UJ Accelerator 4.0 | Leading the pack in accelerating student entrepreneurs
In 2017 the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) started an initiative which calls upon all institutions of higher learning across South Africa to each choose a week in August to host programmes that innovatively incorporate entrepreneurship culture in Universities; a Student Entrepreneurship Week. The University of Johannesburg Centre for Entrepreneurship (UJCfE's) responded to DHET's Student Entrepreneurship call with the aims of leading the pack by launching an entrepreneurship revolution through the UJ Student Accelerator 4.0. The UJ Student Accelerator 4.0 is premised on the objective of fostering and inculcating a solid culture of entrepreneurship among the UJ student community.
On 13th - 15th of August 2018, UJCfE hosted a UJ Student Entrepreneurship Week supported by the First National Bank (FNB). In keeping with the objective of fostering the entrepreneurial culture and equipping student entrepreneurs with tools and skills to not only be 'problem-solving' driven but to actually 'start' business ventures with a minimum viable product, the three-day long programme ranged from problem solving huddle sessions, business model generation tools, power of persuasion, social entrepreneurship to a panel discussion on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in a University. The highlight of the week was giving student entrepreneurs an opportunity to give a 3-minute elevator pitch which saw 6 student entrepreneurs winning a prize to go to Slush in Helsinki Finland to engage and connect with international investors, accelerators and other tech start-ups for potential partnerships.
Slush is a world leading event in Helsinki, Finland, which connects start-ups and tech talent to top-tier investors, accelerators, executives and media. Our 6 UJ student entrepreneurs, namely Dada Opeoluwa, Melbourne Nyamadzawo, Refilwe Lediga, Victor Mofokeng, Themba Mkize and Siyabonga Ndwalane, will have the opportunity to engage and connect with investors, accelerators and other start-ups; setting our student tech start-ups on an upward trajectory which is the fundamental ethos of the UJ Student Accelerator 4.0.
Vice-Chancellor Marwala often takes pride in narrating UJ's signature story in saying 90% of UJ graduates are meaningfully absorbed into the job market within the first year of graduation. Through the UJ Student Accelerator 4.0, UJCfE envisions to further enhance the narrative by saying "Upon graduation, a good majority of UJ graduates would have started and run their own business ventures while still at university; generating a pipeline of highly innovative and future-fit start-ups upon graduation." When UJ student entrepreneurs graduate, many will possess the know-how and would have been injected with the entrepreneurship DNA necessary to help South Africa grow and fully take on opportunities that come with the 4th Industrial Revolution; thereby increasing the participation early-stage entrepreneurs to contribute to the country's total entrepreneurial activity.
PROFILES OF THE SLUSH WINNERS
Dada Opeoluwa | Co-Founder of Chat2Cars
Dada, a UJ Masters student in Mechanical Engineering Science, is a co-founder Chat2Cars whose executive director is Daniel Oba. Chat2Cars, founded in 2016, is a tech platform with two facets: one is a mobile App which allows car owners to communicate (call or chat) to one another car owners via a vehicle registration number. The mobile app platform allows users to notify each other if a car is about to be stolen, towed or is wrongly parked. Added to this platform is the ability for car owners to request roadside assistance and technical services via the app. The second facet to the tech is a web enabled platform where car dealers find car buyers – a virtual car dealership.
Melbourne Taunya Nyamadzawo | Co-founder of Gogli Group
Melbourne is a 2nd year student studying Entrepreneurship and Business Management. He is one of the founding members of Golgi Group, a tech start-up that works on super application software and hardware products. A super application is an all-in-one application that integrates applications of major sector categories (i.e health, education, e-commerce, m-commerce, finance (banking), education, wellbeing, artificial intelligence and machine learning) and allows users to interface with these applications using one application. With Golgi, the user interfaces with the applications through the Gogli application which connects all applications in one intuitive way. This allows users to no longer have to download several applications which are either only needed once, not use often or are hardly ever used while take up space. Gogli is also currently developing a smart paper and SMART pen to be used at Universities to replace the normal paper and textbook. The SMART paper and pen work with Gogli's super application software for a synchronized symbiosis. One can write an assignment, take notes, read textbooks/journals/memos etc., draw and design structures, video chart with tutors in real-time.
