Inaugural Wits Entrepreneurs' Pitch Session
Buzzing excitement as 3rd years' experience a simulated "dragon's den"
A bevy of smartly and colourfully dressed 3rd year students were nervous and excited as they presented to a panel of funding, startup business experts and venture capitalists to see which team from the Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship course at the Wits School of Economics and Business Science (SEBS) would win the most nods from the panel. Fuzlin Levy- Hassan from the IDC's Venture Capital unit, Chris Callaghan from SEBS, Ela Romanowska from the Tech transfer office and Duncan Raftesath, CEO of Wits Enterprise, were the constituted the panel of 'dragons' at this inaugural Wits Entrepreneurs' Pitch Session. The event, which took place at the Professional Development Hub, was hosted by the Tech Transfer Unit (Wits Enterprise) together with SEBS. Participants were given five minutes to explain their idea in front of a live audience of their peers, to the panel.
Congratulations to the wining pitch, "Tupperware Heating Element", whose team now has the opportunity to consult with the Tech Transfer Unit in finding ways to improve their concept and plan, and take next steps to develop and commercialise their technology. Ela Romanowska commented afterwards that "The vibe was great to see: the commitment of the teams to present their best and take feedback as learning, was really admirable. This is an exciting first such event for promoting a culture of innovation and encouraging entrepreneurship in students". Chris stated that "The teams that made pitches are the best from the course I facilitated. As 3rd year students they do not get this type of opportunity and real world exposure in their coursework, and I am excited about this partnership with the Tech Transfer Unit. I am eager for us to hold this session again next year". Fuzlin encouraged the students, commenting that "it is impressive to see 3rd year students coming up with such concepts and the work that has gone into developing a business case, and the boldness to step up in this type of forum."
Though there is only one winner in any contest, we wish to congratulate all the other student teams who accepted the challenge to pitch their business idea to the critique of a panel of gurus and we wish them well in their future careers, whatever these may be.
- Tupperware Heating Element (Winners): A self-heating lunchbox.
- Comfort mattress: 3-in-1 bed that comes with an embedded electric blanket (adjustable temperature), massage features and provides comfort.
- Corp Art: A platform which links the corporate world and the art industry in providing a new take on corporate marketing and information campaigns.
- Pick Me Up: A vehicle immobilizing unit to combat drunk driving.
- Red Coat: 3D-printed swimwear for consumers based on their specific body shape.
- Textbook Delivery System: An innovative process for improving the procurement and distribution of Learner Teacher Support Material.
- Smart Parking System: An environmentally friendly and cost effective smart parking system.
- Drain Regulation and Transmission Valve: A system for controlling and reducing the amount of water wasted through breaches in waterways.