Recognition and acknowledgement from a panel of judges gave a business owner the self-confidence to turn his business idea into a viable business.
So says entrepreneur and social scientist at Stellenbosch University, Dr Nelius Boshoff whose idea it is to make research questionnaires from all over the world accessible to other researchers.
“I saw an advertisement for a business idea competition by Innovus and I thought that this would be a good platform for my idea which I have for more than two years,” says Boshoff.
The Stellenbosch Idea Competition, which received R100 000 towards prize money from the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT), launched in 2012 and Boshoff became one of the first winners of the competition. Innovus is an initiative of the of the university which assists start up businesses with business support services. It also has an incubator, the Launch Lab, which is aimed at increasing the success rate of start ups.
“I think entering the competition gave me the extra push to do the proposal and this is where I saw that people actually thought it was a good idea,” says Boshoff.
Boshoff’s plan is to develop a site where questionnaires are easily accessible without the researcher having to spend hours either searching for a similar questionnaire to the one they wish to develop or actually creating one from scratch.
He entered the competition and attended a series of workshops before drafting a proposal to explain his business idea and market.
Each winner received R10 000 and six months’ mentorship.
Says Boshoff: “I used my prize money to build a prototype of my idea, Questiopedia. The site is not a yet active because I want something more fully-fledged.”
- For more information, go to www.innovus.co.za.