Entries are open for the Startup Knight competition, which is aimed at helping local software-based tech start-ups succeed.
The competition was launched in 2012 by Bytes Orbit to empower aspiring tech entrepreneurs and visionaries in SA with funding and business support, says the company in a statement.
“Byte Orbit is often approached by individuals and companies looking for assistance to build the ‘next big thing’, but unfortunately not all of them have the funding to support their idea. The competition was born to address this cry for help,” says Ras.Startup Knight provides a platform to validate ideas and start-ups − ultimately assisting them in building their product, says Martin Ras, CEO of Bytes Orbit.
The competition is divided into the concept phase and the start-up phase. Entrants for the concept phase are required to design an innovative concept for software products that will turn heads in the tech industry. The start-up phase winner will be the most innovative software business that disrupts the South African tech industry.
The concept phase carries a R100 000 cash prize, while the winner of the start-up phase will receive R150 000 in software development and R100 000 in publicity.
This year, Startup Knight is adding a runner-up prize of R50 000 in the start-up division that will go towards publicity or software development.
Last year’s winner of the concept phase, Air Taxi, a service that enables taxi users to pay their taxi fare with their cellphone airtime, was incubated for commercialisation by Standard Bank.
Micket, an online events ticketing solution, was the 2013 winner for the start-up phase. It has used the money it won for marketing and further development of the Micket platform.
“The company focuses on inspiring young talented entrepreneurs and visionaries on all levels, be it the little bit of mentorship the finalists receive or the network we introduce them to,” says Ras.
Bytes Orbit wants all entrants and finalists to understand anyone can be successful in their field of choice. All they require is to make that mind shift and through the competition, the company would like to be part of that trigger, he concludes.
Participants can enter online until 26 October.
Fifteen finalists will be announced on 31 October, and will then be required to pitch their business ideas for the competition to a judging panel at the Byte Orbit offices in Cape Town on 7 November.