A South African idea became part of the 20 most innovative ideas in the world.
In the month April 2013, Intel sent out a call to emerging innovators from across the world.
Organizers announced, “The challenge‘ Prove how your big idea will change the world.”
“Fifty finalists were selected. The top 20 were flown to Montreal to take the stage at C2-MTL, a business conference attended by the world’s leading creative and commercial influencers. There, they would shake hands with Sir Richard Branson, wine and dine with Intel’s chief evangelist and futurist, Steve Brown, workshop their idea with passionate minds from across industries and borders and one lucky winner would come away with a check for 10K. All in just four days. This is the Intel EYE50 experience.
Some of the other finalists: Hollie Baigent, AUS – EYE50 winner, Vaccipak: A mobile pack that uses local technology to deliver life saving vaccines in South East Asia Caithrin Rintoul, CA Provender: An on-the-ground inventory and online marketplace that empowers chefs to become local food heroes with a new way of going farm to fork.
Caithrin Rintoul, Provender, 2013 EYE50 participant, “Listening to someone on stage, you hear one person’s opinion, but afterwards, you walk out and filter that through 100 people that are all bubbling that same idea through their own personal experiences.”
Intel’s EYE50 experience brings together emerging innovators from different countries and backgrounds, with ideas that span a variety of industries towards one same goal: turn their ideas into real social impact.
Gola Motswane (Representing his team) was chosen as one of the 20 EYE50 finalists to showcase their idea at this exclusive event.
Trees + Rhinos: An innovative solar powered technology that enables the location of poachers and rhinos at the time of a shooting to tackle the problematic situation of rhino horn and animal ivory poaching.
Gola Motswane commented, “The Trees + Rhinos idea came about when we started seeing countless number of cars in South Africa with red plastic horns on their front grills and that got our attention. We started researching about it and realized that it
was a brilliant campaign to spread awareness and raise funds for the Rhino poaching problem.”
“We kept on seeing more and more of these horns and realized just how much South Africans care about the Rhino and the dire situation we are in. That’s when we decided sit down and try to tackle the problem. We realized that trees were everywhere and if they could “see” and “hear” what was happening, then we could use them to our advantage. The light bulb moment came when we realized that the poachers need guns, which go “bang”, so we starting researching technology around that. That’s when the idea of using gunshot detection on the trees came about, an already existing technology. The trees could now effectively report the location of every gunshot instantaneously to rangers and medics.
We are group of young South African entrepreneurs who want to make a difference in the world so we formed a start-up called boxworM, A company dedicated to realizing other people’s ideas into real life products and services through inspiring visual presentations. To get things off the ground, we started with the Trees + Rhinos idea. So naturally, we made a short video about it and entered the idea into the C2-MTL EYE50 global search for innovators of tomorrow.”
Next thing we knew, our idea got shortlisted into the top 20 and we were flown to Montreal, Canada, where the annual three-day long C2-MTL conference takes place. The conference serves as a forum where creatives and investors get to mingle and possibly strike partnerships to take their ideas further/to market. In total, the trip lasted for a week, which included various interactive workshop programmes and talks ranging in subjects from leadership to running a successful business.
We had the opportunity to showcase our South African idea to a global audience and the attendees were, to say the least, impressed. At the end we left having made a number of networks and swapped business cards with people who were interested in being apart of the Trees + Rhinos solution.
We believe that the Trees + Rhinos solution is not our own, but belongs to South Africa, as do our Rhinos. Which is why we are transforming Trees + Rhinos into an organization dedicated to stopping Rhino poaching and ivory poaching through the use of technology and various awareness programmes that we plan to roll out. We are prepared to work with the nation and WE call out
to other establishments and individuals to be a part of this campaign. We can all make a difference.”
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