A roaring NWU Leopards Lair competition

Belinda Bantham -- Tue, 09/12/2017 - 12:28

A roaring NWU Leopards Lair competition

Entrepreneurship continues to be a critical performance area within the South African society and economy.  

The North-West University (NWU) launched a NWU Leopards Lair competition forming part of the NWU SETHI Explosions event. The competition is inspired by the nationally and internationally known Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den competition formats. The competition was coordinated by the NWU Technology Transfer and Innovation Support (TTIS) office, and was open to all NWU students to enter and participate.

The competition received a large number of entries of which 12 finalists were selected to pitch their business ideas or inventions to a panel of investors, called the Leopards. The panel consisted of five leaders within the entrepreneurship and innovation space. They included Ms Karen Eksteen from the Technology Innovation Agency, Mr David Mcgluwa from the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Dr Norah Clarke: from the Department of Higher Education and Training, Mr Francois Liebenberg, CEO of Pocketslip and Prof Deon De Beer, NWU TTIS.

The finalists underwent training offered by the TTIS Office to improve their pitching and presentation skills. They also formed part of the NWU SETHI Explosions event where they could exhibit their ideas to the public and industry partners. The final pitches were delivered on 23 August 2017 at the Roots in Potchefstroom. It was a heated competition with finalists raising the pitching bar to the next level and delivering top performances to the Leopards.

The competition offered R150 000 worth of prizes of which the winner, the Let’s Grow Together group, received R75 000. The first runner-up, Jana van Rensburg, received R50 000 and sharing third place, Mia Nandalall and Karmi Visser, received R25 000 each. The IDC also invested another R50 000 on top of the initial prize towards one of the finalist’s ideas.

For the first time running the competition proved that we have extraordinary entrepreneurial talent and that entrepreneurship has much untapped potential that will enhance, equip and develop the leaders of the future.

The NWU is actively promoting entrepreneurship as a career. For more information or to become part of various entrepreneurial activities please contact us by sending an email to entrepreneur@nwu.ac.za.