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About Startup Knight

Startup Knight was launched in 2012 by Byte Orbit. The purpose of the competition is to promulgate, support and embrace tech startups in South Africa. Although there are many startup competitions hosted in South Africa, Startup Knight is differentiated through the partnerships created to build and commercialise the winning innovations. Experience has taught us that it takes more than money to turn an idea or innovation into a viable growing business. Therefore we leverage experience, expertise and partnerships to create our winning formula on top of the financial commitment.

The winner of Startup Knight in 2012 excelled and received additional funding at Google Umbono and Startup Knight is proud to boast that our platform was the stepping stone for their success.

In 2013 we introduced the concept phase of the competition. The winning concept, Air Taxi, was incubated for commercialisation by Standard Bank. The winning Startup, Micket, benefited from mentoring, development and PR. The mentoring resulted in a pivot in the startup’s business model and Micket will be handling the guest list and invites for Startup Knight this year. Also in 2013 Startup Knight produced a record setting 80 entries.

In 2014 we will be increasing the stakes to make this year's competition the biggest best Startup Knight yet. In order to achieve this we have appointed an award winning PR team to increase awareness of the competition and we have also increased the entry period from four weeks to six weeks. Our main sponsor - Standard Bank - has assisted us with increasing the value of the prizes which is now stands in excess of R 500,000 and provides us with the opportunity to create more winners. We have also added more structure to the entry process in order to increase the quality of the entries.

Prizes up for grabs

Concept Stream

This year the overall winner of the concept stream will win R 100,000. First runner-up will not walk away empty handed and will receive a prize of R 35,000, and the second runner-up will receive R25,000.

Startup Stream

The overall winner of the startup stream will win R 150,000 worth of Software development and R 100,000 in PR. The Runner-up will win a total of R 50,000 in PR or Software development.

2014 Startup Knight Theme

“Technology That Enables” is the theme for Startup Knight 2014.
The theme is framed as “concepts and startups that are focused on innovations that enable SMEs to operate more efficiently, more competitively or achieve scalability”. Think SnapScan, Freshbooks, Dropbox, Uber - startups that have have made it possible for various SMEs to operate more efficiently, be more competitive and achieve scalability.

Competition Format

There will be two streams once again this year, viz the concept stream and the startup stream. The concepts need to be original and the entrants are required to demonstrate feasibility, viability, commercialisation prospects and market impact. Startup entries on the other hand need to be post prototype and already in pilot or revenue generating.

Startup Knight 2014 timeline

View Press Releases

Terms and Conditions

Startup Phase 2014:

The competition is open to any South African based technology startup that in some way or the other relies on custom software development.

The competition starts on 15 September 2014 and closes at midnight on 26 October 2014.

Finalists will be announced by 31 October 2014. Finalists will be contacted on the email address used in the competition entry.

All finalists are required to fund their own travel and accommodation if required.

The finalists will be required to attend a mentor session on 7 November 2014 at the Byte Orbit offices in Durbanville, Cape Town. The mentoring sessions will be in aid of the pitch that will occur the following day. Well known local and international entrepreneurs will mentor the finalists. As a finalist your attendance is mandatory.

The finalists will be required to pitch to the judging panel on 8 November 2014 at the Byte Orbit offices.

The winners will be announced on the evening of 8 November 2014 during a cocktail event.

Each finalist will be assigned a time slot for their pitch and should a finalist miss his / her time slot the finalist may be disqualified from the competition. It is advised to be present 15 - 30 minutes ahead of your pitching time.

All decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding disputes on the decisions.

The winning startup will be required to enter into an agreement whereby Byte Orbit will own not more than 15% equity in the winning startup. The winning startup will be given an excellent opportunity to work with the Byte Orbit team to develop their business. Byte Orbit will in turn have a vested interest in the winning startup so that Byte Orbit’s 11 years of industry experience and other value adds can be leveraged in order to give the startup its best shot at success.

Although Byte Orbit has secured the prizes from the competition sponsors, Byte Orbit accepts no liability or responsibility for any non-delivery by a competition sponsor.

Byte Orbit or any other judging parties involved will not sign a NDA (non-disclosure agreement) as we are approached with several concepts on a daily basis that might be similar to yours. Please remember that the execution of the idea is everything and without that your idea is still just a concept.

Entrants are allowed to enter into both the Startup Phase Competition as well as the Concept Phase Competition.

Entrants are allowed to enter as many Concepts and/or Startups as they please.

Byte Orbit employees or close related partner companies are not eligible to enter the event.

The winning Startup will receive R150 000 worth of development that will be managed and provided by Byte Orbit. The schedule of the development timeslots will be worked out by Byte Orbit in conjunction with the winning Startup.

Furthermore the winning Startup will receive PR to the value of R100 000. This will be managed by Byte Orbit and a designated schedule will be organized which will outline the types of exposure and the ROI.

The runner-up in the startup division will receive a cash prize of R50 000 (Fifty thousand rands).

Concept Phase 2014:

The competition is open to any person with a concept, who currently is living or studying in South Africa.

The concept must be focused on developing a software product that has an innovative financial component.

It is mandatory for participants to complete the required fields marked with an asterisk on the entry form. If the participant neglects to complete the required fields their entry will not be accepted.

The competition starts on 15 September 2014 and closes at midnight on 26 October 2014.

Finalists will be announced by 31 October 2014. Finalists will be contacted on the email address used in the competition entry.

All finalists are required to fund their own travel and accommodation if required.

The finalists will be required to attend a mentor session on 7 November 2014 at the Byte Orbit offices in Durbanville, Cape Town. The mentoring sessions will be in aid of the pitch that will occur the following day. Well known local and international entrepreneurs will mentor the finalists. As a finalist your attendance is mandatory.

The finalists will be required to pitch to the judging panel on 8 November 2014 at the Byte Orbit offices.

The winners will be announced on the evening of 8 November 2014 during a cocktail event.

Each finalist will be assigned a time slot for their pitch and should a finalist miss his / her time slot the finalist may be disqualified from the competition. It is advised to be present 15 - 30 minutes ahead of your pitching time.

All decisions are final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding disputes on the decisions.

The winning concept agrees that all intellectual property of the concept will be transferred over to Byte Orbit upon winning the R100 000. After completion of the competition Byte Orbit and their partnering companies may decide to engage the winner of the concept to work with them to develop the concept.

Although Byte Orbit has secured the prizes from the competition sponsors, Byte Orbit accepts no liability or responsibility for any non-delivery by a competition sponsor.

Byte Orbit or any other judging parties involved will not sign a NDA (non-disclosure agreement) as we are approached with several concepts on a daily basis that might be similar to yours. Please remember that the execution of the idea is everything and without that your idea is still just a concept.

Entrants are allowed to enter into both the Startup Phase Competition as well as the Concept Phase Competition.

Entrants are allowed to enter as many Concepts and/or Startups as they please.

Byte Orbit employees or close related partner companies are not eligible to enter the event.

The total sum of R100 000 will be paid into the winning concept’s designated bank account.

This year there are two runner-up prizes.
The first runner-up will receive a cash prize of R35 000.
The second runner-up will receive a cash prize of R25 000.

All funds will be transferred via EFT. Due to the necessary legal paperwork this could take upto 60 days to fulfil.
Byte Orbit accepts no liability if the banking details provided are incorrect.