Asset 1


Asset 1


Asset 1


CEO: Verimark

Michael van Straaten


Michael grew up on a sheep farm in Burgersdorp, in the Karoo. He matriculated at Grey College, Bloemfontein in 1971. He completed a B Comm (Honours) at Stellenbosch University and qualified as a CA(SA) in 1980.

In 1981, Michael joined Verimark as Financial Director and 50% owner.  In 1994, he became Managing Director and the 100% owner of Verimark. Verimark listed on the JSE in July 2005 and earlier this year de-listed after almost 14 years as a public company.

Since its inception 42 years ago, Verimark has grown from a startup to a successful company, internationally recognised as the benchmark of its business model, which combines “direct selling” with retail distribution.


Tabassum Qadir


“The greatest accomplishment is not in falling but in rising again after you fall.” #Fall2Fly


“Be the Chess Player not the Chess piece” Believes Tabassum Qadir (Tabz)

Tabassum A Qadir, better known as “Tabz” is the brain behind “Uprise Africa” – First Equity Crowdfunding Platform in South Africa. The innovative platform facilitates access to alternative funding solutions for south African entrepreneurs and links everyday South Africans to early stage investment opportunities. She strongly believes that Uprise Africa can drive positive change within SME landscape , addressing both the access to funding and changing of ownership models. She is a Strategist, an innovator and Visionary Leader with Strong track record of performance in turnaround and high-paced organizations. She Utilizes keen analysis , insights and team approach to drive organizational improvements and implementation of best practices. Superior interpersonal skills, capable of resolving multiple and complex issues and motivating staff to peak performance.

Founder and Managing Partner: Synergy Capital Managers

Dr Akintoye Akindele


Dr. Akintoye Akindele is founder and Managing Partner of Synergy Capital Managers (Synergy Capital), an Anglophone West Africa private equity firm with over US$350m of assets under management across two funds. He has more than 20 years of private equity, principal investment, banking and advisory experience. He serves on the Boards of many companies which are investee companies of Synergy Capital.

Dr. Akindele received a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria and a DBA in Business Administration (Finance) from International School of Management – Paris, France. He is also a CFA Charter holder and a trustee of the CFA Society of Nigeria.


Stephan Ekbergh


“Don’t play whats there, Play what’s not there.”


Stephan Ekbergh is a former professional DJ and seasoned travel industry veteran. An entrepreneur at heart, and has paid his own salary in all but 2 years since he finished Matric in 1979. In 1997 he founded Mr Jet, Northern Europes first online travel company, Then went on to launch the TravelStart portfolio, in 1999 – a business he later successfully expanded internationally.
In 2006 Travelstart South Africa was launched, as the country’s first online travel agency. In early 2010 Ekbergh sold the European arm of his business and currently focuses on frontier and emerging markets.  Travelstart is today the leading online travel platform for the African consumer market.

Managing Director and founder: VisionWave (Pty) Ltd and Director: MilestoneSA (Pty) Ltd

Tilson Mphathi Manyoni


Tilson Manyoni is a Technology Entrepreneur, Board Member and Business professional who is currently the Managing Director and founder of VisionWave (Pty) Ltd and Director of MilestoneSA (Pty) Ltd, Executive committee for Johannesburg Oxford Alumni Chapter.

Tilson is the Head of Policy for the Black Business Council, responsible for formulating and advancing the policies of Black Business Council on economic transformation and inclusive growth, engagement with key stakeholders on policy matters and he is also responsible for driving 4th Industrial revolution (4IR) and digitalization initiatives within the Black Business Council, Serve on the following strategic 4IR platform on behalf of BBC; Government initiatives, European Union-South African Dialogue and on the BRICS Innovation platform. BBC convener for the BRICS working groups.

Member of the BRICS Digital Economy working group and member of the South African German Chamber of Business Industry 4.0 working group

A seasoned council member of the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and member of the Executive Management Council (EXCO), he also leads the Planning and Resource committee (PRC) as a chairperson while serving on the Information Technology committee. Tilson is a founding board member of the University’s private holding company – TUT Enterprise (Pty) Ltd.

CEO: TDP Data Systems

Jim Beddows


“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” – U.S. President Calvin Coolidge


Jim Beddows is a Fortune 50 intrepreneur responsible for over $3B in new products and services around the world, and the CEO of TDP Data Systems. TDP combines AI and human intelligence to work with the C Suite to help global 2000 corporations close their innovation gaps. TDP has provided its managed services over 6,000 to corporations around the world across a wide variety of industry verticals over the last 24 months to dramatically increase that rate of innovation. TDP works with both public and private clients to help address the most pressing socio-economic pain points.

Senior Lecturer: University of the Western Cape

Dr Mmaki Jantjies


“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Harriet Tubman


Tech Enthusiast

Dr Mmaki Jantjies holds a PhD in Computer Science from Warwick University and is a senior lecturer in the Information Systems Department at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). She has served as a Head of Department at both UWC as well as the North West University.

She is an ICT4Development research expert conducting research on the development role that innovative technology solutions can play in education and health in South Africa.
Dr Jantjies further founded a Non-Profit Organization Peo Ya Phetogo Foundation empowering young South Africans with digital skills programs.

Director-General: Department of Science and Technology

Dr Phil Mjwara


Dr Phil Mjwara has served as the Director General of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) since April 2006. In this capacity he is responsible for all policy development in the science and technology sector in South Africa, as well as the portfolio management and governance of South Africa’s systems of government laboratories. His responsibilities further include the management of South African science and technology official development assistance and the driving of the implementation of South Africa’s National Research and Development Strategy and the management of South Africa’s new DST 10 Year Innovation Plan. Prior to his appointment at DST, Dr Mjwara was the Group Executive: Research and Development; Strategic Human Capital Development at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

Director & Founder: Fetola

Catherine Wijnberg


“It’s simple really, we help people to grow the economy and create jobs, by building businesses that last.”


