MEDO entrepreneurs arrive from the successful UK pitching trip at the Oliver Tambo airport in Johannesburg.
HumanIPO reported in February on the MEDO techpreneur pitches selected for the investment-driven trip as part of the International Trade Program (ITP).
Judi Sandrock, chief executive officer and founder at MEDO, said: “We had more successes than we were expecting.”
Apart from the five startups which gained investment, the remaining six are also negotiating for potential business partnerships.
“All the entrepreneurs have come home empowered with new business knowledge, insights and the confidence that comes with knowing their businesses can – and will – thrive,” the organisation announced upon the return of entrepreneurs to South Africa yesterday (Thursday).
Sandrock is of the opinion the businesses gained more confidence because they realised their international competence was not lacking in potential to challenge already established businesses in the European and UK market.
“As an organisation, MEDO has stuck it to the nay-sayers who believe there are no black-owned ICT companies in South Africa, and that the UK doesn’t want to do business with South African start-ups,” Sandrock said.
She continued: “The UK businesses were absolutely hungry for the opportunity to meet these entrepreneurs.”
Among the successful entrepreneurs are Veronica Shangwali Aswani, founder of WavuNow.com, who attracted investment offers from three companies, including Bloomberg, which will help her South African craft product startup expand into the European market.
“We’re going to have many small industries develop out of these deals,” Aswani commented on the next steps to spring forth from the overseas deals.
Dean Thompson, founder of Inferno Films, secured partnership with giant video production UK-based company Jacaranda to shoot local footage for clients.
“After all, the world is receptive to business in South Africa – they want to get into our market,” Thompson commented on the triumphant deal.
Phakamo Holdings, an IT enterprise architecture management and governance service provider, signed two deals with Alfresco and Masabi technologies.
As newly appointed South African and African representatives, Phakamo will also attend a summit in Barcelona, Spain, later in 2013, where technological impact on the United States and Europe will be discussed.
“MEDO fast-tracked our goal to become partners, and not just users, of global IT brands,” Raphael Mohlala, co-founder at Phakamo, said.
The MEDO program was executed in partnership with British Telecom (BT) Global Services and the University of Stellenbosch Business school.