Business innovation awards winners announced

04 December 2019 | Web Article Number: ME201917316

Agriculture & Sugar
Automation & Robotics
Business Tech
Commerce & Trade
ICT In Industry
SMME Development & Support
Business innovation awards winners announced
Mike Vacy Lyle, FNB Business CEO and Nonhlanhla Joye of Umgibe Farming Organics and Training Institute

FNB Business in partnership with Township Entrepreneurs Alliance (TEA), 10Xe and Endeavor South Africa, have announced the overall winners of the 2019 FNB Business Innovation Awards (FNB BIA).

Umgibe Farming Organics and Training Institute clinched top honours in the R0 to R5 million category while Marc1 Dot Com Pty LTD dominated the R5 million + turnover category and Aerobotics was the overall winner in the R10 million + category.

FNB Business CEO Mike Vacy-Lyle said the three winners had demonstrated real innovation to drive business growth with the potential to change the way their respective industries operate.

Business innovation awards winners announced
Mike Vacy Lyle, FNB Business CEO and Muhammad Simjee, Marc1 Dot Com Pty Ltd

He also congratulated all the finalists for “demonstrating great potential and the capacity to add substantial socio-economic impact to the South African economy. We recognise their hard work and are aware of the sacrifices they make daily - and urge them to continue pushing boundaries. Our best chance at solving unemployment and boosting economic growth in our beautiful country rests on the success of such businesses”.

Each winning business will get business development support to the value of R1 million, to help them take their business to the next level.

Umgibe Farming Organics, founded by Nonhlanhla Joye, promotes the idea of a sustainable local food system through the cost-effective and environmentally friendly Umgibe growing system.
The business will receive marketing and branding to the value of R150 000; 24 months’ mentorship from FNB Business; 1 million eBucks to be used towards the betterment of the business and a business cellphone package through FNB Connect for 24 months.

Marc1 Dot Com Pty LTD founded by Muhammad Simjee is the world's first IoT Point of Sale (POS) system, which incorporates an IoT device into the POS system and boosts retailer sales in real time at the point of purchase. Muhammad will get an opportunity to participate in the 10X Accelerator programme. The programme is for businesses that are scaling for the first time. It is designed to accelerate the transition from a frenetic hustle to a scaled, but still growing business that isn’t totally dependent on its founders.

Aerobotics, founded by Benjamin Meltzer, an early pest and disease detection service enabled by drone imagery and artificial intelligence, will participate at the coveted two-day Endeavor International Selection Panel (ISP) in Argentina next year. ISP brings together high-impact entrepreneurs to present their business to world-leading business personalities for a chance to be part of an exclusive global network.

Factors such as brand and reputation; stakeholder relations and goodwill; environmental sustainability; social responsibility and quality of governance were all taken into consideration during the process of selecting the winners.

For a full list of the finalists, judges, and background on the competition, visit

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