SUCCESS STORIES

ENTERPRISE DEVELOPMENT

TIA World IP and Pitch day: PAISA

Lesego Pitsoane is the owner and founder of PAISA, a startup that provides video surveillance as a service for law enforcement, safety ambassadors and city managers. In 2019 Lesego was a beneficiary of the Africa Rising programme. In 2018 Lesego and his team were struggling to move their business from idea stage to proof of concept and sought business coaching to develop a market-ready product. PAISA had no clients and an incomplete prototype and his team had grown despondent.

When PAISA started the Africa Rising Programme in May of 2018 the team started to tackle their business problems with their assigned coaches and after 12 months of programming the team had more than 6 clients in the pipeline and a staff complement of five full-time and four part-time employees. The team has since secured a national contract with Vumacam, a surveillance network provider. In addition to their new found commercial success, the team now feel more confident to tackle business challenges. On 26 April 2019 PAISA were placed first in the Technology Innovation Agency World IP Day & Pitch Day.

CONLOG REAPELE BENEFICIARIES

In 2019 Tshimologong Digital Innovation Hub joined forces with Conlog (Pty) Ltd, a world leader in smart meters and metering solutions provider, on the Reapele Programme. The programme was initiated by Conlog’s recognition that Blockchain technology would interrupt their existing business. Three young developers, Tebogo Moseamedi, Lehlohonolo Monareng and Lesego Sambo participated in and completed the programme that aimed to provide training in Blockchain technology. The developers started the programme in April 2019 and soon after started their own business. The trio founded Kewaa (Pty) Ltd, a blockchain solutions provider. As part of their pitch to Conlog executives the Kewaa team presented the idea of a mobile application, built using blockchaing technology, that allows users to purchase electricity using airtime and other digital currencies. As part of ongoing Enterprise Development support Conlog has given Kewaa a project to work on.

”My experience during the Conlog Reapele programme has been significantly beneficial as I have learnt about a number of factors needed to create a comprehensive and presentable concept. I intend to use the skills I have learnt from the programme elsewhere as block-chain has many use cases within many industries. There are currently not that many start-ups or individuals working on block-chain concepts within the African continent. So the aim is to eventually go into entrepreneurship and create many other block-chain related solutions for clients.” – Tebogo Moseamedi, Chief Data Analyst Kewaa

ANIMATION ACADEMY

FROM THE CAVES MOUTH

Tshimologong Animation Academy gets global recognition

From the Cave’s mouth, an animation short, produced by the Animation Academy has been selected to show at the Los Angeles Rocks International Film Festival (Lariff). From the Cave’s mouth – originally called “Legacy”, was borne out of the November Numerique 48hour animation challenge held annually at Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct. The story, while still centred on grief and the cave, explores the need to reconnect with long lost family and culture. The festival which champions independent cinema “showcases emerging and established filmmaking talent from Los Angeles and around the world”

Kwezi announced winner of 2021 #RoadToAnnecy

Kwezi is a young city dweller who discovers he has superhuman abilities. His journey starts off as a self-serving narcissist who only uses his abilities to further his social status. This is until he is tracked down by three individuals who exhibit similar evolutionary talents. It’s not long until Kwezi is confronted with the truth about his powers and is faced with an important decision; to carry out his life serving no particular purpose, or joining his new companions on a journey to discover who he really is and what he is destined to be.

SKILLS DEVELOPMENT

LEBOHANG MOFOKENG

Lebohang Mofokeng enrolled in the Accenture/KLM Programme in October 2018. Lebohang lives with a congenital deformity of the hips and says that she felt discouraged before she joined the Skills Development Academy.

“Tshimologong offered me an opportunity that gave me hope, confidence and certainly equipped me and continues to equip me with skills that I am sure to use (in) the 4th Industrial Revolution.” Lebohang credits Tshimologong’s inclusive policies and willingness to cater for people who live with disabilities for affording her the opportunity to participate in this Programme. I am eternally grateful for that" - Lebohang

EVENTS

CHALLENGE OF 1,000 STARTUPS INFORMATION SESSION

The Africa-France Summit invited 1,000 entrepreneurs to pitch their ventures on an international stage at the City of Solutions in Bordeaux, France in June 2020. To this end Tshimologong Precinct hosted an information session joined by the Ambassador of France to South Africa, his Excellency Aurelian Lechevallier. The session was led by the President of Digital Africa, Karim Sy, on the 20th of February 2020.

The event which was held in the Iclub was managed by Digital Africa and attended by approximately 100 people. The aim of the event was to create awareness of the upcoming Africa-France Summit and to encourage more entrepreneurs to apply to partake in the Challenge of 1000 Startups. The event was particularly significant because it was the first time Tshimologong hosted the French Ambassador, Aurelian Lechevallier. The event which culminated in press conference was live streamed.

