Posts in News Story

Revealed: South Africa’s Top 5 Most Exciting Startups 2018

November 29th, 2018 Posted by News Story, Press Release 0 comments on “Revealed: South Africa’s Top 5 Most Exciting Startups 2018”

After just a few weeks of calling for nominations, close to 1,000 total entries and 141 unique entries were received for the Nedgroup Investments and Heavy Chef ‘SA’s Top 5 Most Exciting Startups’ event on the 4th December 2018. Entries were closed on Friday 23 November, and yesterday a shortlist of 12 startups were announced. Today, we reveal the final five.

Donna Barnes, head of Retail Investments, says: “A rigorous structure was followed, which entailed sifting through the total entries to create a comprehensive list of the startups in the South African ecosystem.”

This list was sent to a panel of respected investors, entrepreneurs and community members. A final tally was taken, and then the final tally was ratified by Fred Roed, CEO of Heavy Chef.

Roed says: “The Top 12 is a strong list in its own right. The group of companies represented shows a healthy diversity across sectors in technology, race and gender – which is incredibly encouraging. It was really hard to leave companies out. For example, Augmentors is a strong favourite within the Heavy Chef team. There are also some great companies coming through the ranks, such as Click2Sure.”

“Getting to the Top 5 took over a week of constant emailing between twenty people, with the Top 5 list only being finalised on Wednesday 28th November.”

“By calling for nominations, we’re shining a light on all the amazing work that is being done in this sector. This is a celebration. This is intentionally the ‘most exciting’ startups, not ‘the best’ or ‘the most profitable’.

“In looking at the finalists, it’s important to note the spirit with which this event is intended. By calling for nominations, we’re shining a light on all the amazing work that is being done in this sector. This is a celebration. This is intentionally the ‘most exciting’ startups, not ‘the best’ or ‘the most profitable’. The final five looks at representation, inclusivity, diversity, and of course technological innovation.

“It’s only the second year we’re running this concept, but we are excited by how the community is responding.”

South Africa’s Top Five Most Exciting Startups 2018:


Using satelite and drone mapping, Aerobotics monitor crops and warns farmers about potential risks, scouts. The mobile app increases accuracy and saves time by planning targeted scouting trips. Farmers can receive accurate statistics for orchards with every drone flight including tree health, tree counts, individual tree size and canopy area. Benjamin Meltzer and his co-founder James Paterson are creating a global agritech business that is solving age-old problems for farmers, worldwide.


DataProphet is an AI startup that reduces risk in manufacturing by analysing data in factory production and uses machine learning to identify and eliminate defects and minimises downtime. Its primary product, Omni, seamlessly works on top of existing platforms and manufacturing environments. Isaac Matsa, a natural born salesman, is driving growth for this impressive startup and will be representing DataProphet on stage on Tuesday 4th December.



LifeCheq is making financial advice credible and authentic by moving personal financial advice from a biased, commission-based advisor to a subscription service that gives users access to a team of actuaries and experts. Co-founder Abu Addae is an Actuarial Scientist who cut his teeth at Old Mutual, and is now shaking up the industry by providing legitimate, non-biased financial advice at an accessible rate.


LifeQ is a world-leading science and technology company that aims to enable people from all walks of life to enjoy optimal health. LifeQ has made significant strides into international markets with its tailored health solutions. LifeQ aims to help people live longer, higher-quality lives. LifeQ’s founder Riaan Conradie will arrive in Cape Town this weekend, just in time to represent one of South Africa’s proudest startup exports.


eCommerce startup Thursdays (allegedly named because it was founded by Shona Macdonald on a Thursday) focuses on swimwear and lingerie for women c cup and up. Focused on empowering women in the clothing sector, this is a truly inspiring, fun and heartwarming social entrepreneur venture. Founder, Shona Macdonald, is tackling on the most challenging segments in business and has made healthy strides over the past year.

Montblanc Summit 2 is a Wear OS smartwatch for men and women

October 15th, 2018 Posted by News Story 0 comments on “Montblanc Summit 2 is a Wear OS smartwatch for men and women”

The luxury brand is back with another Wear watch

Montblanc Summit 2, the first smartwatch to come packed with Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon Wear 3100 chip is now available to buy.

