The organisers of Creative Business Cup South Africa received an unexpected honour when they were presented with a Special Recognition Award in Denmark this year.  They were recognised for their outstanding achievement in putting the local event together at short notice and without any financial backing.


The National Partners Awards recognise the role played by the local Creative Business Cup organisers and their efforts in helping creative startup businesses in their countries. The other recipients were Australia, Estonia and Peru.


“We would like to thank our partners: Reed Exhibitions, Small Business Expo, Business Partners and BASA for helping the team to stage this event. Next year promises to be bigger and better as Creative Business Cup South Africa will be launched countrywide in 2018.” said local organiser, Mvuyo Ngqulana.

A look at the three day event


Winning startups from over 60 countries were invited to a two-day intensive boot camp hosted by CLEVER Academy. Their entrepreneurial skills were enhanced and they were helped to polish their pitches for the CREATIVE BUSINESS CUP competition.


On the first day of the event, Creative Business Cup Marketplace was centre stage with all the startups showcasing their businesses. Local entrant,

Smir Design’s Sanmari Vivier impressed visitors with her South African rugs, runners, cushions and her innovative see-before-you-buy AR app.


Investors and buyers engaged with startups and heard the stories behind the amazing work done by these entrepreneurs. Products ranged from apps to food, energy drinks robotics. Every one of these ideas was innovative and impressive.

Creative Business Cup Marketplace at Scandic Hotel                                                                 Smir Design’s Sanmari Vivier at the CBC Marketplace

Creative Business Cup Managing Director, Rasmus Tscherning, hosted the delegates for the opening ceremony. Then the closed pitching sessions, with a maximum of 20 invitees, began. Startups had three minutes to present their products or services to the jury panels, followed by Q&A sessions.


After the hectic Marketplace and pitching, national partners and contestants were hosted by the City of Copenhagen and Deloitte, the main sponsors of Creative Business Cup. This was an excellent networking opportunity for the national partners, the speakers, the jury as well as the contestants.

Delegates at the Copenhagen City Hall

 CBC Managing Director Rasmus Tscherning welcoming delegates

Finalists and global winner


On the second day, the twelve finalists were announced. They were called to pitch again in front of the packed Copenhagen City Hall.


Creative Business Cup’s impressive lineup of speakers included Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, Scott Halford, author of Activate your Brain, Brandon Kavulla, David Granger, Jeremy Bloom and Bonin Bough. There were also panel discussions on Investing in Creative Startups and Women Entrepreneurship, as well as Developing Startups and Co-working Spaces.

 The top six finalists were:

• AlgaLife from Israel,

• Bildits from Lebanon,

• BRCK Limited  from Kenya,

• CellRobot from China,

• Genki Instruments from Iceland

• and Jala from Indonesia rounding up the top six


Additional award categories were:

Invio Solution is a Creative Business Cup Challenge where everyone who have developed a new and exciting solution within the experience economy field can participate. The winner of the Invio Solution is Mixtroz, a technology that helps event attendees easily connect with one another.


Watify is an EU funded project that aims to help SMEs implement tech solutions. During Creative Business Cup, they identified the SME that symbolises the digital transformation among SMEs in Europe. The winner of this year’s Watify is Ingelia from Spain, for their Hydrothermal Carbonisation Technology.


eGovernance Solution is an initiative of entrepreneurs primarily from Estonia, a pioneering country in e-commerce, that has proposed a solution within the field of eGovernance. The purpose is to ease the digital work in the public sector. The winner PSII - Personal Sensitive Identifiable Information, pitched their e-commerce ideas at the Estonian national Creative Business Cup 2017.


The Creative Business Cup Investor Pitch, some of the most investable creative entrepreneurs had the chance to present their business ideas to a broad range of companies and businesses specializing in creative enterprise investment. The panel was particularly impressed by Heartstrings and their tool for screening and early diagnosis of coronary heart disease.


On the final day, the top three global winners of the 2017 Creative Business Cup were announced:

• CellRobot from China won the first place

• Genki Intrument from Iceland came second and were also awarded the Microsoft Special Award

• and Bildits from Lebanon came third.


After this exciting day of events, all the participants were invited to a grand reception hosted by Estonian EU Presidency and again it was a chance for everybody to meet and mingle.  Lasting connections were made by participants as they prepared to return to their home countries.

The grand reception hosted by Estonian EU Presidency

“As this was South Africa’s first entry in this competition, we really appreciated the fantastic experience and learned a lot from the other national partners, and what startups in other countries are doing.  We look forward to the development of Creative Business Network and to be part of this amazing family that grows creative startups.” said Ngqulana

Contact Information


Address: Outreach Foundation, 30 Edith Cavell St, Hillbrow