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02 July 2019 | Story Eloise Calitz | Photo Keagan Nkwaira
Entrepreneurship Intravarsity
Audience members listening attentively to the presentations at the Entrepreneurship Inter-varsity on the Bloemfontein Campus.

The UFS continuously creates opportunities for students to develop and explore platforms where they can showcase their talents and share their innovative concepts. In the light of this, it is important for the institution to become a preferred academic knowledge partner that can conceptualise, develop, and successfully commercialise research activities, and through this foster an innovative and entrepreneurial culture that aligns to its Integrated Transformation Plan.

This is why opportunities such as the Entrepreneurship Intervarsity Competition are so important, since it encourages students to demonstrate their entrepreneurial talent, and through this connect with investors and industry leaders to start up a business.

The competition

Student entrepreneurs across the 26 public universities in South Africa were invited to submit their innovative ideas as part of a competition supported by Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE), in collaboration with the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation. The opportunities created through this initiative are twofold:

     1. For student entrepreneurs to present their innovative ideas and businesses. 
     2. For universities to demonstrate their entrepreneurial talent and the ways in which              they support and grow the next generation of business leaders.

The competition takes place in five stages. The process started with each student submitting their short videos and applications on the official competition site. Each institution also had the opportunity to select student entrepreneurs to take part in the competition. Fifteen students pitched their ideas during internal rounds at the UFS on 30 May 2019. Of these students, four were selected to represent the UFS at the regional rounds of the Entrepreneurship Intervarsity, where the finalists will be chosen. 

The students were judged in four categories:

Category 1: Innovative Ideas
Category 2: Tech Businesses (existing businesses, formal or informal, undergrad or postgrad)
Category 3: Social Impact Businesses (existing businesses, formal or informal, undergrad or postgrad)
Category 4: General (existing businesses, formal or informal, undergrad or postgrad)

The following UFS entrants were selected to take part in the regional finals: 
Christopher Rothman for his liquid yeast culture that can be used in the fermentation of beer. 
Driaan-Lou Kemp for his patented water-saving device. 
Grace Mthembu for her electricity-saving system.
Martin Clarke for his idea to use drone technology for the mining industry


News Archive

Marieka Gryzenhout receives NRF-NSTF Award
2013-07-03

 

Dr Gryzenhout
Photo: Sonia Small
03 July 2013

“The award serves to prove that my type of research is truly relevant.” These are the words of Dr Marieka Gryzenhout of the Department of Plant Sciences at the UFS, who received the T W Kambule NRF-NSTF Award as emerging researcher in June 2013.

The award from the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the National Science and Technology Forum (NSTF) gives recognition to her outstanding contribution to science, engineering, technology and innovation (SETI) in the country.

Dr Gryzenhout is also part of the Vice-Chancellor’s Prestige Scholar Programme.

“It was an honour to be chosen as a finalist, but to even win it? Die award indicates the importance of fungi and plant pathogens, and their presence in various biological systems and that it is important to identify and categorise significant plant pathogens and fungi to enable easier access for users of these names.”

Dr Gryzenhout was in the US on the evening of the awards ceremony, attending a workshop on the identification and research of another fungus group, Fusarium. “This group is extremely important, since it includes important plant pathogens, producers of toxins in food and feed, as well as animal and human pathogens, and it also plays important ecological roles.”

She attended the Kansas State University in Kansas and paid a visit to the Bacterial Foodborne Pathogens and Mycology Unit of the US Department of Agriculture in Illinois.

Dr Gryzenhout is also a finalist in the Women in Science Awards hosted by the Department of Science and Technology. The winner will be announced in August 2013. Prof Maryke Labuschagne and Rose Lekhooa are also nominees.

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