Students develop unique start-ups

Pigeon Courier group members from left, are Benjamin Patton, Nic Martin, Caleb Swanepoel, Robert Tsiliyiannis, Amy Gerber and Jamie Pitt.

UCT entrepreneurship students have launched a start-up business, which includes a cannabis-infused natural skin-care product and a delivery service for students.

Aspiring entrepreneurs from UCT’s Genesis Project had to start their own business as part of their course.

Robert Tsiliyiannis, 21, of Pigeon Couriers said they had wanted to create a unique courier service connecting self-employed drivers with people needing things delivered.

“We saw countless posts on social media networks asking for someone to take an item on their behalf and saw this as a sign for intervention,” he said.

Robert, from Camps Bay, said although they had modified the concept along the way, the essence of the business was to enable people to easily get their items delivered by getting people who are already heading that way to do the delivery.

“By doing this, we can reduce the number of cars travelling to a certain location and increase customer satisfaction.”

Aweb-hostingcompany, 1-grid.com, helped the students launch their own websites.

“We wanted to provide the students with the necessary support to grow
their businesses,” said 1-grid.com’s Craig Fester.

“Young people make great entrepreneurs because they can approach old problems in new and innovative ways. However, they often lack the experience and resources needed to get online – this is where we could step in, to give the students a step-up.”

Robert said the online presence had helped build brand awareness.

Mufaro Chiwara, 23, said they developed a “build-your-own” skin-care business, BYO Skin Co, where individuals choose what goes into their products.

“Everyone’s skin is unique and, as such, we should be able to get skin care that is suited directly to us,” he said.

“Our platform lets you choose the active ingredients to include in your face cream so that it
works to target your skin needs. We have information on our website to help you choose the best option.”

Mufaro, from Mowbray, said the concept was an ongoing process, developed from multiple brainstorming sessions.

Including the cannabis, he said, had come from “our awareness of the phenomenal skin care benefits of this ingre-
dient”.

BYO Skin Co also sells ready-made creams, lip balms and limited edition kits.

Mufaro said they planned to take BYO Skin to markets around the city and their products would be stocked at a zero-waste store opening in Hermanus.

Other businesses created as part of the course include Outpost, a sales directory app that connects consumers with a
service company tailored to their budget, and Trove Clothing, an app that allows customers to upload and sell pre-loved clothing.