This past week we saw a winner get picked amongst 20 individuals to go and represent South Africa in Berlin this November at the Falling Walls Lab Innovation Competition with other innovators from across the globe.
The competition took place last week Friday at the Scibono lab in Newtown. The participants had 3 minutes to pitch their innovation and 1 minute to answer questions from the panel which consisted of the ambassador of Germany to South Africa, MEC Panyaza Lesufi, Prof Adam Habib, and the Legendary Roelf Meyer
The innovations varied from water to healthcare to environment, scientific gadgets and interesting technology designs. The amazing part about presentations was that they were targeted at solving basic human needs in Africa they were not just fancy gadgets which we accessible by an elite market. The judges deliberated and announced the top 3. The judges made it clear that the decision was based on decimal points and the scores were very close but science made it possible to pick a winner. The judges were looking for breakthrough solutions, relevance, science, presentation skills and economic impact. The top 3 met the economic, social and social economic needs of Africa.
The interesting part about the winner Vinu Nair was that i was having a with him during the interval and he told me that his presentation alone was innovative before even getting the innovation he is working on and after hearing him present i knew he had a huge chance of winning the prize.
Vinu’s innovation model was beyond just a product, he has created a company which caters to needs of the human race in Africa. Within his company he had a number of solutions to solve problems in healthcare, water, environment, energy, the list is endless. But what captivated me and i believe what caught the attention of the adjudication was how he presented and the contents of his presentation. Vinu opened his pitch with a very inspirational talk on how great Africa would be if every individual could imagine a world with no problems, he worked on our psyche before even getting into what he does.
Vinu is an innovative humanitarian who started Engineers Without Boarders and I believe it is the little projects he does on a daily to help poor communities have access to basic services such as water, electricity and healthcare using innovation instead of relying on huge budgets from the government. He deserved the prize to go present his pitch to the rest of the world and we will support him as he flies the SA flag high for all to see.
Did I mention he is part of The Innovation Hub incubation?
Stay tuned for more on this story as we update you from Berlin, at the Global showcase in November, 2014