that is looking for something that is in another.”
But what sort of criteria was used to determine who was eligible for entry? Well, the company in question has to be no more than two years old since the founding date, has had a maximum of $500 000 in funding, and needs to be a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
But you can’t celebrate the winner, and not mention the excellent competition that it was up against. Each city had three winners from that respective city’s finals, which made it through to the South African finals.
Crew Pencil: An online crew booking and diary service for the film industry that allows diary, bookings and invoicing all in one.
Pargo: A convenient logistics solution that lets customers collect and return their parcels at a local store when it suits them best.
WumDrop: It allows people to pick up and drop off anything with the click of a button.
Guardian Angel Safety Solution: A GPS tracking product that offers an affordable personal safety solution for children, adults, elderly, and even pets.
You, Baby and I: An online platform that allows moms to experience brands by matching them to location and interests.
Vitls: The startup building a revolutionary wearable medical device for homes and hospitals, allowing vitals to be monitored continuously and undisturbed from anywhere.
Sortd: A communication-centric organizer that transforms email and instant messaging into a set of organized to-do lists.
UmoyAir Communications: A provider of free calls from mobile phones to any number without airtime or data.
Riovic: A micro-insurer that provides digital and P2P insurance backed by crowdfunding.