Asset 1


Asset 1


Asset 1


Deputy Minister: Department of Trade & Industry

Deputy Minister Fikile Majola


Mr Fikile Majola currently serves as the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry (the dti), the Republic of South Africa following his appointment on 29 May 2019.

He is a member of the 6th Parliament as a representative of the African National Congress (ANC). He also served as a member of the 5th Parliament and during this period he served as the Chairperson of the portfolio committee on Energy until 2019.

He actively participated in many structures of the liberation movement during apartheid, such as the Vaal Youth Congress (VAYCO), South African Youth Congress (SAYCO), Southern Transvaal Youth Congress (STYCO), and the United Democratic Front in the Vaal after the formation of the UDF in 1983.

Deputy Minister Majola joined the National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU), as its organiser in the Vaal Branch in September 1989 and was elected Regional Secretary of NEHAWU Western Transvaal in 1992. He was seconded to NEHAWU Head Office in 1993 to work in its Secretariat Office then later became the Acting Assistant General Secretary in 1994 and was eventually elected permanently to the position in 1995. Majola became the General Secretary of NEHAWU in 1998 and was re-elected to this position in 2001, 2004, 2007 and again in 2010. He served in this capacity until 2014 and remains the longest-serving General Secretary in the history of the union.

Majola has also served as a Central Executive Committee (CEC) member of COSATU from 1995 until 2014 as well as being a titular for Africa of Public Services International, International Federation of Public Services Union. In March 2011 he chaired the Ministerial Task Team on SETA Performance. Its mandate was to assess and make recommendations on SETAs’ performance, governance structures and operational processes.

Majola continues to be an active member of the ANC and South African Communist Party (SACP) and he currently serves as a member of the Central Committee and Politburo of the SACP. At the beginning of 2019, he was appointed as the Convener of the ANC’s Sedibeng Regional Task Team in Gauteng.

Deputy Minister Majola obtained his Honours in Public Administration from the University of Western Cape.

Mayoral Committee Member - Safety & Security and Events: City of Cape Town

Alderman JP Smith


Jean-Pierre (JP) Smith has been involved in politics since 1989 when he joined the then-Democratic Party (DP). He started working for the Democratic Party in 1994 until the formation of the DA party in 2000 and was elected Ward Councillor for Ward 58.
In 2001, he was elected as Chairperson of the Good Hope Subcouncil and re-elected in 2006. After the 2006 local government election, he was asked by the Mayor to serve as the Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security, a position he was again appointed to after the local government elections in May 2011 and again in 2016.
He currently holds the position of Mayoral Committee Member for Safety & Security and Events, which includes oversight of the Metro Police, Traffic, Law Enforcement, Fire and Emergency Rescue Services, Disaster Risk Management, Public Emergency Call Centre and Film and Events Office.
He is also a Proportional Councillor assigned to Langa and serves on the Provincial Executive Committee as Deputy Chairperson and Metro Regional Executive Committee as Deputy Chairperson.
He studies at Stellenbosch University where he earned a B.A. Degree (English) and suspended his Honours in English to take up employment in the DP.
He is currently the patron of the Cape Animal Welfare Forum.

Ambassador of Finland in South Africa

Ambassador Anne Lammila


Ambassador Lammila newly arrives in South Africa from Saint Petersburg, Russian Federation, where she worked as the Consul-General of Finland. Previous ambassadorial posts in Ms Lammila’s career include Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues and Gender Equality (2015–2017) and Ambassador to Mexico accredited to Cuba, Haiti, and Central America (2011–2015). Previously, she was the Deputy Head of Mission of the Finnish Embassy in Washington (2007–2011) and held various directorship positions in the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, including in the Americas and Asia department. She was also the Deputy Permanent Delegate in Finland’s Permanent Mission to UNESCO, in Paris (1995–2000). Earlier in her career, Ms Lammila served in the Finnish Embassies in Madrid and Brasilia.

She holds a Master of Science Degree in Economics and Business Administration from the Turku School of Economics and Business Administration.

Head of Innovation & PMO: Nestlé

João Barreto


João is a critical thinker and solution-oriented business management professional with over 12 years of experience in different countries and industries. Specialised in innovation strategy, he has designed and implemented several internal and external initiatives, fostering strong creative cultures in his organisations.

For the past few years, João has been working at Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region, where he recently launched the Nestlé Hatcher, an open innovation platform aiming to challenge the local ecosystem to develop business solutions, create excitement in connecting corporates with startups and to support a sustainable business for entrepreneurs.

He focuses his work on contributing to the growth of innovation ecosystems and their talent by inspiring corporate leaders to invest and support new ventures that can positively impact their businesses.

Executive Director: Africa Blockchain Institute

Kayode Babarinde


Kayode Babarinde is currently the Executive Director, at Africa Blockchain Institute, a Pan Africa Institute, that is building Blockchain capacity in Africa for Digital Transformation. He takes genuine interest in developing the capacities of young professionals, and enthusiasts, on emerging tech, policy, business, and social impact.

Kayode is also the Lead Partner of KAYBABS Consult, a leading technology firm with innovative strategies on market entries in domesticating the adoption of Blockchain Technology in Africa.

He is a Professional Member of Government Blockchain Association (USA); a Fellow of Global Leader Experience (Common Purpose, UK); and a Mentor at Youth Empowered – Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC).

Executive: Enterprise and Supplier Development: Telkom FutureMakers

Mmathebe Zvobwo


Mmathebe is an investment professional, entrepreneurship scholar, and accomplished executive successful at leading teams through change, strategic corporate renewal through innovation, and investing in new value propositions. She is a multi-talented leader with a solid career history in information technology and telecommunications, financial services, and retail. She is a qualified Chartered Accountant registered with the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) and holds a Masters in Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation from Wits Business School. Mmathebe is a versatile executive offering a 10-year track record of overseeing and managing strategy, execution, and investment to meet business objectives.

Managing Director: SAP Africa

Cathy Smith


Cathy was appointed Managing Director of SAP Africa in March 2018. She is the first-ever female executive of an emerging markets market unit in SAP’s history. Cathy started her career in the insurance industry as an application developer. She also spent three years in the UK, consolidating her expertise, and held a number of executive roles for European and global markets, specialising in the outsourcing services business. Overall, she has more than 25 years’ experience in the IT industry, working for major industry players like IBM and Cisco. She joined Cisco in 2015, and as Managing Director, led Cisco’s go-to-market sales and digital transformation strategies for subSaharan Africa. Prior to her tenure at Cisco, Cathy spent 23 years with IBM, where she held various leadership roles in IT service delivery, HR and sales.

Founder & CEO: Pezesha

Hilda Moraa


Hilda is an award-winning entrepreneur and author. She has more than 10 years of experience in Fintech, regulation and working with multinationals supply chain firms like Coca-Cola to develop innovations across Africa. She previously founded WezaTele, a Fintech startup in Kenya that was acquired in 2015. She is currently the Founder & CEO of Pezesha, a holistic digital financial infrastructure enabling embedded finance to SMEs and institutions looking to add Fintech in their products and services.

Managing Partner: Newtown Partners

Llew Claasen


Llew is the Managing Partner of Newtown Partners, a venture capital firm founded by him and Vinny Lingham. The firm invests globally in early-stage, emerging technology and disruptive business model startups that drive economic activity in a fundamentally positive way. In 2019 they started working with global logistics group, Imperial (JSE:IPL) to enable their corporate venture capital program. Newtown Partners operate out of offices in San Diego, U.S. and Cape Town, South Africa.
Llew is a go-to-market strategist with almost two decades of experience in digital product management and digital marketing. He co-founded Clicks2customers (rebranded to with Vinny Lingham, now a global digital marketing agency with annual billings in excess of $100 million and Synthasite (rebranded to
Llew is also the former Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation, the original, the oldest and the largest cryptocurrency advocacy organization globally, headquartered in San Francisco, U.S.
Llew has a Masters degree in the Management of Technology & Innovation.

Co-Founder: XRGlobal

Natalie Miller


Natalie is an experienced entrepreneur and business development professional with a decade and a half experience leading and growing organizations across Africa. She earned her MBA from Saïd Business School at Oxford University where she focused on Entrepreneurship, served as co-Chair of the Africa Business Group, and was selected as a Skoll Associate with the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship. Natalie moved to South Africa in 2006 from Washington DC to start up the regional base for the global non-profit organization Operation Smile later becoming Vice President, Africa and then Vice President, Global Business Development. In 2013 Natalie started her own consultancyZARUS Group, focused on supporting social businesses and non-profits with fundraising, strategic positioning, and growth. She worked with a half dozen international non-profits including Greenpeace Africa, Business Bridge, Oxfam, Save the Children, Medecins sans Frontiers (MSF), and Amrefand ran Impact Hub’s Africa Seed Program supporting local founders across the continent start an Impact Hub in their cities and to build partnerships across the region. More recently she has worked with clients such as BackaBuddy and Linked to support the build or re-build of their technology platform to enable scale. In 2016 Natalie joinedZoona, a FinTech money transfer company focused on the unbanked, as Head of Expansion and Commercial Partnerships. In early 2018, Nataliebecame CEO of Green Fingers Mobile an AgriTech company enabling visibility in the value chain and access to market and finance for small farmers. Natalie was selected in the top 100 Women in Fintech 2019 by LATTICE80 and is also an angel investor and director of the Ugandan e-commerce platform Xente. Natalie volunteered as a Facilitator for Grassroots Entrepreneurs in the informal settlements and was a mentor for Barclays’ Tech Africa Accelerator, Startupbootcampand MAN Impact Accelerator. She has coached dozens of start-ups and non-profits through the Bertha Centre for social Innovation at University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business and Social Enterprise Academy and most recently with SAB Foundation and Further, the latter of which was born out of the movement and community that was built through Red Bull Amaphiko (Red Bull’s Entrepreneurial Academy.) Utilising 20 years of experience training across Africa and Asia in the health, financial inclusion and Agri space, Natalie co-founded XRGlobal in early 2020 to transform training through virtual reality(VR). Proven to dramatically increase knowledge retention, VR creates immersive, deeper more authentic experiences with no distractions while also significantly decreasing training time and enabling scale.

CEO: Cycan

Bryan Hattingh


Bryan is a visionary, serial entrepreneur and unconventional man who lives his life to the fullest. He understands and consults on the essence, challenges and opportunities facing leaders across industry sectors and geographies. He describes himself as a Merchant of Hope – based on the premise in positive psychology – that Hope is more than just a feel-good emotion; it is a cognitive motivational system that can be developed and leveraged.

For the past 35 years, Bryan has been engaged in various capacities in business, acting as a change agent and thought leader in the fields of leadership acceleration and actualisation, business transition, entrepreneurship, brand activation and talent acquisition strategy and execution. He is a trusted advisor to a variety of blue-chip corporations and SMME businesses across industries ranging from telecommunications, information technology, banking, insurance, retail,
private equity, mining, and service-based organisations and practices.

He hosts a radio show called Risky Business and has appeared in numerous television shows, including CNBC, Business Day Live and SABC News.

Co-Founder and CEO: ImaliPay

Tatenda Furusa


Tatenda is a Co-founder and CEO of ImaliPay, a fast-growing VC backed Fintech formed in 2020 offering financial services to African gig workers and platforms. Up until starting ImaliPay, he was Technical Advisor to the Co-CEO of Cellulant, a leading digital payments company operating across 18 African countries. Tatenda is a prestigious Chevening Scholar and studied for his Master’s at the University of Nottingham (2017) and also holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Business from Bradley University (IL, USA). Tatenda’s ambition is to develop the tech ecosystem across Africa for the next generation of entrepreneurs to attract funding and build scalable world-class businesses that promote fast track economic development and empowerment.

