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Finalists will get R2m to make Joburg greener

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Food from crickets, cleaner streets, reduced emissions, a bicycle and scooter sharing scheme and a waterless urinal system could all be new features of the City of Joburg once the winners of the Green City Startup competition are announced.
These are some of the ideas of the eight finalists of the City of Joburg’s competition. They were selected from 167 entries and awarded R250 000 each to develop prototypes of their ideas. The winner of the Green City Startup will receive R1-million to boost his or her green startup, and will be announced on 9 November 2016.
Ravi Naidoo, executive director: Department of Economic Development, says: “The aim of the Green City Startup initiative is to unearth creative entrepreneurs that live in our city and want to make it greener and create jobs. The competition accelerates innovation in Johannesburg in terms of our buildings, energy and water use, transport and waste.
“Many people mistakenly think that biodiversity only exists in rural areas and in protected sites, but this is not the case. We want Jozi citizens to be conscious of creating a greener city as they live, work and play here.”
The shortlisted candidates have also received in-depth technical support to improve and refine their ideas as well as guidance as how to sell and promote their innovations.
This initiative of the Green Challenge Fund was developed by the City of Johannesburg, in partnership with the University of Johannesburg and Resolution Circle. Resolution Circle is the University of Johannesburg’s technology commercialisation company and incubator.
In addition, The Green City Startup has developed a tv and online magazine show that highlights the competitors, entrepreneurship news and offers tips for startups. It is being broadcast on MindSet DStv Channel 319 and via YouTube.
Last year’s winner was Paseka Lesolang, who won R1-million for his WHC Leak-Less Valve which prevents up to 70% of the water loss in the case of a toilet leak. He says that the competition has created great awareness of his product, allowed him to protect his intellectual property, scale his business and that it has led to a contract to supply the City of Tshwane with 1000 units; among other interested municipalities and private sector entities.
“Winning the competition helped us to further enhance our design and expedite mass production. We are thrilled to have created 26 jobs and this is set to rise,” says Lesolang.
He says that, because WHC facilitates the employment of youth, women and disabled people, and ease with which job creation can be scaled, WHC is part of Tshepo 500 000, a Gauteng initiative to create 500 000 jobs in the province. WHC will be creating 500 jobs with EWSETA already on board as a collaboration partner along with corporates who want their CSI to have maximum impact.
The eight 2016 finalists are:
* Endoki is is a modern, urban farming project which sells live crickets and cricket powder, an alternative, nutritious, environmentally-friendly source of food which is farmed locally in Johannesburg and has created jobs in the green sector.
* iBoni is South Africa’s first commercial bicycle and scooter sharing business that aims to share bikes without the need for individual ownership.
* Kgoshigadi is a business-in-a-box solution that manufactures bio-degradable and affordable sanitary pads.
* To conserve water, save money, reduce maintenance time and cost and provide better waste management, Liquid Gold has developed a waterless urinal system that can be retrofitted in existing buildings.
* Clean Street supplies and services double-sided bins for disposal of cigarette and gum litter free to municipalities, which also feature double-sided advertising space to generate revenue.
* MISER is a new, hydraulic version of hybrid transmission for vehicles that offers fuel savings of up to 70% and significantly reduced emissions.
* Rydawi Fish Farms has developed a product, Farm-in-a-box, which is a complete farming system, ready to add water and Tilapia fish – ideal for small scale farmers.
* Managing resources in buildings is easy, reliable and accurate with Solid Insight’s technology solution which brings energy and water data to the age of cloud computing.