Lethabo Mokoena is excited for the doors this award is going to open for Walk Fresh. Picture: Supplied
Lethabo Mokoena is excited for the doors this award is going to open for Walk Fresh. Picture: Supplied

Heavy Chef Top 5 Startups announced

By Keshia Africa Time of article published Dec 3, 2021

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Entrepreneurial learning platform Heavy Chef hosted their fifth annual Top 5 Startups Awards on Thursday.

Out of 512 entries, 12 startup businesses were shortlisted as the nominees for the top five.

In the past, startups that have won these awards have gone on to make great strides in their respective fields. Some of these include Yoco, SweepSouth and DigsConnect.

The five winners are:

  • Livestock Wealth - a tech crowd farming startup that connects investors with farmers that require funding, by using cattle as a type of investment.
  • Valenture Institute - a private high school that offers an academic learning experience online and on-campus.
  • Kusini Water - a social enterprise whose nanotechnology and innovation aims to provide safe drinking water to communities in need.
  • FCB.ai - an AI-powered chatbot to help financial service providers acquire and retain customers.
  • Walk Fresh - a boutique sneaker cleaning and shoe-care startup that offers refurbishing, maintenance, shoe shining, and repairing services for all kinds of footwear.

Philani Zama from Livestock Wealth said the award means a lot to their startup.

“Recognition in anything you do in life is key because every step of the way you ask yourself if you’re on the right track,” he said.

Zama said the award is a big deal for Livestock Wealth.

“Investors will see that this is a company worth investing in. The quality that we produce is set based on the recognition that we get.”

Robert Paddock, founder of Valenture Institute, said he was very honoured to have his team and their hard work recognised.

“Entrepreneurship can be a very lonely path. The work that Heavy Chef does to recognise entrepreneurs and the work they do, is fundamental to driving economic growth in South Africa.”

Founder of Walk Fresh, Lethabo Mokoena said the award was giving them access to a different market in the entrepreneurial space.

“People can now understand where we are trying to take the brand. The award is a great affirmation of what we’re doing and what we’re trying to achieve.”

Heavy Chef CEO, Fred Roed, said the awards were an amazing opportunity for startups.

“This was the closest we’ve ever seen with judging. In the past, we had obvious winners like Yoco and SweepSouth, but this year it was amazing in terms of diversity,” he said.

He added: “The fact that all sectors were recognised across the board shows how much of a light the entrepreneurial sector is within the economy of South Africa.”

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