DIGITAL LAB AFRICA

PALESA MAHLANGU

Palesa Mahlangu is the Co-founder and Director of Innovolution Edu Programmes, the parent company of Tech Savvy Kids SA, an organisation that facilitates Educational STEM programmes for children. Palesa has been been a member of Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct since 2017. During her time at the precinct she collaborated with the Makerspace where she participated in various aspects of educational development programming. This ranged from community outreach to formal workshops. Palesa believes that Tshimologong opened many doors for her organisation particularly through participation in the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Forum and the MIT Global Startup Labs Programme when she acted as a volunteer mentor for the programme.

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the organisation that has empowered me as an individual and all the support our organisation has received thus far. ” – Palesa Mahlangu, Co-founder and Director of Innovolution* Edu Programmes

SETRIAKOR NYOMI

Setriakor Nyomi, a Ghanaian game developer was one of the 10 DLA winners to be awarded residency and mentorship programme in France as part of the third DLA acceleration programme. Setriakor founded his company Grey Parrot Studios with the belief that gaming can be an effective medium to represent the African narrative. Mancala, Grey Parrot Studios’ first production, was entered into the DLA pitch. Through his involvement with DLA in 2019 he attended the annual Game Connection gaming conference as well as the Paris Games week, where he had the opportunity to engage with industry experts, publishers and peers.

“[I] have had opportunities to exhibit my work on platforms and at events that would have otherwise been out of my reach. We [Parrot Studios] have attracted funding, and deals and even more importantly established networks with key industry players that will be important for our success going forward.” – Setriakor Nyomi, Founder Grey Parrot Studios

NADDYA OLUOCH-OLUNYA

Naddya Adhiambo Oluoch-Olunya, a Kenyan Animator and Illustrator, was one of the 10 DLA winners to be awarded residency and mentorship programme in France. Naddya is driven by the need to understand and represent girls and women through her work. For the past 9 years, she has been creating content for children, specializing in comics for Social and Behavior Change Communication in Nairobi, Kenya. Through her involvement in DLA in 2019 she participated in the Animation du Monde Pitch Competition where she won the Ciclic Animation Prize for her animated film concept Uzi. With the support of DLA, Naddya also spent one month in France as part of an international script writing residency at Nef Animation (October 2019). In 2020, Naddya will benefit from a residency at Ciclic Animation in France and mentorship from Eric Réginaud, (Head of Ciclic Animation).

MAKERSPACE

SISANDA TECH

Mbangiso Mabaso joined the WITS Tshimologong Precinct as a member of Maxum Digital during 2017. This was also the year he founded Sisanda Tech. During 2018 Baso was one of the Red Bull Basement Residency members, a social innovation residency hosted by TMG Makerspace from October to November 2018. Baso, a self-taught programmer from Botshabelo in the Free State, was an invaluable addition to the Makerspace team as facilitator of skills development workshops in Augmented Reality, while the Makerspace’s co-working space and fabrication lab also proved fertile ground for Sisanda Tech to grow from strength to strength. Both the enterprise’s team and one of its products, the SICU, developed and grew with the support of the Makerspace community.

The SICU, an “easily assembled cube with special surface that allows for fast and easy visuals through our app” , was developed and improved through collaboration between Sisanda and the Makerspace team, and this AR marker puzzle is currently being laser cut, finished and packaged right here at 41 Juta Street.

Sisanda’s educational AR app, Si Realities, took home the ‘Most Innovative Solution’ award at the 2019 MTN App Awards. Currently Sisanda has three apps in the App Store – Sisanda, SiTee and Periodie – focusing on life science and natural science content for learners.

BRANDON FISHER

Brandon started working at Tshimologong as a community host after finishing a National Certificate in Building & Civil Construction. A few months after joining the community team he was relocated to the DIZ (Digital Innovation Zone) where he started working with the Makerspace Collective in an administrative position. His position evolved into a junior intern position where he was taught how to use a 3D printer and digital fabrication skills such as 3D modelling. Interns in the Maker Space are trained through a combination of online tutorials, mentorship, self-directed learning and practical project work. In his role as community host at Tshimologong Brandon was not able to find his feet but in the Maker Space, he has been encouraged and mentored to take ownership and responsibility for his work. Today, Brandon, with the help of the Makerspace team, is establishing his own digital fabrication enterprise under the TMG (Tshimologong Makers Group) umbrella. He is currently contracted to do work for an entrepreneur at Tshimologong. Brandon’s story is particularly powerful because it is a testament to the (potential) of skills development within a collaborative peer-to-peer learning environment.

“The skills that I have developed during my time at the Makerspace has (afforded me many new opportunities). I am constantly learning and working on my craft to be the best that I can. The skills that I have acquired have also allowed me to help (other) people unlock their own potential.” -Brandon