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Asset 1


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Meet our 2020 speakers

Founder and CEO: Virtual Actuary

Adi Kaimowitz


Adi Kaimowitz founded Virtual Actuary as a turnkey actuarial consultancy, after 10 years in the actuarial recruitment business. Adi’s primary roles are in formulating business models, brand identity, go-to-market strategy; building the actuary teams, as well as the daily running of the business and global expansion initiatives. In the space of just over two years, Adi has grown Virtual Actuary to a team of over 50 consultants operating in multiple time zones and having achieved a revenue to date of over R50mil. Adi has been fundamental in spearheading the Organised Collaborative Business Model and has been featured in business publications from Financial Mail, FinWeek, Biznews and Moneyweb. A keen kitesurfer, Adi lives with his wife and two children in Blouberg Cape Town, across the road from the venue of the prestigious annual kitesurfing RedBull King of the Air competition.

Co-Founder & CEO: SweepSouth

Aisha Pandor


Aisha R. Pandor is co-founder of SweepSouth (sweepsouth.com), an online platform for booking, paying for and managing homes cleaning services from your laptop, phone or tablet. Sweepsouth is the first company on the African continent to offer this service, and a 500 Startups Batch 14 alum. Aisha previously worked as a management consultant, gaining experience in the telecommunications and mining industries. Aisha has a PhD in Human Genetics from the University of Cape Town and an Associate in Management from the UCT Graduate School of Business. Between 2011 and 2012, she received a South African Women in Science Award for her research and was named as one of the Mail and Guardian newspaper’s 200 Young South Africans.

Millennial Motivator: Millennial Motivator

Dan Willis


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

Founder & CEO: EMTECH

Carmelle Cadet


A passionate advocate for financial inclusion, economic development, and a former Finance and Business Executive at IBM, Carmelle is now the Founder and CEO of EMTECH, a Fintech For The Modern Central Bank. The company recently launched a new initiative, Project New Dawn, which presents “A Digital Cash Infrastructure For All” concept to address the underbanked problem in the U.S.

With former regulators, technology experts and innovators as Advisors, Carmelle is building a portfolio of modern central bank software that delivers a more inclusive and resilient financial infrastructure.

For the last 3 years, Carmelle worked on Digital Currency technologies and strategies for the purpose of addressing financial inclusion and lowering the cost of cross border payments.

As a thought leader in the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) space, Carmelle engages with Central Banks from Africa to the Caribbean to enable their transition to the digital currency era in an inclusive way. A native of Haiti, she speaks French and Creole.

Carmelle was also selected as an Inspiring Fintech Females 2019 by NYC Fintech

CEO & Co-Founder: Fundrr

Idan Jaan


Idan Jaan, Co-Founder & CEO Idan has come from a strong entrepreneurial background and has had very close relations to many SMEs ranging in industries. He was involved in a group that had over 70 retail outlets, as well as started his own concept which later grew presence within South Africa, Botswana and Dubai. Idan has a strong focus on innovation, growth and sustainability. Co-founded Fundrr alongside Jarred to tackle the SME funding gap in a smart, easy and innovative way.

CEO: FinFind

Darlene Menzies


Darlene Menzies is the CEO of Finfind (Pty) Ltd, South Africa’s leading online access to finance solution for the SME market. In 2017, the World Economic Forum named Darlene one of the six Top Female Tech Breakthrough Entrepreneurs in Africa. She is a technology innovator and serial entrepreneur with 15 years’ corporate ICT experience in the banking sector, prior to starting her own businesses.

Darlene is the co-author of the Inaugural SA SMME Access to Finance Report, published by the SA SME Fund in 2018. She is a public speaker, media spokesperson and recognised expert on the SME sector. She is quoted in the national press on matters of entrepreneurship, small business finance and technology innovation.

Division President, Souther Africa : Mastercard

Mark Elliott


Mark Elliott is Division President, Mastercard, Southern Africa. He is responsible for the overall performance, strategic direction and brand development of Mastercard in Southern Africa. His role includes finding new ways to scale the latest payments technologies to drive financial inclusion.

Elliott joined Mastercard in 2011 as Global Products and Solutions Lead and Debit Lead for Mastercard in the Middle East and Africa region.