Head of Research: Africa Blockchain Institute

Oluwaseun David Adepoju


Oluwaseun David ADEPOJU is a digerati with over ten years of experience in technology advocacy, technology policy and technology research. In his role as the Head of Research at the Africa Blockchain Institute, he is responsible for all the research, policy and insights generation activities of the organization. In his previous roles, he was the CTO of TECHmIT Africa, a Technology and Innovation Ecosystem Advocacy Organization in Nigeria. He had a bachelor in Library and information science from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. A masters in Information Science at the University of Ibadan Nigeria. A masters in Public Policy (Technology Policy) at the Korean Development Institute School of Public Policy and Management South Korea and a currently a PhD researcher in Creative Technologies at the COLAB, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand where he is re-imagining the e-government initiatives in Nigeria.

Chair of the Advisory Committee: Green Outcomes Fund

Tine Fisker Henriksen


Tine Henriksen is an investment manager and head of operations at the BESTSELLER Foundation, and the former Innovative Finance Lead at the Bertha Centre. She has spent her time focusing on building new partnerships between the public, private and civil society sectors to deliver positive social impacts. She has worked as a strategy advisor to SNV Netherlands Development Organisation’s Managing Board, focusing on new business models and key trends in sustainable development. Tine also led multiple projects across Africa focused on impact investing and social enterprise acceleration as part of SNV’s Impact Investing Advisory Services. She has worked in Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa on impact investing projects in the renewable energy and agriculture sector and co-founded an online publication on impact investing in Africa. She is an Alumnus of the Elumelu Professionals Programme in Nigeria and holds a M.Sc. in International Business & Politics from Copenhagen Business School and a B.A in BSc. Public Administration and Social Science.

Managing Partner: Stepchange Africa

Andrew Herweg


I’ve spent the last nine years advising, managing and mentoring start-ups, non-profits, SMEs and Fortune 500 companies in the Americas, Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa. Notable businesses include Visa Europe (now Visa Inc.), KKR and Deloitte. The last five years, I’ve worked in Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda with Brioche, 1000 Hills Distillery and Grameen Foundation’s TaroWorks. Right now, you can find me coaching African and African diaspora start-ups with OvO and Seedstars and managing Stepchange Africa.

Group Executive - Marketing: AYO Technology Solutions Limited

Jeni Kostova


Jeni Kostova, Group Executive Marketing, Ayo Technology Solutions, is intrigued and enthused by how technology is influencing just about every aspect of our life, business, economic flow and the opportunities it can bring for transformation and advancement.

Speaking eight languages (4 fluently) and with a Degree in Actuarial Science combined with several qualifications in, and a passion for, marketing, Jeni has worked across the globe on creating brand equity for a number of household names. With a knack for spotting the next opportunity, Jeni has also created (and owns) a number of very successful commercial events, which have covered a variety of sectors – from FOREX to health and beauty.

Her experience as a business analyst has also assisted her in understanding the value and potential of the technology sector, where she now finds herself helping to create Africa’s first African-owned and led tech giant.

Chief Financial Officer: Finclusion Africa Holdings

Tamuka Mpofu


Tamuka is the CFO of Finclusion Africa Holdings Ltd a leading fintech in Sub-Saharan Africa. He has over a decade of experience in the finance sector having completed his articles training with KPMG with a speciality in banking & financial services. In his career, Tamuka has concluded over USD20m in capital raises. As a Certified Expert in Microfinance, Tamuka is an avid innovator with a fintech focus, having earned his BCompt and Level 1 Honours in accounting and finance from the University of South Africa.

Partner: HAVAIC

Grant Rock


Grant is a connector and outgoing individual, who enjoys exploring new places, meeting new people and learning about new businesses. He has a talent for finding new business opportunities, and providing business-minded, practical advice. For nearly 20 years Grant worked as a corporate transactional lawyer, solicitor and executive in South Africa, London and New York, on a wide range of transactions in banking, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, debt and equity capital markets, and private equity. He is passionate about tech, photography, art and various outdoor sporting pursuits.

Founder & CTO: FoodPrint

Julian Kanjere


Julian Kanjere the founder and CTO of FoodPrint, a blockchain-enabled, farm-to-fork supply chain platform connecting African smallholder farmers to markets and services ( He is also a Managing Partner and Principal Technology Consultant at Bridgehouse Technology (, a boutique emerging technology and advisory services firm. Among other offerings, Bridgehouse Technology helps companies and industry leaders assess and implement Blockchain solutions.

Julian has a decade of global experience in software development and technology implementations. He previously developed enterprise software at Hexagon PPM – a global software development company, and investment management software at Allan Gray – Africa’s largest privately-owned investment management firm. Julian seeks to use technology and innovation to advance society at scale. As a testament to this, he has recently been selected as 1 of 20 global winners in the Schmidt Futures Reimagine Challenge for his submission on FoodPrint and Blockchain in Africa.

Julian holds a Masters in Financial Technology and Honours in IT/Computer Science from the University of Cape Town, and a Business Systems degree from Monash University.

Chief Operating Officer: HearX Group

Seline Van Der Wat


Seline van der Wat is the COO at HearX, the fastest growing health tech start-up on the continent which focuses on the creation of access within the hearing healthcare space. A qualified Industrial Engineer, she specialises in organisational development and in the design and implementation of holistic systems along with sustainable business development practices. At HearX, Seline heads up national and international operations, strategy and disruptive business development within the Health tech space, having grown the business from 11,000 tests 4 years ago, to over 1.4 million in over 191 countries today.

Co-Founder & CEO: Startup Réseau

Ajay Ramasubramaniam


Ajay Ramasubramaniam is a seasoned executive with 16 years of experience in setting up, operating, and growing businesses, across diverse geographies such as East Africa, Canada, India and Vietnam. Currently, Co-Founder & CEO of Startup Réseau, Ajay has been active in the Indian startup ecosystem for the past 8 years and has built India’s top meta startup accelerator – through which he has set up corporate accelerator and innovation programs for the likes of Barclays, Axis Bank, Lodha Group, DP World, Shell Foundation, HDFC Bank, ICICI Lombard General Insurance, Abbott, Synchrony, Citi, BNP Paribas, TVS Credit, Sodexo, Ambuja Neotia Group, Thomson Reuters, Viacom18, EY and Visa to name a few. Within the startup ecosystem, Ajay has also built unique properties such as Fintegrate Zone (India’s top Fin+Tech conclave over the past 3 years) – for which he has been recognized as a Top-30 FinTech Influencer in India by The Digital Fifth; as well as, The Mumbai AI Summit and initiatives such as PitchRight (a web series on elevator pitches), empoWer (India’s 1st women-in-tech accelerator) and international market access programs. In the past, Ajay has led the India business for a Canadian ed-tech startup, as well as represented Canadian Government in India for 5 years. He started his career in Tanzania, working on AfDB and World Bank projects; including a stint as an intrapreneur, building an agri-tech business. He believes that having a strong rolodex helps take your business a long way. Ajay is an MBA in Marketing & Finance. He is passionate about cricket, and is a certified ICC Level-1 cricket coach.

Co-Founder & CEO: Fincheck

Chris Ball


Chris started his career working for Rocket Internet, one of the world’s largest online incubators. From there, Chris has co-founded his own technology business (Finch Technologies) as well as pursuing a career in private equity which includes a time at AlphaWealth where he was involved in several private equity transactions with a total value of transaction over R600m. Subsequently, Chris has partnered with the Parktown Capital office to leverage the skill sets of both parties to grow a private equity portfolio of investments and as such has facilitated Parktown’s investment into Real Foods.

Investment & Advisory Manager: Chrysalis Capital

Rebecca Johnson


Rebecca is a finance and investment professional with vast experience in strategy development and execution, project management, operational finance, corporate governance and reporting, Startup funding, and social innovation. She began her career with Venture Garden Group, a PE-backed $80M fintech holding company working primarily with the different subsidiaries in addressing key challenges in the aviation, power, health, finance, education, and social sectors.

She is currently an Investment and Advisory Manager with Chrysalis Co which houses The Chrysalis Capital, an emerging market-focused tech fund and The Chrysalis Advisors, a financial and investment advisory firm where she works with several startups across Africa and other emerging markets. Her work is to ultimately set them on the right trajectory for sustainable growth and scale by facilitating fundraises and acquisitions, designing expansion strategies, and providing other strategic advisory services. Also passionate about female empowerment, she once led the Garden Women’s Network – a network of over fifty female professionals committed to the engagement, recruitment, and retention of women in tech. In 2018, she co-facilitated the first female founder-focused tech accelerator in Nigeria; launched in partnership with Google Launchpad, the accelerator was created to close the investment funding gap for women-led and gender-balanced startups.

General Manager - Green Economy Sustainability Executive: The Innovation Hub

Rethabile Melamu


Dr Rethabile Melamu is a dynamic and self-motivated professional; she obtained her PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cape Town. She is currently the General Manager for the Green Economy Unit at The Innovation Hub. Before that, she acted in the position of Chief Director: Sector and Industry Development in the Gauteng Department of Economic Development. She has more than a decade’s experience in the green economy sector, spanning renewable energy and waste management sectors. She has experience in developing public sector strategies and has led the revision of the Gauteng Energy and Green Economy strategies. She has vast research experience in the technology innovation field as it pertains to critical elements that contribute to the success of emerging technologies in a developing country context including enterprise development of cleantech start-ups. She has published and delivered reports and academic articles in her fields of expertise including for the OR Tambo Debate Series based on Chapter 5 of the South African National Development Plan. She was a finalist in the category of Outstanding Woman of the Year in the Power and Water category at the 2017 premium African Utility Awards. In 2019, Dr Melamu was honoured by Mail & Guardian as one of the Women Changing South Africa in the Politics and Government category. Dr Melamu sits on a number of Advisory Boards in the academia and enterprise developments sectors.

CEO: DataLedger

Anzill Adams


It was Steve Jobs’ take on the “magical” intersection of technology and humanity and CK Prahalad’s book, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, that made Anzill interested in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) as an enabler for the greater common good. Anzill is an Executive MBA graduate in Systems Thinking from the Graduate School of Business at the University of Cape Town. His sense of a revolution is more CHE than SHA. RFID and Blockchain changed everything and more. He has consulted on a diversified portfolio of RFID (IoT) business processes and discovered blockchain by chance when, at the age of 51, he read the Tapscotts’ seminal work, “Blockchain Revolution”. Via their Blockchain Research Institute (BRI), he completed and graduated from a specialized blockchain program through INSEAD, reinvented himself as a socio-capitalist and am now part of the BLOCKCHAIN REVOLUTION. Site-specific vineyard blocks have now been replaced by site-specific data blocks and NON FUNGIBLE TOKENS.

Co-Founder & CEO: Regenize

Chad Robertson


Co-Founder and CEO of Regenize, a recycling solution that’s on a mission to make recycling more accessible, inclusive and rewarding. Regenize provides a freemium recycling collection service that integrates waste pickers to perform the collections and provide them with uniforms, fossil-fuel-free recycling tricycles, equipment, mobile devices, access to clean recyclables and a decentralised recycling hub (DRH). All residents earn a virtual currency, Remali, each time they recycle. Remali can then be redeemed for various rewards, such as airtime, data and grocery vouchers.

Chad has a background in software development and is a student at UCT GSB, completing his MPhil in Inclusive Innovation, focusing on the informal waste sector.

