More than 140 potential investors were introduced to eight tech ventures in Seed Engine’s Business Accelerator Programme at its first demo day at GIBS University in Johannesburg this past week.
“Raising capital is currently a Seed Engine priority following the positive response and interest in the demo day presentations. We are following up the investor attendees, as well as a list of those who were unable to attend,” says CEO, Marc Elias. “Our tech entrepreneurs will continue to work on their businesses at Seed Engine’s offices while we focus on raising additional capital for their ventures in which we are shareholders”.
The Seed Engine start-ups and the model itself drew praise from investors across the spectrum.
“I was very impressed with the quality of the investment pitches made by the Seed Engine ventures, said Christo Fourie, head of the Industrial Development Corporation venture capital business unit . “They all delivered clear and concise presentations on the uniqueness of their technologies, on the value proposition to their respective target markets, on how they intend to access these markets and most importantly on what their revenue models will be. Each one of the ventures has the potential to be a huge success.”
“Each of the ideas had merit,” agrees corporate advisor and angel investor Derek Rabin. “Two in particular were appealing to me. The pitches were good and the investment timelines sufficient in terms of acquiring additional information. The Seed Engine model is a very useful one for start-up ventures.”
According to Jason Goldberg, head of the Vumela Social Venture Capital Fund, a FirstRand initiative, “The quality of the pitches was good and we have examined those that are attractive. Seed Engine has our full support for what they are doing and we believe it will result in more successful start-ups.”
“Some of the projects show great potential and we wish them all the best going forward,” said Charles Pritchard, CEO of Entelect, the software development partner on MiName and Intellicred. “It’s encouraging to see the commitment from the Seed Engine team towards our local entrepreneurs.”
Each of the eight ventures presented comprehensive, but concise, seven minute pitches:
- ChowHub.co.za, an online and mobile restaurant discovery platform that allows customers to simply place orders online from restaurants based on their location with an automated ordering process that increases efficiency and speed. Revenue is based on commission paid by the restaurants.
- After-Class.co.za, a social education and file-sharing platform enabling both learners and teachers to support one another and share collective knowledge, focused on the core high school education curriculum. It is the only portal that offers game-like elements to education. Revenue is earned through the sale of points required to download notes and material and use the interactive facilities.
- Cirqls.com is an online marketplace, designed to leverage off social connections and brings an element of trust to online product purchasing. Buyers are given confidence in their purchase by being connected with sellers from their social circles (which are their friends, friends of friends and their connections up to the third degree.) Sellers are given a powerful online storefront and the opportunity to have their brand exposed.
- onQsystems.com – A cloud-based, point-of-sale software product used in conjunction with a smartphone or a tablet, ONQ is designed to enhance service and increase ordering, delivery and stock management efficiencies in the wholesale, retail and hospitality industries. It also provides the opportunity for more engaging interaction with customers.
- IntelliCred.com is an online verification management product which helps companies protect their brand equity and prevent counterfeiting, phishing, fraudulent associations and other forms of online brand abuse and infringements, at the same time enabling them to save time and money tracking infringers. It is also useful in controlling affiliates and partners.
- Zehoo.me simplifies document storage by automatically fetching, filtering and organizing your documents into one simple user experience. It enables users to manage their cloud storage, private storage, mail attachments and physical documents from one login. Features include, search within document content across all storage platforms and text editing of imaged documents.
- MiName.co.za is an online leads generation and recommendation platform that rewards users for requesting products and services from its growing list of trusted partners. Partners pay for the hottest leads that have lower and de-risked costs of acquisition. Users are paid for their valuable contributions of purchasing, reviewing, and social network engagement.
- Dailyhomes.co.za connects buyers and sellers in the affordable housing market – under R1 million sales and rentals under R6 000- using a multi channel mobile environment. The revenue model consists of: listing the entire property portfolios of many of South Africa’s largest developers; the listing of real estate agent portfolios as well as private owners for once-off sales and rentals.
Applications are open for the next Seed Engine accelerator programme which begins in August. Those that are accepted onto the 13 week accelerator programme qualify for R100 000 seed capital, workspace in Sandton, intensive mentorship and coaching and introduction to Seed Engine’s extensive networks.
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