thinking beyond

Ideation and Idea Development Workshop: 

23 September 2020 from 10:00am - 12:00pm

Click here to join the Zoom meeting



The Idea Generator (i-Gym) is excited to invite all CUT staff and students to take part in the 2020 Innovation Challenge

Our lives have changed rapidly as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and never has innovation and compassion been more important. The COVID-19 pandemic brought far-reaching consequences and will have long-term effects on our education & health systems but also how we interact at work, our economy in general and how we socialize. Necessity is the mother of invention and we need innovative and entrepreneurial ideas to cope and adapt to this “New Normal”.

i-GYM cordially invites you to submit your creative, or innovative idea that could contribute to the economic recovery or to solve the vast array of problems caused by the pandemic. Solutions can be local or global, small business or industrial, preventative or treatment actions, creative or data driven for problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligibility: Open to all CUT staff members and registered CUT students.

Benefits: Prizes up to the value of R25 000* to develop your idea or project will be awarded for these two categories:

1. Best Idea / Project with highest Commercial Potential

2. Best Idea / Project with highest Social Impact

You may submit more than one idea for consideration to be shortlisted.

 Benefits to all participants: To be considered for placement in the 2021 i-GYM Entrepreneurship Development Program.

Key Dates:

Registration Opens: 20 August 2020 

Registration Closes & final day for submission of presentations: 25 September 2020                                        

Ideation and Idea Development Workshop: 23 September 2020 from 10:00am - 12:00pm

Pitch Preparation Workshop: 29 September 2020 

Testing of shortlisted presentations for pitching challenges: 5 October 2020

Innovation Challenge Pitching - Students: 6 October 2020

Innovation Challenge Pitching - Staff: 7 October 2020

i-GYM Innovation Challenge - Live Finals: 9 October 2020

Follow the link for the Application form: Application Form Innovation Challenge 2020.docx

Submit your application form to  On receipt of your application form, you will receive a confirmation email providing you with *Terms and Conditions as well as a template for your Power Point Presentation.

Do not hesitate to contact us regarding any questions at or

Addressing the COVID-19 pandemic 

If you or your team’s solution is focussed on the COVID-19 pandemic and you think your innovative idea can make a difference, submit your idea related but not limited to the set of problem statements listed below.

You or your team can develop solutions across other areas not listed below that could create an impact and curb the spread and future outbreaks, so feel free to think outside the box.

  1. Containment of the virus: Measures and efforts to mitigate the transmission of the virus.
  2. Patient care and management: Healthcare system, also to keep track of affected and potential patients/remote treatment of isolated patients.
  3. Vulnerable Populations: The set of problems relevant to the elderly and the immuno-compromised.
  4. Fake news detection
  5. Personal Hygiene and Protection
  6. Movement tracking to diagnose contagion and track movements of people in quarantine areas/ lockdown regions/isolated patients
  7. Remote learning methods to address the widespread disruption of the educational systems due to the pandemic.
  8. Effective communication to ensure that verified and accurate information reaches even the most remote locations with least human intervention.
  9. Supply Chains: Solutions that aid efficient distribution of essential commodities.
  10. Large scale sterilization and sanitization
  11. Solutions for lessening the mental impact of social isolation
  12. Support to frontline healthcare workers
  13. Medical equipment: Diagnostic as well as therapeutic. There is an urgent need to develop safe and effective countermeasures that can be readily available, accessible and suitable for use in populations most in need.

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i-Gym Innovation Challenge 2020

The Idea Generator (i-Gym) invites all Grade 4 - 12 learners to take part in the 2020 Innovation Challenge 

Young scientists are invited to submit creative or innovative ideas to aid the recovery of the country's economy, or to solve the many problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Who can enter?  The challenge is open to South African school learners in grade 4 to 12 attending any school in South Africa, including home schools.

Prizes: Win one of two vouchers per category, worth R5000*, to develop your idea or project.

Categories: Best Idea/Project with the highest Commercial Potential & Best Idea/Project with the highest Social Impact.

To Enter: 

  1. Download and complete the application form (click here to download)
  2. Email the application form to:
  3. When submitting your application form, please request a Presentation Template and *Terms and Conditions.

Important dates:

Registration opens: 20 August 2020

Ideation Sessions: 18 & 21 September 2020

Registration Closes & final day for submission of presentations: 25 September 2020

Innovation Challenge Pitching - Learners: 6 or 7 October 2020

i-Gym Innovation Challenge - Live Finals: 9 October 2020

Do not hesitate to contact us regarding any questions at or


2019 Student and Staff  i-Gym Innovation Challenge winners pitch their ideas  

Presentation by Gareth Gericke - Student winner of the 2019 i-Gym Innovation Challenge:  

Project: Hydro IT Water Monitor

Presentation by Alan Kinnear - Staff winner of the 2019 i-Gym Innovation Challenge:  

Project: Brew Spoon


Entrepreneurship Development Programme 2020 

                     Fulfill your dream of becoming an entrepreneur!

The CUT I-Gym, CUTis cordially invites you to join our Entrepreneurship Development Programme 2021

Our training will focus on:

  • Key aspects of entrepreneurship and business establishment
  • Developing your own business plan for funding purposes

To qualify for the programme, you must complete the application form

Entries for 2020 Closed. 

Entries for the 2021 Entrepreneurship Development Program: Open

Limited space is available.  The link for the Application form will be posted here, October 2020.

