by Mia Andric

SA start up wins top honours

A South African online enterprise is acknowledged at a pan-European entrepreneurship event

Professor Paris de L'Etraz - MD of Venture labs, Nicholas Bednall – CMO of Waytag (and IE Business School Alumni), Warren Venter - Founder and CEO of Waytag, and Liz Fleming - Deputy MD of Venture lab.
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South African startup Waytag achieved the top prize for an online business at the recent pan-European IE Business School Venture Day awards.

The IE Business School is rated as one of the leading business schools in Europe, having won that accolade from international media such as The Economist, The Financial Mail and The Wall Street Journal. In a closely competed event, organised to promote entrepreneurship and introduce local and international investors to start ups, Waytag - the fast growing location tech company - won top prize in the online category.

Waytag, which has developed a new global addressing system to help people with access to connected devices share their location using a single word, across any platform, participated in the IE Business School Venture Lab programme by virtue of the fact that the company’s marketing director, Nicholas Bednall, is an alumnus of the institution.

The International Centre for Entrepreneurial Management (ICEM) co-ordinates IE Business School’s various entrepreneurial efforts, building upon its status as a worldwide reference for entrepreneurs. The Venture Lab operates within the ICEM and presents the very best student and alumni projects to an international network of business angels and investors. The university incubates and accelerate the most disruptive projects so that they are investment-ready, and The Venture Day is the day on which these projects are presented to a jury of judges and potential investors.

Projects who present at Venture Days must be "investor ready", with a committed team and a business model that has been tested. The principal criteria are innovation, high growth potential, and scalability. Only IE students and alumni may participate, and applications are filtered by a selection committee who invite
only the most promising projects to deliver an investor pitch.

The event showcased the school Alumni’s best start-up projects and ventures to a jury of 22 angel investors, serial entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. With significant global representation from China, Silicon Valley, Singapore and Europe, the panel drew on its global experience when deliberating over six finalists from a short-list of 60 applications.

“Focusing on developing and promoting entrepreneurship around the world, the IE Business School’s Venture Days are a fantastic opportunity to showcase a budding business like Waytag, and we are thrilled to have been awarded top honours in the online business category,” says Bednall. “Due to the international nature of the start-up projects in the Venture Lab and throughout the IE Business School, competition was tough and the standard was exceptionally high. The award is therefore that much more of an achievement.”

Professor Paris De L’Traz, MD of Venture Lab and Professor of Entrepreneurship at IE, commented: “Waytag impressed the jury with it’s location naming innovation and the global growth potential, people can now claim and use their own personal names or brand names as a means to locate and navigate to each other on digital maps - Waytag is perfectly timed for massive growth given the explosion of smartphone based map usage”

James Tan, from QuestVC in China, one of the jury members, added: “ Waytag is a brilliant yet simple solution to improve how people interact and navigate on smartphones, it is much easier to use a unique one word address to find someone than a 5 line address - this is especially exciting for emerging markets where traditional addressing system are not in place”



About Waytag

Waytag is a fast growing location tech company that has developed a new global addressing system to help people with access to internet connected devices share their location using a single word, across any platform.

Waytag provides a permanent geolocation address in an easy-to-remember one-word tag format, and can be used by both businesses and individuals to manage their location. Waytag is universally accessible and visible on any map, and can be updated and managed by the owner of the tag, so waytag users can pinpoint and refine their location on maps themselves, making it more accurate than GPS. Waytags can be updated on the move, as and when necessary, and users can share their location (waytag) name verbally, via text or via social media, so they can control how visible they are.

Through the company’s partnership with TomTom, there are 30 million points of interest that waytag users can access more easily, and there are more than 20 million businesses in the Waytag database in over 100 countries. This adds tremendous value to waytag users as they go about their daily routine of locating people and businesses around them.

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Issue 46


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