A new opportunity has come along for software product startups, in the form of the Startup Knight Competition. We talk to Amit Ramdath, CEO of Byte Orbit and founder of the event, about what the competition entails, how to enter, and why this competition is a great platform for South African startups. The grand prize will be sponsored by Byte Orbit and will consist of software development to the value of R100 000 and ongoing mentorship.
Hi Amit. Tell us about how the idea came about for the Startup Knight competition.
Over the last few months we have interacted with many startups in Cape Town and two things stood out. Firstly we noticed that startups that won startup competitions were not really presented with what they really needed, which is product development. The second thing that stood out was the fact that unfortunately, there isn’t very much incubation of startups happening from real world tech companies. After chatting with Martin Ras, co-founder of Ching Payments, it became apparent that we could rise to the challenge and launch a startup competition that would give the winning startup an elevated chance of success and the ability to get started immediately. So we brainstormed the idea before approaching sponsors with a proposal and Startup Knight was born.
Can you explain the competition to us?
The competition is open to any startup that is based around a software product. The startups are required to enter online from 1st October. Online entries close on 25th October and on the 26th we will announce the 15 finalists that will be invited to pitch to the judging panel at the Byte Orbit offices in Cape Town on 3rd November. A separate event will be held on the evening of the 3rd November to announce the winning startup and present them with the excellent combination of prizes. The evening event will be attended by the judges, participants, press and a handful of industry personalities.
The press release talks about Byte Orbit taking a small percentage of equity from the winning business in exchange for ongoing support. What will this support entail?
The equity stake is a maximum of 15% depending on the amount of development required to take the idea to market. The equity stake will see our continuous involvement in the winning start-up and also ensure that we help the winning business fight for success. I have been heading up Byte Orbit for 9 years with a committed team that consists of 11 members. Over the past 9 years I admit that plenty of mistakes have been made and plenty of lessons have been learned. The knowledge and experience accumulated over these years is invaluable in helping our winning startup fast track time to market and better equip them to avoid failure.
Is the competition only available to South African startups?
Yes. We believe that South Africa has great ideas and great talent which needs to be cultivated locally.
How can software product startups enter?
Simply by completing the online application here