Catherine is a fearless entrepreneur with decades of experience across five different sectors. She has dedicated the past ten years to championing the success of others in small businesses, using philosophy of personal mastery as the foundation of lasting, long-term growth. Many of her innovative methodologies have been adopted as a benchmark for best practice in South Africa.

She is also passionate about big businesses as active participants in economic transformation. That is why she worked tirelessly to develop a platform to recognise the efforts of corporates who do more than tick boxes on their BEE scorecard and for them to share the lessons they had learnt in supplier development through the ABSA Business Day Supplier Development awards.

Catherine holds a BSc (Hons) Agric from Edinburgh University, a master’s degree in Agriculture from the University of Queensland in Australia, and an MBA from Henley Business College, UK.

Director General of the Department of Trade and Industry

Mr Lionel October

CEO & Founder: Jugnoo

Samar Singla


“Working with a vision to touch billion lives across the globe”.


Samar founded Jugnoo in 2014 with the vision to transform the Indian auto-rickshaw sector. Jugnoo is the leading on-demand hyperlocal transport and logistics player of India. Samar is a serial entrepreneur and a physicist by education. He has previously worked as a researcher at IBM and CERN. He is one of the industry’s foremost speakers. Samar also founded Click-Labs, a profitable SaaS technology solution provider of Business suit called ‘JungleWorks’.

He is an avid traveler and amateur photographer who likes to document the everyday world. Samar’s personal website calls him ‘Someone somewhere in a garage’ which clearly portrays his love and penchant for building new things.

Chairperson: SA Innovation Summit

Dr Audrey Verhaeghe


“Roads are made by walking”.


Dr Audrey Verhaeghe is founder and Chairperson of the SA Innovation Summit. She has founder three companies and is currently scaling the SA Innovation Summit into other African countries. Building the ecosystem of founder -led economic activity is her life long mission that she loves and hope to expand year on year.

Director General of the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services

Dr Robert Nkuna

Futurist and Innovation Specialist: Future-Fit

Deidre Samson


“The future belongs to the bold, innovative and determined.”


Deidre Samson has a maters degree in future studies and has worked both in a corporate career in marketing and innovation. She currently consults to leading organisations in FMCG and the public sector. She is a senior research associate at Stellenbosch University’s Institute for Futures Research.

Ian Paterson is leading strategist, organisational designer and transformational specialist with extensive corporate and public sector experience in both South Africa and abroad.

Founder and CEO: Cycan (Pty) Ltd

Bryan Hattingh


“Remember that you are always more than what you have become and that your best is always yet to come.”


Bryan Hattingh is an unashamedly unconventional man who lives his life to the fullest. He is a visionary and serial entrepreneur who understands and consults on the essence, challenges and opportunities facing business leaders in the exponential world which is calling for them to be agile, resilient, creatively disruptive and authentic.

For the past 35 years, Bryan has been engaged in a various capacities in business, acting as a change agent and thought leader in the fields of executive and leadership acceleration and actualisation, business transformation, entrepreneurship, brand activation (personal and business) and talent acquisition strategy and execution. He is a trusted advisor to blue-chip corporations and a variety of SMME businesses across industries, both locally and internationally.


Ketso Gordhan


Currently the CEO of the SA SME Fund, which will apply its R1.4bn to help create and grow small businesses with a focus on Black, African Entrepeneurs

Served as Director General of the Department of Transport in the Nelson Mandela Government and later as City Manager of Johannesburg.

Joined Rand Merchant Bank in 2001 and managed its Private Equity Business for 8 years. He has over the past decade, worked as CEO of cement company PPC, as head of Africa for the Commonwealth Development Corporation and been involved as an impact investor.

Currently CEO of the SA SME Fund, which will apply its R1.4bn to help create and grow small businesses with a focus on Black, African Entrepeneurs


Southern Africa Agent: The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HIiL)

Adam Oxford


“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” – MLK


Adam Oxford is part of the Southern Africa team at The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL). HiiL seeks to prevent or resolve the most pressing justice needs of 150 million people worldwide by 2030, through data-led interventions and support for entrepreneurs and innovators.

Executive Director: VUT Science Park

Dr Joe Molete


“Finding Your Sweet Spot.”


Dr Joe Molete (PhD, MBA) – popularly known as Dr Joe – is the Executive Director of the VUT Science Park. He has over twenty years of experience assisting technology entrepreneurs in the research and commercialisation of inventions. He has supported scientists and technology entrepreneurs in more than eight companies and has set on board of various start-ups.

Dr Joe is also a sought-after motivational speaker and Life Coach. He founded the Dr Joe High Performance Academy in 2013 to mentor leaders and entrepreneurs. His flagship programs include “Finding Your Sweet Spot” and “The High Impact Leader in the 4th Industrial Revolution”.

Co-Founder: TMARA

Anthony Nathan


“Creating new market category kings is the ultimate entrepreneurial expression.”


Anthony Nathan, CEO & Co-founder of TMARA is a serial entrepreneur & product-category fit practitioner. Educated at UCT, WITS, Harvard & G.E, he has served as chairman of numerous industry boards & YPO. Anthony chairs the group’s MARKET CATEGORY GENERATOR (MCG), overseeing a stable of early-stage venture investments globally, and actively mentors many start-up founders.

Managing Partner: Lean Business Platform

Marang Marekimane


“Explore the possibilities.”


Marang Marekimane is an advocate for change in the development of enterprises. Marang assists entrepreneurs to structure their ideas
into business models & find the right tools to manage or automate the business processes. By partnering with large corporates, Marang
is slowly changing enterprise development.

CEO: Kalon Venture Partners

Clive Butkow


“Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice, and discipline.”


Clive is the former Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Accenture South Africa, he has 28 years management consulting experience. During his tenure at Accenture (formally Arthur Anderson and Anderson Consulting), he played numerous leadership roles, including Managing Director of Accenture’s Technology business as well as Managing Director of Accenture’s Resources business. Since being promoted to partner in 1997, Clive led sales for various divisions including SAP, Resources and Accenture’s Technology business, cultivating an entrepreneurial mindset which helped grow Accenture into one of the top emerging markets globally.

