Two E Squared portfolio entrepreneurs represent SA at Irish Tech Challenge

Ambani Africa’s Founder and CEO, Mukundi Lambani, participated in a panel discussion themed “leveraging technology, innovation, and entrepreneurship for Africa’s growth ” at the Africa Ireland Economic Forum’s Irish Tech challenge and got a special shout-out from the Irish Minister for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy.

Ambani was not the only E Squared portfolio company to be represented there, as E Squared Social Entrepreneurship grant recipient MeMeZa joined them on this international stage. Well done for representing South Africa at such a prestigious event Ambani and MeMeZa!

The Ambani team has been very busy, listen also to their recent radio interview on KayaFM (17/08/22) and keep an eye out for their new Hollard advert on TV.

Read the Pretoria News article below.

Five entrepreneur hopefuls to participate in Irish Tech Challenge

Pretoria – Hopes are high that five local tech entrepreneurs, who were recently selected as part of the first Irish Tech Challenge South Africa, will plough back their knowledge to their respective communities.

The chosen entrepreneurs will travel to Ireland to embark on a fully funded eight-day curated business networking programme.

This was after they participated in the Irish Tech Challenge South Africa, showcasing impact in addressing one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

All in all, the challenge, which was launched in February, attracted more than 21 applicants.

The initiative was a brainchild of the Embassy of Ireland in partnership with the Department of Science and Innovation and its entity, the Technology Innovation Agency.

The entrepreneurs are expected to benefit from the expertise of Irish tech leaders and build networks while receiving funding support of up to R129 200 each.

Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, Dr Blade Nzimande, congratulated them and thanked Ireland’s support for development in South Africa.

He also expressed hope that research and innovation partnerships would be strengthened to benefit more start-ups in the country.

“We continue to identify grassroots innovators – especially women and youth-led enterprises – in South Africa and assist them to enhance their innovations and skills through a range of interventions, including funding and business development support towards pre-commercialisation,” Nzimande said.

The challenge’s aim was to create mutually beneficial partnerships between Irish tech expertise and South African tech entrepreneurs to drive innovation, job creation and inclusive economic growth in the country.

Nzimande urged the five companies to become ambassadors of development to motivate similar start-ups in their localities in the country.

Beneficiaries included ShazaCin Accessible Media (Pty) Ltd, which has developed the ShazaCin app, a mobile application that allows visually impaired people to access videos with audio descriptions, including movies, documentaries and illustrated literature and sport in English and isiZulu.

Another company, Iraka Biotech (Pty) Ltd, has created an innovative vaccine production technology to make veterinary vaccines more accessible and affordable.

Memeza Shout is a tech-enabled social enterprise that focuses on innovative safety technology and intelligence. Memeza’s key product is a community policing alarm system that seeks to combat gender-based violence and other crimes in low-income communities.

CreditAIs credit-scores small businesses through machine learning applied to alternative, non-financial data. Its models provide accurate credit predictions for previously excluded business owners, while also ensuring compliance with privacy laws.

Ambani Africa accelerates early learning by offering technology-enabled Afrocentric content. Ambani’s approach is learner-centric, using games and augmented reality to teach African languages, science, technology, engineering, maths and more.

Nzimande said the government had also made strides through the Technology Acquisition and Deployment Fund in facilitating market entry for local innovations that can improve the delivery of basic services.

“All these initiatives are aimed at creating a strong technology and innovation ecosystem in South Africa, and ultimately at contributing to socio-economic growth in the country,” he said.

Pretoria News Published Jun 17, 2022