As the penultimate day of the SABC Education SA Innovation Summit 2016 takes place in Ekurhuleni today, there are still many exciting activities such as the Inventors Garage, Market on the Edge and the LEGO Future City Development to look forward to. Innovators, thought-leaders and inventors-in-the-making will once again gather at the Birchwood Hotel to learn about thought leadership, share innovative insights, pitch ideas and to connect with other businesses.

Today, delegates will be introduced to paradigm-shifting ideas, products and prototypes from the top 30 finalists in the Inventors Garage Competition. “These finalists will not only exhibit their innovative inventions; they will also stand a chance to win prizes that could transform their ideas from prototypes to profitable realities through funding, networking and marketing opportunities,” says Susan, organiser of the Inventors Garage Competition.

“A highlight of yesterday’s event would most definitely be the VentureBurn Pitching Den Competition,” says Audrey Verhaeghe, chairperson of the SABC Education SA Innovation Summit 2016. The competition provides a platform for growth and start-up companies with tech-enabled solutions to pitch their exciting and innovative business concepts to a well-rounded panel of judges. “The Pitching Den Competition is designed to recognise game-changing innovators and entrepreneurs with outstanding leadership skills and strategic direction, financial accomplishments and innovating business potential – the judges have their work cut out for them this year!” adds Verhaeghe.

Some of the exciting ideas and concepts pitched at the Venture Pitching Den included: environmentally friendly roof tiles made from 99% recycled plastic and mine dump waste; an energy storage solution that provides long-term, high-density energy for any grid; multi-fuel converters for truck engines that make use of both natural gas and diesel; and high-performance insect-based animal feed protein.

“The winner of the VentureBurn Pitching Den Competition will be announced today at the awards ceremony taking place at 16:30 and will represent South Africa at the Startup World Cup Grand Finale in San Francisco. They will compete alongside 15 other startups from all over the world for a chance to win a $1 000 000 investment prize,” explains Chris Abshire, Executive Director of Startup World Cup.

Another valuable platform that the Summit provides to delegates is the Match and Invest Lounge where delegates are able to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs through meaningful and targeted conversions. “Match and Invest is more than just an opportunity to move money around. It is a place where businesses and innovators can connect, explore and stimulate future opportunities. It does away with the lengthy, tedious process of securing funding for a budding young venture. It opens doors and gives entrepreneurs quick access to companies that they would normally be unable to connect with,” says Margaretha van Schalkwyk, Match and Invest coordinator.

During her much-anticipated speech on ‘Building critical mass to develop the South African entrepreneurial eco-system’, Matsi Modise, Managing Director of Simodisa Startup, emphasised that innovation cannot exist in a silo. She mentioned that innovation needs entrepreneurs, a thriving environment, incubators, accelerators and much more to succeed. This all forms part of what she calls the entrepreneurial eco-system.

For more information on the not-to-be-missed SABC Education SA Innovation Summit: Ekurhuleni Chapter, taking place from 21 to 24 September 2016, please visit http://www.innovationsummit.co.za/, email info@innovationsummit.co.zaor call +27(0)82 708 1960.