Founder & Lead Governance Specialist: CoSec8

Cindy Dibete


Cindy is qualified as a Professional Accountant (SA) in 2005. She started and sold an Accounting Firm after 14 years of success. She later founded a Corporate Governance Firm and has a proven track record of enterprise systems development working with various organisation leaders. Cindy engages at a strategic level of an organization supporting entrepreneurs and executives on their respective mandates serving them towards efficient service/product delivery. As a Corporate Governance Specialist, she works with management and Boards to achieve their strategic objectives. She leads initiatives that have contributed towards increased profits, productivity, and value preservation within her clients’ businesses. Motivated by honesty in behaviour and understanding the gravity of management style to good performance, she has created tools that simplify decision making, enhance the process flows to serve the leaders in keeping the focus on scaling the business towards whatever exit strategy they have consciously adopted. Cindy measures her value by the impact her clients have in their families and communities.

Founder & Managing Partner: Akazi Capital

Liebe Jeannot


Liebe Jeannot is the Founder and Managing Partner of Akazi Capital, a blockchain-based impact fund investing in early-stage ventures owned and led by female entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa. Akazi Capital bridges the massive funding gap facing these dynamic and promising entrepreneurs, supporting them to grow their businesses and thereby contributing to bolstering the communities and economies in which they operate.
Originally from South Africa but having lived and worked in North America and Asia, she has a global perspective and loves connecting individuals from various backgrounds and fostering new partnerships.

After a career in private client wealth management, she pivoted to a career in impact investing and has experience in financial inclusion and gender lens investing. She is excited about the wonderful opportunities to invest in Africa and believes that women as capital allocators will play an important role in the future of the continent.

Founder: Arabs in Blockchain

Eman Herawy


Eman Herawy is the founder of ( العرب × بلوكتشين Arabs in blockchain) which aims to build an open community and empower the Arab world in blockchain through organizing events, mentorship programs, and increasing the Arabic content in blockchain.

Additionally, She is a tech Lead at Startfi, Devcon V scholar Alumni at Ethereum Foundation, ambassador for ConsenSys Quorum and Status Network, and holds a professional master’s degree in cloud computing networks from Cairo university. She was featured by Fintech Reviews at the international women’s day 2021 as one of the top 21 blockchain leaders.

Chief Strategist: A-Game Business Consulting

KK Diaz


KK Diaz is a business and brand strategist, 6-times author and speaker. He currently serves as CEO of A-Game Business Consulting, a growth-hacking and digital marketing agency that provides innovative strategies to help companies improve business performance, revenue and brand equity.

He helps companies around the world to implement innovative business strategies, digital marketing tactics, processes and systems for transformative sustainable growth.
KK Diaz is the originator of the methodology and author of The A-Game Business Blueprint – a multifaceted approach and collaborative ecosystem designed to help businesses achieve 10X-Growth.

His latest book, Thrive, helps business leaders unlock digital transformation, remain relevant and avoid disruption. His series of training programmes, workshops, online courses, books and articles help business executives and entrepreneurs gain a holistic view of strategy, marketing, sales and operations as a set of business processes that can and should be clearly defined, and therefore easily repeatable within the business for long-term success.

Co-Founder & CEO: Brayfoil Technologies

Matthew Bray


Matthew received his MSc in International Finance at the São Paulo School of Economics (Brazil) and Universidade Nova de Lisboa (Portugal) in 2016. Thereafter he worked in finance with a particular focus on asset management, corporate finance and venture capital, with Goldman Sachs in London and BASF in Hong Kong. Since co-founding Brayfoil Technologies, Matthew’s focus has been on the development and commercialisation of adaptive structures, as CEO. There, he has overseen fundraising from public and private sources, project management, hiring, techno-economic product analysis and the development of engineering projects within renewable energy and aviation. Their current focus is on the development and commercialisation of groundbreaking blade architecture and control technology for wind turbine blades.

Founder & CEO: Medsaf

Vivian Nwakah


Vivian Nwakah is the Founder& CEO of Medsaf a tech-enabled pharmaceutical platform to facilitate and finance the movement of medications and increase access, quality and affordability. Prior to Medsaf she launched a hybrid solar energy company in Nigeria as well as home health care agencies in the United States. She hails from Chicago Illinois and has travelled the world for business and pleasure. She completed undergraduate studies at University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and an MBA program in the US, France, and Brazil.

Head of Leadership & Innovation: Cycan

Zi Hattingh


Zi has consulted with C-Suite executives across a diverse set of industry and business sectors. Over a period of 25 years, she has played a pivotal role in the creation and development of highly successful boutique entrepreneurial businesses focused on the development and actualisation of leadership and
talent benches. Zi has in excess of 12,000 hours of Transformational Executive Coaching. As such, she has been pivotal to the design, development and facilitation of Cycan’s revolutionary leadership change frameworks underpinned by cognitive psychology and the latest findings in neuroscience.
Zi’s business expertise extends over a period of in excess of 35 years and incorporates CEO, COO and other related executive director roles; as well as:
Project management of complex software applications development, Financial management, Intellectual property research and development, Merger and acquisition optimisation, Business structuring and negotiation and Executive and operational management.

Extraordinary Professor: Stellenbosch University

Calie Pistorius


Prof Calie Pistorius is an extraordinary professor of Engineering Management in the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Stellenbosch. He is also the Director of DeltaHedron Ltd, a UK-based consultancy specialising in the management of innovation and technology intelligence to assess the strategic business impact, risks, opportunities and threats presented by the dynamics of technological change and emerging technologies.
He is a former Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Pretoria in South Africa, where he was also the Director of the Institute for Technological Innovation and a former Chairman of the National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI), as well as a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hull in the UK.
He holds BSc(Eng) and BEng(Hons) degrees in electronics engineering from the University of Pretoria, MS and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from the Ohio State University, an SM degree in the management of technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Certificate in Quantitative Risk Management as well as being an alumnus of Harvard Business School. He is registered as a Chartered Engineer in the UK and is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), South African Academy of Engineering (SAAE), Royal Society of South Africa (RSSAf) and the South African Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE); Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf).

Managing Director: Girls Fly Africa Program

Refilwe Ledwaba


A qualified helicopter pilot, fixed-wing pilot and a remote (RPL, drones) pilot holder, Refilwe is also a flight instructor. An expert in aviation with a career that spans over 20 years in the industry, Refilwe has served as the Vice-Chairperson of the Air Services Licensing Council (ASLC); responsible for the issuing of air licenses (including drone licenses) to new applicants. Her work at the ASLC assisted in ensuring the safety and reliability of air services operations in South Africa and adjudicating complaints of non-compliance.

Refilwe is also the Managing director of the Girls Fly Africa Program (GFAP), a foundation focused on emerging technology programs within the aviation industry. These programs leverage drone technology to teach STEM principles in schools.

She is also a part-time lecturer at various tertiary institutions, specialising in aviation regulation environments and the application of drones in various fields.

Senior Digital Strategist: {type}DEV

Yi-Yu (Bruce) Liu


A professional in both business and software development, Bruce Liu is a senior Digital Strategist at {type}Dev where he re-modelled the software strategy methodology for the company. He concurrently strategized for more than 10 startups through TuksNovation. In 2019, he graduated with his Masters in Commerce in Text Analysis which falls under Data Mining and Artificial Intelligence. He is currently studying his PhD in Accelerating startups while assisting the startup of {type}Dev EU within Austria.

Country Lead: KTN Global Alliance Africa

Fredell Jacobs


Fredell serves as the Country Lead for KTN’s Global Alliance Africa and is passionate about entrepreneurship and innovation. His work in entrepreneurship capacity development covers development finance, private equity, philanthropy and academia. He enjoys the support of a diverse global network and got experience from assignments in many African countries, Latin America and South Korea.

Fredell is also an experienced entrepreneur with many startup failures under his belt which inspires his teaching and coaching interest. As a firm believer in life-long learning, he appreciates collaboration and diversity.

He enjoys angel investing projects and plays golf in his spare time.

Founder & CEO: Convergenc3

Stefan Smit


Stefan is the CEO and founder of Convergenc3 launched in January 2016. He has more than 18 years of experience in the Financial Services and the Telecommunications industries and has also worked within the Retail, Automotive and Aviation industries.

Convergenc3 is a management consultancy that facilitates growth, transformation and optimisation through business engineering at our clients, with our focus primarily on the banking, insurance and telco industries. What is unique about Convergenc3 is that we wanted to introduce a new, fresh and creative consultancy with an embedded DNA at its core that empowers staff to change the world. Our business model aggressively enables entrepreneurship from our engineering team who are all pro-actively encouraged (and supported) to launch digital start-ups into the market. With a team of over 40 industrial engineers currently in the business supporting local clients, a new branch that is being set up in the Netherlands in addition to South Africa, and 23 start-ups from our engineering team in various phases of maturity (ranging from ideation to MVP launched in the market), the sky is the limit.

Executive Vice President - Digital & IT: Imperial Logistics Limited

Cobus Roussouw


Cobus Rossouw is the Executive Vice President: Digital & IT and a member of the Executive Committee of the JSE listed Imperial Logistics Limited. He founded Volition Consulting Services, which became the cornerstone of Resolve Solution Partners, the Lead Logistics Partner capability of Imperial, with annual revenue exceeding R1,5 billion and profits exceeding R100 million.

Within Imperial, Cobus has been instrumental in the conceptualization of the business strategy initiated for the combined African and International businesses in 2017, separated listing (with the unbundling of MOTUS in 2018) and the strategic focus on the “Gateway to Africa” leveraging its market access business model to complement its leading freight management and contract logistics capabilities (in 2019).

Currently, Cobus is responsible for clarifying how best to extract value from innovation, digitalization and technology convergence. He has focused on establishing the innovation venture fund and accelerating the digital transformation of the business.

Trademark & Copyright Attorney: Von Seidels

Christine Strutt


Christine is an experienced trade mark and copyright attorney, and a partner at Von Seidels.

Her field of expertise includes complex trade mark searches and the prosecution and enforcement of trade marks in Africa. Christine also counsels local and multinational companies on the legal aspects surrounding trade marks and branding, domain names, copyright, advertising standards, unfair competition, consumer protection, data privacy, social media, online ventures, internet and mobile commerce. In addition, Christine frequently advises on IP-related transactions and commercial issues including licensing, franchising, end-user agreements and terms of use.

Christine works increasingly with clients in the digital media, mobile, e-commerce and financial services sectors.

Co-Founder: African Institute for Entrepreneurship

Tamiko Sher


Tamiko is dedicated and passionate about creating long-term, sustainable solutions for her colleagues, partners and clients through the power of collaboration. Her work is driven by social purpose and impact. Tamiko is committed to providing solutions that work towards helping others. She writes, speaks, publishes and engages in collaboration with others; her business practices have a social impact and are sustainable.

Tamiko has direct hands-on BDS delivery experience over 28 years in the private and public sectors, including mentorship, diagnostics, workshops and programme design and delivery in the metals and minerals beneficiation, light manufacturing, retail/FMCG and tourism sectors. Tamiko has established several small business initiatives, including African Trade Jewellery Collection, providing direct support to SMMEs and developing market access to museums, high-end tourist destinations, and lodges in Southern Africa including direct support to SMMEs to enable exports to 11 countries.

