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Entrepreneurs are renowned for starting businesses addressing challenges faced by local communities, based on their innovation and problem solving abilities. Considering that the transport industry in South Africa is plagued with many issues, such as congestion and access to safe and reliable public transport, entrepreneurs may hold the key to providing solutions geared towards smarter mobility. 

This is according to Ben Pullen, CEO at Generation.e who refers to a report by global software company Inrix, which revealed South Africa’s major cities are struggling with congestion – with Cape Town ranking 28th globally, followed by Pretoria at 54th and Johannesburg at 82nd. “This indicates a dire need for smarter mobility, such as personal mobility and shared mobility solutions (including ridesharing solutions), smart parking solutions, transport integration platforms, asset sharing or vehicle rental, environmentally sustainable mobility equipment and multimodal transport solutions.”

“It is for this reason that we have launched a Start-up Pitch Competition which will take place at the Smarter Mobility Africa 2019 summit, in order to identify start-ups and small businesses that can offer smart, eco-friendly and sustainable solutions to transport people and products,” adds Pullen.

“We are looking for start-ups who have unique solutions in the market, but are looking for exposure for growth and scaling-up opportunities,” he says. “Winning applicants will be invited to pitch their start-up to top judges from industry, academia, business incubators and municipalities, after which the Programme Committee selects the submissions that are best aligned with the selected themes for the year.”

Our Start-ups Pitch Competition aims to promote, develop and support the entrepreneurial creativity of start-ups within the African green mobility space, explains Pullen. “If you are an entrepreneur currently involved in the development of mobility concepts and options for a particular city, or for public transport users and drivers, with a positive impact on traffic congestion, creating transportation systems that are energy-efficient, environmentally friendly and sustainable, then this is for you.”

Minister of transport Fikile Mbalula recently said that South Africa is somewhere between “being pioneers in information technology-based mobility disruption and being later responders and adopters”.  

Mbalula said: “The transport systems of today and tomorrow will be connected, data-driven, shared, on-demand, electric, and highly automated. Ideas are moving swiftly from conception, research and design, tested to early adoption, and, finally, mass acceptance. According to the World Bank, the pace of innovation is only going to accelerate.”

As such, it is now more important than ever for South Africa’s entrepreneurs to take action not only

to improve the socio-economic state of the country, but also to not miss this opportunity that this sector holds for them in terms of business growth. 

Please find more information on the competition below:

Generation.e is inviting mobility and energy innovators, businesses and services to submit applications to participate in the Pitching Competition. The best 10 start-ups will be invited to present their respective innovative solutions in October at Smarter Mobility Africa in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Winning entrants will receive an inclusive delegate pass, PR exposure, networking opportunities as well as the opportunity to showcase their ideas, solutions and technologies to a wider audience which includes: Venture capitalists, angel investors and business development experts, banks and top judges.

Apply for the start-up competition at: https://www.smartermobilityafrica.com/startup-competition

Application deadline is 15th of August 2019.