The U-Start Bloom competition last night (Thursday) chose the final six South African startups who will travel to Milan next month to pitch a European investors.
The pitching event was held at the Bandwidth Barn, in Woodstock, Cape Town, and included 19 finalists chosen from an original 250 applications.
Among the winners was online subscription video streaming site Wabona. Speaking to HumanIPO after the winners were announced, Simba Mabasha, co-founder, said: “We are excited to go to Milan, but we will be even happier if we get some money while we are there.
“The U-Start process has been a great way to prepare for making money and strengthening our business plan.”
Another winner was Jess Green’s latest startup Perk, which offers retail mobile solutions to physical stores.
Green told HumanIPO: “We are really pleased because we really wanted to win this one – we prepared a lot for this.
“The trip to Milan is important because our company can take this innovation around the world.”
The other four winners were Medical Diagnostic, Ad Dynamo, Mimiboard Umuntu and Dream Mobile.
Zachariah George, from U-Start South Africa, was one of five judges who chose the six winners.
Speaking to HumanIPO, George said: “The judging was probably one of the toughest 20 minutes of my career at U-Start.
“The toughest thing was choosing ideas that were feasible, sustainable and scalable. The quality was very high.”
The other judges were Alexandra Fraser, chairperson at Silicon Cape, Justin Stanford of 4Di Capital, Colin Habberton of GivenGain, and Meredith Ryan of Absa.
The trip to Milan for the six startups includes flights and accommodation for two nights, mentorship, training and one-on-one introductions to a “wide network of pan-European investors”.