Israel continues to assist SA start-up business
ANT KATZ & VANESSA VALKIN
Speaking at the event, Israeli Ambassador Arthur Lenk said that while the UK was going through Brexit, Israel was experiencing record numbers of ‘exits’. “Just this month of June in Israel,” he said, “exits” – start-ups that had sold for a lot of money, had totalled 38 at a market value of $561 million or R8.14 billion.”
Start-up winner Sharman, of Webfluential, which helps companies market their products and brands through ’influencers’, individuals with powerful and appropriate online reach, had some stiff competition. Other finalists included a woman whose company SMEasy helps small businesses with accounting services through a highly accessible digital platform. One entrepreneur had started Liedjie which allows you to listen to your favourite Afrikaans soundtrack anytime though a smartphone app.
Another inspirational woman was the evening’s entertainment – well-known South Africa singer-song writer Lira. She spoke about her challenging path in the entertainment industry and how she first studied and practised accountancy before making a business of her music. Today she employs 12 people. “In this country, I have been one of the few women who are growing the entertainment industry in a way that is respected,” she said.
Sharman is thrilled about her pending visit to Israel where she will interact with winners of the Start-up competition from 20 other countries as well as meeting with angel investors and other innovators in the technology space: “I’m sure the value we will get from this trip to Israel will change our lives.”