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JOBURG – Smartphone app, CrashDetech, was announced as the South African winner of the second instalment of the Chivas Regal The Venture initiative.
The announcement took place at the Inanda Club and saw Jaco Gerrits, founder and CEO of the app, beat out four other finalists to claim the coveted prize.
Gerrits expressed joy at being announced the winner and explained how the app operated. “Once downloaded, the app runs in the background and when a serious accident happens, it pinpoints the location and alerts the nearest ambulance to the scene,” he said.
“Developing this app came after we noticed the high number of fatalities on our roads every year and the length of time it takes to reach those critically injured.”
As the winner, Gerrits will go on to represent the country at the global leg of the competition and stands a chance to win a share of $1 million (about R16 million) for his business.
Also present at the announcement was Sibusiso Shangase, head of marketing at Chivas Regal, who praised Gerrits’ win and his innovative idea.
“CrashDetech is an incredible creation that has the potential to save lives by reducing emergency response times by pinpointing a vehicle crash location in these potentially fatal incidences,” he said.
He expressed confidence that the innovative idea would do well in the global leg of the competition. “We are confident that this innovative enterprise will represent South Africa exceptionally well in the global round of The Venture competition in the coming months,” he said.
Adding to this was chief director of the Department of Small Business Development, Vukile Nkabinde, who concluded by wishing Gerrits all the best in the finals and urged him to go shape the world with his invention.
The global finale of the competition will take place in New York and will see 25 finalists vie for the top prize. The Venture was launched in 2014 and is aimed at finding and supporting promising social entrepreneurs tackling social and environmental issues.
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