Victor Mofokeng | Co-Founder of The Brothers Engineering Solutions
Victor is currently a PhD student at UJ in Quality and Operations Management. In 2015, After seeing the need for Health and Safety visual software systems, he and his brother started a company called The Brothers Engineering Solutions (TBES) using their collective engineering expertise and experience gained from working with leading corporates to develop high-end quality products and services; making them pioneers in improving the state of health and safety in various industries through technology. The company specialises in visual Health and Safety Software Solutions for industrial corporations. QORE SHEQ, a TBES products, is a paperless health, safety and environment reporting device for Safety officers and SHEQ departments that assists in speeding up the resolution of safety findings in labour intense industries. QORE SHEQ gives the organisations an overview of the health and safety performance and analytics within the work place and resolves workplace health and safety findings quicker.
Themba Mkhize | Founder of Themba Mkhize
Themba is a UJ student who founded a company called Power Plus Energy (Pty) Ltd. The company is a Johannesburg based company which provides product systems created as tabletop and free standing digital advertising units, which provides an ability for customers to charge their mobile devices on their tables while dining at a restaurant while providing a digital menu. Power Plus Energy (Pty) Ltd is an in-store charging systems to restaurants, retailers, bars, airports, casinos, beauty salons and any other establishments whilst providing top digital advertising.
Refilwe Lediga | Founder of 3D Printcrete
Refilwe founded 3D Printcrete which specialises in the design and manufacturing of industrial size 3D concrete printers. These machines have the capacity to automate construction process with an added advantage of significantly reducing the cost and time of construction.
For partnership or to be part of the programme you want to be part of the programme please contact Machaka Mosehana on email@example.com or 0115591781
About UJ and the UJCfE
UJ came into being on 1 January 2005 as a result of the merger of the Rand Afrikaans University, Vista University (Soweto Campus) and Technikon Witwatersrand. UJ has grown to have four campuses, 50 000 students, seven Faculties and one College of Business and Economics. Under the leadership and guidance of its new Vice-Chancellor, Prof Tshilidzi Marwala, UJ endevours to adopt the Fourth Industrial Revolution and support the continent to embrace Industry 4.0 in a globally competitive environment.
Furthermore, UJ has elevated a number of its Flagship Programmes, Departments and Institutes to ensure its strategy is achieved in its drive to be globally excellent. Some of these programmes play a crucial part and UJ's Industry 4.0 drive. This sets the stage for higher and more ambitious academic, research and innovative achievement.
The UJ Centre for Entrepreneurship (UJCfE) The UJ Centre for Entrepreneurship (UJCfE), formally known as the UJ Centre for Small Business Development (CSBD) was launched on 22 September
2006 as a unit within the Faculty of Management of the University of Johannesburg. Its purpose is to provide entrepreneurship development programmes for both start-ups and existing businesses in townships and rural areas, and serves as a data mine for empirical action-based research output. The Centre reports to the recently established Johannesburg Business School within the College of Business and Economics.
The UJCfE is located at the Soweto Campus and Johannesburg Business School at the Resolution Circle Towers. The Centre has developed an integrated business development model that broadly encompasses the tenets of an evolving entrepreneurship system to ensure impactful results in all programmes and undertaken. The model provides nurturing and handholding process to ensure that new ventures are established and existing ventures are supported where required
The University for Johannesburg (UJ) prides itself in that 90% of its graduates are meaningfully absorbed into the job market within the first year of graduation. Through the UJ Student Entrepreneurship Project, the Centre for Entrepreneurship envisions to change that story to "90% of the UJ graduates start and run their own businesses while still at university; generating a pipeline of highly innovative and future-fit start-ups upon graduation." We plan to increase the participation of early-stage entrepreneurs at university level by entrenching a culture which inculcates and fosters entrepreneurial spirit among young university students; The Entrepreneurship Revolution. This being done through structured student entrepreneurship societies.
The Entrepreneurship Revolution drive is UJ's initiative that aims to inject the entrepreneurial DNA in the student community by fostering an entrepreneurship culture that will impart the skill of think-start; thus, think up a business idea that solves an immediate challenge then start with the minimum viable product. UJCfE, through the societies and structured platforms, engage student entrepreneurs regularly to encourage a culture of think-start through problem solving, and fail-forward. The University will pool its resources (R&D, IP commercialisation office, accredited learning and access to faculty experts, corporate partners, mentors, coaches and industry experts) to support the entrepreneurship societies and drive the Entrepreneurship Revolution.
The objective is that by the time a student graduates, he/she should have started a business venture, failed, pivoted, and refined their business model; entrenching entrepreneurship as an alternative to the job market, thereby gearing our youth for the fourth industrial revolution.