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Cape Town duo win R1 million in prizes in 2021 Engen Pitch & Polish Competition

Article provided by Nedbank

This year, South Africa’s most loved entrepreneurial pitching competition and workshop programme, Engen Pitch & Polish, came back with a bang with an all-new digital format and a staggering first prize worth R1 million.
Hosted in partnership with Engen Petroleum, Nedbank and Raizcorp, the digital programme reached a much broader audience across South Africa and even beyond. ‘Covid-19 encouraged us to pivot our approach with
Pitch & Polish. Taking it to a digital platform has allowed us to grow our entrepreneur reach from eight cities and small towns a year to the whole of South Africa. The viewer reach and engagement has been beyond our
wildest expectations. We were hoping for viewing figures in the tens of thousands but, across our various platforms, we have actually had well in excess of two million,’ says CEO of Raizcorp, Allon Raiz.

Monique Chinnah, Senior Manager: Segment Design and Development at Nedbank says: ‘It has been an absolute privilege for Nedbank to be a part of the programme again this year.  We believe in going beyond just being
financially invested – we are emotionally invested and want to contribute to the real growth of entrepreneurs. Pitch & Polish affords us this.  On this journey we have met the most inspiring entrepreneurs, who against every odd and especially over the past 18 months, have continued to strive for success and relevance. We encourage business owners to authentically consider how your offer stacks up on the market. There is a blueprint to running a business but bring your own uniqueness and wiring to the table.  Be brave to listen and eyeball your business to conquer differently.’

Upskilling entrepreneurs

The Engen Pitch & Polish programme is a blend of competition, mentoring and learning. While contestants compete for the ultimate prize, the programme’s main aim is to impart entrepreneurial skills and knowledge –
both to the contestants and to viewers as they learned alongside the 16 starting contestants. And the winner is . . . Over three rounds of competition, the initial 16 contestants were whittled down to the final two. With surprise twists in the form of kiddie judges and a wildcard contestant, this year the contestants were really put through
their paces.

Engen Pitch & Polish has never been an easy competition and this year the judges took it to a whole new level. Nkosincane Sithebe from Engen Petroleum, Monique Chinnah from Nedbank and Allon Raiz from Raizcorp took no prisoners in their lines of questioning. Even wildcard Gomolemo Motshwane learned that there is no shallow end in the business world. It was clear that the judges had a hard time deciding on the winner. A long time was spent in deliberation as the judges painstakingly went over the finalists’ financial and other documents.

Ultimately, though, it was Capetonians Pieter du Plessis and Viljoen de Kock who pitched their way to the biggest online pitching competition prize in all of South Africa. The owners of GUDGU, which manufactures sugar-free cordials, Pieter and Viljoen receive their prize in two parts, R650 000 in cash paid out over two years as they achieve the business milestones laid out in their pitch, and a bursary of R350 000 for a full two-year Raizcorp incubation programme. ‘Engen Pitch & Polish has changed our lives forever. We are so grateful for the R350 000 incubation opportunity. We are hungry for knowledge and guidance on how to make GUDGU a very successful, fail-proof business, starting with finances,’ says Pieter. Wildcard and runner-up Gomolemo, despite pitching for the first and only time in the competition, takes home R100 000 in cash. Second runner-up Ouma Tema of Plus-Fab gave it her all and won R50 000.

If you’ve missed any of the fun, all previous episodes of the 2021 Engen Pitch & Polish competition are available for viewing at www.pitchandpolish.com.

About Pitch & Polish

Raizcorp powers South Africa’s most loved entrepreneurial pitching competition and workshop programme, ENGEN Pitch & Polish. The
ENGEN Pitch & Polish programme is a fusion of competition, mentoring and learning, with a digital audience enjoying a dynamic learning
experience through the work contestants put into polishing their business pitches. The programme is being hosted in partnership with Engen
Petroleum, Nedbank and Raizcorp. To find out more about the ENGEN Pitch & Polish programme for 2021, please visit the website atwww.pitchandpolish.com.

About Raizcorp

Celebrating its 20th year in 2020, Raizcorp is, according to The Economist, the only genuine incubator in Africa, which provides full-service
enterprise and supplier development programmes that guide entrepreneurs to profitability. Raizcorp has created “Prosperation™” – its own unique, world-renowned model of business incubation. Founded in 2000, Raizcorp has become Africa’s premier business incubator model. For more information, visit www.raizcorp.com and, for more articles

Nedbank is a proud Partner of the NSBC