The SA Innovation Summit has grown into a premier event on the annual South African Innovation Calendar. Created to support and promote innovation and facilitate collaboration among multi-helix actors, the SA Innovation Summit is a crucial tool to inspire sustained economic growth. The outcomes achieved by the Summit, amplify and revive South Africa’s renowned competitive edge and it is a powerful tool to bring together thought leaders learnt, and connect with peers. Participate in the SA Innovation Summit to rub shoulders with prominent Innovation Practitioners!

What does the SA Innovation Summit seek to do?

  • Collaborate with government, academia and industry to build a South African system for innovation on a practical level.
  • Encourage mutually beneficial deal-making between innovators and investors.
  • Provide a platform where innovators can participate, grow their know-how and connections, and make their ideas come to life.

A decade in the making

The first Summit was held in 2008, and attended by around 80 people. Over the past ten years, it has grown into a premier event on the South African innovation calendar. Since its inception, the Summit has helped more than 500+ entrepreneurs and innovators bring their products to market over the years, and facilitated deal making between numerous corporates and inventors.


In 2016 the theme for the Summit was Accelerate-Innovate-Ignite. What this meant was that we were looking beyond great ideas; we were interested in how great ideas become innovations and how these innovations can be accelerated to reach the market for social, environmental and/or financial impact. The Summit provided the tools, knowledge, networking and funding opportunities, competitions, discussions and introductions necessary to help take innovations from idea to market.

Initiatives and events that formed part of our 2016 Calendar

  • High Impact Thought Leader Conference took place in Workshop 17, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town. An incredible panel of thought-leaders had been assembled to guide the co-creation session. We invited The City of Cape Town, Futureworld, a Swiss Digital transformational activist, the Futures Institute of Africa, My African City, Heads of the Region and many other influential drivers of change and innovation.
  • The day was followed by a 24-hour Hackathon in Khayelitsha, intended to produce applications and solutions to meet the needs identified by the community. Developers had the opportunity of sharing their brilliance at the Lookout Centre in Khayelitsha.
  • The SA Summit comprised of  two full conference days offering delegates the opportunity to participate in a host of exciting, thought-provoking and game-changing events including:
    • Presentations by world renowned speakers
    • Workshops
    • Plenary Sessions
    • Panel Debates
    • Breakaway sessions with specialist workshops and themed streams.
  • The Match & Invest Lounge provided a platform for networking and business matchmaking.
  • Market on the Edge
  •  Youth Day
  • Ignite! celebrating the spirit of innovation in TED-style turbo-charged talks

Looking back at SA Summit 2015