The iHERO Awards programme is inviting innovators from all walks of life – from students to government, entrepreneurs and individuals, formal and informal business sectors – to enter their creations, inventions and projects into this national innovation competition. Entries close at the end of August, and are expected to include major corporates, national and local government, NGOs, communities and small business owners.
Previous winners include large and small businesses – the likes of the South African Post Office, the South African Revenue Services, the Western Cape Department of Education, the South African Police Service, Sasol, Intelleca, African Pegmatite, Nkozi Homes and Daimler Chrysler.
The iHERO Awards programme is the brainchild of innovationTOWN, a programme that makes South Africans think differently about innovation. The campaign celebrates the entrepreneurial and creative spirit of South Africa by identifying those individuals or organisations that have created sustainable value through exceptional innovation in the following categories:
* iHERO – The overall “Grand Prix” winner – South Africa’s leading innovation or innovator;
* iEntrepreneur – for innovative entrepreneurs and self starters;
* iBusiness – innovative business practice, products and processes;
* iGovernment –innovative service delivery by government to the people;
* iSouth Africa – everyday innovators who are improving the lives of others through innovative social upliftment or projects within communities; and
* iSciTech – Celebrates scientific and technology breakthroughs with a strong community focus.
Awards and recognition include cash prizes for all category winners and the overall iHERO Award winner; widespread media exposure for all winning entrants; published articles on the most innovative submissions valued at R100 000.00; and an invitation to exhibit at the innovationTOWN exhibition later this year at the Sci-Bono Discovery Center in Newtown.
innovationTOWN has the backing of some of South Africa’s top innovators, businesses and social entrepreneurs, including CIDA City Campus, the International Marketing Council and Brand South Africa, Shujaa Holdings, African Bank, the South African Post Office and the Branson School of Entrepreneurship. It aims to promote innovation as an attitude that can help alleviate the social and economic challenges that face South Africa.
Elements of the campaign include the iHERO Awards that finds and rewards innovators; an education initiative; a programme that seeks to match innovators with investors; an innovation faire that exhibits award-winning innovations; a photo and narrative exhibition on innovation; and a national advertising and publicity initiative aimed at putting innovation back on the local agenda.
By finding and rewarding innovators, innovationTOWN seeks to show that innovation is an attitude that belongs to the people of this country and touches every sphere of everyday life. The campaign also seeks to showcase how South African innovators are making this country a better place to live in a million different ways.