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Khusela - Saving Lives

7 Apr 2014 - 10:30

UCT's team, Khusela, an initiative directed at deploying fire detectors in informal dwellings and settlements, competed and won the EMEA regional semi- final of the Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) in London during March this year and are preparing to compete in Berkeley California for the grand prize of $25 000 to implement their idea.

Over 100 applications were submitted from the EMEA region of which six finalists were selected and given 3 minutes to pitch to a panel of judges from all walks of life, albeit the fact that judges already had their winners in mind. Along with Odyssey Sensors, Khusela was selected as one of the two winners to compete in Berkley.

Khusela aims to make a measureable social impact by mitigating the loss of life and property caused by shack fires with an integrated, low cost, early warning fire detection device and system. The device was designed for township environments in South Africa and across the globe.

The judges recognised the extensive market opportunity and significant scalability as well as a strong roll out plan available to this innovation, and the value that Khusela can add to hundreds of millions around the world.

The top 6 teams selected include:

Bio Bean which involves recycling coffee beans to manufacture bio-oil to be used for heating London’s office buildings,
Lend me your literacy pertains to an online platform for children to have their work reviewed by the global public, Energy in motion involves a low cost bicycle device that can be used as a light and mobile charger,
Foodloop encompasses bar code technology that will allow large retailers to sell near – expiry date foods in a mobile application,
And co-winners Odyssey sensors designed low cost devices to measure salinity of small shrimp farmers in Asia to improve their yields.

Since their success at the EMEA, Khusela has been featured in a video by Stepping Stones, a UCT Film and Media School production, showcasing Khusela’s low-cost and effective solution to avoiding loss of homes and of lives.

GSVC culminates each year with the Global Finals and Conference in Berkley in April, gathering teams from around the world and Bay area professionals for a day of learning and networking.

GSVC has progressed into a global network supported by an international community of volunteer judges, mentors and students organizers and partnership of premier business schools in Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa with the purpose of providing aspiring entrepreneurs mentoring, exposure and prize money to support business ideas in having a real world impact.