SqwidNet, the licensed Sigfox IoT network operator in South Africa, recently hosted its second IoT Entrepreneurship Program (IoT)E pitch day on Friday 19 July 2019. Seven finalist groups, selected from a group of 60 prospective entrepreneurs and ICT business owners over the course of a year, presented their ideas to a panel of potential investors with the goal of making a tangible difference to society. Some of the intelligent offerings from the aspiring entrepreneurs included smart security, smart gas monitoring, a smart hand sanitiser, and a smart medical kit, all focused on providing relevant solutions to some of South Africa’s most pressing challenges.
The event and the success of the (IoT)E network have been driven by partnerships with T-Systems and Business Doctors, two of SqwidNet’s partners who have ensured the growth and remarkable results of the programme.
“Our (IoT)E programme was designed to ignite innovation in the Internet of Things (IoT) sector and to empower entrepreneurs interested in developing their skills and knowledge,” says Sean Laval, Executive: Solutions and Innovations at SqwidNet. “The first batch of 60 entrepreneurs were selected based on the unique flavour of their ideas and the potential they had. Over the past year, we have worked with them to hone these ideas, providing them with webinars, expert advice, and business support. We then selected the final seven groups to go through to the pitch day where they could present these ideas to investors.”
The finalists included Inobeshon, Jonga Systems, tekSolve, devXpress, The Awareness Company, Mkazi Concepts, and Line of Sight Technology (L.O.S.T). Line of Sight Technology is a healthcare technology solutions provider with the goal of improving access issues and achieving the third Sustainable Development Goal– Good Health and Wellbeing – through systems that strengthen and support healthcare. The company presented its Smart Med Box that helps people to manage medication adherence, thereby reducing illness recurrence and improved control over personal health. The box monitors access, temperature, and humidity ensure medicine stability and reduces wastage and costs.
The Jonga Systems solution is an IoT premises-monitoring tool that provides deeper home security using motion sensor devices, push notifications, and programmable contact numbers and an audible alarm to scare off the intruders. The Awareness Company presented a software solution that takes the influx of data into the organisation and transforms it into stories that are easily understood and interpreted into action. The company’s Hydra platform uses advanced data aggregation and fusion engines, alongside other technologies, to enhance operational efficiency and digital transformation. Mkazi Concepts presented a network of Hand Hygiene Monitoring devices to streamline hand hygiene compliance using sensors, network connections, and a cloud platform. The solution supports healthcare and hygiene control and reduces the burden of associated infections in healthcare facilities.
tekSolve brought an intelligent gas monitoring solution enabled by Sigfox and configurable with alerts and notification settings. The easy to install solution, stores data in the cloud, comes with an intuitive web interface and is suited for both home and industrial use cases. Inobeshon presented its inoLOGISTICS product that comprises of two core modules – an Inventory Management Module and a Logistics Systems module. These operate using proprietary software and firmware designs alongside the Sigfox network and enhance the seamless management of inventory across warehouse and transportation. Finally, devXpress, addresses the challenge of power limitations across the country using a low-cost, IoT-enabled, low-voltage device.
“The (IoT)E programme has allowed us to attract people who are passionate about solving problems using the advanced potential of IoT and technology,” concludes Laval. The finalists showcased solutions that not only solve challenges facing South Africa, but that have global ramifications as well. We took entrepreneurs who had ideas but limited tools to make their ideas into a reality and gave them what they needed. The result is a mix of powerful, inspirational and relevant IoT-enhanced solutions that are set to achieve great things.”
The next generation of entrepreneurs are encouraged to participate in the next (IoT)E series set to take place in 2020. Find out more by visiting https://www.sqwidnet.com/about/iote-programme/.