From Idea To Solution Validation in 3 Days

More than 60 attendees took part in the inaugural Lean Startup Machine Johannesburg (Powered by Standard Bank South Africa) workshop from 31 October to 02 November 2014 at JoziHub.

Johannesburg, South Africa - 03 November 2014

This is the official press release for Lean Startup Machine Johannesburg. For any further media related enquiries kindly contact Tshepo Molope


This weekend saw the first ever Lean Startup Machine workshop kick off in Johannesburg with more than 80 attendees and mentors present.

The Jo'burg edition of the workshop series was powered by Standard Bank of South Africa with Edge Growth, PayFast, Jozihub and iAfrikan as the other sponsors.

Lean Startup Machine workshops are inspired by Eric Ries' book, The Lean Startup, and are supported by him. The aim of Lean Startup Machine Johannesburg was to teach attendees a process and methodology for discovering which products will succeed in the marketplace and which won't through problem definition, customer validation and solution validation.

The workshop is a high impact and intensive 3 day educational experience with strict time constraints and rules which test the attendees character and perseverance, it is not a conference, a VC pitching contest or a hackathon.

At Lean Startup Machine Johannesburg initially 10 teams were formed on Friday and eventually only 8 teams pitched on Sunday after going through the whole process over the weekend.

The final teams that pitched - after they experimented and got out of the building for hours on end to interact with potential customers and eventually sell to customers - were:

  • Muti Hub - Revolutionizing Muti Distribution.

  • Bill Scanner App - An app that solves the problem of splitting a dinner bill among a large group.

  • Book Party - We love books! Bringing book-lovers together to engage in a public space with no e-distractions.

  • Pay Walk - New and exciting way way to pay for your bills at restaurants and hotels using your smartphone.

  • Bimble - Submit bids on everything for your car's vehicle maintenance. Service providers compete for you! Bimble, It's that simple.

  • Easy Mammas - We provide safe and reliable domestic workers on demand.

  • Chapas Flip Flops - Flippin Rad South African Flip Flops.

  • My Tiny Ed - Your teacher at home. Tiny, affordable computer to continue the learning at home.

After the teams presented for 5 minutes each and had a Q & A with the judges (Gustav Praekelt, Prof. Barry Dwolatzky, Tania Van Wyk De Vries and Moniek Van Erven) for 3 minutes, the judges eventually decided through a rigourous and objective process of deciding which team best validated their customers and solution that Bill Scanner App was the winner.

Bill Scanner App walk away with the following prizes from Standard Bank of South Africa:

  • R10,000 Startup Capital in a Standard Bank Business Account.
  • R10,000 Incredile Connection voucher.
  • R10,000 Book voucher

They also walk away with the following prizes from Edge Growth:

  • R20,000 Startup Capital from Edge Action Fund.
  • 6 months incubation from The Engine startup incubator.

They also walk away with a case of Neethlingshof wine from PayFast.

The teams were assisted throughout the weekend by mentors:

  • Vije Vijendranath
  • Siya "Slikour" Metane
  • Craig Wing
  • Jon Hoehler
  • Gustav Praekelt
  • Mongezi Mtati
  • Professor Barry Dwolatzky
  • Paul Slade
  • Brett Steingo
  • Moniek van Erven
  • Tania van Wyk De Vries
  • Justin Coetsee
  • Paul Smith
  • Nonto Masuku


"You guys pushed us to do 4 months worth of work in 2 and a half days." -- Farai Chikumbu, attendee and member of the Pay Walk team.

"Are you re-defining the generation or are you just fitting in with the generation?"

"Every generation has a responsibility to improve and build from the failures and successes of today" -- Siyabonga "Slikour" Metane, speaker and mentor.

"Collect data on the pain & frustration of your potential customer, how often they encounter it, how they solve it and the time and money they have spent trying to solve it" -- Grace Ng, Co-Founder Javelin and Lean Startup Machine.

"I'm going to repeat this ad infinitum, focus on the problem you are addressing and who the customer is and NOT the solution." -- Tefo Mohapi

"Get out of your comfort zone." -- Trevor Owens, Founder Javelin and Lean Startup Machine.

"Do you want to be right, or do you want to be rich?" -- Brett Steingo, mentor.

"Technology hubs are driven by good coffee and bandwidth."

"Johannesburg is not only arguably the commerce capital of Africa but the biggest 'Brains Hub' of South Africa and Africa." -- Professor Barry Dwolatzky, speaker, mentor and judge.

"Once people have told you they will pay for it, validate the solution." -- Tania Van Wyk De Vries, speaker, mentor and judge.

"Feels like I've been hustling for the past 6 months and it has only been 3 days. Finally a good night's sleep" -- Matthew Looi, attendee and member of Book Party team.

"Big shout out to the Lean Jo'burg team for throwing a great event! Well done to the winning team Bill Scanner App and all who participated." -- Suhail Karim, attendee and member of Bimble team.


Day 1 Image Gallery

Day 2 Image Gallery

Day 3 Image Gallery

Video Gallery (To be updated)

About Lean Startup Machine Johannesburg

Lean Startup Machine is NOT a hackathon

It's an intensive three-day workshop which teaches entrepreneurs and innovators how to build disruptive products.

How It Works

The workshop kicks off with a series of product pitches that help attendees organize into teams. Everyone works on a NEW idea. Each team then develops its problem hypothesis, solution hypothesis and a series of assumptions which are core to the success of the business.

Next, each team creates an MVP, or "Minimum Viable Product." The goal of the MVP test is to "Get Out Of the Building," speak with real customers and to collect cash or non-cash currency which serves as validation.

The process promotes a problem-centric approach to business ideation. By continuously validating and invalidating assumptions, teams are forced to pivot their solution (and even problem) toward a true customer pain; rather than creating a solution and after-the-fact seeking customers with a problem.

The event culminates with each team pitching its new solutions and its experience using the process. In this competition the winning team is not selected based on who has the best idea, but instead on which team honors the process and gains the most insights through its pivots.

The workshop was organised by the following team:

  • Sidhika Sooklal
  • Peter Ogolotse Peele
  • Tefo Mohapi
  • Tshepo Molope

Supported and assisted by the dedicated team at Jozihub:

  • Brian "The Barista"
  • Rea Kekana
  • Sam Manclark