Entrepreneurship Bootcamp gives students kickstart to creating online gift shop
Innovus annual Entrepreneurship Bootcamp has given two students the energy they needed to kickstart their own business: an online gift shop for students with a unique personal touch.
Maambela Khosa, a Bsc Geoinformatics graduate and current postgraduate in marketing, and Vutomi Khosa, a SU law student, started Grandeur Giftery in May this year after Maambela attended her first Entrepreneurship Bootcamp in 2018. Together they have created a unique online gift shop that “bridges the gap of time and distance for those who want to send some love to their friends” on campus. You tell them what you need, and they will make it happen at the best possible price.
Whether it is a small gift such as a chocolate to let your friend know that you are there for him or her during a difficult time or a uniquely assembled Exam Care Package, each item is carefully selected to match your need and budget. The service includes hand-delivery with personalised note. There is a wide selection of gifts to choose from including flowers, gift vouchers, balloons, cake, wine, personalized items and so much more.
"Grandeur Giftery is such an innovative new business, and it is really a business that will go the extra mile for you as well as help you to find a gift that is truly personal and special. Grandeur Giftery helped me to choose lovely gifts and delivered them on time and beautifully packaged! Highly recommend,” says Klara, a very satisfied client.
Grandeur Giftery started their marketing campaign by sending messages on Whatsapp to their friends. Word spread quickly, and today word-of-mouth, Instagram, Facebook and a website are the marketing platforms they use to reach a growing database of clients. Currently they are only serving SU and Boland College, but are hoping to grow to other Institutes. Watch this space to see where they will be next….
Creating an entrepreneurial culture
Nolene Singh, technology transfer manager at Innovus, says Grandeur Giftery is the first small business that originated from one of the boot camps she organises annually. “Our annual entrepreneurship Bootcamp is a collaboration between Innovus and the LaunchLab to raise awareness and create an entrepreneurial culture across Stellenbosch University’s campus.”
“It is our goal to increase the number of quality ideas entering Innovus and the LaunchLab’s business development and support programmes by providing support to entrepreneurs and creating an innovation culture amongst students,” says Singh.
More than 70 students attended the Bootcamp this year. Students from the Faculty of Engineering, Natural Science, AgriScience, Arts, Economic Management, Law, Medicine and Health Sciences attended the Bootcamp which focused on the Business Model Canvas. Students learnt how to create a value proposition, identify customers, and how to market their products. Guest speakers spoke to the students about their entrepreneurial journey, leadership and what it takes to start a business in South Africa.
“Entrepreneurship development and support may lead to job creation opportunities for graduates, parallel career development for young researchers, and positive economic development for the community, the Western Cape, and the general public of South Africa,” says Nolene.
The Bootcamp was sponsored by Innovus, the Faculty of Science, the Faculty of Engineering, the Faculty of AgriScience and Student Affairs.
You can find Grandeur Giftery at www.grandeurgiftery.co.za or visit them on their Facebook or Instagram pages. For every gift purchased, the company donates a ticket to the Stellenbosch night shelter to someone in need.
SU Hackathon: solving real South African issues
Innovus, in partnership with Capitec, Entersekt and Explore, hosted the second successful Stellenbosch University (SU) Hackathon on 2-4 August 2019. More than 70 talented student programmers, designers, builders, scientists and engineers came together at the 2019 SU Hackathon to learn, build and share their creative ideas while solving industry-relevant problems innovatively.
This year the Hackathon offered a Data Science and a Fintech Coding Challenge and saw double the number of students attending compared to the 2018 Hackathon. Both challenges were centered around developing creative fintech-based solutions for underserved and financially excluded consumers.
For the student participants, there were mentors from the sponsoring companies in the form of engineers, developers and data scientists available throughout the weekend. The students could call upon them for coding assistance and as a soundboard off of which to bounce ideas. “I enjoyed getting feedback from the mentors. They kept our team grounded while still encouraging us to dream big,” said a participant.
Francois Dempers, Manager: Innovation, digital and data solutions at Capitec, said the common thread throughout the SU Hackathon was students solving real South African issues – challenges faced by millions of people every day.
For the data science challenge, participants had to use insights obtained from client transactional data to suggest the next best action or tip based on what they have learned from the data. While, for the FinTech challenge, students had to use their coding skills and imagination to build a disruptive FinTech-inspired software solution that can help people transact in various ways and improve their daily lives.
From the feedback received afterwards, students thought that it was a great experience to be able to deal with real-world problems. “I enjoyed being surrounded by like-minded people, in a competitive but fun and positive environment. It was also fantastic to network with people who are already working in the technology and banking industries to have more insight into their world and to slowly put our names on the map as future innovators and entrepreneurs,” was one of the observations from an attendee.
Another participant said: “I learned that it is good to keep your idea simple and do as much research to buttress it as possible. Also, by dividing and conquering your teams’ tasks, will go a long way to reduce associated stress.”
The winning teams for both challenges each received R15 000 in prize money and the runner-up teams, R5 000 each.
De Villiers said they are already planning the next event for 2020. According to her, 97% of the participants said they would take part in the next SU Hackathon.
“At Innovus, we aim to foster an entrepreneurial spirit on campus and to create entrepreneurial awareness. This Hackathon may lead to job creation opportunities for graduates and a positive impact on the local developer community through encouraging the sharing of innovative ideas and networking within the community,” says Camille de Villiers, Technology Transfer Officer at Innovus.
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