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Black-woman-owned company aimed at fighting crime in SA takes home grand prize of R100K

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Just days before Women’s Month, female-led company Memeza Shout won the grand cash prize of R100 000 from investment group AYO Technology Solutions (AYO) for the pitch and business idea.

Memeza Shout is the first black-woman-owned company to provide South Africa’s first, patented Public Alarm system.

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It aims to fight crime and improve response times by using technology. This innovation makes use of a combination of physical alarms, neighbours, community safety groups and the South Africa Police Services to collectively fight crime.

“Private security don’t go into rural areas or townships but we do. So we have a huge market to cater for. We bring all stakeholders to fight crime. Tomorrow I can’t say police is useless because I know I would have the power to be involved in fighting crime,” said founder Thulile Mthethwa

“The first thing criminals do is take your phone, leaving you basically unarmed. So you will still have your remote to call for help,” Mthetha added.

Coming in second place was LiquidGold Africa.

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LiquidGold Africa offers solutions for sanitation waste. It does this with a globally designed and patented dry toilet for both male and females.

The company aims to save precious water resources and create new products from human waste in a simple and cost-effective manner. The by-products contains all the important nutrients that agriculture needs for healthy plant growth.

Founder and CEO Orion Herman highlighted the importance of having a solution that is environmentally friendly and that will reduce spread of bacteria. One of the products called the Weestand does exactly this. The other products that were presented in the pitch were Ecflo, Sanipods and Diamond.

“People laughed at the idea of a urinal for women but the Weestand decreases the spread of bacteria and is for everyone,” said Herman.

These are two of the five qualifying businesses in the AYO Scaling Africa Series that pitched their innovations on Wednesday.

In partnership with the SA Innovation Summit, the series aims to assist tech entrepreneurs in taking their Series A businesses to the next level.

Jeni Kostova, Group Marketing Executive at AYO, explained that: “The technology space has always been a competitive landscape. Even more so now, given the rate of innovation that we are experiencing since the COVID-19 related lockdown-induced high-speed shift to digital in 2020.

“As an investment group we are always on the lookout for businesses that are on the brink of greatness and that solve a particular socio-economic need using technology, who require the development capital to get them there. That’s why this competition is such a good fit for AYO and judging from the quality of entries we have reviewed, the future for South Africa looks bright.”

Dr Audrey Verhaeghe, SA Innovations Summit’s founder and Chairman, also added, “This is one competition that goes beyond the prize money to include not only the potential for real investment funding, but also the investment into skills, experience and new markets that the investor can offer the winner.”

This is what the other three businesses had to offer:

Dove Air

Dove Air provides instant access to urgent medical supplies such as vaccines or blood to those across the world. It does this through advanced drone technology called doves and has serviced over 2000 hospitals thus far.

Co-Founder & CEO Francisco Martins pitched the innovation and said the fact that the doves can do multiple deliveries is what gives the company the competitive edge.

“We can do multiple deliveries per flight so can deliver Covid tests and vaccines. It is a multiple-use aircraft and we will expand to boost economic development,” said Martins.

The Red Cup Village

The Red Cup Village medical respirator is SAHPRA approved 3D printed medical devices with two valves for changeable use.

The devices can be customised to an individual’s face structure and have the ability to monitor a user’s health condition through an application that sends an alert when they are running out of oxygen.

It is environmentally friendly and the products are manufactured 100% locally using recycled material and biodegradable material.

“The key problem is that a lot of the medical devices are made abroad – and it is made from plastic. So we decided to 3D print medical devices. We make it locally to create jobs in South Africa,” said founder & CEO, Luvuyo Ndiki.

The Marking App

The Marking App is a data free mobile and web application that automatically marks school assessments while simultaneously giving learners access to immediate feedback, online support as well as study material.

It aims to not only reduce time, but also increases the quality of assessment and support given to the learners.

“Teachers spend a lot of time doing admin tasks when they could use that time actual teaching or classroom time. Learners feel the impact because they miss out on an opportunity to learn,” said founder and Managing Director, Kabelo Mahlobogwane.

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