Founder & CEO: LiquidGold Africa

Orion Lee Herman


Orion is the founder and CEO of LiquidGold Africa and a global and local award-winning innovator creating Africa’s first unique dry female urinal and an off-grid nutrient and water recovery waste solution to create a highly valuable dry fertilizer from toilet resource urine.
Through LiquidGold Africa, he saves clients water and money through a unique waterless urinal waste system, and now they offer a special process to hygienically collect, store and treat the “liquid gold” – urine to obtain a valuable resource for agriculture and reduce the net waste pushout by our cities. Ensuring good quality drinking water and discharging fewer bacteria into rivers and streams. Orion is passionate about the vision of their company, their clients, their city, their environment and their future generation.

Co-Founder: African Institute for Entrepreneurship

Jabulile Msimango-Galawe


Jabulile is the founder and managing director of Dr J Business Support (Pty)Ltd and the program director of the MM – Business and Executive Coaching at the Wits Business School. She is an Entrepreneur, Statistician, Business Coach, Mentor, facilitator, public speaker, researcher and senior lecturer. She holds a PhD in Entrepreneurship (Wits Business School) and an MSc in Mathematical Statistics – Risk analysis (University of the Free State).

She has about 20 years of working experience including approximately 10 years spent in the entrepreneurship space and another in the corporate space. Dr J as she is known, is a teacher, a mentor, and a coach who prioritizes holistic growth and personal leadership as a key ingredient to personal and professional development. With her work, she mentors and supports young entrepreneurs who are creating paradigm shifts within their industries. She is very passionate about people development and entrepreneurship, especially the development and sustainability of small businesses in South Africa.

Knowledge Transfer Manager: KTN Global Alliance Africa

Andrea Wyers


Andrea is the Knowledge Transfer Manager for KTN Global Alliance Africa programme. In this role she is responsible for Monitoring and Evaluation, while also co-leading on the delivery of Place-based Innovation activities across Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.

Passionate about building sustainable futures through local development, Andrea has also worked with diverse communities in Canada, the UK, Mexico and Sierra Leone. She believes the greatest outcomes are achieved through deep listening and collaboration.

Head: FractalLabs

Gunther Marais


Gunther has been applying mathematical models to financial problems for over a decade, serving the financial industry with a focus on risk and automation. Gunther is passionate about building autonomous solutions in today’s fast-paced digital world.

Founder & Managing Director: Ntsu Aviation Solutions

Sam Twala


Sam Twala obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Engineering from the University of Pretoria. He also obtained a Master’s degree in Aviation from Massey University (New Zealand) in 2016.

He worked for the South African Civil Aviation Authority from 2011 as a Certification Engineer and later joined the Unmanned Aircraft Systems department as a “UAS specialist”. Amongst others, his responsibilities included the development of the regulations and technical standards for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems.

Sam served as a special adviser to the South African member of the International Civil Aviation Organisation Unmanned Aircraft System Study Group and later served as a member of the RPAS Panel from its inception until 2016. He also served as a member of the Joint Authorities for Rulemaking of Unmanned Systems (JARUS).

He worked at ATNS as a Senior Systems Engineer with a focus on Communications, Surveillance and Navigations (CNS) systems. He is a recipient of the European UVS International Catherine Fargeon award

Digital Marketing & UX Design Strategy & Development Specialist: {type}DEV

Hanno van der Merwe


Hanno van der Merwe is a Digital Marketing and UX Design, Strategy and Development specialist at {type}DEV with nearly two decades of experience in the industry. He holds an Honours Degree in Information Science and is in the process of obtaining his MBA specializing in Digital Marketing. Hanno’s passion lies in ensuring that users are engaged and motivated to adopt desired behaviours through Gamification, Stunning Design and User-Centric Interaction.

Counsellor - Climate Action, Environment & Agriculture: European Union Delegation to South Africa

Ariane Labat


Ariane Labat is currently a counsellor for climate action, environment and agriculture in EU Delegation to South Africa, after 4 years as head of cooperation for the EU Delegation to the Kingdom of Eswatini; previously, Ariane was cluster lead mitigation for the EU international negotiation team at the UNFCCC, working towards successful global climate action from Cancun to the Paris Agreement; she had further previous assignments as an economist working to unlock sustainable and inclusive growth opportunities in Europe, Latin America and China.

Founder & CEO: Finclusion Group

Tim Nuy


Timothy Nuy founded Finclusion in July 2018 with a vision of enabling financial inclusion through data-driven lending. Timothy has over 10 years of international experience across Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa in management, investment and advisory capacity. During his previous tenure with MyBucks from 2014 until 2018, Timothy was most notably involved with the group’s acquisitions of banks in Malawi, Mozambique and Uganda as well as its listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. Timothy returned to MyBucks on a restructuring mandate during 2019 and lead a EUR110m Debt Restructuring. Prior to MyBucks, Timothy was an Investment Director with ADC African Development Corporation AG and an Assistant Manager in KPMG’s Transaction & Restructuring team in Hamburg. Timothy holds a BSc from Maastricht University and is a CFA Charterholder.

Founder & CEO: KURAI®

Clive Mathe


Clive Mathe is an entrepreneur and technology architect, and his passion is mainly centred on the intentional application of technology and innovation for strategic creation and improvement of key systems. Clive Mathe is an experienced Aeronautical Engineer, the current and founding CEO at KURAI®, and is an MBA candidate at the University of the Witwatersrand business school (WBS). His early access to the agricultural sector while growing up has driven his passion and love for agriculture, and this shared passion with his co-founder (Samuel Mathekga) led to the founding of KURAI®.

“I am dedicated to driving efficiencies in agriculture through technology, and innovation, and ultimately change the face of this practice on the African continent. Such changes can only be achieved through operational excellence at a micro-economic level (the farms), and careful strategic positioning of all stakeholders for a measurable macroeconomic impact”, says Mr Mathe.

Head - Business Strategy: Government of Estonia's e-Residency Programme

Mats Kuuskemaa


Mats Kuuskemaa is Head of Business Strategy at the Government of Estonia’s e-Residency programme. He has previously worked at the Estonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs with trade and investment policy, as Consul and Economic Officer at the Estonian Embassy in New Delhi and as Political Counsellor at the Estonian Embassy in Beijing.

Director - Programmes: Afrilabs

Nanko Madu


Nanko is an African innovation ecosystem builder with a Professional track record in the deployment of economic development strategies and capacity building programmes that supports and enhances the growth of the African technology and innovation ecosystem. She is the Director of Programmes at AfriLabs; a network organization of over 290 technology innovation hubs across 49 African countries where she leads the design and implementation of it’s portfolio of work aimed at strengthening the African innovation ecosystem.

In the past, she worked as a consultant for the World Bank on one of its programmes; Youth Enterprise With Innovation In Nigeria (YouWiN!), where she led the design of a large-scale training program for over 40,000 SMEs and was part of the team that designed and implemented the programme’s 12-billion naira (~75 Million USD) grant targeted at 1,500 innovative ideas conceptualized by youths in Nigeria. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture from the prestigious University of Jos, Nigeria.

Director - Entrepreneurship Ecosystems & Digital Innovation: SA Innovation Summit

Buntu Majaja


Buntu has been active as an entrepreneur since university. Starting with a background in chemical engineering, he took his first steps into the business world as a strategy and innovation consultant. He has since been on two startup journeys with hundreds of users and worked with 1000+ entrepreneurs. Today, he builds digital solutions for entrepreneurship and education.

He is the Director of Digital Innovation and Ecosystems at the SA Innovation Summit, where he looks after the TechTribe Accelerator and TechTribe Community. He is a data science enthusiast and property investor and authored the book Starting Your Start-Up in 90 days. He also hosts the Ubuntu Dreams Podcast – Your Voice of Africa Rising.

Buntu dreams of touching millions of African entrepreneurs and lives through innovation and investing in innovative solutions in education, real estate, food security, water, and renewable energy.

Senior Scientist: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland

Stephen Fox


Stephen Fox PhD DSc is a Principal Scientist at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. He is representing the Digilogic Project (, which is focused on boosting cooperation and partnerships between European and African digital innovation hubs (DIHs). Dr Fox is leading Digilogic’s one-year programme to provide support for innovators in Europe and Africa who aim to solve four challenges related to the improvement of logistics in both continents. Digilogic’s call for proposals to improve logistics will be opened in May 2022, and proposals are invited from Ghana, Nigeria, Zambia, Finland, Germany, Italy, Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.

Founder: FURTHER

Ian Calvert


Ian is an internationally recognised expert on purpose-driven business, innovation and entrepreneurship, with 32 years of experience as a leader, marketer and entrepreneur.

Ian led the creation and expansion of Red Bull Amaphiko, an international programme aimed at enabling early-stage, community-based social entrepreneurs. He drove the global growth of the programme which ran in 15 countries, including the USA, UK, Brazil & South Africa, and which enabled thousands of early-stage social entrepreneurs.

At the beginning of 2020, Ian spun off the Amaphiko programme into an independent impact venture called FURTHER, using a human performance approach to grow a global fellowship of impact-driven entrepreneurs. He is also a strategic advisor and fellowship selection panellist for Ashoka, the world’s authority on social entrepreneurship.

An Honours graduate of Birmingham (UK) and Aix-Marseille (France) Universities, he began his career at Ogilvy & Mather London before moving to Ogilvy in Cape Town, becoming the youngest ever Board Director at the age of 29. In 2002, He was appointed to the Board of the Association of Communications Agencies of South Africa.

He founded a number of internationally successful advertising and marketing agencies, including Instant Grass, a youth insight and collaboration agency that harnesses networks of influential consumers to collaborate in the innovation process for global brands such as Levi Strauss, Adidas, Nike, Red Bull and Diageo. Ian drove the expansion of Instant Grass International into Russia, Japan, Middle East and Africa.

Co-Founder & CEO: Mobiz

Greg Chen


CEO and co-founder of Mobiz, Greg has more than 15 years of mobile innovation and experience in both B2B and B2C. Born in Taiwan but grew up in South Africa, his multicultural context has shaped him to be a passionate leader, thinker and pioneer. Being unrelentingly customer-focused, he has led Mobiz to become a trusted platform that accelerates commercial success through mobile engagement. Greg received his Masters in both Electrical Engineering and Business Administration from the University of Cape Town.

Executive Coach: Cycan

Ben Fourie


Ben’s business expertise extends over a period of 10 years along with more than 8000 hours of individual/team coaching and facilitation experience. He has engaged with executive and senior leadership teams from C-suite downwards in organisations across diverse industries and more recently, has led to an international Leadership programme for a global company covering Africa, Asia, America and the UK.

MasterCard Foundation Scholar: African Leadership University

Clare Kanja


Clare Kanja is a MasterCard Foundation Scholar at the African Leadership University, pursuing a BSc. in Computer Science. She is passionate about Technology, particularly the field of Data Science and aims to be a thought-leader in the same and community development. She strives to find an intersection between the two through her career and passion projects.

She co-founded Jalia Club, which stems from the Swahili word Jali, which means ‘to care’ or ‘to empower’. The club aims at bridging the gap between girls in underprivileged high schools and those from top tier schools by providing a platform for young people to share their stories in order for them to learn about and from each other. They do this by creating spaces where the girls acquire technical skills such as Design Thinking as well as having open sessions where they discuss day-to-day issues that they face and possible solutions to them.

Additionally, Clare’s entrepreneurial mindset has led to her selection as one of the Ms Geek Africa 2020 finalists and winner of the ALU Innovate 2021 competition. She values mentorship as she believes that it is a means through which one can reach their maximum potential.

In her free time, she enjoys outdoor activities, cycling in particular.

