Winners of the Start-upper of the Year Challenge by TotalEnergies
TotalEnergies Marketing South Africa announced the winners of the third edition of the Start-upper of the Year Challenge. The three winners are Matome Motalane from Mangau Animal Feeds, who won the award for best start-up under three years old; Lisa von Benecke from the clean-tech company LC Dynamics, who won the award for best female entrepreneur; and Sebudisi Mafabatho from She-Eco Response, who won the award for best business creation idea with She-Eco roof tiles.
Best female entrepreneur
Lisa Von Benecke, the 28-year-old founder and chief executive officer of LC Dynamics aims to improve access to clean and affordable energy while reducing the negative impacts of e-waste on the environment. Lisa says: “My work experience ranges from structural insurance to project management in the non-profit sector, as well as working as an electrical maintenance technician.”
“I believe that access to clean energy is a basic right; and find that gaps and barriers to access are valuable opportunities to innovate and add value so that these technologies are adopted in a more equitable way.” Her first product is a mobile solar PV window blind for sectional title properties and tenants.
The solution equips a window blind with solar cells allowing it to generate electricity. Not only does a solar PV blind blend more seamlessly into a home by serving the dual purpose of shading and generating electricity, but it also eases the pain points of costly installation and successfully negotiating with a landlord or body corporate to install a roof-mounted product. When placed behind a window, they can be kept safe from weather elements and theft.
“A solar PV window blind that is mobile allows customers who are often excluded from design and product positioning, to be able to adopt the technology and have equitable access to its benefits,” she says.
“Being supported by TotalEnergies is an invaluable opportunity. Participating in the challenge helped us form a supportive network of young, like-minded entrepreneurs, and the financial support and training will help me further develop and scale my business,” says Lisa.
Best business creation idea
Sebudisi Mafabatho won the award for best business creation idea with She-Eco roof tiles. She-Eco Response is a female-owned company. She-Eco roof tiles are a composite material made from 30% carefully selected recycled plastics, combined with sand and ultraviolet (UV) stabilising pigments, and are manufactured through a well-researched proprietary extrusion process to produce highly durable building materials.
The tiles are very durable, have a lifespan of ±100 years, are waterproof, don’t corrode, and are lightweight and paintable. “For each roof tile we produce, we remove an average of four two-litre waste bottles from the environment. We are cutting across three different sectors, namely the manufacturing sector, waste management and construction sector.”