With a Bachelor of Business Science in Finance and Accounting from the University of Cape Town, Daniel Pretorius is a 26-year-old entrepreneur with a passion to use business as a force for good. From selling Yu-Gi-Oh! cards at his junior school to co-founding a rooibos tea bar at the Oranjezicht Market with his brother during university, entrepreneurship and innovation runs deep in Daniel’s blood. It is what propelled Daniel to enter into the Xprize Fellowship with Peter Diamandis and to earn a seat (and ticket to the 2019 conference) at Guy Raz’s How I Built This Fellowship. In his aspiration to make change at both an environmental and societal level, Daniel co-founded his most recent venture: 4WKS, an innovative coffee pod start-up with a mission to shift coffee, habits and culture.
How did your relationship with 4WKS come into existence – and how has it impacted your life?
4WKS was sparked whilst on a family holiday in Greece in 2018. Sitting on the beach in Paxos, my brother and I – inspired by my dad – decided to embark on this journey. We were soon joined by our cousin and third co-founder, Lulu, who helped bring 4WKS to life! As a company 4WKS has inspired us to make change on both an environmental and social level, ultimately using business as a force for good in South Africa.
If you had a theme song, what would it be?
If Mars were liveable, would you accept a one-way ticket there?
Definitely not, I love Earth!
If you were given one thousand acres of land what would you do with it?
Plant a forest and watch it grow! I’m inspired by the natural environment around us and believe that trees are intertwined with human existence—through religion, in times of war, with our hopes and wishes that we share. They play a significant role in our lives and the feeling of walking through a forest is something I’d love to continue to share with those around me.
How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Not many! A pair of Birckenstocks, Hoka trail-running shoes and one or two everyday sneakers.
If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?
Home-made tagliatelle with a simple napolitana, fresh farm olives, basil and grated parmesan!
When you have 30 minutes of free time – how do you pass it?
I would head down to either Beta beach or Saunders (in Cape Town) for a quick dip in the ocean! Sometimes this is not always possible, so a delicious flat white is my next best bet!
If you woke up to 300 unread emails, how would you prioritise which ones to answer?
I would not know where to start! I usually try have my mailbox cleared before leaving work, so this is difficult for me to wrap my head around. I guess I would start from the top …
If you could write one new law that everybody had to obey, what would it be?
What is the most interesting thing you have seen or read this week?
A quote by the Greek poet, Dinos Christianopoulos:
“They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.”
If you could dedicate your life to solving one problem, what would it be?
Our co-existence as species with planet Earth! This is an enormous challenge that I am inspired to help achieve!