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Calling all Agri-tech entrepreneurs and start-ups!

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Enter the Winetech and SA Innovation Summit competition. Your winning ideas could receive exposure to investment opportunities and channels to market, putting your products in front of 650 SA wine producers. The winner will also be provided with incubation and acceleration to fast-track their company.

 Wine industry body, Winetech and Africa’s biggest start-up event, the SA Innovation Summit, have launched a competition for agri-tech start-ups that are developing innovative solutions addressing key issues confronting wine producers.

The finalists of the competition will go through to the Winetech Pitching Den where they will pitch their start-ups to a panel of judges at the annual SA Innovation Summit, which is taking place in Cape Town on 11-13 September 2019.

The wine industry is ripe for disruption

Wine producers are experiencing increasing consumer demand for environmental sustainability. The competition is looking for disruptive, innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions for reducing the wine industry’s impact on the environment. At the same time, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain growth and profitability due to fluctuating climate conditions, increased minimum wages and rising fuel and water costs, among others. Over 66% of South African wineries are currently operating at a loss. The competition is looking for pioneering ways to use tech to rethink production methods and encourage stable growth for small and large industry participants.

The competition will focus on the following areas: climate change; water reclamation and resourcing; genetics; machine learning, AI and big data; and any other areas which increase efficiency, profitability and environmental sustainability.

Winetech Executive Manager, Mr Gerard Martin, says that the wine industry is ripe for disruption. “We are really excited to engage with start-ups which can bring novel and innovative ideas that can contribute to the competitiveness and sustainability of the South African wine industry.”

By connecting industry-ready innovations with wine producers, Winetech aims to boost the industry and help build a sector robust enough to withstand volatile economic and environmental climates.

Entries for the Winetech Pitching Den close on 9 June 2019.
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