James Pearce, BSc Computer Science Alumni, received the NMMU Alumni Rising Star Award at the NMMU Alumni Awards on 31 October. James and his university friend, Charles Stretch, started their business Blueworld in a garage in Mill Park during their second year. After they sold Blueworld to Naspers in 2008, SMSPortal was born. Today the company has a R300million annual turnover, operates in 160 countries and has connections to 750 cellphone networks worldwide.

Charles Stretch (left) and James Pearce (right) on the cover of the Entrepreneur magazine (March 2013 issue)