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The finalist judged to have presented the best solution to one of the “global grand challenges” of learning, energy, environment, food, health, prosperity, security, water, space, disaster resilience and governance in the SingularityU South Africa Global Impact Competition (GIC), will be announced tonight in Johannesburg.

The competition is the first time Silicon Valley-based Singularity University has held the competition in South Africa. It was launched in February in partnership with Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), the main sponsor of the competition.

The SingularityU South Africa GIC was open to applicants throughout South Africa, and acts as a platform to identify outstanding local entrepreneurs, leaders in science, engineering and business with the most innovative ideas for positively impacting millions of lives, both locally and globally through the use of technology.

The 10 finalists were selected from 48 entries. They are:

  • Neo Hutiri – Technovera
  • Bernelle Verster – Merah Mas Industrial Biotech
  • Ifthakaar Shaik – IntelliDoc
  • Mukesh Dheda – National Department of Health
  • Bandile Dlabantu  – Khepri Innovations Pty Ltd
  • Jared Roberts – Entrepreneur
  • Pascále Henke – The Happiness Network
  • Nick Walker – Next Biosciences
  • Pieter Botes – I’m not Plastic
  • Wolfgang von Loeper – MySmartFarm

 Finalists will be judged by judges including entrepreneurs, bankers, a medical doctor and an attorney. Judges include:

  • Former FirstRand chief executive and entrepreneur Paul Harris
  • RMB chief executive James Formby
  • Investec equity partner Anisha Gordhan
  • Medical doctor and Infinitum Humanitarian Systems chief executive Eric Rasmussen
  • RMB Holdings and RMI Holdings chief executive Herman Bosman
  • SingularityU GIC manager Regina Njima
  • WEDI International executive chair Sharron McPherson

The winner will attend Singularity University’s 10-week Global Solutions Program (GSP) in Silicon Valley later this year. On returning to South Africa after the GSP, the winner will have the opportunity to develop the winning project, supported by the SingularityU global alumni network. The 2nd – 5th place finalists will have access to the Business Accelerator programme offered by First National Bank which will provide business support and individual guidance for three months.

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