University of Cape Town: UCT student entrepreneurs among region’s best


University of Cape Town (UCT) student entrepreneurs have breezed through the regional round of the Entrepreneurship Intervarsity competition – topping three of the four competition categories and leaping straight into the national final.

The annual competition aims to identify the top student entrepreneurs at each of South Africa’s 26 public universities. It provides students with a platform to showcase their businesses and to attract investors to their enterprises. It also gives students whose businesses are in ideas phase an opportunity to pitch their concepts.

Two-day event

The two-day virtual regional event was hosted by Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) on Tuesday, 30 August and Wednesday, 31 August. Seven UCT student entrepreneurs, selected during the internal round of the competition in May, put on a stellar performance as they competed with their peers from CPUT, Stellenbosch University and the University of the Western Cape.

“It’s a tough task going up against the region’s best, but our students were determined, and that spirit was evident as they took to the virtual podium.”

Participants entered four categories:

new business ideas
existing business (tech)
existing business (social impact)
existing business (general).
“It’s a tough task going up against the region’s best, but our students were determined, and that spirit was evident as they took to the virtual podium to pitch their ideas. We are proud of each and every one of them. They performed outstandingly,” said Nadia Waggie, UCT’s Entrepreneurship Intervarsity coordinator and the head of sustainability and impact at UCT’s Careers Service.

The region’s best

In line with the competition’s rules, Waggie said students pitched their business ideas to a panel of judges and had just three minutes to get their messages across. Thereafter, judges facilitated a question-and-answer (Q&A) session with each participant to gain a more in-depth understanding on each concept.

“This is always a nail-biting round. But our students were charismatic and breezed through their pitches and the Q&A session. They displayed great strength and demonstrated a true entrepreneurial spirit throughout this event,” she said.

The students proceeding to the national round are:

Nicoline Kriek: existing business (general) – French Parfumerie ensures that fragrances are accessible and affordable to all South Africans. Kriek is a third-year law student.
Asonele Gevenga: existing business (tech) – Fleeker Finance helps students to build a credit history in order for them to easily access credit once they leave university and start working. Gevenga is a third-year BCom management studies student.
Matimba Mabonda: new business ideas – LolaGreen is determined to make a difference to the environment by collecting plastic waste found at landfills and in other parts of the environment and converting it into durable roof tiles. Mabonda is a second-year MSc student in chemical engineering.
“Our students’ inner strength and enthusiasm never cease to amaze me. We’re nearing the last stretch of this competition and my message to our three stars is clear: just go out there and do your best. You’ve already made us so proud,” Waggie said.

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