The company’s second-generation Wear smartwatch, and follow-up to last year’s Summit, is designed for both men and women, with the case sitting at 42mm – considerably smaller and friendlier than the original’s hulking 46mm bezel. Inspired by the design of Montblanc’s 1858 collection, there’s also a number of finishes to choose from: black DLC steel, stainless steel, bicolour steel and grade 2 titanium.

Hands on: Montblanc Summit 2 review

That variety in customization is extended to the Summit 2’s strap options, with 11 different interchangeable options available including calfskin, milanese steel, rubber sport and nylon. As far as physical watch features, it also finds room for a rotating crown and two pushers (buttons) above and below the crown, which can be programmed to activate your favorite smartwatch apps and features.The Wear watch is up for grabs for a wallet-busting £845, with a feature set akin to the rest of the new generation of Wear watches. That means there’ll be an improved heart rate monitor on the underside, while fitness is bolstered even further by GPS and 5ATM water resistance. An exclusive Montblanc Runnning Coach app powered by biometric data analytics firm Firstbeat is also on board too. It enables runners to track fitness levels (based on VO2max) and help build personalised training plans. Live coaching to stay on top of the right pace and running intensity also enhances its skills as a luxury smartwatch that’s built for running.

New Qualcomm tech and Wear OS extras
But what about the improvements through the new Qualcomm chipset? Well, according to Montblanc, the biggest upgrade will be in battery life. And while it’ll only stretch to just over a day in regular mode, the company is debuting a Traditional Watch Mode which claims to stretch that life up to a week by switching to a ultra-low power co-processor and showing nothing but the time.

It will, of course, run on Wear OS when in its normal state, showcasing all the recent changes Google has made to the platform. That includes the new UI redesign, which aims to make it easier to navigate the OS, and the overhauled Google Fit. The usual tricks, such as customisable watch faces and notifications with smart reply support, will also be available on the watch.

Montblanc has also includes a handful of its own apps including the timeshifter app to help minimize jet lag and help travellers adjust fast to a new time zone. That’s also joined by the Travel Info app, which aims to provide relevant local traveller information. The inclusion of NFC to enable Google Pay means contactless payments make the cut too.

You can read our Summit 2 first impressions already, but we’re hoping it will leave a better impression in the long term than its predecessor. While we had a lot of time for the luxury build and slick performance, the pretty ordinary design and lack of extras meant you could get a feature-packed Wear watch for a whole lot less.

Now, with more features on tow and a design which appeals to a wider crop of people, Montblanc has addressed some of those concerns. The company is always going to sit the expensive side, but at least now potential buyers will be receiving more for their money with the new iteration.

3 SA startups mongst those selected for Nedbank corporate programme

September 11th, 2018 Posted by News Story 0 comments on “3 SA startups mongst those selected for Nedbank corporate programme”

South African startups Aerobotics, IoT.nxt and LifeQ are among the 10 selected by Nedbank, which is connecting innovative startups with major corporates and business leaders in partnership with Silicon Valley’s Plug and Play.

Nedbank last month announced the expansion of its US partnership with innovation platform Plug and Play to include South Africa for the first time, with the partners set to connect 10 entrepreneurs from around the world to business leaders at The Disruption Agenda to be held in Johannesburg in September.

The selected startups include three heralding from South Africa itself, namely satellite and drone-based crop management platform Aerobotics, Internet of Things solutions provider IoT.nxt, and health startup LifeQ, the latter of which is now headquartered in the US.

Four US startups have also been selected to take part, as well as companies from Belgium, Israel and the United Kingdom (UK).

“We’re incredibly excited for the 10 startups that are going to be part of The Disruption Agenda. The most important thing for Nedbank is to get pilots and experiments underway and push straight through to commercialisation where possible,” said Stuart van der Veen, head of disruption and innovation at Nedbank CIB.

“We’ve engaged with our most forward-thinking clients and they will be participating in both the deal-flow sessions and be present at the actual pitches of the startups.”

Dylan Garnett, chief operating officer (COO) of LifeQ, said the company was looking forward to taking part in the programme.

“I am very excited that LifeQ has been selected for Plug and Play as it will undoubtedly serve as a great platform to help identify and, along with others, address real needs that exist in South Africa and the broader African continent, thereby furthering LifeQ’s vision of improving human health and wellbeing at scale,” he said.

