For most students, one’s life is funneled through lack of support in some manner, whether through the essential back at home or infrastructure and other human related activities at school. This was the reality for Bathabile Mpofu, who attended a disadvantaged secondary school in Kwa-Zulu Natal where, although they had the human support of teachers aiding them, they did not have the necessary science kits to bring text to life.
This prompted her to create Nkazimulo Applied Science which is a start up that manufacture and supply science kits for use by high school learners at home for hands on experience and engagement in order to improve the learner’s science understanding and performance. And her brilliant idea won Startupper of the year by Total challenge which took place at the Hyatt Regency earlier this week.
Bathabile’s idea is simple really: They started by visiting disadvantaged schools where they performed science experiments. The purpose was to help learners grasp science concepts, more especially understand how science is applied by giving them real life examples on how they interact with science. This is driven by their belief that knowledge and understanding how this knowledge is applied are the building blocks of innovation. In 2015 alone they we were able to do this for about 450 learners free of charge.
Total has aided her startup with R600, 000 cash to continue carrying out their vision and bring the ChemStart kit to life. The ChemStart kit was developed following CAPS guidelines and can be used by learners from grade 8-12 once it launches in June 2016.
Other winners on the night included Senovate, a fruit picking machine that aims to increase safety and efficiency when harvesting for the large agriculture sector in South Africa. Senovate walked away with R350, 000 and R250, 000 was awarded to third place ConnectMed. A business that aims to bring professional medical assistance to patients on their phones.
A total of R1,2 Million was awarded on the night, as well as customized support and coaching from Total South Africa Pty Ltd.