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Winetech pitching den to give more agritech innovators a chance to compete

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Winetech and the SA Innovation Summit have extended the deadline for the Winetech Pitching Den entries to 28 June 2019.

This will enable more entrepreneurs to compete and showcase their agritech innovations to the South African wine industry, as well as receiving a chance to go through to the Africa Cup which carries a prize pool of R8.5 million in investment funding. The Winetech Pitching Den is sponsored by wine industry body, Winetech, to attract agritech start-ups developing innovative solutions to key issues confronting wine producers.

The winners of the Winetech Pitching Den will receive exposure to more than 650 representatives from the SA wine industry, providing them with opportunities to transfer their innovations to market, together with investment opportunities and incubation to assist in establishing their business.

Finalists will go through to the Winetech Pitching Den where they will pitch their start-ups to a panel of judges at the annual SA Innovation Summit, taking place in Cape Town on 11-13 September 2019. Additionally, winners gain automatic entry to the Africa Cup, also taking place at the SA Innovation Summit, where a total of R8.5 million in investment funding is in store for first, second and third place entrepreneurs.

Unicorn Group, a pan-African investment company targeting innovative ideas, start-ups and early stage companies in tech and tech-enabled sectors will sponsor the following prizes for the winners of the final competition at the SA Innovation Summit – the Africa Cup:

• First Entrepreneur: R5 million investment offer and three weeks of acceleration in a choice of one of the following three locations: Silicon Valley, Lagos and Budapest. All travel and stay expenses will be paid from the investment offer.

• Second Entrepreneur: R2.5 million investment offer and two weeks of acceleration in a choice of one of the three locations. All travel and stay expenses will be paid from the investment offer.

• Third Entrepreneur: R1 million investment offer and acceleration in South Africa. The Winetech Pitching Den is looking for disruptive, innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions for reducing the wine industry’s impact on the environment as well as pioneering ways to use technology to rethink production methods and encourage stable growth for small and large industry participants. It will focus on climate change; water reclamation and resourcing; genetics; machine learning, AI and big data; and any other areas which increase efficiency, profitability and environmental sustainability.

By connecting industry-ready innovations with wine producers, Winetech aims to boost the industry and help build a sector robust enough to withstand volatile economic and environmental climates.

For competition entries visit

Entries for the Winetech Pitching Den close on 28 June 2019

About Winetech Winetech operates as a network of participating institutions and individuals which, in one way or the other, have a strong interest in improving the competitive position of the South African wine industry. They provide the South African Wine Industry with a sustainable basis of forefront technology and human resources in order to strengthen both local and international competitiveness and profitability.

About the SA Innovation Summit The SA Innovation Summit is an annual flagship event on the African innovation calendar. It provides a platform for nurturing, developing and showcasing African innovation, as well as facilitating innovation thought-leadership. Created to support and promote innovation and facilitate collaboration, the event brings together entrepreneurs, investors, corporates, academia and policy makers to accelerate innovation and inspire sustained economic growth across Africa.

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