Treasures surface in the Shark Tank

10 November 2015 - 02:02 By Nompumelelo Magwaza

An online learning programme, street sweeping, children's games, bins for cigarette butts and chewing gum, and parenting assistance apps were some of the business ideas presented at the Shark Tank competition in Durban yesterday. Eight young and old entrepreneurs from KwaZulu-Natal were given 15 minutes each to get the province's top business minds to invest in their ideas.Although the investors found the presentations of higher quality than the first Shark Tank, sponsored by FNB and The Sunday Times, earlier this year, they felt contestants' proposals lacked detail, research and projections.But the judges agreed the concepts were excellent.The "sharks" included Marlin Stols of Lifestyle Leisure Group; Guy Braizer, regional leader at Deloitte; Hixonia Nyasulu of Ayavuna Women's Investments; Harish Mehta of Clear Water Capital; and Terry Rosenberg of Oakbrook Holdings.Winner James Lees walked away with R150000 in prizes. Lees runs a family business known as Advantage Learn that offers extracurricular lessons in maths, maths literacy and science.The online programme also enables private and public school teachers to interact and share their skills.The online course, which boasts 1259 pupils as users, has obtained a R1-million turnover in six months.Graeme Waite's idea received the loudest applause in the room.The Real Life 4 Kids game teaches pupils between the ages of 11 and 14 how formal education is applied.The game teaches pupils how to buy property, raise funds, build homes, trade on the stock exchange, file tax returns, and more.The game has been played by 2900 children so far.

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