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Nubrix, a green building solution that recycles waste paper to make building bricks, is the winner of the FNF GreenPitch Challenge 2019! Elijah Djan represented his innovation at an event hosted by GreenCape and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF), in partnership with Invest Cape Town, an initiative of the City of Cape Town on 12 December.

“We are very excited to be promoting home-grown innovation with GreenCape and the City of Cape Town to bring about market-driven and job-creating green economic growth,” said Cecelia Kok, Head of Research and Advocacy Projects of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom. “The innovators who pitched at the event each hold great promise for this country’s future. We wish them all the very best in their trail-blazing ventures, and great resilience in dealing with all the obstacles entrepreneurs face on a daily basis. May their determination and vision take us into a brighter future.”

More than 40 excellent nationwide innovators and entrepreneurs with economically viable green economy innovation business ideas entered the challenge, and the following five innovations were announced as the Top 5:

  • Winner: Elijah Djan for Nubrix [Waste] – Nubrix recycles paper to make building bricks.
  • Thulani Khumalo for Technological plumbing solutions [Water] – Prev-leak is a smart waste water sensor, installed two meters down a sewer manhole. It detects and reports waste water blockages as soon as they develop.
  • Xola Keswa for Organic Matters [Sustainable Agri] – A sustainable urban agriculture solution, that builds self-watering raised beds.
  • Nkanyiso Madlala for Energy Efficiency (Pty) Ltd [Energy] – A start-up company that aims to manufacture lighting technology from recycled materials that also includes wifi capability for local communities in South Africa.
  • Emma Algotsson for Kompost-It [Waste] – Kompost-It is a young company that has pioneered the industrial application of compostable bio-plastic material, and is the first company in South Africa to offer internationally certified compostable single-use packaging that is locally designed and manufactured.

The pitch event was attended by representatives from private equity and impact investment companies, international investment agencies, business incubators and green economy experts from business, government and academia. The judges for the pitch event represented three departments from the City of Cape Town, LaunchLab and Nedbank.

“We were very impressed with the innovations from across the country that were presented at this event,” said Alderman James Vos, City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee member for Economic Opportunities and Asset Management. “The green economy is one of the City’s key catalytic growth sectors, and we are always looking for opportunities to create an enabling environment that attracts investment that generates economic growth and job creation in the City, strengthening and promoting Cape Town’s status as a high-performance, resilient African business hub that supports big ideas and innovation.”

The entries had to align with at least one of the Green Economy sectors and identified investment opportunities highlighted in the 2020 Market Intelligence Reports overview video, available online at www.greencape.co.za/greenpitch2019.  This video is produced in partnership with FNF for the FNF GreenPitch Challenge 2019.

Nubrix will receive in kind business development support worth R 30 000, through GreenCape in partnership with FNF. The support will commence in 2020.

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