Get in the Ring competition winners announced

Sibahle Malinga
By Sibahle Malinga, ITWeb senior news journalist.
Johannesburg, 04 Dec 2015
One of the three winners of the GITR competition, James Sands, created the iMORPH3D mobile app, which lets people create their own 3D illusions.
One of the three winners of the GITR competition, James Sands, created the iMORPH3D mobile app, which lets people create their own 3D illusions.

The winners of the SA Get in the Ring entrepreneurship challenge have been announced.

Get in the Ring (GITR), one of the biggest Olympics for start-ups worldwide, is a platform for businesses to compete for top honours and funding opportunities for their new business ideas.

Among the winning concepts was a revolutionary rail section insulator called No Arch, an anamorphic 3D application and a concept for mobile stokvel management. Over 10 000 start-ups worldwide participated in the competition.

One of the winners, James Sands, owner of Adfire Creative M3dia, says he entered the competition with the hope of receiving funding to market his latest invention, the iMORPH3D, a mobile app that lets people create their own 3D illusions.

Explaining how it works, Sands says once a user has taken a picture of any object using their mobile phone, they are able to use the iMORPH 3D app to create a 3D illusion photo. When the photo has been printed on paper, it looks similar to a real object. The app uses the high quality software known as Vue 3D to make this possible.

The Anamorphic 3D illusions are completely flat art, either printed or drawn like the professional 3D street chalk artists. The idea behind this invention is for it to be ultimately used for events, brand activations, advertising and d'ecor, he adds.

"While people are amazed by the 3D illusions they see in pavement art, they have been unable to recreate the effect themselves. The app, iMORPH3D, which is now available in the Apple and Android app stores, makes this effect possible," he says.

Sands, who has been in the creative advertising industry for more than 20 years, has a full-time job as a creative director with an advertising agency.

He established Adfire Creative M3dia in 2009 and works on his private projects during his spare time.

"Adfire Creative M3dia offers mind-blowing 3D illusions as well as conventional advertising channels and design media. In future I would like to see this app being used on a broader level by advertising agencies and marketing events' activations at product launches," says Sands.

He believes participating in GITR has allowed him to develop his communications and marketing skills while giving him opportunities to network with funders he would otherwise not have engaged with.

Another winner, Sebastian Daniels, believes that his invention, Stockvella, is a solution to a problem facing millions of South Africans. This system has the potential to prevent stokvel members from relying on loan sharks and improve overall financial stability.

"Stockvella is an online toolkit that promotes a saving type lifestyle for stokvels, sharing information on saving techniques and tools to help them prosper financially in the future," he asserts.

The online portal also provides a direct link to the relevant banks that provide various interest rates to make it more time efficient for members to find.

The stokvel industry in SA is an informal banking type market worth roughly R44 billion a year. Groups and communities pool their savings to gain access to larger funds and be able to purchase goods and items they otherwise would not have been able to afford.

However, Sebastian says due to its informalities, stokvels are often taken advantage of and members at the end of the year can be underpaid or not paid at all due to missing funds and lack of transparency or security between members.

"Stokvella was established to improve individual financial stability, educate and help prevent financial loss through scams by providing a platform for individuals to speak up and communicate with one another", he says.

The third winner was Jan Jooste, founder of Newtechrail, who invented No-Arc technology. This device prevents an electric arc from forming in multiple voltage regimes such as in railway stations during train movements.

GITR is presented locally by the REAL Entrepreneur Institute in partnership with the Dutch Embassy, North West University Vaal, The Innovation Hub, Heineken and Silicon Cape.