Elliott holds a BA (Hons) in Combined Studies and is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales.

Director in the Technology, Media & Telecommunications Practice: Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

Fatima Ameer-Mia


Fatima Ameer-Mia is a Director in the Technology, Media & Telecommunications practice in Cape Town. Fatima specialises in commercial, information technology, intellectual property and data protection law. She also has a special interest in the fields of e-commerce and matters relating to cybercrime and information security. Fatima advises clients, both locally and internationally, in various sectors on their commercial and technology arrangements, including outsourcing, software licensing and development and systems integration.

She regularly advises on data protection and information security, including providing training, seminars, risk assessments and governance frameworks on cybersecurity and data protection laws.

Conversion Optimisation Specialist: The Lions Den

Leon Lategan


“You are where you are today, because of what you did yesterday” – Leon Lategan


Leon is a Conversion Optimisation Specialist and he uses his unique methodology to assist businesses in finding and plugging all the leaks in their sales and marketing channels which are negatively impacting revenue and profits. He also discovers new innovative opportunities for his clients so that they stand head and shoulders above their competitors. His raved-about workshop “Let’s Not Bullsh*t Each Other, your business could be doing so much better, so why isn’t it”, has been presented in Mauritius, Jordan, Qatar, Egypt, Tanzania, Bahrain and he was recently the keynote speaker at the Africa Youth Entrepreneur Summit in Botswana and a speaker at the African Women in Leadership Conference in Rwanda.

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.

Founder & CEO: FarmCrowdy

Onyeka Akumah


Onyeka Akumah is a Nigerian-born entrepreneur and the Founder and CEO of Farmcrowdy, Nigeria’s first digital agriculture platform that has impacted over 100,000 farmers and worked directly with over 25,000 farmers across 16 states in Nigeria since launching in November 2016. Onyeka is also the Founder & CEO of Crowdyvest, an Impact-driven platform designed on the background of the 17 SDG Goals, focused on connecting its members to multiple sponsorship opportunities that are safe, secure, and trusted.

Before Farmcrowdy and Crowdyvest, Onyeka held several top management positions in high-profile organizations like TravelBeta, Jumia, Wakanow, and Konga. He also worked for Deloitte, The British Council, and Guaranty Trust Bank.

Co-Founder & COO: CapeBio Technologies

Dineo Lioma


Dineo Lioma is the co-founder and COO of CapeBio Technologies, a biotechnology company that develops and manufactures reagent enzymes used in DNA analysis. Together with her business partner, Daniel Ndima, also a Fellow of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation, their company has developed a COVID-19 test kit which is aimed at assisting South Africa to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic. Africa is currently an importer of these enzymes; their ambition is to build a world-leading genomics and biotechnology company.

Miss Lioma is driven to create meaningful solutions that will impact the status of health care in Africa. Dineo is also the founder of Deep Medical Therapeutics, a social enterprise that is building an artificially intelligent (AI) solution that will assist medical practitioners to make more accurate therapy recommendations to treat drug-resistant diseases prone to Africa. She also previously served as the co-founder of Incitech, a medical diagnostics company that is developing a novel rapid HIV diagnostic device that will improve testing outcomes in regions most affected by the disease.

Co-Founder & Managing Director: Gozem

Emeka Ajene


Emeka is a Co-Founder & Managing Director of Gozem, Africa’s super app. He previously led Operations & Business Development for Uber in Nigeria where he optimized and grew the platform’s supply-side (cars & drivers), shepherded the company’s acceptance of cash in the country, and led the team that launched Abuja as Uber’s 400th city globally.

Before Uber, Emeka led Marketing & Customer Experience functions for Naspers/Kinnevik-funded Konga.com, a leading Nigerian e-commerce company, during its transition from first-party direct retail to a third-party marketplace platform.

Passionate about innovation & impact across Africa, he has also helped shape the GSMA’s Innovation Fund portfolio on the continent as a selection panel member for the GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator, and he has advised several high-growth, consumer-focused African startups through his prior work with the innovation consultancy, Africreate, and the startup accelerator, DFS Lab.

