Soweto Rocket Scientist is in the tech super league

Nthato Moagi, 27, and his team received a prize for their work in educational technology. /Supplied
Nthato Moagi, 27, and his team received a prize for their work in educational technology. /Supplied

A rocket scientist from Soweto and his team have won bronze at the EdTechXEurope's Global Startup Super League for their success in the education start-up sphere.

Nthato Moagi, Makhotso Mabote and Yoshlyn Naidoo who are the brains behind
CRSP dsgn returned this weekend from an all-expenses-paid trip to London after winning the African leg of the competition.

The competition recognises start-up companies that are making big strides in educational technology.

They were given the opportunity to present their ideas to 900 global thought leaders and investors.

"What this means for me is that even as a kid from the township, you're able to transcend the social norms and the low expectations that society expects from us. We can create businesses that have the potential to scale globally," said Moagi.

"We were the only African start-up to win and the only one without having raised any venture capital funding yet. So it's a pretty big accomplishment that will allow us to attract proper seed stage investment now," he said.

Moagi, 27, who is the founder of CRSP dsgn, is known for creating the Low Cost Electronic Robotics Toy (LCERT) as part of his ground-breaking thesis for his BSc in aeronautical engineering at the University of the Witwatersrand.

"Growing up in Soweto, I wanted to get into this stuff [technology and robotics], but my mom couldn't afford it because she was a factory worker. She tried getting me a few of the components, but they were too expensive. So I ended up not pursuing that as a child," he said.

At university, he realised that he had the ability to make these toys from scratch and that robotics toys were actually inexpensive to make.

The design of the LCERT provides pupils and teachers with affordable access to educational resources in their science, technology, education and mathematics classrooms. The kit allows pupils to design and assemble robotics and mechatronic systems.

"Our end goal as CRSP dsgn is to have all of these kids become social innovators and solving the social problems that exist in our country and on the continent. I want to solve the problems of the younger me," he said.

The LCERT is not officially on the market, but more than 1,600 children used it in 2018.

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