14/04/2016 - News
Total Startupper of the Year Awards
Total South Africa hosted the first ever winner’s announcement of the Total Startupper of the Year by Total challenge at the Hyatt Regency in Rosebank on the 29th of March 2016.
Nkazimulo Applied Sciences, started by Bathabile Mpofu, was awarded first prize for her outstanding idea of improving the interaction between secondary school students and the concept of science. Her business aims to extend the relationship of science from the classroom to the home and create an understanding of how science is incorporated in daily life.
Bathabile draws inspiration from her own experience in high school; “I attended a ‘disadvantaged’ secondary school in Kwa- Zulu Natal and we did not have any science kits. I wanted to pursue a career in chemistry and my first year in teriary showed me that I was way over my head. Not because I did not have the ability, but I would be playing catch –up my whole tertairy life.”
Bathabile did not have exposure to the basic elements of science; meaning the more complex elements of the course would not translate as they should for her. “I want to change this for all students in South Africa.”
Nkazimulo Applied Sciences received R600,000 cash from Total to carry out their vision.
Runner up in the competition is Senovate, a business founded by a young man from Mpumalanga, Themba Sehawu. Themba is a product developer who has come up with a fruit picking machine that aims to increase safety and efficiency when harvesting for the large agriculture sector in South Africa. Senovate walked away with R350,000 and R250,000 was awarded to third place ConnectMed. A business that aims to bring professional medical assistance to patients on their phones.
A total of R1,2 Million was awarded as well as customized support and coaching from Total South Africa Pty Ltd.
The “Startupper of the Year by Total” Challenge, held in 34 African countries, is part of Total’s overall policy of supporting the socio-economic development of all its host countries worldwide. It is a very concrete initiative to help strengthen the industrial base and employment locally, by helping the boldest, most innovative entrepreneurs carry out their projects. The contest aims to foster new initiatives in Africa, while upholding Total's core values.