A 22-year-old South African entrepreneur, Denislav Marinov, has won the prestigious Stars From All Nations (SFAN) Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2020.
The award has been created by Stars From All Nations (SFAN), the education company that unlocks the potential of the youth, in partnership with Southern Africa venture builder Founders Factory Africa and Spain-based digital incubator BridgeForBillions to support student entrepreneurs.
After hosting the first-ever Global Student Entrepreneurship Week, hosted from 28-29 September, SFAN selected the top three winners from the numerous submissions received from all over the world.
South Africa takes first place
Securing first place, Marinov aims to revolutionise the manufacturing sector across the continent.
Marinov has developed a cutting edge product targetted in the manufacturing sector with Additive Manufacturing (AM) with the use of 3D printing technologies. With a wealth of experience and knowledge, Marinov developed the concept while pursuing his Honours in Materials Sciences after completing a BSc degree in Physics and Chemistry at the University of Cape Town.
Titled, Amnova Tech, the startup aims to create sustainable additive manufacturing technologies. The tech startup focuses on developing cost-effective and locally manufactured industrial AM technologies. In addition, the startup aims to remove the middle man and possible barriers individuals and SMEs face when entering the production market.
The innovative technological tools developed by Amnova Tech enable rapid prototyping and client part production along with advancing a client’s proprietary tech.
In an official press statement, SFAN explains the overall aims of Marinov’s innovation.
“Denislav believes it is time for Africa to localize its manufacturing capabilities. He believes that additive manufacturing is the key technology necessary to achieve this and cement Africa as a global leader in manufacturing and tech development.”
Winning multiple accolades such as the Entrepreneurship Development in Higher Education (EDHE) programme in 2019, Marinov’s innovative product is a game-changer.
The first runner up for the SFAN Student Entrepreneur of The Year Award is Belinda Mabende, a young Kenyan entrepreneur that has developed a startup aimed at creating sustainable hair products for the local market.
Titled, Nature Supreme, the startup provides affordable hair products including weaves, hair braids, and wigs to customers in Kenya. Their products are made from biodegradable and environmentally friendly sisal fibers.
The second runner up for the prestigious prize is Dr. Charles Umeh, founder of Parkers Mobile Clinic, a healthtech startup in Nigeria.
As an advocate for family planning, Umeh created a mobile clinic service called Parkers Mobile Clinic that provides healthcare services to the elderly, disabled, chronically ill and individuals located in remote areas in Nigeria.
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“Entrepreneurs have to learn the power of networking and the value of mentorship, as these are the things that most entrepreneurs take for granted. And also they must know that opportunities will not come to them; they have to go out there and create them by knocking on corporate doors with proposals. Personally, I am where I am because of a business mentor who changed the way I see things.”
– Anda Maqanda, founder of AM Group in South Africa