Savant is thrilled to announce that seven of the start-ups incubated at our Cape Town-based hardware tech incubator have secured pre-seed grants totaling over R3.8 million from our incubator seed fund partner — the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA).
“We are grateful for the longstanding partnership with the Technology Innovation Agency and for the shared vision of supporting innovative early-stage technology companies on their journey to commercialisation of their innovations.” said Savant Technology Incubator CEO, Francois Malan.
AgriTech company; ARCi Technologies believes that humans and robots can work together to improve farming efficiencies. To do this ARCi builds modular, semi-autonomous ground vehicles and the accompanying software tools with various applications in the agricultural environment.
The first ground vehicles are intended for blueberry harvesting, acting as conveyor belts to assist farm workers in delivering their pickings. ARCi Technologies’ goal is to create a range of semi-autonomous modular platforms (ground vehicles) that can be fitted with a variety of third-party attachments, allowing integration with existing agritech service providers and ensuring that the platform can be used throughout the year.
About their experience of working with Savant, the ARCi team said: “Teaming up with Savant has been invaluable, and the support that they provide has helped the project when it needed it the most. The Savant team is professional, knowledgeable, and diligent and will go out of their way to assist however they can. Only a few firms have the guts to back hardware-based ventures, and Savant is amongst the top of them.”
Vuhosi MedTech dreams of changing the world of mobility impediments by cost-effectively converting manual wheelchairs to self-propelled wheelchairs, all with the aim of aiding mobility and improving convenience for physically challenged people.
“Savant helped us acquire funding for our project, they have been there every step of the way and now we are in the development phase and help is always accessible. I really appreciate the efforts of everyone in the team,” said Vukosi Mboweni, founder of the Vuhosi MedTech team.
All-Weather Roads Engineering
All-Weather Roads Engineering (AWRE) has invented a new building material, and a new methodology for building long-lasting resilient road structures, both of which are climate-proof and ultimately pothole-less!
AWRE focuses on the microscopic behaviour of the materials and their resilient responses, bringing to the market road engineering intelligence which bridges the gap between the impact of nature and the limitations of road construction materials. By building high-quality roads that ensure efficient infrastructure AWRE hopes to improve the productivity and safety of any country or society.
Speaking on their partnership with Savant, the team commented: “Savant is truly an innovation catalyst, with capabilities of hand-holding start-ups during the most formative period of their innovative technologies.”
Shemesh Heath has designed a 3D Joint ROM device that measures and tracks body movement at high sample rates, and presents this data in a 3D review.
This unique and custom technology solution empowers medical professionals to gather movement data with proprietary Bluetooth sensors and stream it in real time to a smartphone or tablet, instantly sharing 3D models and reporting to EMR systems or referring doctors.
Walking their journey with Savant, Shemesh Health noted how Savant VC “goes way beyond just raising funds” and that ”as soon as our grant was approved Savant assigned an entrepreneur to ensure funds are used to secure success.”
“There are multiple steps to get an innovation from idea, concept, technology, product to commercialisation. The journey to commercialisation is better with a partner that understands the links between each step” says Savant’s investee company; Boost Mechanics.
Boost Mechanics has designed a highly efficient diesel turbocharger that significantly improves engine efficiency, thus reducing fuel expenses. This start-up is committed to the primary objective of reducing the overall running cost of any size fleet, by designing and modifying turbochargers to efficiently operate in the specific working conditions of any diesel engine.
“Savant’s structured approach and continuous support is an assurance to a successful future.” – Kamogelo Rudolf Mapulane founder of ShisiGas
ShisiGas operates in the LPG market and seeks to improve access to alternative energy to electricity by ensuring a reliable supply of LPG. Through a vetting process, ShisiGas registers suppliers and end-users on the digital platform, and generates revenue through an end-user subscription fee.
To date ShisiGas have completed over 3 700 deliveries through a network of 52 resellers. The main objective for ShisiGas is to improve accessibility to LPG to all South Africans – and to make it easy for new LPG suppliers to enter the market.
Smartroot produces organic fertiliser products and has the long-term vision of being a manufacturer of the best ecological products for soil fertility management, and to become a global leader in integrated soil fertility management.
“Since partnering with Savant in 2018, they have helped us with fundraising for our product development, trials, and product certification. Their hands-on approach has helped me grow as an entrepreneur and they have helped us connect with industry experts for our product development and compliance advice.” says Nkululeko Ngqinambi from Smartroot.
Traditional phosphate-based fertilizers are overapplied and it is claimed that between 75 – 95% of these fertilizers are not taken up by the crops they are applied to. The excess either stays in the soil and is turned into a non-unabsorbable form, or during times of heavy rainfall, gets washed into rivers and lakes.
Smartroot Enhancer contains four top-performing mycorrhizal species effective with 85% of land plants, for smallholder/subsistence farming and organic farming.
Smartroot Booster has the potential to increase crop yields by 30%-50% without having to increase the dosage of nutrient supply (fertilizer).
Savant Technology Incubator CEO, Francois Malan: This is a special group of companies and we are excited to see these products and solutions on the market in the near future solving real and pressing problems for South African customers and possibly into international markets.