Project Manager: African Forestry

Kikolo Mwakasungula


Kikolo is an experienced Programme Manager at African Forestry (AF) with a history of working in the natural resources and environmental sector. His work emphasises lobbying and advocacy for an enabling business environment in commercial forestry. Currently, he is working on building the resilience of commercial forestry startups in Tanzania. Kikolo is skilled in research, management, and leadership, and has a strong professional background in consulting. He has a Master’s Degree in Environmental and Natural Resource Economics from the Sokoine University of Agriculture.

Founder & CEO: Glowdom Edupreneurs

Sebulon David


Sebulon David is working on education information systems to digitise processes in Africa. He founded Glowdom, an EdTech company with the purpose of connecting Africa and making a difference. Sebulon wants Glowdom to become a clear alternative of any company operating within and outside Namibia while taking advantage of technological developments to do its business. Through Glowdom, Sebulon aims to develop human resources and create jobs and business opportunities for Africans, especially the youth and women. Sebulon holds a degree in Computer Science from the University of Namibia and serves as a Mandela Washington fellow for young African leaders, as well as an ambassador in Namibia for UNESCO and SAP Africa Code Week and the Africa Code Challenge.

Founder & Chairman: Circle of Excellence

Mike Handcock


Mike Handcock is a remarkable individual with the unique ability to take hand-selected entrepreneurs from their current state to their desired state. As the Chairman and Founder of the Circle of Excellence Group, Mike has built a brand and reputation as a highly respected business professional, mentor and maverick who is well travelled to over 108 countries. With a heart and powerful message for conscious business leaders, Mike has been performing massively as a professional speaker on world stages. As a pioneering and award-winning entrepreneur, Mike has built a career that benefits thousands of entrepreneurs with his message that advocates, making a difference is as important as making a profit. Mike’s mission is to build the number one team of conscious leaders on earth through the Circle of Excellence Group and its associated companies. His vision for the world coupled with incredible business acumen, unique life experiences, and sacred wisdom guarantees powerful keynotes to his audiences. His ability to transform mindsets from the stage is backed by a Global Speaking Fellow accreditation at the highest level in the industry, multiple awards in speaking, including receiving a presidential award from the Global Speakers Federation for excellent service to the industry. His tenacity coupled with the deep market knowledge and over 40 years of commercial and cultural exposure worldwide have equipped Mike with the knowledge and wisdom to successfully lead five international companies. His achievements in the industry have made him a game-changing pacesetter who is making significant contributions as a sought-after board member of numerous cooperations. In 2020, Mike received the APAC Eco-Conscious Leadership Development Award. Mike is a best-selling author of books in leadership, professional development and now truth-seeking novels, making much-needed shifts in the business and life strategies of entrepreneurs, cooperations and truth-seekers alike. Mike has also launched two brand new books in 2020 – “Conscious Leadership” as well as “Entrepreneur X-Factor 2nd Edition” – both are Amazon #1 Best Sellers. He plays and produces rock music for his own business events, which he shares with selected audiences during his travels.

Founder & CEO: Memeza Shout

Thulile Mtethwa


Thuli Mthethwa is the Founder & CEO of Memeza Shout, a Social Enterprise that aims to support crime prevention, as she herself was a repeat victim of crime and GBV. Thuli is a software developer turned Social Innovator and Entrepreneur. Over the past 9 years, through Thuli’s leadership, she has led her team and organisation to become a key role player in the niche field of Community Safety through Technology, focusing on Public-Private Partnerships. With many accolades, industry awards and endorsements, Memeza Shout’s innovations have proven to reduce the murder rate by 9%, sexual offences by 26% (Diepsloot) and improve SAPS and CPF service delivery from 45 min to a low 7 minutes. Thuli holds a B.Sc. Honours Information Systems & Computer Science (UNISA) and a B.Sc. Information Systems and Computer Science (Rhodes).

Head: Naspers Foundry

Fabian Whate


Fabian joined Naspers on 1 March 2020 as Head of Naspers Foundry.

Before this, he was Head of Coinvestments at South Suez Capital responsible for the firm’s Africa private equity co-investment programme. During his six years with the firm, Fabian oversaw due diligence investigation on more than 100 potential investments and closed more than a dozen deals. His deal experience ranges across several sectors, from healthcare and education to financial services and energy, and across all key regions in Africa. Fabian started his career as a management consultant at McKinsey and Company. His focus was primarily on strategy and operations in the energy sector and the logistics sector in South Africa. He then spent several years in investment banking, first at JPMorgan and then at UBS, advising clients on mergers and acquisitions and equity capital raisings primarily in the industrials sector in sub-Saharan Africa.

Fabian has a Masters in Business Administration from London Business School and a Bachelor of Business Science from the University of Cape Town.

“Naspers Foundry provides funding in a sector that has limited access to financing from traditional institutions. I believe this is a great way to support the development of the economy, as entrepreneurs are, after all, the drivers of significant economic development and job creation.”
— Fabian Whate

CIO: Mukuru Africa

Sandy Rheeder


Sandy Rheeder is the CIO of Mukuru, one of Africa’s largest remittances-focussed fintech and an enabler of safe, affordable and reliable financial services to underserved communities. She joined the company just over 3 years ago after 16 years in IT consulting for a wide range of Financial Services companies. Sandy graduated from Rhodes University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Business Science (Hons) in Information Systems. She started her consulting career as a business analyst, understanding how systems can really help or hinder an end-user. Before joining Mukuru, she was helping companies translate business goals into IT strategy. Sandy also has experience in making agile work in large organisations, in managing large delivery teams, and as a specialist facilitator for both strategic and design level discussions.

She is passionate about creating technology solutions that really meet customer’s needs; creating simplicity in a usually complicated tech world. Mukuru is a company that embodies this thinking in an African context, providing an essential service for so many people on our continent to send money back home to their loved ones. Sandy is excited to be part of Mukuru’s ongoing journey to use technology as an enabler for innovation and problem-solving.

Interim CEO: Technology Innovation Agency

Patrick Krappie


Comes out of a strong management background, having held senior positions in government institutions specializing in economic policy and negotiations. An Honors (Economics) graduate, with vast international working experience in England and Switzerland. In these roles, he served as a diplomat for 8 years representing South Africa as a negotiator in the World Trade Organization, World Intellectual Property Organization and the United Nation Conference for Trade and Development. In addition, he served in the OECD Development assistance committees where South Africa is an associate member. He then joined the Presidential Task Team serving as Deputy envoy in the negotiation for the establishment of the BRICS, the latter’s participation and association with the G8 and the ultimate establishment of G20.

His last venture involved the establishment of the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA)in 2009, facilitating the merger of seven pre-existing business entities of the Department of Science and Technology. Since then he has served in various senior management and executive roles and currently serves as Acting CEO of TIA. Strong points are a big picture strategy, collaborative leadership, building and rallying teams together towards a common goal. Specialities include stakeholder management, partnership building, strategy and execution.

Portfolio Manager- Technology: Wesgro

Motlhabane Koloi


Motlhabane has experience working with high growth technology businesses. He has worked in a multi-national startup accelerator supporting venture design and legal structuring for tech businesses readying them for investments and international expansion. To this, he helped design and launch an SDG Focused accelerator programme for technology to advance the SDGs. He currently serves on the Board of Silicon Cape, a tech community dedicated to developing the Western Cape as an innovation hub for Africa and the world.

He is a Portfolio Manager for Wesgro, the official trade, investment and tourism promotion agency for the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape. In this, he works in promoting the destination as an investment destination for technology businesses. He works to facilitate FDI investments and supports local to the national government in policy assessment for ease of doing business for high growth technology businesses.

Motlhabane is also a Senior Advisor for the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network Youth, a global network of youth volunteers who are developing solutions and programmes for Sustainable Development Goals. In this capacity he supports thought leadership formulation for the organisation, developing reporting guidelines and practices as well as programming strategy and execution in alignment with the organisational theory of change.

He has been recognised by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for his work in supporting sustainable development and the pan African technology community. He has served as an acceleration partner for the UN Foundation’s Solutions Summit supporting high growth tech businesses for the sustainable development goals. And has served as a mentor to various businesses.

He holds Bachelor of Science, a degree in intellectual property law, and is currently completing his MBA.

Patent Attorney: Von Seidels

Ralph van Niekerk


Ralph is a patent attorney and partner at Von Seidels. His expertise includes patent prosecution, litigation and technology licensing for a broad range of clients. His particular focus is in the ICT, software and electronics industries where he has extensive experience in developing and managing large patent portfolios. His clients range from start-ups and universities to global technology companies.

Ralph holds undergraduate degrees in electronic engineering, computer science and law, and holds a Master of Laws from Stanford Law School. As one of the few practising South African patent attorneys with a United States IP law qualification, Ralph offers clients valuable insight into IP matters in the US.

He is also in charge of quality standards at Von Seidels and spearheaded the firm’s ISO 9001 certification.

Director - Innovation & Technology: Botswana Innovation Hub

Budzanani Tacheba


Budzanani is currently Acting Chief Executive Officer at the Botswana Innovation Hub, and serves as Executive Director, Innovation and Technology, where he oversees innovation support programmes and technology entrepreneurship development, facilitating R&D, innovation, and technology funding/commercialisation. Previously held positions include Research Fellow at the University of Botswana (ORI); Regional Coordinator, Global Monitoring for Food Security Consortium Project (SADC-ESA); and interim Coordinator in the Botswana Innovation Hub Project Office.

He has 20 years’ cumulative experience in academia (R&D), industry (product development) and government (science, technology, and innovation policy). He served as a non-executive director in the Medical Education Partnership Initiative Advisory Board and currently serves on the Botswana Geoscience Institute and Botswana Postal Services Limited Boards, amongst others. He is the Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Physics and Astronomy department at the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST). In addition, he is also the co-editor of Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy Making: Its Trends and Objectives in Developing Countries. Harvard Executive Education Alumni in Science Technology and Innovation Policy.

Founder & CEO: XRGlobal

Bryan Crosswhite


Bryan Crosswhite is the CEO and Founder of XRGlobal and has worked in Education for over 15 years in the Emerging Markets. Bryan has implemented XR Projects ranging from Pilot Training for the US Airforce to Agricultural Training in Africa. Bryan has a background as an Instructional Systems Designer and Unity developer. Bryan resides in Split, Croatia with his family.

Partner, Projects Lead & Executive Director: Catalyst for Growth

Lerato Mdluli


Entrepreneur, management consultant, and enterprise development specialist Lerato Mdluli has supported the growth of entrepreneurs for over a decade in several sub-Saharan countries. Her background has given her experience in and insight into the business support environment, both as an entrepreneur and as a business support provider, and the personal development and growth needs of entrepreneurs at the helm of many SMMEs across the African continent. This has enabled her to thrive in her new role at Catalyst for Growth, where she works in the monitoring and evaluation of BDS programmes. Her educational background includes qualifications in Management Accounting (CIMA), Accounting Science (B.Compt) and certificates in Small Business Enrichment and Entrepreneurship from the University of Johannesburg.

Business Director: Viridian

Alexandra Fraser


Alexandra is the Founder of Viridian, an innovation agency that designs and delivers early-stage entrepreneur and investor programmes, research, and strategy. She is also an angel investor and startup advocate and is passionate about building a vibrant, sustainable, high-growth entrepreneurial ecosystem and culture across Africa to drive economic growth and job creation. She is deeply embedded and connected with the entrepreneurial, investment, and innovation communities through her involvement with various organisations and as an independent strategic consultant.

Alex has over 18 years of experience in the early-stage investment space, is a founding member of ABAN (African Business Angels Network); a co-founder of Dazzle Angels (; and a co-founded the African Angel Academy (, the first online training programme for African angel investors, delivered by experienced angels. She holds a BSc in Molecular Biology and a Post Graduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship from the University of Cape Town, as well as a Master’s Degree in International Business and Emerging Markets from the University of Edinburgh.