CEO: Ingentium Limited

Josef Geoola


Josef has 12+ years of experience in intellectual asset management. He was involved in one of the very first patent pool initiatives relating to seed and crop transformation technologies, an area which is highly patented by large agrochemical companies. As a member of the IP team within an animal health organization Josef specialised in the development and deployment of animal health technologies throughout Africa and Asia. He developed an “Incentive-and-Control” IP access model which allowed for the commercialization of technologies by private pharma companies in LMICs in a sustainable and affordable manner. He has advised on various IP audit, valuation and due diligence transactions, including a $6 billion IP acquisition transaction by a world-leading technology company.

Josef founded Ingentium Limited in 2015 and currently serves as its CEO. As a commercial IP and intelligence company specialising in the life sciences, Josef and his team work with various clients, including large multinational corporations, governments and academia, to develop meanigful IP and business strategies, as well as help clients enhance and realise the value in their IP.

Professional Officer: Innovation - City of Cape Town

Natalie Madise


Natalie is the Professional Officer for Innovation in the Innovation and Operational Effectiveness branch at the City of Cape Town. Natalie facilitates Innovation training at the City of Cape Town as well collaborative workshops including Design-Led Thinking and Lego Serious Play. She has a BA Communication Science degree and is currently studying towards an Honours degree in Integrated Organisational Communication.

Fun Fact:

Natalie is also a professional singer and has a passion for Television quizz shows and has appeared on a number of them.

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.

Founder & CEO: Ngovu Wanawake

Walda Nxanga


Walda is a petroleum retail and development specialist, and is the Founder and CEO of Ngovu Wanawake, a petroleum retail and property developments company. She has 21 years’ experience in the petroleum industry and has worked for one of the biggest petroleum companies in South Africa and has managed more than 500 petroleum retail outlets nationally. Her experience spans in the petroleum retail sales, property development as well as operations management. She completed the leadership in oil and energy program through Wits Business School in 2010. She also completed the SAPIA – Women in Leadership Program in 2013 through Duke. She currently leads the Ngovu team of professional consultants in order to achieve these outstanding results. Walda is also the founder of Ngovu Properties and Ngovu Construction.

Ngovu Wanawake was founded in 2014 by a consortium of professional women in property development and petroleum consulting. The birth of Ngovu Properties has seen the company owning some of these developments.

Business Development Manager, Africa: Zoho Corporation

Andrew Bourne


Andrew is Zoho’s Business Development Manager for the Africa region and is based in Cape Town, South Africa.He has more than 15 years of experience in Sales and Marketing, and has spent the last 5 years focusing on the implementation and testing of various business technologies.He is very passionate about Zoho and has exceptional insight into the business and marketing world.Outside of work, he enjoys hiking, tennis, golf and wakeboarding.

Andrew used to be a professional athlete and represent South Africa in the sport of wakeboarding.

Deputy Minister: Department of Trade, Industry and Economic Development

Nomalungelo Gina


Nomalungela Gina is the Deputy Minister of Trade Industry and Economic Development Department of the Republic of South Africa from 29 May 2019.
Ms Gina is a teacher by profession and has taught in eMpangeni district for more than 15 years. She has been a member of SADTU, site steward and later a leader of SADTU both in the region of North Coast in KwaZulu Natal and later, a member of the Provincial Executive Committee of SADTU in the province. Ms Gina led a lot of heroic teachers’ battles in relation to their working conditions of employment including the leading role in public sector wage negotiation increases. She has always been an active member of the ANC in Richards bay under Musa Dladla ANC region.

Because of her active role in the alliance and ANC, she was nominated by the ANC structures for deployment to National Parliament during 2009. She has been a Member of Parliament since the 24th of June 2009 to date. She has served in the Higher Education and Training Portfolio Committee and Basic Education. In 2014, she was appointed as the Chairperson of Basic Education till 2019 end of term. She also served in the IBSA. She was also appointed a whip of the National Assembly.

Ms Nomalungelo Gina is serving in the Provincial Executive Committee of the South African Communist Party and in the last Congress of 2018, elected as the Provincial Deputy Chairperson of the SACP. She was also elected, in the last Conference of the ANC in KwaZulu Natal as the Provincial Executive Committee

Founding Partner & CEO: Head of Program

Coenie Middel


Coenie provides strategic advisory and deal making services, craft business models for clients and his own businesses to deliver value to all stakeholders by linking strategy with resources, finance and capabilities. His key focal area is making innovation a key strategy for short- and long-term success, and establishing frameworks for radical and incremental innovation.

