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Stellenbosch University selects its finalists for EDHE Entrepreneurship Intervarsity Competition 2024

The Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) Entrepreneurship Intervarsity competition is an annual event that aims to identify the brightest and most promising student entrepreneurs from South Africa’s 26 public universities. Students are invited to submit their entries in one of the following four categories:

  • Category 1: Existing Business – Tech
    This category is for entrepreneurs passionate about technology-based businesses.
  • Category 2: Existing Business – Social Impact
    Social entrepreneurs whose startup focuses on social impact.
  • Category 3: Existing Business – General
    Available for any other type of business according to the competition Terms and Conditions.
  • Category 4: Research-Based Business
    This category encourages the commercialisation of research by students and university staff. This category seeks to foster innovation and support the development of research-based startups.

Stellenbosch University (SU) received nine entries from student entrepreneurs and seven students pitched their business on the 27th of May during the internal rounds at the SU LaunchLab.

The judges were a mixture of professionals who are deeply entrenched in the Stellenbosch entrepreneurial ecosystem: Hanli Brink, Operations Manager at Stellenbosch Network; Maambela Nkhosa, Founder and CEO at SheCab and Communications Specialist at SU’s Centre of Research Institute (CeRi); Brandon Paschal, Deputy Director of spin-out companies and funds at SU Innovation and Commercialisation Division; Naison Pillay, Founder and CEO of The African CEO; and Noku Katom, mentor at SU LaunchLab and Think Ahead Transformation Academy.

The session began with each judge providing a brief introduction, and Brandon Paschal highlighting the entrepreneurial life cycle within the university and how intellectual property can be commercialized to benefit society.


Seven students pitched their businesses:

Ausin Tech – Anokunda Mudzielwana (Ano)

Ano started his pitch by describing the problem of unemployment and the lack of skills awareness. He explained how his mobile app connects people within the same community and collaborates with service providers looking for specific skills, including volunteer opportunities. The app, launched in May 2024, averages seven minutes of user engagement per session and generates revenue from ads.

Report Buddy – Robyn Truter

Report Buddy is a niche web app that does automated reporting for neuropsychologists and potentially other industries once the app is further developed. The app calculates z-scores and writes reports, saving up to six hours per report. Report Buddy has recorded an estimated R16k profit to date.

Jabeson Bags – Someleze Jabe

Jabeson Bags manufactures clothes and bags. The business was started in Masiphumelele, from Someleze’s family home, but has expanded to the rest of the country. Since the business’ inception, Jabeson Bags have been featured in local media and have expanded their customer base significantly. To date they have sold 1500 bags, they have 60 different styles and have increased the team to six members plus two brand ambassadors.

FineApple Pixels – Chiedza Vushe

Chiedza’s pitch focused on supporting student creativity through FineApple Pixels, a marketplace offering photography services by students. The business has over 40 clients and earns approximately R1k a day during peak times. Future plans include expanding services to art, music, dance, and graphic design, and partnering with educational institutions.

EV-Fleet-Sim: Chris Abrahams

EV-Fleet-Sim helps companies transition to electric vehicles by using raw data collected from GPS to analyse the potential of electric-vehicle technology for a vehicle fleet. They have already worked with various clients across Africa including Golden Arrow and City Sightseeing and are seeking fleet operations to test the simulator.

Milani education – Alexandra Lutz

Milani means “to grow” in isiZulu. The platform was founded post-pandemic to address educational inequality, providing moderated, open-source content that is aligned with the CAPS curriculum. With 1,200 students and over 1,000 videos, Milani Education seeks seed funding to expand its offerings to more subjects and languages.

They currently only offer 4 subjects in English but aim to expand to other South African languages.

Co2 Points – Lesedi Monnanyane

Lesedi spent a year picking up waste and realized the potential for assisting waste pickers through carbon credits. Co2 Points invests in carbon credits, which are sold to high carbon producers, with waste pickers generating credits. They have already generated R1,650 in sales and accumulated 10 carbon credits.

After the pitches, the judges deliberated to select the students who will represent Stellenbosch University at the regionals. The criteria for selection were provided by EDHE and combined with the judges’ experience in the entrepreneurship space.

It was decided to advance all seven students to the regionals and then also enrol them into the SU LaunchLab  Resnova programme which will start in August 2024 to assist them with the criteria provided by the EDHE.

In closing, Brandon Paschal emphasized the significance of the Resnova programme, highlighting its success: “Last year four students from the Resnova programme won at EDHE regionals and this year we are aiming for all of the finalists to win because all of these businesses are solving real problems and can truly benefit society.”

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