Applications for The Pitch UCT 2024 now open

16 April 2024

Dear students

Applications are now open for The Pitch UCT 2024, a student-led competition that seeks to encourage a culture of entrepreneurship among students at the University of Cape Town (UCT). The programme has grown from humble beginnings at Baxter Hall residence dining hall in 2016 to a
fully-fledged incubator.

Applications close on 23 April 2024 at 23:59.

Now in its ninth year since being founded by programme director Frank Karigambe, who is the coordinator for governance and programme support in the Department of Student Affairs, The Pitch UCT continues to impact the lives of student entrepreneurs and student leaders.

As the journey continues, organisers extend an invitation for students to pitch their business idea or existing business to esteemed judges and stand a chance to be a part of a game-changing and enlightening entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The Pitch UCT benefits from the thriving entrepreneurship ecosystem at UCT and beyond, which includes the Residence Academic Development Committee (RADC), Solution Space at the Graduate School of Business, Careers Services and faculty staff who support students with strong academic foundations.

At the programme's forefront is the Academic Representatives Council (ARC) in partnership with the Office of the Vice-Chancellor. As a student-led programme, The Pitch UCT not only empowers student entrepreneurs by giving them an opportunity to sharpen their business concepts, but it also gives student leaders an opportunity to cultivate their leadership skills.

The winner stands a chance to receive business mentorship from the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, get entrepreneur resources, and receive Jamboree Entrepreneur Festival tickets.

Underpinned by the Grit Learning Outcomes, which have been adapted from American author, psychologist and science writer Angela Duckworth’s grit framework, The Pitch UCT focuses on advocating the development of grit and a growth mindset. In this vein, the programme is aimed at improving students’ ability to:

  • remain consistently focused
  • handle setbacks
  • maintain long-term interest in an entrepreneurial idea or start-up project
  • commit more effort to developing an entrepreneurial idea or start-up
  • set an entrepreneurial goal and stick with it.

By focusing on these outcomes, the competition has seen hundreds of students develop novel entrepreneurial ideas and solutions. It has also been the launchpad for a variety of successful
start-ups, including the food supply chain monitoring platform, FoodPrint, and the coding education programme, Zaio.

At the finals of the 2023 edition, held on Friday, 29 September 2023, finalists’ business ideas were judged not only on the market need and viability of each of the business ventures, but also on the skills and experience possessed by team members and the innovation exhibited by the entrepreneurs. A high-profile judges panel comprising business experts heard proposals from a range of disciplines, including mental healthcare, gender-based violence prevention, financial services, fashion, and education.

The top three pitches were awarded cash prizes (R25 000 for first place, R15 000 for second place and R10 000 for third place), a six-month business mentorship from the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation as well as tickets to attend the foundation’s annual jamboree.

Msawenkosi Mkhize, founder of Amanzi Impilo, a business that aims to construct grey water recycling systems, took first place. In second place was Khensani Khoza of Build-A-Bite, while Bonga Njamela, Emily Yunzhao Wang, and Dr Luyanda Mncube of Barterly took third place.

For more information or any queries or questions, please email

Yours in entrepreneurship

Academic Representatives’ Council and The Pitch UCT Team

Supported by the Residence Academic Development Committee

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