Founder: VS Nova

Stephan Lamprecht


Stephan Lamprecht is the founder of VS Nova, a South African based management consultancy. He is a qualified industrial engineer with a masters degree in management (specialising in new venture creation and entrepreneurship). As an experienced and professional strategy and workshop facilitator, he has amassed a broad range of strategy development and planning experience in working with leading groups as a workshop facilitator, including corporate teams of leading SA enterprises as well as various public sector institutions and state entities. Clients include corporate executive teams, early-stage investors and public support for start-ups both locally and abroad.

General Manager: Seedstars Tanzania

Innocent Mallya


Innocent Mallya is a technology fanatic who came from the banking sector before joining the fast-growing tech ecosystem in Tanzania in mid-2018. He now manages one of the largest hubs in East Africa, Seedspace Dar es Salaam, which has the main focus of investing in tech startups in emerging markets. As the Seedspace General Manager, Innocent has worked closely with Tanzanian startups in the past year, helping them to grow their businesses and become investment-ready. This role gives him more time to focus on working with the young minds and talents in Tanzania, mostly helping them to build new ventures for the future.

Professor: Nelson Mandela Africa Institute of Science & Technology

Askwar Hilonga


Prof. Askwar Hilonga is the winner of 22 reputable awards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Health Prize, Pitch@Palace, and the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation 2015, which is sponsored by the British Royal Academy of Engineering. He invented the Nanofilter®, a low-cost water filter. Prof. Hilonga holds a patent and trademark for the Nanofilter, and has to date published 55 articles and two books. He serves as a role model for the Academia for Society and Industry, an approach championed by NM-AIST University, where he works as a professor. He completed his PhD in Chemical Engineering (2010) in South Korea.

Lead Expert: Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme

Ilari Lindy


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.

Start-up Visa & Foreign Relations Lead: Start-up Estonia

Annika Järs


Annika’s mission at Startup Estonia is to help people out with everything related to Startup Visa and Foreign Relations. Having lived and studied in Italy, she has mastered how to improvise, adapt and overcome any obstacle on her path. She has previous experience in the tourism and event management field and always likes to take up challenges.

Knowledge Transfer Manager - Emerging Technologies: KTN Global Alliance Africa

Emma McKenna


Emma joined KTN’s Emerging Technology and Industries team in April 2020. Since joining the organisation, Emma has played a key role in supporting innovation that drives the transition to a circular economy and accelerates progress towards the UK’s target of net zero by 2050. She currently works across multiple cross-sector programmes, connecting businesses, government, funders and innovators together to enable the world to move towards a more sustainable and inclusive future. As part of KTN Global Alliance Africa, she co-leads the delivery of Place-based Innovation activities in Gauteng, South Africa, Ekiti State, Nigeria, and Eldoret, Kenya.

Head - Game Tech Business Development: Amazon Web Services, EMEA

Shayan Sanyal


Shayan leads the business development team for AWS Game Tech in EMEA, and his team helps game developers, studios and publishers build and distribute awesome games on AWS. Before this, he spent 3 years helping out startups build and scale on AWS Cloud, and then prior to that, nearly a decade as a startup founder or operator. He spends a significant amount of hist time devoted to startups as a mentor and advisor and is a Techstars All Star Global Mentor. Currently (re)playing God of War (PS4), Resident Evil Village (PS4), and Crusader Kings III (PC).

Incubation Co-Lab Lead: Innovate Durban

Amy Benn


Amy Benn is the Innovation Co-Lab Lead for Innovate Durban, an entity set up to support and promote innovation in Durban. Her background is in community development and design thinking. She has been involved in community and business development throughout her career. Her passion lies in social justice and development and using design thinking to change the world.

Acting Executive Manager - Seda Technology Programme: Small Enterprise Development Agency

Colin Leshou


Colin is the Acting Executive Manager: Seda Technology Programme. He has been with Seda for the past 14 years, where he took on various roles. Colin is passionate about SMME development, with a specific focus on entrepreneurial competencies and the role of credit guarantee schemes within small business development. He has been participating in many areas of research within entrepreneurship and has been representing Seda on the international stage. He visited countries such as France, Germany, the USA as well as a myriad of African countries where he has been able to influence the SMME agenda by promoting South African small businesses. Colin’s ability to engage entrepreneurs from all walks of life is allowing him to create platforms and opportunities for robust engagement on topics that might be challenging for SMMEs such as Access to Markets, Access to Finance, Supplier Development, Export Development and many more. He currently holds an MPhil in Development Finance (NQF 9) and is currently enrolled for a Doctorate in Business Leadership (DBL) and a Masters in Insolvency and Business Rescue. Mr Leshou is also knowledgeable in the areas of; Financial Modelling, Entrepreneurship, Strategy and Organizational Development and Innovation, to mention but a few.

Colin is an enthusiastic and professional leader with a proven track record in the field of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Development. Colin is passionate about Africa and the emerging markets and would like to see Africa growing to reach its full potential.

CEO: The Innovation Hub

Pieter Holl


Adv Pieter Holl obtained the degrees B. Iuris and Bachelor of Laws from the North-West University and University of South Africa (UNISA) respectively. He completed several courses in leadership and management and is an admitted Advocate of the High Court of South Africa. He is also a member of the Institute of Directors, Southern Africa. He has in the past and continues to hold seats on various boards and committees. He has worked as a Partner at the Law Firm, Van Schoor and Höll Legal Advisors and was the former Deputy Director-General (DDG) responsible for Business Regulation and Governance at the Department of Economic Development in the Gauteng Provincial Government. He has worked in various government departments throughout his career and has been appointed as the CEO of the Innovation Hub with effect from 1 December 2018. Adv Holl has extensive experience in governance, drafting of legislation and economic development in general. He has a passion for entrepreneurship and promoting a culture for innovation with the objective to ensure the enhancement of business growth through the incubation of innovative companies and the creation of new business opportunities for start-up companies. Further development of the Innovation Hub into a state-of-the-art Science and Technology Park is high on his priority list.

Chief Commercial Officer: Contactable

Scott Gibson


Scott is an angel investor in a number of technology start-ups and a minority shareholder in Contactable where he is a member of the Executive team. Before joining the team at Contactable, Scott spent 19 years in the Dimension Data Group where he held numerous roles such as VP of Finance, MD of Conscripti and CEO and shareholder of Britehouse. His last role at Dimension Data was as the Group Executive: Digital where he was responsible for Dimension Data, NTT’s global digital and application competence, ranging from digital advisory, cloud application services, advanced analytics, application implementations, application outsourcing, enterprise mobility, and application support. Scott also ran Dimension Data’s Sports Practice delivering the analytics solution at the Tour de France and Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka. As Chief Commercial Officer at Contactable, Scott is responsible for all customer and partner relationships and is passionate about delivering Digital Identity solutions that drive business outcomes for all stakeholders. In addition to his role at Contactable, Scott is Chairman of the IT Steerco at South Africa Tourism.

Manager - Innovation & Operational Effectiveness, City of Cape Town

Bridgette Morris


Bridgette Morris is the Manager, Innovation and Operational Effectiveness at the City of Cape Town responsible for the development and implementation of innovation programmes and projects to drive customer-centric service performance across the organization and external stakeholders.

Her innovation journey has been mainly within the public sector space in State-Owned Enterprises (The Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Industrial Development Corporation) and now in the local government sphere. She has been instrumental in establishing innovation networks within organisations and providing the tools and techniques to drive innovation in their respective business units.

Her experience within the strategy and innovation space has seen her implementing the innovation frameworks, which in turn informed the development of Innovation Strategies and Blueprint within the Municipal context.

CEO: Research Institute for Innovation & Sustainability

Davis Cook


Davis is the CEO of RIIS, the leading innovation-focused strategy advisory firm in SA; he is also a Director with ZASpace (the industry body for the SA space sector), and non-exec roles with the SA Innovation Summit and Anza Capital, an early-stage Africa-focused VC. With a track record in strategy and development focused work in consulting, government, corporate and start-up environments, Davis has a wide experience in leading and advising organisations through complex changes. He holds degrees in Physics, Politics & Economics, Development, and Business; and splits his spare time between mountain climbing, jiu-jitsu, and parkour.

Programme Director: GrindstoneXL

Will Green


Will Green has forged a successful career as an emerging market tech entrepreneur (Sky, Yahoo! and Sizmek Africa).

He now invests his energy advising start-ups and accelerating high-growth Scale-ups as part of the Grindstone’s Alumni (70+ companies) and Grindstone cohorts (21 companies).

Previous alumni have been iKubu (exited to Garmin), Payfast (excited to DPO), WhereIsMyTransport, Quicket & Cradle (Knife funded) & WizzPass (excited to FM: Systems).

Grindstone engineers high-growth entrepreneurs

Executive: Research Institute for Innovation & Sustainability

Kuziva Huni


Kuziva is an executive in strategy consulting, where she directs the strategic vision of projects and handles operational leadership across profitability, team professional development, and client relationship management. She currently leads a boutique, innovation-focused strategy consulting firm of 25 employees working across public-private and third sectors. She is passionate about unlocking the untapped potential of catalytic innovation drivers that lead to inclusive economic development and is also deeply committed to and experienced in building leadership capacity in Africa. Kuziva has served as an executive in the financial services industry where she led Atlas Mara’s Transformation strategy in Rwanda to facilitate the integration and modernisation of two entities. She has a wealth of diverse experiences having worked in over 17 sub-Saharan African countries, allowing her to bring impact-driven, people-centric, and market-based approaches to tackling some of the continent’s most pressing development challenges.

Senior Private Sector Specialist: World Bank

Michael Ehst


Michael Ehst is a Senior Private Sector Specialist with the World Bank’s Finance, Competitiveness, and Innovation Global Practice. His work focuses on entrepreneurship support and innovation policy. Michael has led World Bank lending and research related to SME support, entrepreneurship, and early-stage venture finance for the Africa and East Asia regions of the World Bank. He helped to design and launch the Climate Technology Program that supports clean technology innovation centres in seven countries globally. Previously, he held positions with the science committee of the U.S. Congress and the U.S. National Academies of Science and worked on technology policy issues for the Japanese government. Before his work in public policy, he worked in technical and managerial leadership roles within startup internet and software businesses. Michael received a BS in business administration from the University of Colorado and an MA in the economics of technological change from George Washington University.

Co-Founder & CEO: Clickatell

Pieter de Villiers


Pieter is one of the youngest mobile industry veterans with over 20 years of experience in global telecoms, mobile messaging and mobile payments backed by the likes of Sequoia Capital. As the CEO and co-founder of Clickatell, the leader in mobile communications and Chat Commerce, Pieter has successfully led his team to grow a multimillion-dollar profitable business operating on multiple continents. Since its launch, Clickatell boasts one of the largest messaging-as-a-service footprints globally delivering services for large Fortune 500 brands as well as medium and small businesses.

Along with his work with Clickatell and the mobile industry, Pieter is also an active participant in socially responsible organizations and programs and founded This organization works on enabling entrepreneurship in South Africa and Africa.

