After carefully assessing a record number of entries, 20 finalists have been identified in the Vision to Reality Awards programme by an independent judging panel to advance to the final round of the competition.
The Top 20 finalists have been narrowed down from a list of more than 80 companies throughout Africa. “These businesses’ ability to inspire others and ignite a business from the start-up phase to leading the industry is a significant achievement,” says Danie Fölscher, PwC Partner in Charge of the Western Cape region.
To be successful requires vision and leadership, financial accomplishment, strategic direction and innovation. These companies have made a difference in Africa by having the courage to share their visions, and then turn them into reality in the form of revenues and growth in their particular industry.
“Globally, there is an increasing focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. Entrepreneurship must be acknowledged and supported across the African continent to address the issue of poverty and joblessness on the continent. These innovative emerging companies are disruptive and are highly scalable businesses. They require professional services to add value to their goals and vision, and ensure they are sustainable.”
This is where PwC is playing a fundamental role in providing a platform where these innovative emerging companies are being introduced to corporate clients. Just over a year ago PwC opened an office in Cape Town’s ITC space, the Bandwidth Barn, in a move to extend its realm to emerging companies and potential start-ups. “This initiative is in accordance with PwC’s strategic growth plans and means better industry knowledge and service for our clients, in particular in the privately held business sector market,” adds Fölscher.
The overall winner of the 2015 Vision to Reality awards programme will attend and present at the global PwC Accelerator conference where PwC’s Accelerator team showcases the flagship companies selected by PwC’s Accelerator worldwide to enhance their visibility and credibility, boost their professional reputation and introduce them to potential partners that can help them in their internationalisation strategy.
“This year’s finalists were chosen from the most dynamic, enterprising and successful businesses. It is encouraging that entrepreneurs are taking pride in the businesses that they have helped to create and transform. It is critical for governments to acknowledge and support these as they play an important role in the economy by creating jobs and stimulating growth.”
The Vision to Reality Awards programme celebrates emerging companies with tech-enabled solutions spanning across all industries. The awards celebrate dynamic emerging companies that have shown successful growth, and whose achievements are making them some of Africa’s most outstanding tech companies.
PwC has also collaborated with the SA Innovation Summit for the 2015 Vision to Reality Awards programme and use the SA Innovation Summit PwC Pitching Den as the platform for the top 20 Vision to Reality finalists to pitch. The SA Innovation Summit provides a platform for the finalists to make commercial connections with funders, global investors, marketers, IP lawyers and distribution channels. The summit brings together a unique mix of innovation enablers that contribute to a conducive environment for our finalist pitchers.
The nomination process took place on the SA Innovation Summit online platform with a specific category for the Vision to Reality target audience called ‘Emerging companies with tech-enabled solutions’.
More than 80 entries were received. These entrants went through a validation process and a staggering outcome of 50 companies qualified for further evaluation. These companies then went through a desktop assessment and the top 20 finalists have been selected by an independent panel of judges identified by PwC.
After the first round of pitches have taken place on 28 August at the PwC Pitching Den at the SA Innovation Summit, the top 10 up-and-coming companies will be selected by the independent panel of judges and will be recognised at the SA Innovation ceremony.
The programme is also supported by various key stakeholders in the ecosystem. These include, amongst others, COCT, Wesgro, UCT GSB, SmartXChange, BizFarm, Silicon Cape, BWB/CITi, Start-up Grind and Knife Capital.
The Top 20 Finalists in the PwC Vision to Reality Awards Competition are:
- Clear Sky Energy (Pty) Ltd
- Emerge Mobile and iKhokha
- Info Slips
- Open Box Software
- Origin Dynamic Systems (Pty) Ltd
- Overscore (Pty) Ltd
- Sea Monster Entertainment
- SNC (Stellenbosch Nanofibres Technology)
- SPARK Schools
- Telemedicine Africa (Pty) Ltd
- Traderoot Technologies
- Xpitec (Pty) Ltd
- 10X Investments