Meet the winners of the Falling Walls Lab Johannesburg 2014

Out of a 107 record-breaking applications the Falling Walls Lab Johannesburg invited 25 young high-potentials from a variety of professional fields to present their innovative ideas on 12 September 2014 at the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa. The international Jury consisted of high-ranked representatives of policy, the industry and the academic sphere. The first prize winner will pitch his work once more at the Falling Walls Lab Finale on 8 November 2014 in Berlin.


Meet the jury:

Wim Plaizier (Chairman), Managing Partner and Head of Africa, A.T. Kearney

Dr. Horst Freitag, Ambassador, German Missions in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland

Dr. Thomas auf der Heyde, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Science and Technology of South Africa

Prof. Adam Habib, Vice Chancellor, Wits University

Liesel De Villiers, Head of Research and Development, African Explosives Limited

Roelf Meyer, former Minister of Defence and Minister of Constitutional Affairs and Communication of South Africa


Meet the winners:

1st place: Vinu Nair (South Africa), GenWye - Breaking the Wall of Deterring Young Engineers

Vinu co-founded a technology company named GenWye. GenWye is geared to offer top engineering talent a stimulating work environment. Generation Y engineers possess incredible potential and Vinu made it his focus to unlock this potential and to rejuvenate the entrepreneurial sector.

2nd place: Andrew de Villiers (South Africa), GroundTruth - Water, Wetlands and Environmental Engineering Consultants - Breaking the Wall of Water Quality Problems

Andrew developed a community-based water quality testing tool called miniSASS. The miniSASS method is an easy to learn river health biomonitoring tool which is ideal as an environmental education tool for learners, but can even be used by non-technical, private persons to monitor the health of rivers in their communities.

3rd place: Anè van Heerden (South Africa), MABU Casing Soils (Pty) Ltd - Breaking the Wall of Sustainable Peat-Free Practices

Anè van Heerden developed a 100% natural substrate that allows sustainable mushroom farming for the first time ever. She manufactures mushroom casing soil. The substrate is produced from sugarcane bagasse pith, a waste product of the papermaking process. Anè and MABU are dedicated to contribute towards a sustainable future and are committed to the production of quality peat-free products.






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