The main tenet of his dealings with people and his success thereof is conceptualising and creating solutions to unlock the potential of people and businesses and with an international benchmark at his disposal, Middel goes far beyond mediocrity and his clients will attest to this.
Whilst his travels provide him with the “home ground” to conceptualise innovation, Middel is a keen believer in lifelong learning and he pursues education at Harvard Business School, specialising in Strategic Financial Analysis, Strategic Negotiations and Managing Professional Service Firms.
Middel breaks the mould of the conservative Chartered Accountant and he finds the formulaic Accounting suite of activities to be somewhat limiting. It is his creative and innovative mind-set that sets him apart and allows him to use Accounting methods coupled with innovation to take his clients and their business to new heights.

Apart from dabbling in Virtual Reality, Games and animation, Middel has worked in Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Europe, USA, South America and Asia. Middel is steeped in the world of the arts through his media businesses. His companies develop and promote artists locally and internationally, and also produce albums, music videos, television shows, films, stage plays and musicals.

Clients are offered more than the “Standard” business package. Middel offers them business innovation, proven commercially successful solutions, holistic perspectives and creative business design. This translates to business success, growth and sustainability. Middel has worked in a plethora of industries with top companies such as Toyota, VW, Anglo Platinum, Vodacom and Mnet, to name but a few.

Deputy Director General: Department of Trade, Industry and Competition

Sipho Zikode


Zikode is the Deputy Director General of the Spatial Industrial Development and Economic Transformation (SID & ET) at the South African Department of Trade Industry and Competition (the dtic).

He has a B.Comm (Economics) degree from the University of the Witwatersrand along with a Post Graduate Diploma in Marketing Management from the University of South Africa, and a National diploma in Chemical Engineering from Mangosuthu Technikon. He also has an MBA from the University of Pretoria and also awarded a Certificate for Technology Innovation. In 2017, he obtained an MSC in Finance from the University of London.

In 1999 he rose from Deputy Director Defence Portfolio to the position as Chief Director Industrial Participation in 2003 later taking up the DDG position for BPD. In January 2014 to August 2015 he was appointed as the Acting CEO at SEDA and he is currently serving as a board member of the Ceoga Development Corporation and the National Empowerment Fund (NEF).

Co-Founder & General Partner: Future Afica

Iyinoluwa Aboyeji


Iyinoluwa Aboyeji is the General Partner and Co-founder of Future Africa, a platform that provides capital, coaching and community for mission-driven innovators building an African Future where purpose and prosperity is within everyone’s reach.

Prior to co-founding Future Africa, he served as the Deputy Director-General for the Madam Oby Ezekwesili 2019 Presidential Campaign. He also helped to build Andela and Flutterwave, two of Africa’s largest and fastest-growing technology companies backed by global investors.

Iyinoluwa, more popularly known as “E”, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Legal Studies from the University of Waterloo and is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. He also sits on the board of a number of corporate and non-profit organizations and advises a number of national and sub-national governments across Africa on how to support high growth innovation-driven enterprises in their domains.

Business Correspondent: China Global Television Network

Martina Fuchs


Martina Fuchs is an international TV Anchor and Business Journalist, Expert on China and the Middle East, and Event Moderator who speaks 9 languages (German, French, English, Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and Swahili).

She currently works as a freelance Business Correspondent for Chinese news agency Xinhua and state broadcaster China Global Television Network (CGTN) based in London and Zurich, Senior Advisor for the geopolitical risk consultancy Azure Strategy, International Consultant for the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, and International Advisor for the St. Gallen Symposium.

During her career, she has covered many top global news events around the world, such as the WEF in Davos, the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, the St. Gallen Symposium, and conducted dozens of exclusive interviews, including with the President of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Thomas Bach, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, ICBC President Gu Shu, Wanda Group Founder Wang Jianlin, Chinese star pianist Lang Lang, or Grammy Award winner and musician Will.I.Am.

