Encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship

29 May 2017 | Story Chido Mbambe. Photo Supplied. Video Saadiq Behardien.
StartSmart took the R12 000 cash prize at this year’s FLUX business game for their business idea, which aims to help students grow throughout their academic careers.
StartSmart took the R12 000 cash prize at this year’s FLUX business game for their business idea, which aims to help students grow throughout their academic careers.

FLUX is an entrepreneurship business game where teams of students are given real-world problems that they need to address and for which they need to present a solution.

A well-planned strategy and business pitch helped Team Flex take the 2017 FLUX title.

The aim behind the entrepreneurship challenge is to introduce students to the key elements involved in creating and running a business. The competition, run annually by UCT Careers Service in collaboration with UCT Libraries, took place recently in the UCT Library Learning Lounge.

Approximately 120 students and 20 industry experts took part.

The jam-packed day had students working in teams of six to prepare a profitable business idea, using technology, that would change the way education works in South Africa.

“You need to have a good mindset and a lot of energy. To come up with a business plan in a few hours is not easy,” says Kurtney Naidoo, a BCom(Hons) economics student. “It’s interesting to see how everyone has different ideas … it’s great how everyone thinks differently.”

Teams were supported by UCT careers advisors who facilitated and coached the participants throughout the day. Industry experts assisted students by answering questions on strategy, finance, marketing and human resources.

Nawaal Boolay, head of Employer Relations at UCT’s Careers Service, described the event as a great learning opportunity for students.


Dominic Schorr, a fourth-year mechatronics engineering student, was back at FLUX for a third year.

“I thought this time I had a better chance of winning,” he says. “Nothing I’ve done so far at UCT, none of the courses I have done in this area, have prepared me the way FLUX has.”

Team Flex – comprising Dominic Schorr, Ntsako Mgiba, Nikhil Mohanlal, Jasanth Moodley, Do Yeou Ku and Jaydon Farao – scooped the R12 000 prize and title of FLUX 2017 champions.

Their idea StartSmart was a free mobile platform that helps students grow throughout their academic careers by providing relevant academic resources as well as daily quizzes and educational games. The platform will also develop non-academic skills by offering career guidance and resources during job and university applications.

“Our users are students but our customers are corporates who pay for access to students with high potential,” says Schorr. “We use the data gathered during students’ use of our platform to link them to bursars and employers that fit their skills and interests and ensure that the best students have access to opportunities that are right for them.”

UCT career advisor, Athi Matinise, has been MC of the FLUX events for the past four years.

He encourages students to get involved in entrepreneurial programmes such as FLUX where they can learn invaluable skills.

“Get challenged. Get a chance to persuade people to buy into your ideas.”

UCT’s Careers Service runs programmes such as FLUX with the hopes of honing entrepreneurial skills that are vital to students whether they aspire to running their own businesses in the future or want to gain a better understanding of what is involved in the companies they will work for as graduates.

FLUX encouraging innovation and entrepreneurship.

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.