Car key locks that won’t let you drive if you’re over the limit; tracking systems that can tell when a wheelie bin in Johannesburg was last emptied; grinding balls for mining that are fantastic at taking infections out of wounds… these are some of the amazing South African inventions that have impressed Mike Davies, TT100 adjudicator, over the years.
“I’ve seen wonderful innovative ideas by companies big and small. The programme shows another side of our economy and the people who work in it, and I absolutely love being an adjudicator. I get energised by it and it makes me feel great to be a South African,” says Davies, Director of Optimum Learning Technologies (Pty) Ltd (an accredited education and training provider that is in itself a South African success story, having grown from only three people to 70 full-time staff in 10 years).
He has been a TT100 adjudicator for the past five years, and thrives on the positive energy the programme spreads. “It blows me away year after year. Through the programme, I’ve seen that if you can make it in South Africa, you can make it anywhere. South African companies have people who are motivated, exhibit high levels of innovation and a work ethic second to none.”
What makes this particular awards programme stand out is the recognition that award-winners receive, says Davies. “The certificates and awards are really something to be proud of. Sometimes entrepreneurs don’t need money to be recognised – that will come. What matters is recognition by your peers. The recognition and exposure that these awards give to entrepreneurs and innovators is exceptional.”