Clive is currently CEO of Kalon Venture Partners (one of South Africa’s first Disruptive Technology Venture Capital Fund incorporated under Section 12 J of income tax act). He sits on various boards of the Venture Capital’s underlying investee companies including chairman of two of the companies.

Founder: Naëtt Atkinson

Naëtt Atkinson


“You are the sky, everything else – it’s just the weather.” – Pema Chödrön


Naëtt Atkinson started her mediation practice in 2012. She is an internationally accredited mediator who specialises in pre-mediation, mediation and masterclasses in the startup ecosystem. Prior to having her own consultancy she held executive positions in corporate and NGOs. If she is not busy with co-founders you can find her running sexual harassment workshops or gardening.

Millennial Motivator: Millennial Motivator

Dan Willis


“Create. Engage. Inspire.”


With a passion for the value, community brings to a brand Dan consults companies in how to best use digital content and advertising to build an authentic and genuine personality that a community can relate to. Having helped craft campaigns for H&M, Toyota, FOX TV, and many more Dan has a unique and in-depth experience to back the strategies he implements. One of Databird Research Journals “Top 100 Keynote Speakers to Watch in 2019” Dan is excited about bringing the message of relational marketing to stages, conferences and events internationally and helping businesses take back their personalities.

Senior Lecturer, I-SET Project Leader: UNISA

Dr Patricia Gouws


“Not one day!!! Today is DAY ONE!“


I am currently a senior lecturer in the School of Computing, College of Science, Engineering and Technology (CSET) at UNISA. I teach programming (since 2002). I am the Project Leader of the Inspired towards Science, Engineering and Technology (I-SET) community engagement flagship project of CSET (since 2009).

The project aims to inspire SET through the fun activities of robotics, the equipping of educators as robotics coaches and mentors, and the development of learner robotics teams throughout South Africa and beyond our borders.

UNISA has bestowed on me a UNISA Woman of the Year (2014) and a PhD (Information Systems).

Senior Lecturer & Researcher: University of Johannesburg

Dr Habib Noorbhai


“An ink of a scholar and heart of a humanitarian is mightier than the blood of a martyr.”


Dr Habib Noorbhai (Mr South Africa 2017) is a Senior Lecturer in sports science at the University of Johannesburg. He has published
more than 20 papers in numerous journals and has also presented at local and international conferences. He is also a professional
speaker and humanitarian. He has a passion and interest towards mHealth, Sports Innovation and EduTech.


Zoe Amin Akhlaghi


“The best way to predict the future is to create it!”


Entrepreneur, CEO, High-Tech and Innovation Consultant, Business, Carrier, and Personal Coach. CEO at ZAMSTEC, Innovation and Strategic Manager at CADEMIX Institute of Technology. Organizer and founder of different accelerator programs, such as Digital empowerment accelerator, 3D printing boot camp, Women Empowerment accelerator, etc. Management Committee Member and Austrian Delegation in European COST Actions.

Working and Research Experiences in High Tech/Deep Tech Entrepreneurship, Innovation, 3rd Generation Universities, Multi/Interdisciplinary fields, including Computer Aided Manufacturing, 3D Printing, Microelectronics, Optoelectronic Sensors, Industrial Lasers, Measurement Systems, Energy Systems, Semiconductor Technology, Thin Film Coating, Developing Computer Programs, Data Analysis. Knowledge and Experiences in International Team Works, Project Management and Action Coordination. Work experience in USA, Europe and Middle East.


Dr Wynand Goosen


“Knowledge is the only thing in the universe that doubles when you share it…”


Dr Goosen is a perpetual scholar, with multiple qualifications that includes Doctorates in Business, Meta Physics and Human Capital. He has had board membership with several professional organisations and a well-known conference speaker and has been quoted in newspapers and interviewed for several television programs.SkillzBook is an exciting, ground breaking concept, focussed on unlocking Skills Development, Education and Training via the aid of Technology.Now we are focussed on playing in the Technology Space, as a catalyst to empowering Innovators with Business and Entrepreneurial Skills.

Founder and CEO: Goats2Unicorns

Lana Leas-Roy


“Creativity is a skill not a gift.”


Lana Leas-Roy is an Innovative people person with strong creative and critical thinking skills, Serial Entrepreneur, drawn to start-ups where strong expansion vision can be translated into practice. Sold her first Tech company by the age of 33. Passionate and well informed public speaker, Lana has significant creative energy, backed by an analytical and pro-active mind-set. Results-driven award winner.

She has presented her workshop/keynote to a number of key corporates in S.A including Investec, PWC, Deloitte, Anglo American Platinum, NIHSS, etc. She has been asked on numerous occasions to be the keynote speaker at various events and conferences. E.g. Small Business Expo, YPO Harare, Anglo American Plats HR Launch etc.

Community Strategist: MozDevz

Nélio Macombo


“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”


Nélio Macombo is a tech advocate by passion that empower tech communities in Mozambique.

Chief Executive Officer: BOAM Investment Group

Pontsho Manzi


“If all you do serves you then you have not explored the depth of your purpose for being born.”


Pontsho Manzi is a respected award winning business woman. She is a qualified HR practitioner by training, an author, a nationally and internationally recognised speaker and coach. She is the founder and CEO of BoAm Group, a diverse group of interlinked businesses with a focus in training and development, agro processing, inspirational stationery, image management and fashion. Passionate about leadership, women empowerment and youth development, Pontsho is also a Founder and Chairman of non-profit initiatives, Fabulous Girls Foundation and Fabulous Woman Awards. She served on the board of PSASA (Professional Speakers Association of South Africa) Johannesburg Chapter and been appointed as Play Your Part Ambassador, an initiative by Brand South. She has delivered talks from entry level staff to qualified executives in companies such as Samsung, GIBS, MTN, Multichoice, Standard Bank, SA Express, Old Mutual, Sasria, Sasol, Transnet, Vodacom, Cell C and many more.

