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Smart Living Challenge - and the winners are...

Announcing Smart Living Challenge

Two ideas from tech startups in The Innovation Hub community have been selected as top-15 winners in the international Smart Living Challenge innovation competition. ‘Smart Parcel Locker’ has been launched by GenWye a startup in the Maxum Business Incubator and ‘Green Tower’ is developed by Michelangelo Technology, a semi-finalist in the GAP Green innovation competition. The two winners will travel to Sweden during Nobel week 2014, where they will visit innovation hotspots and be matched with actors to support the development and realisation of their ideas.

The Smart Living Challenge is an open, international innovation competition run by Munktell Science Park in Sweden, in partnership with the Swedish Institute and Swedish innovation agency, Vinnova, amongst others. The challenge aims to generate business opportunities and ideas that foster a sustainable lifestyle in urban environments.

The Innovation Hub, through its GAP innovation competitions, partnered with the 2014 Smart Living Challenge and hosted a workshop on 24 June 2014 for about 40 selected tech startups, industry and government partners. The workshop was aimed at generating new ideas around smart living by taking participants through a collaborative problem identification and design process. Through similar workshops, programmes and partnerships The Innovation Hub is looking to stimulate new ideas and develop sustainable green, ICT and biotechnology companies that can support a sustainable, inclusive society in Gauteng.

For more information, contact: Paul Plantinga
Specialist: Innovation Strategy Projects
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Tel +27 12 844 0011

Ventureburn presents startup Battle


Dear Fellow Innovators and Entrepreneurs

This September, Johannesburg will join 12 global cities as one of the newest hosts of Social Media Week. Since its launch in 2009, this event has become a catalyst around the world for sharing meaningful ideas, trends and best practices in business society and culture.

On Friday 26th there is a start-up battle with R25 000 rand up for grabs. We are looking for tech driven start-ups, less than 3 years old, to enter this competition. All they have to do is submit a one pager of their business to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it by the 17th. Five businesses will be shortlisted and they will be given all access passes to Social Media Week which will culminate in a live pitch event on the 26th September, 3pm, Wits Amphitheatre. Please share with your community and any tech start-ups you work with. Attendance to the event is free. Registration is required. Here’s a link to read more about the competition:

Free (and paid) events that your community can benefit from. See the program for the week here

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Africa is Raising Its Own Female Leaders In Science Technology Engineering And Mathematics

Tshwane - Monday, 1 September 2014
As Africa’s first accredited science and technology park, The Innovation Hub, was proud to be the first industry partner to host thirty young ladies chosen to be Taungana Ambassadors as part of the week-long Taungana Expo that started on Monday, 25 August 2014. Under the theme “Decoding STEM careers in Entrepreneurship”, the Taungana Ambassadors were exposed to world-class working environments and they had the opportunity to engage with specialized professionals and young entrepreneurs from across the continent.

Taungana is a movement founded by Sandra Terarai and Nomso Kana, women who are both passionate about and thriving in their STEM careers. Their organization seeks to negate stereotypes that portray women as incapable of flourishing in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The thirty Taungana Ambassadors who have been selected are between the ages of 14 and 17 years, have achieved academic excellence and have displayed an interest in bettering their rural communities of South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The Innovation Hub collaborated together with Taungana to ensure that Africa is building its own leaders in STEM who will develop innovative and sustainable solutions to alleviating poverty, providing better healthcare for a better the quality of life.

The Innovation Hub’s core business is to manage initiatives that support innovation and human capital development with a special focus on key sectors such as ICT, green and bio-sciences which are all founded on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) in order to contribute to the growth of the economy, creation of decent jobs and alleviation of poverty.

Dr Chamunorwa Togo, Biosciences Specialist from The Innovation Hub hailed the Taungana Expo saying “It will help to inspire the African girl child to strive for excellence and hold a leading position in STEM.” He highlighted the natural leadership for girls to use education to contribute positively to society and challenged them to fulfil meaningful societal roles by creating innovative solutions. The Taungana Ambassadors were encouraged to start thinking about the advantages of their environment [rural areas] that are endowed with natural resources and hybridise that with indigenous knowledge to provide robust and competitive solutions to Africa and the world at large.

More advice came from associated companies located at The Innovation Hub such as Geekulcha, Jatamobile, AftaRobot and VX Pharma who exposed the Taungana Ambassadors to various careers that are driven by innovation and embedded in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Taungana Ambassadors are interested in those male-dominated fields too and initiatives such as the Taungana Expo speak to dismantling stereotypes and gender barriers which prevent young women from considering these careers.

HDI Youth marketeers played an important role in sponsoring educational material from SASOL and SAICA as well as goodie bags from Pick n Pay for the Taungana Ambassadors to ensure that their week in Johannesburg is both delicious and educational.

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The Innovation Hub is a subsidiary of the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency , an agency of the Gauteng Department of Economic Development Department.

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