Young, female entrepreneur making waves at LaunchLab
To paraphrase Marcel Proust, discovery lies not in seeking new landscapes, but seeing existing landscapes with new eyes. With a unique take on life – more inclusive, more philanthropic, but by no means less innovative – the particular viewpoint of womankind allows for the solving of old problems in new ways.
Case in point: Anneli Krige Nel, the founder of (far more than just) receipt solution, Slippy, filed her first patent when she was just 17 years old. While doing vacation work at PWC, she was dumbfounded by the fact that businesses were happy to accept paper invoices and receipts, while the rest of their systems had made the transition to digital. And this is true for the rest of us, too. Paper receipts are ‘just how things are done’.
Well, no longer, thanks to Anneli and Slippy; businesses, retailers and farmers no longer need to (should they agree with the viewpoint Anneli has) rely on antiquated paper receipts, stacked in storage somewhere in the basement. This in itself may not seem like that big of a deal, but it is.
Now 21 years old, Anneli is turning Slippy into so much more than a digital receipt tool. In the very near future, Slippy will integrate with existing accounting and payroll systems, so that recons are simple and accurate, documents are stored for SARS’ access, and the entire ecosystem is searchable. Delivery notes are also served electronically, compared with supplier invoices, and then approved prior to delivery of stock orders. Lastly, the system (and the app that is being developed to interface with it) will be customised for the industry in which it is implemented, and the particular client that will be using it. Accounting records, as they should be in 2017. And it beats flipping through thousands of stapled documents.
As a finalist in the recent ATTACQ Retail Innovation Challenge, Anneli’s ideas are getting a nitro-boost. Beating out over 100 other innovators, she receives the R15,000 seed funding to further develop the digital aspect of her business, as well as access to the LaunchLab and its Knowledge Acceleration Programme, both of which she’s finding absolutely priceless. The environment, jammed full of support and like-minded individuals residing in the LaunchLab, and the 14-weeks of intensive mentor-driven business planning and management course (designed to make participants profitable by the time it ends) are critical to early-stage tech businesses. “Entering the competition was the best decision I ever made,” she laughs. “And ATTACQ have been amazing – they offer the advice I need to hear and, now that I’m associated with them, people listen to what I have to say.”
From a market point of view, Anneli has decided to target farmers who (even with the thousands of orders placed annually) are not generally the most accounting-adept folk, and desperately need what Slippy offers. This will be followed by a focus on retailers and then customers, like you and me.
The established, masculine business system often accepts the status-quo; but a fresh take has revealed the simplicity of the solution, and the folly of its predecessor. Sisters, it seems, are not just doing it for themselves these days, they’re doing it for all of us.