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Winners of the 2023 Irish Tech Challenge South Africa announced

22nd November 2023

By: Rebecca Campbell

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

     

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South Africa’s Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and the Embassy of the Republic of Ireland have jointly announced that five South African growth-stage technology startup companies, out of almost 300 which participated, have been selected as the winners of the 2023 Irish Tech Challenge South Africa. All the participating startups were offering products and services aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“This partnership is a truly mutually beneficial one, and also plays an important role in strengthening political and economic cooperation between South Africa and Ireland, reinforcing the ties of friendship between the two countries,” said DSI deputy director-general: international cooperation and resources Daan du Toit. The winners of the challenge will travel to Ireland in February, to participate in an “acceleration programme” at Dublin’s Dogpatch Labs startup and innovation hub.  

“This initiative showcases the strength of Irish-South African collaboration in technology and innovation,” affirmed Irish Ambassador Austin Gormley. “The Irish Tech Challenge South Africa not only highlights Ireland’s commitment to fostering global technological partnerships, but also our dedication to supporting emerging entrepreneurs in realising their potential on the world stage.”

Those of the five challenge-winning entrepreneurs who complete the full programme will each receive funding of up to €10 000. Their trip to Dublin will also be funded and they will further participate in a curated business networking programme and have access to the Irish tech ecosystem (and the possibility of further funding).

In alphabetical order, the five are Tumelo Chiloane, Benedicta Durcan, Neo Hutiri, Vuyo Pakade and Thato Schermer. Chiloane’s startup is agritech enterprise Desert Green, which links small-scale farmers directly to, and so allows them to efficiently supply, informal traders. Durcan’s company, Afrobodies, is a biotech startup that produces recombinant alpaca antibodies and supplies them to domestic and global diagnostic, therapeutic and life sciences markets. Hutiri’s business, Technovera, has developed the Pelebox smart locker system that enables patients to rapidly collect their chronic medication. Pakade’s startup Foonda Africa is a recruitment and talent “marketplace” which connects companies with young graduates. Schermer heads the woman-created, for women and families, healthcare services platform, Zoie Health.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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