Head of Innovation: Fliptin

Mustapha Zaouini


“Through our bootcamps, we aim to cause a major mind-set change in the girls, which is fused with the tools to implement new ideas leveraging the technology of tomorrow.”


Mustapha Zaouini- Head of Innovation, KMF/Fliptin Leading executive in the technology industry specialising in emerging markets. He has experience across a range of demanding roles in business and technology and a proven track record of creating growth for companies from start-ups to large corporates.

Lee Chana- Director, AI in Africa, has a passion for enabling entrepreneurs, start-ups and corporates to exponentially grow their business through my experience in digital transformation.

Attorney: Rademeyer Attorneys

Robynne Zevenster


“Do the job in front of you.”


Robynne completed her Honours in Biotechnology and Biochemistry and later completed her LLB. She was admitted as a practitioner of the High Court in November 2012. Robynne has experience in patents and registered designs, drafting and prosecuting nationally and internationally, patent litigation and drafting of intellectual property contracts.

Founder: The MakerSpace Foundation

Stephen Gray


“Change the world, or go home.”


Stephen Gray is a dynamic voice in the world of Technology and Innovation.Founder of the MakerSpace Foundation, he is a master at demystifying technology and unpacking the human implications of our rapidly changing world.Stephen offers an entertaining and insightful look behind the Tech curtain, unveiling a picture of the future and engaging listeners from all walks of life.Stephen’s passion for his dreams make it possible for people from all walks of life to be inspired, encouraged and exposed to the technologies of this world

CEO: Guardian Gabriel

Xabiso Lombo


“It always seems impossible until it is done.”


Xabiso Lombo is an entrepreneur who is passionate about empowering woman to dare to follow their dreams.

Founder: The Human Entrepreneur

Willem Gous


“Life without work is expressionless. Work without life, is motionless” – Willem Gous


An entrepreneur for more than 20 years while being active in the online industry for more than 23. His experience ranges from manufacturing, corporate sales, channel management and more. A personal development junkie, he spent more than 10,000 hours on his personal development. He holds a Master’s Degree in Information Systems Management; during his dissertation, he studied the application of innovation methods within existing companies.

He serves on the international advisory boards of Customer Experience World and Steering Group of the Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise of the University of Liverpool Management School. He is a dedicated father.

Independent Consultant: 4IR

Tshepo Magoma


“God never demands anything that He does not provide for. Whatever God commands us to do, He equips us to do.” – Myles Munroe


Mr Magoma is an innovator, a social entrepreneur, a well renowned 4IR researcher, whose interest lies majorly in the SMEs segment. He has wide of experience in researching about 4.0 technologies that can digitalize, automate and improve business processes in the market. His research at the University of Pretoria, aims to investigate on the strategies for building disruptive innovative SMEs in the fourth industrial revolution. He aims to investigate potential ways to ensure SMEs remain relevant in the age where technology plays a huge factor. A diverse and skilled leader who possess knowledge that can alter and change and support any organizational mission and vision. His dire interest include socio-entrepreneurship, as he has been involved with many NPOs across the provinces and he has been an advocate for Youth entrepreneurship. He has been nominated for several awards such as GradStar, UJenius, Best Researcher, and has hosted panel talks hosted by the African Union, The Innovation Hub, and the World Youth Forum in Egypt.

Managing Director: Reputation Matters

Regine le Roux


You will regret the things you don’t do, more than the things you do do that are not successful. Life life to the maximum and embrace every opportunity that comes your way!


Regine is a reputation management specialist. She completed her MCOM at the University of Pretoria specialising in reputation management. She started Reputation Matters in 2005 and has developed one of the first measurement tools that quantifies an organisation’s reputation.

It’s Regine and her team’s vision to be Africa’s go to reputation research company of choice to build sustainable businesses, one company at a time. They have most recently walked away with two SABRE Africa awards for measurement and evaluation.

Junior BEE Consultant: Motopi Consulting

Puno Selesho


#DoWhatYouLove #LoveWhatYouDo #DontEverStop


I use words to shape a world we can all be proud to live in. I am a spoken word artist, content creator, voice over artist and speaker.

Co-Founder: MaxiCash (PTY) LTD

Tania Ikedji Mukwamu


“Start with what you have, where you are.”


Tania Mukwamu is the Co-Founder of Pluritone (PTY) Ltd, a Johannesburg-based software development firm. She holds a B-Tech degree in Logistics and Transportation from the University of Johannesburg and is currently completing an MBA with the University of Liverpool.

Tania’s latest venture MaxiCash helps African expats globally to support their loved one financially back home. MaxiCash has created a financial support ecosystem enabling both remittances to Mobile Money/banks and direct payments to service providers.

The solution is mobile app-driven, built on stellar blockchain, fast, easy, transferable, paperless and affordable.

Dr Nick Bradshaw


Dr Nick Bradshaw is a South African based Entrepreneur helping clients understand the value of Artificial Intelligence powered technologies. With 20+ years experience in the technology sector mainly focused around Enterprise collaboration software platforms, Nick has worked in Europe, North America & Africa with a diverse set of Multi $bn global clients. Having built and exited a Microsoft Gold software business and consulted with multiple tech start-ups, Nick now serves as the CEO of Cortex Ventures (part of the Cortex Group) leading the growth of the African AI landscape via Africa’s first AI only focused VC company.  He also serves as a Director of the The Machine Intelligence Institute of Africa (MIIA) and is Co-founder AI Media Africa, creators of Africa’s largest B2B trade show (AI Expo Africa), Africa’s first AI & Data Science Magazine (Synapse) & Africa’s first Live Steam Channel dedicated to AI Innovation (AI TV). Learn more at www.cortexgroup.ai

As access to “free” technology, maturing capital landscape and interest in 4IR grows – There has never been a better time to be an AI Entrepreneur in Africa”

Chairwoman: Junior Chamber Austria, CEO, Serial Entrepreneur & Investor

Christiane Holzinger


Mag. Christiane Holzinger, the certified tax consultant has been managing director of the Klagenfurt and Vienna tax consulting firm 360° Business Planner GmbH since 2011. She is also the co-founder and managing director of the startup company Start-up Stars GmbH, which was launched in 2015. StartUpStars supports visionaries, founders and game changers in the positioning and the market entry of their ideas. International business angels, venture capitalists, investors, innovators, founders in Austria and the USA, journalists and media professionals are in her Network.

