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Electrifying Pitch Day at The Cortex Hub: Our Brightest Entrepreneurs Battle It Out for Funding.

This year, The Cortex Hub launched its inaugural Pitch Day initiative, dedicating R30,000 per quarter to bolster our entrepreneurial community. This funding acts as essential support, bridging gaps within their ventures and providing crucial resources. The event unites participants from both the Film Hub incubator and The Cortex Hub, fostering an environment of spirited competition where innovative ideas and entrepreneurial drive take centre stage as they vie for this invaluable backing. The recent Pitch Day, held on Friday 7th June 2024, showcased the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit of East London, as well as the talent that lies at The Cortex Hub. Beyond mere financial assistance, this quarterly event serves as a strategic platform, cultivating competitiveness, honing the skills of emerging leaders, and propelling their visions towards tangible success.

The judging panel, a distinguished group boasting expertise across various sectors, comprised Mr. Bongani Matshisi (Founder, Paysho), Mr. Siyasanga Somdaka (Senior Manager ICT, EC Department of Sport, Recreation, Arts & Culture), Mr. Siyabulela Morris (Founder, Morris Global), Mr. Bongajalo Marala (Film Development Manager, EC Provincial Arts & Culture Council), and Ms. Ayanda Gili (EC Provincial Arts & Culture Council).

First up were Mlibo Giba and Thato Molatudi, the masterminds behind SIR TICKETS. Their innovative platform simplifies event ticketing for local businesses, offering an affordable and user-friendly solution.

Sandiso Boso, the passionate entrepreneur behind DO IMPOSSIBLES, followed suit, who aims to bridge the digital divide by providing affordable tech devices and resources to under-resourced communities. Boso's presentation further highlighted successful implementations of Robotics and Coding initiatives  in schools like Nkululeko Primary and Fanti Gaqa SP.

Samkelo Booi, brimming with enthusiasm, introduced ABELUSI. This venture champions sustainable agriculture through unique farming techniques designed to empower small-scale farmers and boost yields. The judges were keen to understand ABELUSI's unique selling proposition and how it differentiates itself from existing solutions in the agricultural space.

Sethu Mnyute presented BODEGA, an online delivery app that seamlessly connects customers with local businesses. Mnyute's pitch emphasised convenience and accessibility, but the judges delved deeper, inquiring about the viability of cash-on-delivery options in areas with limited formal infrastructure.

The final pitch came from Babini Ntloko, whose project, BOERBOEL – A New Breed, captivated the room. This short film project's potential to tell a compelling story resonated with the judges, who appreciated Ntloko's informative and humorous approach. It was clear – the Boerboel dog breed wasn't the only thing with high value in this room!

As the final pitch concluded, the room buzzed with palpable energy, reflecting the passion, innovation, and unwavering vision each entrepreneur brought to the table. The judges faced a truly competitive line-up, making their decision exceptionally challenging. The announcement would soon propel one visionary’s dream into tangible reality. A round of applause erupted as Babini Ntloko and Sandiso Boso were declared winners, each securing R15,000 in funding for BOERBOL – A New Breed and DO IMPOSSIBLE, respectively.

The true essence of The Cortex Hub's Pitch Day lies beyond the funding. These events are a cornerstone for fostering entrepreneurial growth. They ignite a competitive spirit, provide invaluable feedback from industry leaders, and offer unparalleled networking opportunities. Entrepreneurs walk away not only with the potential for financial backing but also with a sharper edge, a clearer roadmap for achieving their goals, and the confidence to tackle future funding rounds.

The electrifying success of this Pitch Day underscores the vital role such initiatives play in nurturing South Africa's next generation of entrepreneurs. By providing them with the necessary tools, fostering confidence, and equipping them with the skills to navigate the competitive landscape, these events pave the way for a future brimming with impactful businesses and industry leaders. Stay tuned for the next chapter at The Cortex Hub, where the spotlight awaits a new set of innovative minds.

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