Bevan Ducasse, the CEO of wiGroup walked away with the inaugural Maverick of the Year Award, which seeks to “recognise, acknowledge as well as celebrate the entrepreneurial genius and prowess displayed by young, hard-nosed entrepreneurs”.
Ducasse also won the the Technology Innovation award for wiGroup, which is a platform provider the specialises in point-of-sale mobile transactions, that includes money transfers and payments, coupons and vouchers, and loyalty programmes.
The awards were held in Edenvale, to the east of Johannesburg on 26 June, with 19 finalists vying for awards in 10 different categories, as well as for the overall Maverick of the Year Award. The Awards were hosted by Under 35 Mavericks, a 100% youth-owned specialist enterprise development consultancy focused on the sustainable development of young, innovative, high impact, high growth entrepreneurs throughout Africa. Sponsors included Brand South Africa, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, Mercedes-Benz South Africa, South African Airways and others.
The MC for the night was Sisa Ntshona, the former head of enterprise development at Absa, with the main speaker for the night being Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure and Development, Nandi Mayathula-Khoza. Other speakers included Nelson Mandela Foundation CEO Sello Hatang; Mercedes-Benz SA group corporate affairs manager Mayur Bhana; Wits Business School’s Centre for Entrepreneurship director Chimene Chetty; and under 35 Mavericks founder Bokang Seritsane.
Winners in the categories included:
- The Emerging Maverick (Entrepreneur) Award – Lize Fouche, founder of Number 1 Foods, a Port Elizabeth-based foodstuffs company that manufactures muesli.
- Employment Creation Award – Josh Cox, founder of Trade-Mark Trust, a non-profit organisation (registered as a Trust) that connects homeowners wanting to do renovations with the very best, handpicked artisans from the townships.
- People Planet Profit Award – Misha Teasdale, founder of Greenpop, a social business that plants trees and invites everyone to join the “treevolution”.
- Without Borders Award – Misha Teasdale, founder of Greenpop.
- Marketing Innovation Award – Gareth Moll, founder GroundUp Media, which provides photography and videography services to both small and large businesses.
- Service Innovation Award – Alex Fourie, founder of iFix, a South African company that specialises in repairing Apple devices and RiCharge, a designer and manufacturer of mobile charging solutions.
- Green Innovation Award – Brian Mpono, founder of Khwezi Oils, which refines waste cooking oil into biofuel.
- Technology Innovation Award – Bevan Ducasse, founder of wiGroup
- Blue Ocean Innovation Award – Murray Legg, founder of SA Cardiosynthetics, a venture financed business that is pursuing the commercialisation of a patented heart valve design.