The organisers of Creative Business Cup South Africa received an unexpected honour when they were presented with a Special Recognition Award in Denmark this year. They were recognised for their outstanding achievement in putting the local event together at short notice and without any financial backing.
The National Partners Awards recognise the role played by the local Creative Business Cup organisers and their efforts in helping creative startup businesses in their countries. The other recipients were Australia, Estonia and Peru.
“We would like to thank our partners: Reed Exhibitions, Small Business Expo, Business Partners and BASA for helping the team to stage this event. Next year promises to be bigger and better as Creative Business Cup South Africa will be launched countrywide in 2018,” said local organiser, Mvuyo Ngqulana.
A look at the three-day event
Winning startups from over sixty countries were invited to a 2-day intensive boot camp hosted by CLEVER Academy. Their entrepreneurial skills were enhanced and they were helped to polish their pitches for the Creative Business Cup competition.
On the first day of the event, Creative Business Cup Marketplace was centre stage with all the startups showcasing their businesses. Local entrant, Smir Design’s Sanmari Vivier impressed visitors with her South African rugs, runners, cushions and her innovative see-before-you-buy AR app.
Investors and buyers engaged with startups and heard the stories behind the amazing work done by these entrepreneurs. Products ranged from apps to food, energy drinks robotics. Every one of these ideas was innovative and impressive.
Creative Business Cup managing director, Rasmus Tscherning, hosted the delegates for the opening ceremony. Then the closed pitching sessions, with a maximum of 20 invitees, began. Startups had three minutes to present their products or services to the jury panels, followed by Q&A sessions.
After the hectic Marketplace and pitching, national partners and contestants were hosted by the City of Copenhagen and Deloitte, the main sponsors of Creative Business Cup. This was an excellent networking opportunity for the national partners, the speakers, the jury as well as the contestants.
Finalists and global winner
On the second day, the twelve finalists were announced. They were called to pitch again in front of the packed Copenhagen City Hall.
Creative Business Cup’s impressive lineup of speakers included Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, Scott Halford, author of Activate your Brain, Brandon Kavulla, David Granger, Jeremy Bloom and Bonin Bough. There were also panel discussions on Investing in Creative Startups and Women Entrepreneurship, as well as Developing Startups and Co-working Spaces.
The top six finalists were:
- AlgaLife from Israel,
- Bildits from Lebanon,
- BRCK from Kenya,
- CellRobot from China,
- Genki Instruments from Iceland
- and Jala from Indonesia rounding up the top six
On the final day, the top three global winners of the 2017 Creative Business Cup were announced:
- CellRobot from China won the first place
- Genki Intrument from Iceland came second and were also awarded the Microsoft Special Award
- and Bildits from Lebanon came third.
After this exciting day of events, all the participants were invited to a grand reception hosted by Estonian EU Presidency and again it was a chance for everybody to meet and mingle. Lasting connections were made by participants as they prepared to return to their home countries.
“As this was South Africa’s first entry in this competition, we really appreciated the fantastic experience and learned a lot from the other national partners, and what startups in other countries are doing. We look forward to the development of Creative Business Network and to be part of this amazing family that grows creative startups,” said Ngqulana.