Last week the annual SA Innovation Summit took place in Cape Town and alongside the keynotes and networking, startups were pitching their business ideas in a variety of contests.

The event was attended by 3 500 delegates hailing from 32 countries and the organisers say that over R1 billion in deals were made between 11th and 13th September.

But you’re here to read about the startups so let’s just jump right into it.

The Africa Cup in partnership with the Unicorn Group looked for early stage startups in the tech and tech-enabled sectors.

Placing third in the Africa Cup was Origin Dynamic Systems’ Updraft. The solution merges artificial intelligence and legal expertise and was offered R1 million in investment and a one-week acceleration programme.

Vegetal Signals placed second with its solution which uses electrical activity from plants to monitor stresses in crops. Vegetal systems won a R2.5 million investment and a two-week acceleration in Silicon Valley, Lagos or Budapest.

Finally, the overall winner of the Africa Cup was Asilimia. The firm offers financial services to informal traders in Kenya including insurance and payment options. Asilima wins R5 million in investments and three weeks of acceleration in Silicon Valley, Lagos or Budapest.

For the ANDZA Entrepreneur competition, LiquidGold Africa walked away with R250 000 in cash. LiquidGold Africa’s solution is rather interesting in that it’s a toilet which extracts nutrients from urine and converts it into fertiliser.

There was even a contest for entrepreneurs in the wine industry.

Winetech looked for disruptive, innovative and cost-effective solutions that would lessen the impact the wine industry had on the environment. Vegetal Signals won that contest and earned R150 000 worth of business development.

The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) Pitch & Perfect Masterclasses and Competition provides SMEs across the country with professional tools on how to present business cases effectively and efficiently, in persuasive pitches to potential funders, improving access to market, technology and finance.

The first prize in its contest was claimed by Intelligent Safe Technologies which produces a smart, computer controlled dispensing system for high-value retail stock. The startup won technology incentives to the value of R300 000.

Finally, the TIA Inventors Garage looked for inventors with demos, working prototypes and even fully fledged products ready for commercialisation.

The winner of the Inventors Garage was Shuri, an enterprise that detected and monitors water leaks using satellite imagery and deep learning. Shuri won R10 000 in cash.

Those are all the winners from this year’s SA Innovation Summit. As this is a yearly event if you missed out this year be sure to keep an eye on the official website for news of next year’s event.