SU IdeaSmash

The Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab, in partnership with the Office of the Vice-Rector: Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies is looking for SU students with innovative business ideas across multiple study fields to impact our community and nation. 


Calling all SU students

IdeaSmash serves as the Stellenbosch University internal round of the Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education Intervarsity Programme 2020. The winners of IdeaSmash will be put forward at a national level to represent the University in EDHE Intervarsity Competition for 2020.

The LaunchLab is recognised as the UBI Top Challenger in Africa for 2019 and 2020. IdeaSmash is an opportunity for SU students to be part of LaunchLab’s incubation programme which gives them the connections they need to start, build and grow their own businesses. Students will be able to validate their concepts or improve their technology offerings to the market. LaunchLab will assist students to validate their value propositions and discover who their customers are, using a lean startup approach.

Scroll down to apply and for more info!


IdeaSmash Information


The SU IdeaSmash is for Stellenbosch University students in all areas of study. We encourage students to collaborate across study fields.

The judging criteria are:


    • Is the business model clear and feasible?
    • Has the business been tested in the market yet?
    • Who is the target market and how is the business positioned to reach its target market?
    • How is the business different from its competitors?
    • Is the business opportunity realistically achievable?



  1. Business Ideas


The purpose of this category is to attract potential entrepreneurs to test their business ideas with experienced judges. Category 1 is the only category for businesses that do not yet exist, but are simply good ideas that make business sense. Potential studentpreneurs with business ideas that are likely to be self-sustaining and profitable are invited to enter their ideas for product or service-based businesses. Contestants should ideally present innovative approaches to solving problems, while being financially sustainable. Existing or operational businesses may not be entered into this category.


  1. Existing Business – Tech


Studentpreneurs with existing technology-based businesses (hardware and/or software, formal or informal, products and/or services) are invited to enter their businesses in Category 2. Qualifying entries should provide a track record of technology-based businesses that are already revenue-generating, with the promise of becoming financially sustainable in the foreseeable future. The following types of businesses would be well-suited to this category: 4IR-based solutions and platforms; energy solutions; health and medical solutions; agricultural solutions; fintech solutions; water solutions; femtech solutions; mining solutions; service delivery solutions; educational solutions; security solutions (cyber and physical); and other businesses based on technology.


  1. Existing Business – Social Impact


This category is positioned for existing businesses that provide solutions (technical or non-technical) to social challenges, where the explicit social impact is the reason for the existence of the business. These businesses might be formal or informal and for-profit or not-for-profit. Regardless of the nature of qualifying businesses, these businesses should be revenue generating, have the potential of becoming self-sustaining entities, should not be donor-dependent (e.g. charities) or be based on limited-timeframe project(s). The social impact of the business should not simply be a potential or secondary outcome of the business activities, but should be the motive and reason for the existence of the business.


  1. Existing Business – General


Category 4 is open to all existing formal or informal businesses that are not primarily tech or social impact businessesQualifying entries should be entrepreneurial, income-generating and potentially self-sustaining, such as those of musicians, fashion designers, artists, food vendors, beauty services, etc.


To enter, please complete the EDHE form in the button below.


After receiving hundreds of entries, we will shortlist 15 businesses and ideas as the finalists. These selected finalists will go through training at the LaunchLab to refine their concept and pitch in preparation for the final event.

FINAL EVENT DATE: To be confirmed

Finalists will have 4 minute to pitch on their business or idea. Our judges will have 4 minutes to ask the entrepreneurs questions. At the end of the evening, judges will select the winning businesses.

IdeaSmash winners will get the following benefits:


  • A share of R60 000
  • A certificate of recognition from the Office of the Rector for Research and Innovation.
  • Incubation support from LaunchLab
  • Entry into the EDHE National Intervarsity Programme


If you are a Stellenbosch University student with an innovative business idea or an existing business, APPLY NOW!