Founder & CEO: Creativity Development Center

Ayman Mechlawi


Shedding a light on his experience in business development services over more than 5 years with international NGOS & Universities, at EU, Right to Play, People in Need Slovakia, COSV Italy, UNIDO (UN agency), Makesense (France), Beirut Arab University and Game Lebanon, Ayman works closely with more than 100 beneficiaries (Entrepreneurs, MSMEs,…) to seek out new opportunities, maintaining a portfolio of partners for repeat business, and instrumental in providing technical support and softs skills. He is familiar with the ecosystem in the Lebanese work environment, in a wide range with business categories throughout the whole consultancies period. As an organized and methodical person, Ayman has a long track record of analyzing and identifying problems, preparing assessments and business, marketing & financial plans for entrepreneurs, start-ups & MSMEs. Most of all, he is a committed professional with the skills and attributes your job requires, as he uses his micro-management skills when needed.

In addition, Ayman holds two certifications from the WORLD BANK about “The Future of Work” and “Trading for Development in the Age of Global Value Chains” & from HarvardX / Harvard business school about “Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies”, issued in 2019 and 2020 relatively.

Senior Technical Advisor, Science, Technology & Innovation, Directorate of Industrial Development and Trade, SADC Secretariat

Anneline Morgan


Ms Morgan is currently Seconded to the SADC Secretariat as the Senior Technical Advisor: Science, Technology and Innovation since 2014, where she is responsible for facilitating and coordinating regional science, technology and innovation (STI) policies, strategies and programmes in support of SADC Member States. Prior to her Secondment, she held the position of Director: Africa Cooperation at the South African Department of Science and Technology, where she was responsible for managing international engagements and partnerships with African countries in the area of science and technology. Ms Morgan has many years of experience in championing regional cooperation in the area of science, technology and innovation, which has resulted in the initiation of several regional programmes and projects. She has also been instrumental in the coordination and development of regional STI policies and strategies such as the SADC Strategic Plan and Implementation Plan on STI, SADC STI Climate Change Framework, SADC Cyber-Infrastructure Framework SADC IPR Framework and Guidelines, and SADC Innovation and Technology Transfer Framework and Action Plan

Start-up Community Rep: Amazon Web Services

Henri Zietsman


Henri Zietsman is the Startup Community rep for Amazon Web Services (AWS) Startup Programs including #Angels, #Incubators, #Accelerators and #Venture/PE Firms in Africa. As a former startup founder and entrepreneur operating in the Agri-Fintech space, Henri brings a wealth of sector experience, alongside having held key leadership positions at global Telecom firms. With over two decades of experience developing propositions for the African market, Henri’s all-round expertise covers everything from technical infrastructure and mobile banking best practices, to investment pitching and regional media strategies. He has a Bachelor of Engineering degree and is excited to be working with the next-generation of entrepreneurs.

Director: Afriqinnov8

Trod Lehong


Trod is the former Registrar of Patents at the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission and is the Attaché to Africa for the European Patent Office. Trod provides Intellectual Property commercialisation and innovation advice and has global experience and networks in the intellectual property and technology innovation space. He regularly advises across several industry sectors, including advisory on intellectual property, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), technology transfer, including tech merger and acquisitions, IT procurement and data privacy/cyber-security.

Trod is a Registered Patent Attorney and admitted as an Attorney of the High Court of South Africa. He holds a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from the Tshwane University of Technology and a Bachelor of Laws Degree (LLB) from the University of South Africa.

Co-Founder & CEO: AURA

Warren Myers


Warren Myers is the Co-Founder & CEO OF AURA, a marketplace for on-demand emergency response services.

Myers started a company called MYERTAL in 2010 in Cape Town at the age of 24. His strategy shifted focus to more tech-based solutions due to their scalability and value add. He sold off their physical guarding business and positioned MYERTAL as an Offsite CCTV Monitoring Specialist. The company grew by 90% in 2016, when he launched a reseller company that resells to SA’s huge network of security system installers (“the Bakkie Brigade”) both monitoring services and rental finance.

By 2017 he decided that MYERTAL needed to “Uberize” its network of response companies by creating a mobile tech platform which enables a customer to call on the closest and most available vetted response car to their location when they need to. They signed up UBER whose drivers were experiencing crime and intimidation and needed response nationally. Suppliers jumped on board quickly and the company now boasts a response network on 200 companies in JHB (200 response cars).

AURA launched its medical response offering in mid-2020, offering on-demand access to the closest ambulance and/or paramedic and has begun global expansion with offices and teams live in Kenya and the UK. The company aim to launch in Mexico, Nigeria, Ghana, Botswana, Namibia and Mozambique as well.

AURA has begun building big data models and Ai which is aimed at producing productivity in this eco-system: ie – they want to begin creating crime predictability.

Myers believes that by 2030, AURA wants to have created a world where everyone is safe.

NLP & Advanced Certified Neurozone® Coach Practitioner

Wolfgang Frank


Wolfgang is an NLP & Advanced Certified Neurozone® Coach Practitioner focusing on mindfulness and performance. His coaching approach is based on the practice of mindfulness. He believes that if we start by mindfully (re)discovering our authentic selves, we can better articulate our direction or purpose.

On a more personal level, he is a very keen observer, abstract-thinker, traveller, and yoga practitioner, with a passion for helping people to help themselves. He believes that if we can all learn to help ourselves, we might become more responsible and accountable human beings. We might even become more responsive to other human beings, including our environment, from which we can learn that mindfulness will always yield positive results. Improving yourself improves the world around you!

Flow Mindset Coach

Dez Days


Dez is a flow mindset coach, teaching the tools for EQ growth. She coaches through techniques, played together using simple phrase games, working with the “small stuff”, such as confidence through wearing comfortable socks. Her priority in coaching is for her clients to understand each tool so that they are able to use these tools effectively outside of coaching sessions, with their friends, family, to ‘flow with’ and see the solutions to various challenges that might arise. Each tool is based on proven scientific research and studies from positive thinking to system building. Her mission is to empower and equip her clients with the skills needed to effectively move forward, whether in finding a fulfilling sense of direction, establishing good boundaries, or communicating gracefully in a social setting. Dez provides the foundations for a lasting personal growth journey through reframing and redefining beliefs, shifting negative emotions towards more useful expressions such as focus and motivation. Dez always finishes her sessions on a positive note that inspires her clients to move forward and tackle their journey with confidence and assurance. 

Founder: Steam 2030

Allan Okoth


Allan Okoth is responsible for developing linkages between SPARC and a broad array of both local and international partners who are necessary for the development of a dynamic civilian space program. He also develops programs that generate revenue for the young company. Prior to joining SPARC, he worked for a large integrated education service provider where he was first the Personal Assistant to the Founder and was then promoted to Head of Tertiary Education where he developed linkages that enabled the provision of global qualifications in marketing, public relations, social research and Purchasing & supply. Before joining the group that incorporated SPARC he was running his own start-up, STEM 2030, which is geared at providing hands-on STEM access to the academic sector using robotics and kits which enable students to apply what they have only been able to understand theoretically from the classroom instruction. It was during this time that he became aware of CubeSat technology and sought to popularize the platform within Kenya as a route to space technology capacity development well before the country had a space policy in place. He studied for his BA at the Kakatiya University – Warangal, in India.

Co-Founder and Director: MiChem Dynamics and VGL Dimensions

Santie van Niekerk


With a Bachelor of Technology (BTech), Quality Management and Bachelor of Technology (BTech), Biomedical Technology, Santie is also a qualified microbiologist, ISO/IEC 17025, ISO 15189 and ISO/IEC 17020 facilitator, auditor and management system expert with more than 15 years practical experience in industry trends and compliance.

Director: Information Systems and Technology - City of Cape Town

Omeshnee Naidoo


With just about two decades of digital and business strategy experience, Omeshnee Naidoo is obsessed with leading organisations on digital strategies with clear visioning through to practical implementation roadmaps to ensure the value chain of strategy to implementation is a successful investment journey for organisations. She has led many thought leadership conferences and events on these topics and has been called out at these forums as a digital transformation expert leading change. She also uses these platform opportunities to drive conversations on social change, digital inclusion and embracing the growth of diversity, youth and women in the workplace.
From a working mum and wife through to a public sector leader, Omeshnee has to wear many hats and be an enabler, a thought leader, a public speaker, a doer, an achiever, a strategist, a coach and sometimes even a therapist. Ultimately Omeshnee looks to drive digital for good into organisations that effect impactful change.

Head - Careers & Skills Development: Synexa Life Sciences

Nathaniel Williams


Nathaniel Williams is the global head of Careers & Skills development at Synexa Life Sciences, a global leader in biomarker solutions for complex applications. Synexa serves clients across the globe with dedicated laboratories & staff based in Netherlands, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Belgium, Ireland and South Africa. Synexa prides its self in identifying, implementing, and integrating optimum analytical and data insight methodologies, to contribute to the furtherment of scientific knowledge. This provides exciting opportunities in international growth & scientific skill development. Nathaniel’s scientific background is in immunology and medical microbiology with more than 10 years of the industry in the GCLP laboratory environment. Over the years his interest has grown into management & leadership. Nathaniel is now responsible for the global strategic management of careers & talent within Synexa.

Research Manager - Africa: Universum Communications

Winani Ndlovu


Research professional with a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Coventry University built off a marketing management background. With over 12 years of research experience, more than 5 of those within the employer branding space. Have worked across multiple industries at both a strategic and operational level. Passionate about empowering employers with insights into the talent landscape, highlighting opportunities for employers; alignment with what talent finds important. A curious mind that always seeks to understand what drives decisions and answer that important so what question.

Founder & CEO: AgriSpace

Ruvimbo Samanga


Ruvimbo Samanga is the CEO & Founder of AgriSpace, and a Space Policy Analyst specialising in the African traditional and NewSpace industry, working with national, regional and global organisations to build space law capacity. She is a social entrepreneur and space educator, and deeply passionate about creating opportunities for the youth. Her interests are multi-disciplinary, and she describes herself as a keen space enthusiast and advocate.

Senior Economist & Head of Africa, Middle East & Europe: OECD Development Centre

Arthur J. Minsat


Arthur heads the OECD Development Centre’s Unit for Africa, Middle East and Europe. The unit produces Africa’s Development Dynamics and Revenue Statistics in Africa, in partnership with the African Union, and Quality Infrastructure in 21st Century Africa with ACET. As a lead economist, Arthur led the themes of the African Economic Outlooks (AEO), a partnership with the African Development Bank. At UNDP in New York, Arthur researched for the United Nations’ flagship Human Development Reports. In Abidjan, he volunteered for the United Nations Operations in Côte d’Ivoire (ONUCI) during the electoral crisis. He taught at the LSE, King’s College London and Sciences-Po. Arthur gained private sector experience at Wolters Kluwer.

Senior Associate, Facilitator & Coach: Outerbox Thinking

Jane Moors


Jane Moors has over 25 years of experience in recruitment, coaching and training, and she is privileged to partner with leaders, talent acquisition specialists and candidates all over the world to develop the confidence and skills they need for successful talent engagement. Her reward is in seeing their teams thrive and receiving feedback for learning experiences enjoyed as expert-driven and interactive. Jane’s clients will tell you that success is based not only on the technical skill but also on your ability to create a compelling human connection.

Founder & Managing Director: Employer Branding Africa

Celeste Sirin


Celeste Sirin is the founder and MD of Employer Branding Africa, a leading employer branding consulting agency, renowned in the SA Market, and making steady inroads into Africa. The company offers solutions to SME’s, nationals and multinationals who have representation in African regions. Employer Branding Africa caters for emerging markets and new entrants into the exciting world of employer branding. Employer Branding Africa focuses on building, positioning and leveraging companies’ talent brands to attract, engage and retain the best people. Having accumulated a depth of recruitment experience and run her own award-winning recruitment marketing agency for ten years, Celeste’s passion lies in pushing the boundaries of conventional recruitment practices through infusing employer branding, digital marketing, and talent acquisition strategies across various industries. Celeste’s mission lies in defining and driving the fundamental importance of companies adopting employer branding as an accepted business and HR best practice.