Executive Director: Owners Scaleup Program - IE Business School, Madrid

Joe Haslam


Professor Joe Haslam is the Executive Director of the Owners Scaleup Program at IE Business School in Madrid, Spain. This is a program specially designed for small and medium sized companies that want to scale. He is also the presenter of the High Impact Online Program “Scaleup! How to Successfully Manage Growth” and the Academic Director of the Global Scaleup Program, a joint course offered by IE with the American University of Beirut. In the International MBA, he teaches an award winning elective called “Scaling Up Your Startup”.

In 1998, Prof Haslam was on the founding Team of Marrakech, a Dublin based e-procurement company that raised over $75m in Venture Capital and scaled to over 250 people. He is the co-founder and Chairman of Hot Hotels, the first company from Spain to be accelerated by the Techstars program in the USA (Boston, Summer 2015). He was born in Ireland and has an MBA from IE Business School. He has lived in Madrid for the past 15 years.

Founder: SharkSafe Barrier

Sara Andreotti


Dr Sara Andreotti is a marine biologist and postdoctoral researcher working toward the development of a global long-term management system and conservation plan for great white sharks. Relocated from Italy to South Africa in 2009, she developed an image recognition software – Identifin – to identify sharks only their dorsal fin for marine research. Following her passion, Sara subsequently developed and now co-leads an oceantech startup providing an eco-friendly technology to keep swimmers and surfers safe from large predatory sharks; SharkSafe Barrier, an innovation which successfully bio-mimics the visual effects of a kelp forest and combines this with a series of permanent magnetic stimuli to form a barrier that dissuades sharks from passing through, without affecting other marine life.


My first research subject were seaweeds, then white sharks. Now I am building fake-seaweeds to deter sharks

Food that you love: Italian food, but I felt in love for the braai since I started living in South Africa Favorite hobby: recreational diving, snorkeling, horseback riding. Netflixing and reading (if it rains)

Co-Founder & Managing Director: Outsourced CFO

Louw Barnardt


Louw Barnardt is the co-founder and Managing Director of Outsourced CFO, a financial management consultancy specialising in CFO services and cloud accounting. OCFO is passionate about helping tech and innovation SME’s scale their companies.

Louw founded Outsourced CFO in 2013 after realising that founder teams require better access to high-level financial skills and technology in order to successfully scale their companies. His work with entrepreneurs has seen him listed as the Sanlam/Business Partners Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year, one of the Top 35 under 35 CA’s in South Africa as well as the Fast Company Top 20 under 30.

Head of Program: Scaling Digital Agriculture Innovations through Start-ups (SAIS) GIZ, Germany

Michel Bernhardt


Michel Bernhardt is Head of Project at GIZ for “Scaling Digital Agriculture Innovations through Start-ups” (SAIS) as well as Deputy Head of Program of the “GIZ Advisory Service on Agricultural Research for Development” (BEAF). He is also Chair of the “Strategic Impact, Monitoring and Evaluation Committee” (SIMEC) of the CGIAR, the largest international agricultural research partnership globally.

Michel brings more than 10 years of professional experience in international development and innovation management. For GIZ, in addition to his current positions, he worked in the field of emergency and transitional aid in Afghanistan. Already during his studies, he did extensive travels and research stays in the MENA and Central Asia region (Morocco, Egypt, Yemen, Iran, Tajikistan).

Michel holds a Master’s degree from the University of Leipzig and a Bachelors’ degree from the University of Hamburg in the field of Middle Eastern Studies, focusing on global commodity and staple trade, wheat in particular, as well as connected issues of agricultural and rural development. Upon joining GIZ, he has put a strong focus on Innovation Theory and Management as well as the potential of Disruptive Innovations for International Development and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Acting Head: TEFConnect - Tony Elumelu Foundation

Titi Akinola


Titi Akinola is a versatile professional with extensive experience in business operations optimization methodologies and Project Management. Having experienced being an entrepreneur herself, she is passionate about helping African entrepreneurs start up and scale their business for global impact.

Titi became the Act. Head of TEFConnect in February 2020 and is responsible for the delivery and continuous innovation of TEFConnect – the largest digital networking platform for African entrepreneurs.
She joined the Tony Elumelu Foundation in 2019 as the Entrepreneurship Programme Manager. In this position, she initiated and effected the automation of the Entrepreneurship Programme’s activities, increasing its operational efficiency and reducing cost.

Titi Akinola is execution-focused and to her, Kaizen is not just a methodology, it is a way of life.

