Innovative team takes the prize

25 October 2007 | Story by Chris McEvoy

Winning concept: Team Smile received the first prize of R50 000 in the UCT leg of the Student Business Plan/National Innovation Competition. The team, pictured here with Deputy Vice-Chancellor Prof Cheryl de la Rey (left) are (from left) Tupochere Mblizi, Devin de Vries, Mohammad Nabeel Nazeer, Christopher King and Nadeem Isaacs

Team Smile took the top spot in the UCT leg of the Student Business Plan/National Innovation Competition for their proposal, titled Where's my shuttle?

At a function on 22 October, the team received R50 000 for their business plan to provide an SMS-based information service for public transport.

"Public transport in South Africa is not very good, so we were looking for ways to improve it," explains team leader Devon de Vries. If implemented, their plan will allow commuters to find out by SMS when a bus will arrive at a bus stop, and its destination.

Second- and third-prize winners received R30 000 and R20 000 respectively. Team Smile now enters the national phase of the competition, where they will stand a chance to win a first prize of R300 000.

The competition was established by the National Innovation Fund, funded by the Department of Science and Technology, to boost technological innovations and entrepreneurship among university students. The UCT phase of the competition was run by the Research Contracts and Intellectual Property Services Office.

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