Research and Policy Officer: South African National Seed Industry

Magdeleen Cilliers


Magdeleen is the Research and Policy Officer at the South African National Seed Industry (SANSOR). She coordinates industry-related research to ensure a proactive response to industry hurdles as well as supporting the seed industry in Intellectual Property and Biotechnology policy matters. She received her PhD in Biotechnology in 2017 with a thesis title of ”The response of C! and C13 cysteine proteases in soybean nodules to drought” from the University of Pretoria. She is passionate about agricultural innovation and how technology and innovation can contribute to a thriving agricultural industry.

Director - Organisational Effectiveness & Innovation: City of Cape Twon

Zukiswa Mandlana


Zukiswa holds the position of Director: Organisational Effectiveness and Innovation at the City of Cape Town. She started her career in the City of Cape Town as an Environmental Health Practitioner in 1997, on the 4th year an opportunity to be part of an organisational renewal programme became available, she jumped at the opportunity and that ignited her curiosity and passion for Organisational Development and Business Improvement. She never looked back and has since pursued careers in both fields.

She left the City in 2003, pursued a fulfilling career full adventure in both the Public and Private sector, Management consulting, became a partner in 2 Training & Consulting companies. She came back to the City in 2014.

She holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA), 2014, is a Professionally Certified Coach and is currently working on her Post Graduate Diploma in Coaching. She is also certified in areas of Project Management, Facilitation – various methodologies, Journalism and Diversity Management.

Chief Scientific Officer: New England Biolabs

Sir Richard John Roberts


Sir Richard Roberts is a British biochemist and molecular biologist. He was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Phillip Allen Sharp for the discovery of introns in eukaryotic DNA and the mechanism of gene-splicing. The realisation that individual genes could exist as separate, disconnected segments within longer strands of DNA first arose in the study of adenovirus, one of the viruses responsible for causing the common cold. Richard’s research in this field resulted in a fundamental shift in our understanding of genetics and has led to the discovery of split genes in higher organisms, including human beings.

Sir Roberts is a Fellow of numerous academic societies and is a highly sought-after scientific adviser. He was knighted in 2008 for his services to science and received the Sir Hans Krebs Medal in 2013 from the Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Currently, he is working as Chief Scientific Officer in New England Biolabs.

Chairwoman & Founder: IDF Capital

Polo Letaka


Polo Leteka is a highly accomplished and experienced entrepreneur and private equity investor. She is the Chairman and Founder of IDF Capital – a South African based entrepreneurial financier and advisory firm. Through IDF Capital, Polo has contributed towards changeling investments into women-owned SMEs across South Africa. In 2015, she co-founded AlitheiaIDF to continue investing in high growth businesses across Sub-Saharan Africa that are women-owned and led.

Polo is an accountant by training and has varied experience in both the Public and Private sectors of South Africa which includes accounting and auditing, corporate finance, investment banking, public policy formulation, venture capital and private equity in the SME sector. At a fairly young age, Polo was tasked with leading the process of developing South Africa’s first-ever Codes of Good Practice on Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment which is a Government policy seeking to transform the South African economic landscape to be more reflective of its population demographics. As a result of this groundbreaking work which has changed how Corporate South Africa interacts with the rest of the economy, she is considered a thought leader in areas of economic transformation and development.

Polo is an accomplished public speaker, contributor to thought leadership articles on transformation and entrepreneurship. She was also part of South Africa’s version of the Dragons Den show and is also a co-author of a book called “…..and for all these reasons, I’M IN…..”, which seeks to assist entrepreneurs to become investor-ready.

Polo is the current President of the Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP).

Head - Strategic Projects: Wesgro

Jacyntha Twynam


Jacyntha Twynam is currently the Head: Strategic Projects at Wesgro, heading up the Strategic Projects Unit at Wesgro – which is houses projects such as the Cape Health Technology Initiative, Cape Town Air Access, Cruise Cape Town, and previously, the Atlantis Special Economic Zone.

She has over 14 years of experience working within the public sector focusing on economic analysis, business development, and strategic initiatives.

She has also spent 5 years of her career as an economist focusing on international trade. She holds an LLM in Commercial Law and an MCom International Trade.

Owner: Wanscan Consulting

Janusha Singh


Janusha is a GIS Practitioner and the NED of ZASPACE and  Owner of Wanscan Consulting a Geospatial and Data Services company that celebrates 20 years of delivering services of data excellence.   Her motto ‘ a picture speaks a thousand words ‘ drives her passion to grow the Geospatial industry to take a step forward and take its place in providing information solutions for a better society and a better world for all. Her contribution thus aims to assist the space sector help and drive solutions that are relevant, beneficial and smart.  She is currently the National Chair of the Geospatial Society of South Africa and has already started the journey of industry collaboration. Her exposure to the public and private sector allows the vision to bring all that is affected by the space sector solutions together. She has won nominations in National and International solutions for Integrated Geospatial  Data Solutions, including categories like Development Plans and Smart Cities.

Founder & CEO: Science Bridge

Martyna Scibiorek


Martyna is an accomplished scientist with a PhD degree in immunology and infectious diseases. Born in Poland, she completed her studies in South Africa and spent 10 years studying and working in various countries abroad including Netherlands, Germany, and South Africa.

Her travels and educational experiences in each country have made her aware of the many pitfalls in higher education. Her special focus is towards health science postgraduates, which she discusses regularly on our YouTube channel “Science Bridge”.

​Her passion for the motivation and education of postgraduate students resulted in a one-of-a-kind Alternative Career Development Workshop 2020 for Faculty of Health Sciences students at the University of Cape Town. Her professionalism and charisma brought together over 15 representatives from different industry sectors where they interacted with over 100 eager attendees! The unique scope of the workshop was greatly appreciated by both University representatives and particularly the students. 

​She has published several articles and reports on the needs of biotechnology postgraduate students in South Africa. Today Martyna is advocating for creating joint ventures across the country which will aid the transition of talented postgraduates to industry and result in the creation of more jobs for unemployed alumni.  

Founder: Champion South Africa

Ashraf Garda


Ashraf Garda is the founding champion of Champion South Africa, a nation-building project with a singular powerful vision to build South Africa Into a Champion Nation. This is done by embarking on strategic connections with people and organisations that he describes as Champion Connections, it’s connecting the networks of people drawn to a common vision.
Champion South Africa’s vision is built on the mantra of “ Champion People Build Champion Nations “

Garda recently concluded a long stint with the SABC, he was best known there as a talk show host on SAfm Radio and as the host of the investigative television show Special Assignment, building a reputation As an authoritative, engaging and inspiring host.

In November 2020 Ashraf Garda was appointed as a member of the Council of Champions of the Social Justice M-Plan, the brainchild of Prof Thuli Madonsela

Garda is a public speaker with particular expertise in nation-building, current affairs, business and marketing
He has served as Programme Director on many high impact events.
As a media expert, he spends lots of his time working with clients and stakeholders in delivering value as a Programme Director, moderator, keynote speaker, social media content creator, media trainer, podcaster and media and communications consultant.

Counsellor - Development Cooperation: Embassy of Finland in Pretoria

Marko Saarinen


Marko Saarinen is working as Counsellor for Development Cooperation at the Embassy of Finland in Pretoria since 2019. He is responsible for Finland’s regional development cooperation programme in Southern Africa, and oversees the implementation of the Southern Africa Innovation Support Programme (SAIS 2). He has worked with private sector development programmes for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and for the United Nations for 14 years in various sectors in Southern and East Africa, as well as in Southeast Asia. Innovation systems and startup ecosystem development have been part of his programme portfolio since 2015.

Co-Founder & COO: OnaSpace

Rania Toukebri


Rania Toukebri is a Tunisian Based in Germany Space Engineer working on the design, verification and integration of spacecrafts. She has been part of several European Space Agency projects for earth observation, planetary defence and space exploration. She is conducting research on quantum technology and data security. She is Top 10 under 30 space experts in Space in Africa in 2019 and the SGAC pioneer award in 2021. She is also a Space Programs Manager and Space Strategy Consultant called for the implementation and the support of African space programs. She is co-founder and COO of the startup OnaSpace (HumudaPlus) and Regional Coordinator for Africa in Space Generation Advisory Council in support of the UN for space applications, and the Chief Executive Officer for Tod´aers to enhance international space research. She has launched the African Space Education Program for capacity building in Africa.

Chief Operating Officer: mLab

Tendai Mazhude


Tendai is passionate about supporting the proliferation of high-growth businesses and their innovations across the African continent. This entails understanding the challenges faced by enterprise support organisations as well as the entrepreneurs and innovators within their programmes. His professional experience spans over 12 years, with seven organisations in multiple roles. He also has additional entrepreneurial experience from a number of ventures he has set up and run. Tendai has an M.Sc in Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship from the Manchester Business School (University of Manchester) and a joint honours degree (Joint BA) in Business Management/Marketing Management & Branding from the University of Gloucestershire.

Investment Professional

Werner Opperman


Werner Opperman has a BCom (Law) degree from Stellenbosch, MCom (Financial Management) from the University of Cape Town and is a CAIA Charter holder. He works as an Investment Professional with over 14 years of broad experience in financial markets.

Currently a senior member of the 27four Investment Committee overseeing close to R70 billion, with responsibility for all Alternative Investments. He is the team’s core problem solver and innovator, constantly looking for the next opportunity to give 27four an exploitable advantage. Werner was one of the first South Africans to take up e-Residency card after Estonia opened its e-Residency pick-up point in Johannesburg.

Founder & Chairman: Amandla Omnotho Economic Movement

Gugulethu Xaba


Gugulethu G. Xaba: Has over 15 years of experience in Entrepreneurship & Local Economic Development. Currently serves as Managing Director of Lighthouse Footwear and Leather Company. He’s a Founder & Chairman of the Amandla Omnotho Economic Movement.
Holds Masters in Entrepreneurship and New Venture Creation (Wits Business School) Board & Executive Member of FoodBev Seta.

Director - Enterprise & Investment, City of Cape Town

Lance Greyling


Over the last 25 years, Lance has occupied different positions in the private sector, civil society and government. From 2004 to 2015 he was a Member of Parliament serving on various portfolio committees, with energy, the environment and the economy being his major focus. Since 2015 he has served as a director in the City of Cape Town, heading up the Enterprise and Investment department. Lance also sits on a number of boards, including Wesgro, the Western Cape Economic Development Partnership, the Atlantis SEZ and the Bulungula Incubator. Lance has completed a BA Honours in African Studies majoring in politics and economics at UCT and a Postgraduate Diploma in Sustainable Energy from Stellenbosch University. He is also a Fellow of the African Leadership Initiative, which is part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

Business Advisor: Dragonfly Aerospace

David du Toit


David du Toit is currently working as a Business Advisor to Dragonfly Aerospace. His previous role was as the group CEO of Space Commercial Services and he also served as Chairman of the board for one of the group companies. His aerospace experience was gained through over 15 years in the industry and he held the position of Chief System Engineer for the first aerospace company in South Africa. This included a full launch and EO satellite system.
He has worked in Europe for over 13 years in the telecommunications industry and held the positions of Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technical Officer. David has also been involved in building a few new companies across Europe and South Africa. He served on numerous company boards.
After completing a Higher Diploma in Telecommunications at the Cape Technicon for Higher Education, David graduated from Stellenbosch University with a B Eng (Electronics).