Three new start-ups have graduated from the Maxum Business Incubator, meaning they are now completely self-sustainable and financially viable businesses. They are Versec Systems, SkillPod Media and Periseo.
Jan-Hendrik Otto, MD of Versec Systems explains that, as a student, he originally did part-time software development for security companies and as some of them returned for repeat business, it turned into a full time occupation.
When one of his associates who specialised in hardware suggested that they combine their areas of specialty, the need arose to develop a formal business.
"The strength of our business lies in the fact that we can combine a number of different products into one tailor made system that can be bought off the shelf," he says.
Recently, Versec made news through its collaboration with Tactile Technologies, that resulted in the pioneering creation of an access control system for secure estates, that even unskilled and computer illiterate security guards are able to operate.
"Joining Maxum put us on the map," says Otto. "They gave us the right advice at the right time and put us in contact with the right clients."
Skillpod Media is a South African casual gaming company that has managed to successfully break into the highly competitive international gaming market.
It has initiated groundbreaking online gaming solutions to major South African web portals, such as IOL; Ananzi and Aardvark, and also offers an international gaming site, which is used by thousands of consumers of overseas countries, including the likes of the US and the UK.
In addition, SkillPod is rapidly expanding into the multi-lingual mobile market.
"When starting up a new business, one can be very isolated. What we have gained most from our involvement with Maxum Business Incubator, is the opportunity to soundboard with skilled mentors, brainstorming and bouncing ideas off them. It gives you a lot more confidence to proceed when you get confirmation of what you would like to do," says Mark van Diggelen, CEO of SkillPod Media.
"Another great advantage of joining Maxum, is that you can decide one day to start your business, and walk into a professional place of work set-up the very next day, with a receptionist and all the office facilities you need."
Periseo is an electronic engineering company, providing design, development and consultancy services for specialised technical concepts, suited for industries such as Telecommunications; Military and Defence; Aviation; Agriculture; Information Technology; Security and Mining.
"The idea behind starting the company was to overcome the limitations that corporate companies have in similar industries," states Dawie Janse van Vuuren, owner
of Periseo. "When you're a small company and you see an opportunity or gap in the market, you can move to address that need much quicker.
"We have for example recently developed a Smart Vehicle Harness which is currently being tested in military vehicles in Europe. And although this has not yet generated in sales, the footwork is done and we are getting noticed on an international level."
Janse van Vuuren is convinced that this is a result of the market exposure they have gained through Maxum Business Incubator. "The articles published by Maxum Business Incubator opened doors to big opportunities for us," he says. "In addition, the guidance and mentorship has given us the re-assurance and confidence we needed to take our business forward."
"Although we are very grateful to have formed a part of the success of these companies, we are not really surprised about these results," says Dr Jill Sawers, manager for entrepreneurship at The Innovation Hub. "It has been internationally proven that incubation does not only improve the survival rate of new businesses, but fast tracks their growth," she elaborates. "And Maxum Business Incubator is proud to form a community for such new creators of our future."