Got an aspiring startup or an idea that you think will change the world? Then we’ve got a proposal for you: tell us about it and we’ll reward the best ones with cold, hard cash.

This year, is once again co-ordinating the Digital Innovation programme at the annual Leaderex show, which takes place on 5th September at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.

To celebrate what is always an awesome day of ideas, inventions, innovations and inspiration, we’ve joined forces with Standard Bank to kick the day off with an opportunity for South Africa’s most exciting entrepreneurs.

We’re calling it the & Standard Bank Innovation Challenge, and the way it works is simple. At Leaderex, seven innovators will get a chance to pitch their big idea to a panel of highly respected and influential judges, including Jayshree Naidoo, head of Standard Bank’s incubator programme.

The best three pitches will win cash prizes of R25 000, R20 000 and R15 000 for first, second and third place respectively. That’s R60 000 of equity-free prize money up for grabs.

Winners will also join the Standard Bank Incubator network and get access to its co-working spaces, development programmes, masterclasses and events.

So, what are we looking for and how do you enter?

Entry is simple, just fill out the form below (or click here to access it in a new window) before 24th August and we’ll do the rest. What we’re looking for is the best ideas which tie in with our big themes on the day.

You can see our full programme of events here (and register too), but throughout the day we’re hosting keynote speakers and panellists on a variety of subjects. These include the Internet of Things, chattbots and AI, Bitcoin and the blockchain, fintech, edtech, augmented and virtual reality, videogames and maker culture.

Confirmed speakers include futurologist John Sanel, Zoiab Hoosen of Microsoft SA, Arlene Mulder from WeThinkCode_ and prominent Cape Town VC and Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation, Llew Claasen – plus many, many more equally renowned and well-regarded luminaries of the tech industry.

Individuals and established companies are welcome to enter, and the judges will be looking for ideas that they think will have impact and are sustainable in the long term.

Even if you don’t have a business idea you want to pitch but you’d like to join us at Leaderex at any point throughout the day, you can register for tickets at Use the code “htxt” and you’ll get in for free!

Ground rules

  • The pitching competition is open to individuals, teams and established companies.
  • Any idea can be pitched, but we’re looking for innovations that could be developed into a sustainable business model which relates to one of the Digital Innovation sessions of the day.
  • The prize money is just that, prize money. There’s no equity at stake here.
  • The closing date for entry is 24 August 2017.
  • A shortlist will be announced the following week, and shortlisted entrants will be invited to a preparation session at the end of August.
  • The pitching session takes place at 8.30, in Sandton Convention Centre, as part of Leaderex on 5 September 2017.
  • Travel costs for finalists will not be reimbursed.
  • No guarantee is made around the protection of intellectual property submitted as part of this very public event.
  • The judges’ decision is final.
  • The organisers reserve the right to change the terms and conditions without notice.
  • Full terms and conditions can be found here.