South Africa’s Brayfoil Technologies has won the Energy Investment Village pitch competition this week at the Green Energy Africa (GEA) summit.
Brayfoil designs turbine blades that change shape. There are a number of applications for these, including wind turbines. The company said it provides blades that can achieve peak power, but can change shape to be able to weather storms better.
Such a move, it says, increases design lifespan and could cut the cost of components and structure.
Brayfoil has cited the Cape Vulture as informing its turbine designs. The company has said its mission is “to develop technologies to work in harmony with nature through adaptive mechanics, and to drastically increase the adoption of renewable technologies through cost reduction and efficiency improvements”.
Brayfoil was one of 10 start ups to pitch ideas to an audience of potential investors, delegates and judges. Following the win, Brayfoil held talks with investors on the sidelines of the GEA summit.
Brayfoil won a 20,000 rand ($1,110) prize from FNB. It also received a year’s membership of the Africa Scotland Business Network (ASBN) and a marketing workshop from ASBN.
Sasol and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) will award another two prizes. These are participation in the JSE Accelerator Programme and enrolment in the Sasol Enterprise Supplier Development Programme.
Eight judges considered the pitches. These included Sasol senior vice president for business services Grace Nndwammbi and commercial energy solutions Phinda Vilakazi.
Vice president for the GEA summit Paul Sinclar, said the Energy Investment Village “exceeded our expectations”. The event gave “innovative, clean-energy start-ups exposure to potential investors and [facilitated] conversations that will continue well beyond the Summit. We fully anticipate hosting the event again next year.”
The Energy Investment Village is a partnership between Saldanha Bay Innovation Campus (SBIC), an initiative of the Freeport Saldanha development zone, and advisory firm the Research Institute for Innovation and Sustainability (RIIS).