Zuko Mandlakazi Photo: Facebook
DURBAN - Zuko Mandlakazi's start-up company Senso creates sound assistive tools to help people be more present and alert to life-saving sounds.

The company's flagship product is a wrist armband that picks up sounds. The sounds are then communicated to the user through vibration and LED lights.

Mandlakazi said that the inspiration for staring Senso was his aunt who was hard of hearing. He would always be worried about her when she visited Johannesburg and it was his dream to develop an affordable, unintrusive product that she could use. Then he decided to create a solution that would address the challenges that his aunt and other people on the African face.

The funding for the company comes from entrepreneurial competitions that they have won. They have won entrepreneurial competitions that have been run by The Innovation Hub, Multichoice, South African Breweries Foundation and the Department of Trade and Industry.

Mandlakazi said that product development for Senso has been completed and their next step is to get statutory approvals as well as mass production and soft launches.

Different iterations of the product have been tested through user groups in various segmentations. Then the feedback would be used to improve the device.

According to Mandlakazi, he studied banking and worked in the banking sector. However, he has also completed courses on Innovation Leadership and attended masterclasses in innovation, customer development and business management at The Pioneers in Austria.