Last Chance for Social Entrepreneurs to Pitch to Win R200k ($25 000)

“COMMON Pitch: South Africa” sees the "Party to Fix the World" come to Cape Town, and submissions are rolling in to meet the 29 January 2012 deadline.

Entrepreneurial teams from all over the globe are gearing up for the chance to present their socially innovative business ideas on stage at the biggest business and design event of the year – COMMON Pitch: South Africa. Word of the international event is out, and contestants are scrabbling to get their entries in by the end of this week.

Update: Please note that COMMON has said it is not essential to include a video as part of an entry. People can simply submit written accounts of their pitches. Videos are optional but not mandatory.

Following the online entry process, the finalists will be pitching their ideas on 29 February 2012 in Cape Town. The best idea will win R200 000 (USD 25 000) to make it a reality.

For the South African edition of COMMON Pitch, everybody from designers to business executives to entrepreneurs and tech geeks from around the world are invited to submit ideas on how to solve a social problem, whether it be world-changing or everyday.

The ten entries with the most feasible ideas will be invited to pitch their concepts to a live and virtual crowd of peers, industry leaders and venture capitalists in Cape Town on Wednesday 29 February 2012, the first day of Design Indaba Conference, at the Cape Town City Hall. The winner will be determined by vote and has the chance of receiving R200 000 in funding to bring their idea to life.

In addition to the chance to present on stage and win prize money, COMMON Pitch entrepreneurs connect with networks of ideas, resources, and press, amplifying the democratisation of entrepreneurship. In the past, the event and its featured entrepreneurs have been covered by publications like Mashable, PSFK, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Next Web. Much of the rest is up to each team’s bigger-than-life entrepreneurial spirit, radical drive and determination to “Do Shit That Matters.”

"COMMON Pitch is all about shining a light on the incredible people using creativity to find new solutions to the world's toughest challenges,” said Alex Bogusky, COMMON co-founder and an Adweek “Creative Director of the Decade”.

It only makes sense to bring this event to Africa, where creativity and enterprise are colliding in the most brilliant ways.

“COMMON Pitch is an expression of the creative manifesto that Design Indaba has promoted since 1995,” said Design Indaba founder, Ravi Naidoo. “Design Indaba symbolises our relentless passion to advance the cause of creativity in a continent challenged by social inequality. We do what we do because design is about more than aesthetics, it is about finding creative solutions to transform and improve the lives of people across the globe.”

Design Indaba, known for championing every application of creativity, was eager to highlight this collision within the context of its annual conference, now in its 17th year. While the role of the creative thinker has always been significant in the race to create value by solving world problems, a new class of social entrepreneurs, emerging from industries like design, advertising and digital technology, are increasingly entering the space and show no signs of slowing down.

“We do what we do because design is about more than aesthetics, it is about finding creative solutions to transform and improve the lives of people across the globe. Creativity can have the most material economic impact on a country and it is for this reason we are committed to our belief that a better world is possible through creativity,” said Design Indaba Founder, Ravi Naidoo.

If you have entrepreneurial fire and an idea or early stage concept for a socially innovative business with the potential to create positive change in Africa, apply now. Submissions for COMMON Pitch: South Africa officially close on 29 January 2012.  Submit applications to present at

For questions relating to entering COMMON Pitch: South Africa, please contact Matthew Knott-Craig at or Tel +27 21 465 9966.

Media seeking more information or high-res images, please contact Beverley Houston at or on +27 82 824 8617. US inquiries contact Katie Brennan:

About Common

COMMON was founded by creative industry notables Alex and Ana Bogusky, John Bielenberg and Rob Schuham. It drives positive change through enterprise with its own blend of accelerators for existing and emerging socially conscious ventures. The Colorado-based company is also quickly becoming known for turning the straight-laced world of do-gooding upside down. COMMON Pitch events, which traditionally feature timed pitches, celebrity judges, live entertainment and an energetic, collaborative environment, have drawn international media attention and helped numerous entrepreneurs accelerate their socially conscious companies. Partnering with Design Indaba, the event in February will represent the first international launch of the concept.

About Design Indaba

Design Indaba has proffered the idea of “a better world through creativity” since 1995.  More than a conference and expo, the 15th instalment at the end of February also includes a simulcast, filmfest, design route, youth programme and other social events. Even more will be added to the 2012 event, to be announced soon. Watch our press room for details.

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