South African start-ups compete in entrepreneur challenge to reach finals in China

Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/26 21:23:40

Over the weekend, more than 20 South African start-ups competed in the semi-finals of the Xi'an International Entrepreneurship Competition (XIEC) hosted at Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, hoping to make it to the finals, which will be held in November in Xi'an, capital of Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, people.com.cn reported on Sunday.

These entrepreneurs stood out from more than 700 start-ups, five of which will win flight tickets to Xi'an so they can compete in the finals against all the best young entrepreneurs from around the world, including those from Silicon Valley, Berlin, Tel Aviv and Sydney as well as domestic cities.

Through healthy competition, XIEC aims to build an international platform for innovation, entrepreneurship and communication and is committed to attracting foreign investment as well as accelerating domestic and foreign advanced technological achievements.

During the semi-finals, many young South African entrepreneurs showcased the newest technology in sectors such as information technology, biomedicine, new energy and agriculture.

In particular, projects like unmanned aerial vehicles, which can protect against diseases in crops, and automobile gas purifiers, sparked a lot of interest.

Many of these projects have already obtained international intellectual property rights, showing the vitality of innovation in South Africa, said Liu Guangling, a professor of economics at Stellenbosch University, and also a judge of the competition.

South African entrepreneurs are eager to go to China because of the big progress that China has achieved in technological innovation, according to the people.com.cn report.

"As a start-up entrepreneur, you're out if you don't keep an eye on China's innovation," Elliot Mofokeng, an entrepreneur from South Africa's Free State said. African innovation is lagging behind that of China, and more cooperation will be needed in the future, he said.



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