The Stellenbosch University Launchlab, the Faculty of AgriSciences and WWF SA Sanlam Partnership are supporting Santam’s Partnership for Risk and Resilience to:

Identify promising innovation implemented to address issues of disaster and agricultural risk management, installation of early warning and detection systems in the following solution space:

  • Water (drought, flood and water quality),
  • Fire (early detection, response and recovery
  • Agricultural specific risks (including Agricultural Sustainability practices such as water (flood prevention, resource optimisation or drought mitigation), energy and waste(use/re-use) using innovations and technology that positively impact the lives of vulnerable communities in South Africa with potential application across a broad range of end-users, including farmers, municipalities, local communities etc.

The Partnership for Risk and Resilience is aligned to the four key performance areas of the national disaster framework including integrated institutional capacity for disaster risk management, disaster risk assessment, disaster risk reduction and response and recovery.

The winner stands the chance to win a portion of R150k in prize money!

Target beneficiaries:

Innovation and technologies need to improve disaster risk management, mitigation or recovery that can benefit local communities, agriculturalists and/or municipalities in their efforts to respond to, prepare for, mitigate the impact of or recover from disasters caused by the factors outlined in the solution space above.


How it works:

1.Submit your ideas online

 Online entries close on 31 October 2020. You can apply online by submitting a video of no longer than 3 minutes explaining your business and including the following:

  • What does your product or solution aim to achieve?
  • How does your product or solution change the way municipalities and agriculturalists are able to prepare for, respond to, mitigate and recover from disasters caused by fire, water or earth?
  • How will you execute on this using the R150 000 prize money?


2. Shortlisting

After all the submissions are received, the top participants will be shortlisted, and from that we will select 8-10 finalists. We will select submissions for the shortlist based on the following criteria:


Criteria Weighting
Disaster or Risk Management alignment 20
Use of technology 10
Applicability to Municipalities 5
Originality 10
World Shaping 10
Commercialisability 15
Track Record 10
Team 10


  • Disaster or Risk Management: How aligned is the startup to the core of the challenge- we are seeking to uncover innovative technologies and solutions that transform the municipal and agricultural sector’s ability to Respond, Mitigate, prepare for or recover from fire, water, and earth, and related disasters
  • Use of Technology: Does your startup focus on enhancing risk management or recovery capabilities using technology? Does your startup introduce a new or creative business model? Does your startup utilise emerging technologies like, Blockchain, AI,ML Advanced analytics etc?
  • Applicability to Municipalities: how likely is this solution or product to be adopted by and add value to municipalities?
  •  World-Shaping  does this business have the capacity to be world shaping- that is, create impact at scale, while being commercially viable and profitable?
  • Originality/Competitiveness: Is the startup innovative? Will it enhance the ability of municipalities and agriculturalists to manage risks, become more proactive or respond to risks better?
  • Commercialisability: How much time will it take to pilot and take the product or solution to market, or, if already in the market, how long would it take to scale?
  •  Proven Track Record: Do you have evidence of your ability to conceptualise, ideate and execute on your concept(s)?
  • Team: how likely is this team to execute on the mission they’ve set for themselves?


3. Virtual pitching event

Shortlisted participants will be prepped to pitch to a panel of judges.

Judges Panel will consist of nominees from :

  • Sanlam
  • SU Ag Faculty
  • WWF
  • Two technical experts (likely one agricultural and one fire/water expert)


The shortlisted candidates will pitch to the judging panel on Wednesday, 25 November 2020.