Christiane is since 2015 Deputy State Chairwoman of the Junior Chamber Carinthia. Since January 2017, she is part of the Junior Chamber Board and since January 2019, Federal Chairperson of the Junior Chamber Austria. She brings her many years of experience and expertise in the field of corporate finance and start-up topics, thereby representing the concerns of young entrepreneurs throughout Austria.

CTO: SimbaPay

Daniel Howard


“Say yes more.”


SimbaPay gives banks & telcos in Africa a digital international money transfer service which they in turn offer to their customers. Customers of the banks and telcos are then able to send money abroad instantly from all channels including app, online, digital and agency

Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa: UK Department for International Trade (DIT)

Emma Wade-Smith


Emma Wade-Smith is the first ever Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa, representing the UK Government’s Department for International Trade.

Emma was appointed to this role in May 2018 having created and led the pan-African regional trade team since April 2017. She has lived and worked in South Africa since February 2016, having initially arrived in that country to be the UK’s Trade Director for Southern Africa.

Prior to her most recent experience working on trade and investment, Emma worked at the British Embassy in Washington DC as the UK’s Counsellor for Foreign and Security Policy. This came on the back of a two year stint heading up the Crisis Response Team in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. She was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty The Queen for her work helping British Nationals to safety from hot spots all around the world.

Founder & Managing Director: Envisionit e-Pay

Terence Naidu


“There’s greatness within everyone, we just need to let it shine.”


Founder and Managing Director of the Envisionit Group of Companies. Background predominantly in the hedge fund and investment banking industries.
Board Member: African Leadership Academy & Bright Lights Foundation.

With a strong ethos in innovation, integrity and investment back in South Africa and Africa Terence founded the Envisionit Bursary Foundation & Envisionit Prize. Thus far his bursary foundation has sponsored the tertiary education of 20 students and currently has 30 students being funded. Envisionit also collaborated with Bright Lights and The Click Foundation to fund early childhood development via online Maths & Reading programmes to 1,200 learners in Gauteng and Tshwane.

Director: Teach the Future SA

Janine Nel


“It is a peculiarity of man that he can only live by looking to the future”. – Victor Frankl


Janine is a creative communications and marketing leader, with extensive international experience in marketing and corporate communications, public participation strategies, reputation management, media training and crisis communications. She is skilled in delivering high-impact strategies and plans that are in tune with the market, aligned across the organisation, and created to influence. Janine has more than 18 years of management experience.

Janine has a BCom Marketing degree, a Postgraduate Diploma in Futures Studies from the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) and is currently working towards her master’s degree in Futures Studies, also at the USB.

Founder: Intelligent Impact

Aunnie Patton Power


“We need to understand that if we all work on inclusion together, it’s going to be faster, broader, better, and more thorough than anything we can do on our own.” – Ellen Pao


Aunnie Patton Power is the founder of Intelligent Impact, a technology for social impact advisory firm, an Angel investor and a university lecturer on Innovative Finance, Impact Investing and Technology for Impact. At the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School, she holds the title Associate Fellow as well as Entrepreneur in Residence at the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship. At the University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Graduate School of Business, she holds the title Adjunct Faculty as well as Senior Advisor to the Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She is also a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics’ Marshall Institute for Philanthropy and Social Entrepreneurship and a founding member of the Dazzle Angels, a female angel investing group.


Skype Name:aunnie.patton

Lead Expert: Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme

Ilari Lindy


“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill


Ilari Patrick Lindy is the Lead Expert at the SAIS 2 regional (SADC) innovation Programme based in Windhoek, Namibia. Before joining to SAIS he worked as Senior Operations Officer at the World Bank in Washington D.C. on digital innovation and development. Ilari has served as a Senior Advisor in Ministry for Foreign Affairs for Finland on information society and innovation as well as various positions in European Union institutions and bodies related to digital innovation and entrepreneurship.

Founder & CEO: Global Health Biotech (Pty) Ltd

Keolebogile Shirley Motaung


“Get up and get over the past. Don’t allow your mistake to define you. Is not how you fall is how you rise. So don’t manage your fall. Lastly not everyone wishes you wee. You can be hated for your success.!!”


Prof. Keolebogile Shirley Motaung is a Full Professor, Biomedical Scientist and Assistant Dean: Research, Innovation and Engagement in the Faculty of Science at the Tshwane University of Technology. She is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Global Health Biotech (Pty) Ltd, and President of the African Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society. As a Professor, research scientist and entrepreneur, she trains her postgraduate students not just on how to do research, and become a scientist, but also on how to become entrepreneur. By becoming entrepreneurs, they can create jobs for themselves after completing their studies at a time, when jobs are scarce, and unemployment is high.

Co-Founder: Nobuntu

Ross Tasker


“It always seems impossible until its done.”


A qualified attorney who previously practiced as an M&A lawyer at a large Pan-African corporate law firm, Ross has also worked as a central member of the team presenting the Fintech programmes presented by MIT Sloane and, more recently, Oxford Said business schools. Since starting Nobuntu, Ross has studied leading methods of rethinking and applying financially inclusive business models at the Harvard Kennedy School.


Basia Nasiorowska


“You need to expose yourself to conquer the fear, go and do it!.”