LifeQ presents at Swiss Re Institute NGIC 2017

June 26th, 2017 Posted by News Story 0 comments on “LifeQ presents at Swiss Re Institute NGIC 2017”

The fourth in the series, this year’s Next Generation Insurance Customer considered solutions for an ageing society. The conference asked four key questions: (1) How will we fund an increasing number of elderly in their upkeep, their health and their care if and when needed? (2) What changes can we expect to see in mortality and morbidity trends in older age? (3) How will our relationship with technology affect how we care and support those in older age? And (4) how can insurance continue to develop products and services for elderly consumers?

Nashina Asaria Bacorn, the Chief Commercial Officer of LifeQ, co-presented “How biology and technology can impact our health” at the Swiss Re Institute’s NGIC 2017: Solutions for an ageing society conference at the Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue.

Taking Health Monitoring to the Next Level

May 12th, 2017 Posted by News Story 0 comments on “Taking Health Monitoring to the Next Level”

Analog Devices and LifeQ partner to better track personal health metrics, enabling earlier detection and improving patient outcomes.

“Technology that provides accurate insights can lead to behavioral changes, boost the likelihood of better patient outcomes, and ultimately prevent disease and other health problems.”

Read full story here.

LifeQ and Medibio to Deliver Scalable Mental Wellness Diagnostic and Management Tools

January 4th, 2017 Posted by News Story, Press Release 0 comments on “LifeQ and Medibio to Deliver Scalable Mental Wellness Diagnostic and Management Tools”

The platform only requires inputs from wrist-based wearables to arm people with information to continuously monitor and manage their mental wellbeing

January 04, 2017: LAS VEGAS, Medibio and LifeQ today announced at CES a partnership towards delivering mental wellness diagnostic and management solutions to a wide range of users through insurance and corporate programs. Mental health and wellness is a significant issue globally. Left untreated, chronic stress and depression can result in serious health conditions including anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system, contributing to the development of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression, and anxiety disorders.

This partnership combines LifeQ’s systems biology modeling and unique suite of information streams with Medibio’s 15 years of mental health research and objective test for mental wellness. Together, Medibio and LifeQ will deliver a solution that enables stakeholders, including payers, providers and wellness companies, to benefit from a completely new range of products and services.
Leveraging LifeQ’s groundbreaking systems biology based approached, which enables the extraction of a range of accurate measures and metrics from wrist based wearables, Medibio’s solution will be extended through continuous measurement and made available at scale.

Distribution of these outputs will be further enhanced and enabled by LifeQ’s Information Platform that seamlessly connects an ecosystem of domain experts, all of whom will now be able to access and use these information outputs. LifeQ is dedicated to promoting the proliferation of physiological data to eliminate boundaries and enhance quality of life globally. From powering health information platforms that bring prevention and efficient care to the world, to technology inside the best wearable body monitoring devices, LifeQ technology is empowering people to redefine the way they engage with their unique human biology.

“Medibio skills are hugely complementary to LifeQ’s and it is exactly the type of specialist company LifeQ set out to enable with our ability to deliver highly accurate physiological information. We believe this partnership will have the potential for a groundbreaking shift in the current approach to diagnosis and management of mental wellness – now one of the single biggest cost factors in the global health burden,” said Riaan Conradie President and Co-Founder LifeQ.

In commenting on the partnership, Sean Mathieson, the Chief Operating Officer of Medibio said, “We are excited by the potential of LifeQ’s innovative approach to digital health and wellness. We can see business opportunities and synergies across a number of our target market segments.”

About LifeQ

LifeQ is pioneering a new front in the effort to bring meaningful digital health and wellness insights and platforms to market. By leveraging in-house multidisciplinary skills and partnering with other analytics providers, LifeQ is able to create and bring together the vital science and technology platforms needed to bridge the industry gap between scalable and cutting edge data acquisition technologies and personalized health and lifestyle-related information platforms. The resulting data and platforms will be made easily scalable and accessible to global insurance and corporate wellness providers, pharmaceutical suppliers, genomics researchers and others via APIs into LifeQ’s deidentification and switching protocol. Taken as a whole, the LifeQ platform is creating exciting new opportunities for an ever-expanding array of health and wellness opportunities, building sustainable value for investors and partners, and enhancing the lives of people everywhere.