For more information: email:


2020 Entrepreneurship Dialogue


2019 Activities:

October i-Gym / CUTis Challenge

The focus of this exciting challenge is SMART neighbourhoods, towns and cities.

Do you have an idea / project in mind that would ensure the use of "less energy, produce less waste and produce solutions that are safe, healthy and affordable for construction and operations of buildings (or manufacturing) that are adaptable to anticipate changes in climate ” Visit the following website for inspiration:  (

This may also include waste recycling; waste reduction; water or energy use reduction or ideas to reduce the loss of municipalities' income.


We are looking for Eco-inclusive ideas to be turned into Eco-Inclusive enterprises. Ideas to find “sustainable production methods, efficient use of resource and waste reduction and biodiversity conservation” (Ref: Draft Discussion Paper on improving the Quality of Business Advisory Services in South Africa, First presented at the SEED SA Symposium 2019, 2-3rd April Innovation Hub, Pretoria).

A five minute PP presentation need to be submitted by 17th October at 11.00  to – please follow the Power Point presentation guidelines and note the additional requirements of adding a slide with business model canvas.  

Presentation guidelines can be found here: Guidelines for Presenting.pptx 

Date of Challenge to be announced.

Innovation Week 2019 Program

The CUT annual innovation week is hosted by the Idea Generator and CUT Innovation Services from 3 - 5 September 2019.  Prof. Alfred Ngowi, Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Research, Innovation and Engagement, cordially invites employees, students, alumni and the public to attend the exciting events.

3 September 2019 - students will present their ideas or projects to a panel of experts.

Guest speakers:

  • Dr. Mthokozisi Sibanda: "Journey from PhD student to Entrepreneur"
  • Mr Rashied Nanhekhan: "From student to Start-up: An international journey- Bloemfontein to the Netherlands and back"
  • Mr Boitumelo Dithebe: "Funding opportunities at National Youth Development Agency"

4 September 2019 - staff present ideas/projects

Guest speakers:

  • Mr Goitsemang Dikane: "How to present in 3 minutes and win"
  • Prof. Luke Chimuka: An academic-turned entrepreneur 
  • Mr. Leuven Moodley: "An overview of FNB digital payment products"

5 September 2019 - Presentations by guest speakers, presentation by finalists, announcement of winners

Guest speakers:

  • Mr Roy Maponya: "The journey of the Dr Maponya Institute"
  • Prof. Luke Chimuka: An academic-turned entrepreneur

Special Guests: ESKOM Science Expo learners will be displaying their innovative devices.

View the detailed programmes by clicking the links below: 



Hosted at the I-Gym:

Annual Design & Studio Art Prestige Exhibition 6  - 13 September 2019

 Innovation Week 2019

Dear CUT student and staff members, this is a Call for Entries to the 2019 Innovation Week Challenge with prizes to be won and potential funders to impress; an initiative from the Idea Generator (i-Gym), CUTis and Division RESEARCH, INNOVATION and ENGAGEMENT (RIE).

Prof. Alfred Ngowi (DVC, RIE) cordially invites you to submit your innovative idea, invention or project.            Prizes for the best idea (students and staff): R15 000 each
            Prizes on the day of the challenge (both students and staff):                                1st place - R3000, 2nd place - R2000 and 3rd place - R1000Entries closed: 2 August 2019

 Event dates:     
Bloemfontein Campus:  3 September 2019 - Student Challenges  
                                         4 September 2019 - Staff Challenges
                                         5 September 2019 - Innovation Challenge Finalists to present to
                                                                              panel of experts.
Welkom Campus: 15 August 2019 - Student Day

Education in innovation and entrepreneurship has become part of Universities of Technologies (UoTs) with the aim of turning more graduates from job seekers into job creators.

The Idea Generator was officially launched on 31 March 2017, with the intention of introducing a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among the CUT community.

The Idea Generator offers a developmental hub where students, staff as well as the public, with the assistance of experts and lecturers develop their innovative ideas, projects and products into products that can be commercialised.

Innovative Ideas are the pipeline to CUT units such as PDTS, CRPM, RGEMS, CUTis and the Technology Transfer Office, who are leaders in prototyping, research and business development.


  • One-on-one consultations with the Idea Generator Manager
  • Presentations from industry professionals
  • Demonstrations of new technologies
  • Assistance on the pitching process to possible funders or to take part in competitions
  • Proposal writing for funding applications

Activities at the IdeaGym

  • Product creation seminars
  • Developing entrepreneurial skills via a CUT Management Sciences Department developed game
  • Lean Iterator sessions to take an idea/project to a business
  • Art exhibitions
  • Ping pong Idea Challenges
  • Problem-solving challenges
  • “Men in Business” / “Women in business” Events

A bi-annual Innovation and Entrepreneurship competition being hosted by the IdeaGym where entrants have the opportunity to present inventions and ideas to a panel of experts. These ideas are channelled through the IdeaGym and other support or academic units at the CUT if possible.

The IdeaGym supports Research Unit for Evolvable and Manumation Systems (RGEMS) in their Sasol Solar Challenge.

Information Share

South Africa’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Map

A survey of the support available for entrepreneurs in South Africa was undertaken by the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE) South Africa chapter in 2015. This infographic below highlights the updated 2017 version of the key findings with interactive buttons to provide a more detailed overview of the support available.

Contact us

E-mail us your ideas:



Uploaded: 17 August 2018
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