Founder of Companies, Entrepreneur, Innovative Technologies Evangelist and Enthusiast, Mentor, Start-Ups Developer Basia is a founder of companies over the last twenty three years and currently she is focusing on:

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) Robotics
  • Blockchain Virtual Reality (VR)
  • Augmented Reality (AR) Video Analytics
  • Gaming and Neuro-gaming Nanotechnology
  • Cybersecurity

Mentorship and business coaching of the Entrepreneurs in South Africa and Europe. In 2001 Basia developed, together with an international partner, Biometric Facial Recognition system that was successfully implemented in the gold mines, and was the first in the world. Over the last two years Basia has focused on Start-ups and got involved as a Mentor and Business

Managing Director: Management Transformation Ltd

Wura Abiola


Wura is the Managing Director of Management Transformation Ltd. (MT), an African-focused management consulting firm. She is an expert on strategy and policy, leadership, organisational behaviour, complex problem-solving and project governance & assurance. Wura has served multilateral agencies, national regulators, financial institutions and corporate organisations (in Nigeria and West Africa) in the areas of organisational development, risk management, strategy and financial sector transformation since 1999.

Wura is an independent non-executive director on the Boards of (a) Beta Glass Nigeria PLC and (b) Boulos Foods & Beverages Ltd (BFB), an investee company of International Finance Corporation (IFC) & ARM Private Equity.

Dean: Informatics and Design at Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Johannes Cronje


“Variety is the spice of life.” – Xaviera Hollander


Johannes Cronjé is the Dean of Informatics and Design at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

Following this he enrolled at the University of Pretoria where he obtained the BA majoring in Afrikaans, English and Anthropology, the BA honours as well as a Teachers’ diploma before reporting for military service at the Infantry School, Oudtshoorn. During his second year of national service he completed an MA in Afrikaans literature while serving on the Angolan border. He then taught English and Afrikaans at Pretoria Boys High until 1986 when he was appointed lecturer in Language Communication at Technikon Pretoria.

President: The Silicon Cape Initiative

Dr Sumarie Roodt


“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. Clarke


Dr Sumarie Roodt is the President of the Silicon Cape Initiative http:/www.siliconcape.com/ which is Africa’s largest, most established and most productive technology innovation network in the world from an emerging market perspective. Silicon Cape supports the technology entrepreneurship ecosystem in Cape Town, South Africa, Africa and the rest of the world. Silicon Cape’s slogan is “Africa First” and as Africa moves towards becoming a leader in innovation for some of the most important social, environmental and economic issues facing the world, Cape Town offers a wonderful base for pan-African collaboration.

Director: Vitagora Cluster

Christophe Breuillet


Christophe Breuillet is graduated of AGROSUP Dijon, food engineering school.

He began his carreer as Quality Manager at Carrefour France, Food Division.

He then became Industrial Director at « Normandie Plats Cusinés » (Normandy Prepared Food). He ensured the management an organsation of production, R&D,, Maintenance and Logistics departments. He created a new production unit in collaboration with an engineering consulting firm.

Since 2006, he is Director of the Vitagora Cluster. The cluster has grown from a dozen members in 2006 to 450 members in 2019. The cluster was evaluated as « high performing » since 2012 in French national audit. He received the award of the European Gold Label in Cluster Management Excellent in 2015 and 2018.

Chief Executive Officer of Sea Monster

Glenn Gillis


“Fish don’t know they swim in water.”

Glenn is the CEO of Sea Monster Entertainment, one of South Africa’s pre-eminent animation, gaming and augmented /virtual reality companies. He has a Business Science degree from UCT and has been a senior executive, consultant and entrepreneur with growing, knowledge intensive businesses for over 20 years. Glenn is also the co-founder and chair of Relate, a social trust that has provided R50m worth of employment opportunities and donations for other good causes over the last 5 years.


Skype Name:glenngillis

Interim Chief Executive Officer: Technology Innovation Agency

Fuzlin Levy-Hassen


Mrs. Fuzlin Levy-Hassen is the interim CEO of the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA), whose objective is to support the State in stimulating and intensifying technological innovation to improve economic growth and the quality of life of all South Africans by developing and exploiting technological innovations.

She has a proven executive management track record and over 20 years of experience in Chartered Accountancy. Prior to her current role, Mrs. Levy-Hassen was appointed as a TIA Board member effective from 1 May 2017. During this time, she also served as the Chairperson of the Investment and Finance Committee (IFC).

Fuzlin’s vision for TIA is to be the institution of choice as to funding of technological innovation and to partner with other institutions in the NSI space.

Executive Coach & Leadership Trainer: Cycan

Jaco Fourie


Jaco started his career as an international athlete, where he represented South Africa as a field hockey player. He knows what it takes to translate mental strength as called for in the sporting world, into practical, visible results. He believes that when we have a holistic systemic approach it creates a sustainable impact, which creates a culture of excellence.

Jaco is an Associate Certified Meta-Coach (ACMC) and a member of the Meta-Coach Foundation (MCF) of South Africa. He is a certified International Neuro-Semantics Trainer (NSTT) and specialises in the training of coaches and leaders. Jaco completed a BCom in Human Resources Development and has an Honours in Business Management.

Head of Innovation: Advantage Austria

Michael Scherz


Michael is Head of Innovation with Advantage Austria, the Official Foreign Trade, Internationalization and Innovation Agency of Austria. Prior to this, he worked in Advantage Austria Offices in Johannesburg, Jakarta, Paris, New York, Sarajevo and Munich.

GM Innovation Skills Developement at Technology Innovation Agency

Senisha Moonsamy


Senisha Moonsamy comes from a background of Public and Private Training and Education. This includes organisations such as The Services SETA (Chamber Manager of Cleaning; Hiring and Event Management) and Protech Khuthele, a Civil Engineering Company, where she was tasked to set up a learning & development centre.

Senisha Moonsamy is currently the Head of Innovation Skills Development and Enterprise Development & Support (ISD) at the Technology Innovation Agency. ISD will greatly enhance TIA’s ability to serve as a catalyst for promoting and supporting innovation skills throughout the National System of Innovation (NSI). By providing support for the development of cohorts of well educated, well trained and innovative young learners who will go forward to create depth within our academic and professional workforce in a sustainable environment that will benefit not only the present generation but also future generations of South Africans. She has raised in access of 100 million in 4 years from both local and international partners and executed multiple projects in skills development. Senisha is an expert in Learnerships and structuring of high impact projects.

