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Eleven students across the University of the Western Cape’s (UWC) seven faculties had the opportunity this week to pitch their business ideas to a panel of four judges. The aspiring entrepreneurs had four minutes each to wow the judges with their ideas and businesses that have the potential to change the world, change the lives of others and create jobs.

Out of 35 applicants, 11 students made it through successfully to the pitching round. The selected students will now participate in a business incubation programme for six months, where their ideas will be developed into businesses with the help of a team from Microsoft SA.

The Pitch Tank Battle of the Faculties was proudly brought to the campus through a collaboration between UWC’s Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic, Professor Vivienne Lawack; business incubation specialists ‘The Startup Hatchery, and the Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP).

Professor Lawack welcomed staff and students on behalf of UWC, saying that the Pitch Tank Battle of the Faculties is one of the most exciting programmes at UWC this year.

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“It is a great pleasure for UWC to partner with the GTP and The Startup Hatchery,” she said. “We live in a world today that is changing rapidly, with the 4th Industrial Revolution and jobs that are scarce – entrepreneurial skills and the entrepreneurial mindset is necessary. You need adaptive expertise to navigate your way and your career, in the changing world of work, whether you are a professional or an entrepreneur. That is why the Battle of the Faculties is very important.

“I’d like to thank the judges and I hope that this is not the last time we see you. This is a very exciting time for UWC and I am looking forward to witnessing the journey of the participating students.”

Student entrepreneurs take a selfie with MC Abongile Nzelenzele.

One of the student entrepreneurs who pitched his idea was the co-founder of the platform HIT ME UP, Mahlubonke Gladstone Ntuntwana. His business provides the online space to host a store on his digital platform. HIT ME UP helps market online businesses and helps with the distribution of the product the entrepreneur is selling.

“Standing a chance to participate in an incubation acceleration programme will allow us to work with Microsoft and will take us to the next level,” he said.