About Medibio

Medibio (ASX: MEB), is a medical technology company that has developed an objective test to assist in the diagnosis of depression, chronic stress and other mental health disorders. Based on research conducted over 15 years at the University of Western Australia, the test utilizes patented (and patent pending) circadian heart rate variability and cloud based proprietary algorithms delivering a quantifiable measure to assist in clinical diagnosis. Medibio’s depression diagnostic is being validated in clinical studies undertaken by The University of Ottawa, among others. The clinical trials will support Medibio’s application to become the first FDA approved, objective, and evidence based approach to the diagnosis of mental health disorders. Medibio’s technology also provides an objective method for the assessment of stress and mental wellbeing that can be translated to the workplace stress/wellbeing market, wearable technology and App market. Located in Melbourne (Vic) Medibio is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange Ltd.

LifeQ inks deal with Garmin for digital health solution

June 13th, 2016 Posted by News Story 0 comments on “LifeQ inks deal with Garmin for digital health solution”

LifeQ, the Stellenbosch-based biotech startup, is on a serious roll. In the 18 or so months since it launched globally, its technology has been used by TomTom, it’s announced a partnership with US-based designer and manufacturer of semiconductor products and solutions US Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI), and now it’s partnered with Garmin with the goal of developing a “connected health solution”.

Read the full story here.

LifeQ in big tie-up with Garmin

June 13th, 2016 Posted by News Story 0 comments on “LifeQ in big tie-up with Garmin”

The digital health start-up, which develops technology capable of measuring human body functions, has announced it has signed a significant deal with US technology giant Garmin.

Read the full story here.

Garmin and LifeQ Join to Deliver Connected Health Solution

June 13th, 2016 Posted by News Story, Press Release 0 comments on “Garmin and LifeQ Join to Deliver Connected Health Solution”

A deep collaboration to supercharge connected health

June 13, 2016: OLATHE, Kan. Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. and LifeQ today announced a deep collaboration to ensure health data generated from its wearable devices delivers on current and future high efficacy information requirements of the health insurance and corporate wellness ecosystems. By combining the market-leading wearable devices of Garmin with the unique on-device and cloud based biomathematical capabilities of LifeQ the two companies will deliver a joint digital health solution as part of the broader health ecosystem.

This highly integrative collaboration enables personalized and continuous tracking of physiological parameters related to sleep, stress, activity and nutrition as well as risk metrics as required by the insurance and pharmaceutical industry (such as cardiovascular age). The data enables health insurers to further analyze population risk factors to define new products and services that are more personalized and seek to lower the cost of health care delivery across the world. In addition, these personalized data streams provide the necessary insights and context to assist consumers in making smarter health and lifestyle decisions for themselves and their families.

With its world leading computational systems biology expertise, LifeQ ensures a unique scientific approach to the delivery of individual physiological information from wearable and other data sources. Combined with the patented LifeQ biomathematical engine, a range of physiological measures that are currently inaccessible, costly and invasive are now available via LifeQ’s API for ecosystem members to integrate with.

Quote from Riaan Conradie (Co-Founder & COO LifeQ):

“The connected health and insurance ecosystem of the future will be propelled forward to a whole new level through rapid delivery of personalized physiological information that is now possible due to rapid advances in hardware and analytics capabilities,” said Riaan Conradie Co-Founder and COO of LifeQ. “By combining LifeQ’s computational systems biology based on-device and cloud based analytics products with Garmin’s world leading devices we will jointly open up a range of high value personalized solutions to the health and life insurance industry. We are very excited about this preferred partnership.”

LifeQ and Garmin have a joint passion for data generation and delivery to enable health transformation services, and this collaboration will strengthen the ecosystem in the rapidly growing connected health market.

“Garmin is excited to team up with LifeQ to enable the advancement of the healthcare industry,”
said Allison Swelin, manager of Garmin Health sales and marketing. “Garmin wearables are being used across a number of healthcare applications as a tool to help monitor things like activity levels, all-day heart rate and sleep.”





SA’s LifeQ partners US firm to develop non-invasive body monitoring

April 22nd, 2016 Posted by News Story 0 comments on “SA’s LifeQ partners US firm to develop non-invasive body monitoring”

South African health informatics company LifeQ has partnered US-based semiconductor solutions firm Analog Devices to develop technology that will make it possible for non-invasive body monitoring devices to provide highly accurate physiological data.

Read more here.