Founder: Creative Contracts (Pty) Ltd

Robert de Rooy


“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Albert Einstein


Robert de Rooy is a commercial lawyer and the developer of Comic Contracts, the world’s first fully illustrated contract. He is the founder of Creative Contracts (Pty) Ltd. The purpose of the company is to enable poor, vulnerable and illiterate people to autonomously understand the contracts they sign. He lives in Cape Town, where he tries to balance his work and family life with some cycling and surfing.

Director, UK-SA Tech Hub

Shirley Gilbey


“The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus”


Working to impact the maturation of the South African tech ecosystem, Shirley champions the development of the UK-SA Tech Hub – a UK Government funded initiative linking the UK and South Africa focused on driving digital skills development, ecosystem collaborations, and partnerships between start-ups, funders and corporates in both markets. Previous roles include Chief Operating Officer at The Click Foundation and Head of Rise and Co-creation at Barclays Africa Group Limited. A founding member of Rise in Africa (www.thinkrise.com) she managed the Bank’s innovation portfolio, as well as the Barclays Accelerator in Cape Town (www.barclaysaccelerator.com) working with Techstars. Passionate about working with entrepreneurs looking to fundamentally impact their chosen sector, with specific interest in (all) tech innovation, Shirley started her career as a Human Genetist in a clinical laboratory start-up.

Senior Industry Development Manager: Industrial Development Corporation

David Sekgororwana


David Sekgororwana is a Senior Industry Development Manager at the Industrial Development Corporation (New Industries SBU). He graduated in BSc Chemical Engineering from the University of Cape Town and completed his Master of Business Administration from the Gordon Institute of Business Science. He has over 20 years working experience spanning R&D in metallurgy, Petrochemical operations, Strategy and Business Funding. David is on mission to assist entrepreneurs build and grow profitable businesses to make a difference in Africa.

Director: the dti, Industrial Policy Development Division

Sinah Mosehla


She heads the COSMETICS desk.

Ms Mosehla has been involved in many industry studies and strategies in the field of cosmetics and natural products since 2011. She has led the development of the Natural Ingredients and products Export Strategy in partnership with CBI, an agency of Netherlands. She is currently working with other government departments and government agencies (DEFF, DSI, TIA, SEFA, IDC, DSBD) to create  a one stop shop Natural Product Fund that will focus on amongst others, the commercialization of indigenous plant-based products in South Africa. Ms Mosehla is also currently working with UNIDO on the GQSP-SA project that focuses on strengthening quality of Essential Oils produced in South Africa.

Special Projects/International Development: 360 Lab SF

Paul Kallmes


“Keep calm and carry on. No matter what.”


Paul Kallmes is a San Francisco-based start-up advisor and instructor. He teaches courses in start-up operations, technology transfer, angel investor training, and incubator management. He is a part of teams bringing a comprehensive on-line business school to market and building a worldwide network of incubators, accelerators, investors and entrepreneurs. A true believer in the potential of companies from virtually any part of the world, he is currently active in North America, the EU, and Africa.

Managing Director: Lyra Consulting (Pty) Ltd

Alexandra Burger


“You will never regret being brave.”


Admitted Attorney with deep experience structuring local and cross-border businesses and safeguarding IP.

Ex banker and Investment Fund specialist. Experience in fund raising for Private Equity, Venture Capital and Property Funds from public market listings, PE and VC funds, institutional and private investors.Focused on technology investments including EduTech in Africa. General legal counsel for two international Private Equity Funds.


Chairman of the Board: INNO'VIN

Dominique Trioné


Enologist & Biochemist, Dominique Trioné is living « within the Wine » for over 40 years in the international context (France, Europe, Sth Africa, Algeria, USA, Brazil, China, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Australia, Japan…).

At the very beginning, in the 70’s after his studies, he starts with Pépin-Gasquet Company (cellar equipment and engineering) where he first had a sales responsibility (France then export) and after a few years a position of marketing manager.

At the beginning of 1980, he joins the Rémy-Martin Group as Director for Wine Production with the technical responsibility over the group wine subsidiaries and most particularly in France, Australia, Brazil and China. In this position, he is part of the team creating Dynasty (1980), one of the 4 major enterprises in Chinese wines today. In 1987 he takes the responsibility of Wine Marketing and Sales within Rémy Distribution, the international division, in charge of the countries where Rémy has no direct distribution subsidiary.

By the end of 1989, he joins the Laffort Company, where as General Manager, beside his old friend Jean-François Laffort, he participates to the development and the organisation of the international network of the company which today represents a presence in more than 60 countries with 12 subsidiaries.


Head Of Faculty at Futures Law Faculty

Kristi Erasmus


Bcom(Law) [University of Johannesburg]  LLB LLM(Cum Laude) (Company Law)  [ Stellenbosch University] Post Graduate Diploma in Futures Studies [Stellenbosch Business School] – admitted attorney, futurist in the making and Head of the Futures Law Faculty, a branch of the accredited training institution , The Institute of Legal Practice Development and Research, offering specially curated Masterclasses and Workshops,  equipping professionals with the tools and techniques of thinking and preparing for the future of tomorrow.  Kristi engages in substantial research concerning the possibilities of the future of law and how same may be impacted by technology and Artificial Intelligence. She has particular interest in Legal Tech and Legal Software and how it affects the practice of law and access to justice. Apart from the Futures Masterclasses she curates, she also runs a Paralegal Learnership Programme (SASSETA accredited) in association with an legal insurance company providing study material and practical work experience to the young legal professionals of today.

