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Shark Tank

For the first time ITWeb will be running a “Shark Tank” at the Security Summit in Johannesburg. This is new territory, and we want to make it exciting for the audience and the participants and we want the experience to be something that inspires others to participate or even launch their own startup.

The vision of the Shark Tank session is to showcase African business innovation to the business world. We believe that there are skilled and resourceful businesspeople in Africa that are up to the task to build solutions for Africans. Africa can solve Africa’s problems and, in the process, create jobs and prosperity for its inhabitants.

Call for Participation

We hope to attract several applicants that will eventually be thinned out into five final participants that will present live on stage.

There will be two rounds.

For the first round, applications need to supply a short “1 minute pitch”. This will be in the form of a written pitch, no longer than 200 - 300 words. Important information that must be included are:

  1. The current nature of your product(s) or solution(s)
  2. How long you have been in business
  3. The current valuation of the business (if known)
  4. The differentiating factors of your business; what makes your business unique
  5. The reasons why you need funding and the approximate amount you’re looking for

Adjudicators will then select five participants for the final round. These participants will be required to deliver their pitches live on stage in front of a judging panel. Each participant will be provided with 5 minutes to deliver their pitch. The panel will have 5 minutes to ask questions or provide feedback/ critique. Participants will be cut short if their time runs out.

At the end, a winner will be selected, and they will be featured in an article that ITWeb will publish online and share on social media.

For examples of the three types of pitches please visit: https://fi.co/pitch-deck

Submissions for the first round can be emailed to ros@itweb.co.za. The content can be in the body of the email or included in a MS Word document.

Submissions for the first round must be in by Friday 3rd May at 11h59 SAST. Participants will be notified no later than Monday 20th May whether or not they have been successful.


Participants must already have a running startup that provides meaningful solutions. In other words, participants cannot pitch an idea that has not yet been put into motion. Your business needs to be generating revenue over a period of at least 1 year.

By participating in the “Shark Tank” plenary, the participants show case their business in front of a live audience and needs to make a compelling argument as to why someone should want to invest in their business. The panel will scrutinize the pitch and provide constructive feedback or criticism where needed. So, it may be a hot seat if your idea is not well thought out.

Participants will need to be able attend the live session in Sandton, Johannesburg on June 5th, 2024 in person. Participants must be able to pay for their own accommodation and travel.


IT Web Security Summit is an event for professionals and businesses that are seeking to learn and expand their knowledge, increase their exposure to the world of cyber security, IT risk management, compliance, regulatory frameworks, digital forensics, quantum cryptography, fraud detection, etc.

We are interested in finding applicants that align strongly with this theme and these applicants will be given preference.

Adjudicators will also give preference to applicants that seek strategic investment to improve their business with a focus on achieving compliance or aligning with regulatory requirements. Also, businesses that seek investment to address short comings in their business’ cyber security posture, for example, to audit their software, infrastructure, and then to remedy that.

Examples of what may align with the theme may include:

Modern businesses need to navigate difficult regulatory and compliance roads. Working with personal data, for example, requires that businesses follow guidelines in terms of government regulations. Any mishandling of data may result in fines or prosecution. Businesses must thus put processes in place to handle data securely and to respond quickly when a breach has been detected. This regulation may not necessarily be South African law, but European or other jurisdictions.

Cybercrime is a menacing force that is growing at a steady pace and Africa is not exempt from its clutches. As Africa is a developing continent, businesses will suffer at the hands of criminals in the physical world or cyberspace. Interpol has published a report in which it shows that Africa is still relatively low in the rankings for cybercrime compared to the developed nations . This does not mean that businesses in Africa go unscathed. African businesses must be prepared. A growing business sometimes neglects certain parts of its business due to complexities, costs, lack of skill, or ignorance. Cyber criminals can be the death of a company if they manage to scam a fledgling business out of its cash or destroy its data with no means to recover. South Africa is ranked 5th in terms of cybercrime density worldwide . This ranking is calculated in terms of victims per 1 million internet users, and South Africa scores 56 victims per 1 million internet users. This is still relatively low, compared with fourth place Australia that has 106 victims per 1 million internet users. Putting processes in place to defend against this type of threat can be costly and time consuming.

Businesses need to perform regular audits to ensure their infrastructure are deployed in a manner that does not expose the business to hackers. Similarly launching bespoke apps or services requires verification that these do not contain flaws that hackers can find and exploit. Regular penetration tests or audits are costly and require knowledgeable and experienced personnel to manage and respond to. Small to medium business may not have the ability to bridge this gap without ample planning and resources.