The award winning hearScreen app developed by the University of Pretoria has been selected as one of the 30 next top impact start-ups to join the Global Impact Accelerator programme taking place in Helsinki, Finland in November 2015.

The programme is co-organised by Slush, a technology conference where start-ups and tech talent can meet with top-tier international investors, executives and media; the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs; the World Bank; and 15 hubs from emerging markets from across the globe. In 2014, during the two-day event Slush brought together over 14.000 attendees and more than 3,500 companies and 750 investors.

The global programme includes a nine day Helsinki boot camp that will provide opportunities for the start-ups to build their skills through workshops and training, as well as offering networking opportunities with prominent investors to enable new opportunities with Finnish and international partners. The top 30 impact entrepreneurs will also attend the Slush conference from 11 to 12 November 2015.

The 30 finalist entrepreneurs were chosen from hundreds of applications in 15 local competitions across the world. In an interview with eHealthNews, creator of hearScreen and Audiologist at the Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology at the University of Pretoria and President-elect of the International Society of AudiologyProf De Wet Swanepoel, explained that they were chosen after putting in an application with mLab who facilitated the applications in South Africa in partnership with the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, UNICEF and other partners .

“Once our application was selected we had to pitch our social impact business idea that addresses global challenges to a panel of local judges,” said Swanepoel.

As a finalist, hearScreen then had to pitch to an international panel of judges after which they were selected as one of the 30 global start-ups to attend the Slush Global Impact Accelerator programme. “We are very proud that hearScreen got selected,” said Swanepoel.

“Our aim is to speed up and scale up the hearScreen solution through the networking opportunities, meeting investors and potential partners, as well as through exposure before and during the Slush event. We also hope to partake in the UNICEF Global Innovations for Children and Youth Summit held in conjunction with Slush. The exposure at this meeting will be incredible,” concluded Swanepoel.

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