CEO: Bookings Africa

Fade Ogunru

Partner: White Summers Caffe & James

Mark White


Mark White is a founding partner of White Summers Caffee & James LLP (formerly White & Lee), and leads the firm’s international practice. Mark represents emerging growth, mid-stage and mezzanine stage companies and investment funds on all matters relating to the formation, financing, growth and liquidity of technology-based enterprises. Over the span of 20 years Mark has represented companies in well over 500+ financings and over 200+ acquisitions. He represents and advises companies on a wide variety of transactional matters, including business and legal issues as they pertain to complex strategic and venture financings, acquisitions, and licensing and distribution arrangements. Mark’s practice principally covers corporate, technology, financing and corporate partnering matters for a wide variety of private and public company clients. He regularly advises companies on strategic positioning, business model and revenue generation issues, the preparation of investment materials and presentations, and the structure of complex corporate reorganizations, joint ventures, divestitures, consolidations and commercial partnerships. Mark also represents investment funds on formation issues and regularly represents investors in making portfolio investments.

Head: Henley I.C.E. (Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship), CEO: Alchemy Inspiration, Co-Founder: Upside Global

Dr. Puleng Makhoalibe


Dr. Puleng Makhoalibe (PhD, MBA, BSc)
2019 Women Leaders of the World
Dr. Puleng has a passion for creativity, design thinking and innovation. She has twenty years of experience working in the private sector, government and in higher educational institutions. Her academic background entails a BSc in Computer Science and Statistics, an MBA and a PhD in Business Management from the University of Cape Town.

Her international peers have recognised Makhoalibe as a global leader in creativity and innovation. In 2013, she received an award recognising her contribution to the international community of innovators and creatives. In 2016, she received an Africa Social Innovation Leardership Award. In 2019 she received an award to be part of the women leaders of the world and became a lead for the cohort. She had now joined the women leaders of the world council. She heads up the center of Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) at Henley Business School. Besides her work at Henley Africa, she also works for Knowinnovation, a company accelerating interdisciplinary scientific innovation and for Inclusive Innovation, which focuses on innovation in developing countries. And she co-founded two startups: the Alchemy Inspiration and Upside Global. She is a past board member of the US-based Creative Education Foundation, whose mission it is to grow the next generation of innovators and creators and she facilitates at numerous global annual conferences. She is a speaker, panelist, facilitator, consultant locally and internationally and a published author.

Futurist: Innovation Mentor

Abbas Jamie


“You cannot predict the future but you can be part of creating a better future. In order to do that you need to think of innovation as a disruptor.”


Futurist, engineer, design thinker. Abbas has more than 30 years experience across government and private sector and has been involved in a broad range of industries from setting up start up businesses to working for a NYSE listed company. He has a broad range of qualifications across Engineering, Business, Futures Studies, Design Thinking and Project Management.

Karen Hidden


Karen’s 3 degrees include a Master’s in Inclusive Innovation. She has not only built a successful career in consulting on corporate sustainability and philanthropy as well as entrepreneurship and small business development to local and multinational companies, but she has also put it into practice by founding various non-profit entities that are all focused on giving humans the skills to make the world a better place.

Founding Member: Y-waste Solutions and Gezakapa,

Emile Fourie


Emile, founding Member of Y-waste Solutions and Gezakapa, has over 10yrs experience as a social entrepreneur.  A Formal Qualification background in Finance and Marketing, he has used these assets into pioneering Social Entrepreneurship, developing Circular Economic Business Models within the Green Economy.  He is particularly interested in using this thinking, to creating tangible, effective and sustainable change, by focusing on models striving for balance between People, Planet and Profit. His primary focus is heading up the Genius of Space Project, where he is striving to prove the true sustainable powers of Circular Economics, pioneering Ywaste’s Business model in the Informal Economy of Langrug, Franschhoek.

WillShift Group

Jessica Williams


Jessica’s background is in entrepreneurship, innovation management, marketing and industrial psychology. She works at the WillShift Group, which provides services to one-third of the JSE Top 100, as well as NGO’s, the public sector and business schools. The organization has extensive experience in working with start-ups, incubators and entrepreneurial development

Founder: Green Shift Africa

Steven A. Arowolo


Steven A. Arowolo is the Founder of the Green Shift Africa; a Pan-African NGO based in, South Africa, with footprints and regional representations in all the five regions of Africa. Green Shift Africa is one of the organizations currently striving to drive the Green Economy agenda in Africa, in tandem with the Global Goals as outlined under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Under the umbrella of Green Shift Africa, Steve curated the Project GEO, {Green Entrepreneurship Opportunities} for African youths, Project GEO has attracted over 1,000 young and aspiring green entrepreneurs in about 30 countries in Africa. #ProjectGEOAfrica.

Technology Transfer: Winetech

Lucinda Heyns


Lucinda had a decade of experience as viticulturist and winemaker, both in South Africa and abroad before joining Winetech as extension specialist. Passionate about sustainability, design thinking and co-creating solutions, she is also involved in Winetech’s innovation initiatives.

CEO: Girlhype

Baratang Miya


Baratang Miya has 16 years experience as a tech entrepreneur, award-winning speaker, having spoken at platforms like United Nations advocating for the inclusion of women and girls in technology sector, a facilitator, moderator, coder, blogger and tech education activist who works tirelessly to empower her fellow Africans through technology education. She is the founder and CEO of Uhuru Women Space focusing on AI and Data Science,  and Girlhype Coders a software engineering academy for girls.


She is An Android Software Development Lecturer at University of Western Cape, A graduate of International School of Technology in Brazil learning about Information Technology policy writing offered by Université de Montréal and ITS Global Policy Fellowship. In Brazil part of her fellowship was working with key ICT government officials, learning about Internet regulations, artificial intelligence, personal data protection, digital identity, legal protection of algorithms, connected democracy, etc. During her time there she was also lecturing about ethics and algorithms to School of International Technology global students.


She is the #theFutureofWomen Technology Award winner, selected from over 1,000 extraordinary rising African women nominees across the continent for your incredible work impacting the future of women 2017 presented by Global First Ladies Alliance, Facebook, and M.A.C AIDS Fund. Named top ten IT personality of the year by The Institute of Information Technology Professionals South Africa (IITPSA) 2017. Mozilla named her amongst the top 50 people who made the internet a better place, and OkayAfrica named her as one of the 100Women. OkayAfrica for her inspirational work not only to the future generations but to her fellow women.