Founder: Bray Foil

Shailin Moodley


Shailin is an aeronautical engineer interested in sustainable energy and AI. I studied at Wits and hail from tropical Durban. Currently, he is working to develop a wind turbine at Brayfoil Technologies (a company with some epic morphing wing tech). He believes that the ocean is a vast source of untapped energy which is just waiting to be leveraged. Otters are by far his favourite animals because they, unlike himself, can grow moustaches.

Regional Manager, Africa: Seedstars

Claudia Makadristo


Claudia Makadristo is the Regional Manager for Africa at Seedstars, the biggest tech entrepreneurship education company and impact investment firm focused on emerging markets with presence in over 90+ countries globally and 30 in Africa. Her activities with Seedstars bring her to over 25+ Sub Saharan African countries every year, where she works with some of the biggest corporates and public partners to invest in and support entrepreneurs locally and across the world through a variety of competition, acceleration, incubation, education and investment initiatives. Claudia has analysed over 2000+ digital entrepreneurs across the continent and mentored over 300+ tech founders. In addition, Claudia is an active board member of the Seedspaces in Africa (Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria, and Côte d’Ivoire) and is part of the diversity and inclusion committee, where she mostly focuses on designing inclusive entrepreneurship training programs and gender-lens investment insights and activities for the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem of Africa. Claudia holds a degree in International Business (BBA) and her thesis on transforming the city of Lisbon after the 2008 financial crisis into a tech hub received the highest praise.

Inclusive Innovation Programme Manager: Bopinc, The Netherlands

Gerwin Jansen


Gerwin is an Inclusive Innovation fanatic with more than 10 years’ experience in supporting entrepreneurs to design and deliver impactful business solutions for the BoP. Given his background in Industrial Design Engineering at Delft University of Technology, he likes to keep an eye on technological breakthroughs and imagines how these might solve some of the biggest challenges in Africa. What he likes best? Getting his own hands dirty, prototyping, and testing new ideas with consumers.

Inclusive Business Specialist: Bopinc, Kenya

Yvonne Achieng


Yvonne Achieng is a hands-on project manager working from Bopinc’s office in Nairobi. She is deeply passionate about economic empowerment at the last mile and has supported many entrepreneurs, both small businesses and multinationals, in tailoring their offerings to be more inclusive. Yvonne has expertise in conducting quantitative and qualitative consumer research to inform the development of scalable business strategies for inclusive innovations.

Desert and Coastal Agriculture Researcher: University of Namibia

Hupenyu Allan Mupambwa


Hupenyu Allan Mupambwa is a research agronomist with the University of Namibia and holds a PhD in Soil Science, MSc in Agronomy, and BSc in Crop Science. He currently heads the Desert and Coastal Agriculture research team at SANUMARC, UNAM, where his research focuses on organic soil fertility management, bio-saline agriculture, waste beneficiation, vermicomposting, hydroponics, and precision agriculture. As part of his community engagement services, Allan is passionate in mentoring graduate students to use their skills in developing business ideas and for them to become job creators rather than job seekers. Allan is a registered professional natural scientist with the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions.

Innovation Strategy Lead for Africa: SAP

Mervyn George


Mervyn George is a corporate strategist, working with leaders of medium and large enterprises across the African continent. With a wealth of experience working for tech firms at different stages of maturity, working with multinational clients spanning numerous industry sectors, Mervyn has developed broad fluency in business and technology that provides a solid foundation from which to give credible guidance to executives. A self-proclaimed perpetual student, Mervyn’s academic journey spans Computer Science, Industrial Psychology, Business Administration and Innovation Methodologies, and current research focuses on the future of work and society in an ever-increasingly digital and connected world. Beyond innovation strategy, Mervyn serves as a Venture Partner for SAP’s Entrepreneurship business, leads the Africa leg of SAP’s 1 Billion Lives Social Impact Programme, and serves as Non-Executive Chairman for a South African Drone Manufacturing Venture.


Avid cyclist and returning Cross-Fitter

Co-Founder: Future Females

Cerina Bezuidenhout


Cerina is the co-founder of Future Females. With a background in Operational Excellence and Lean Startup, Cerina has worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, from idea phase to Round C funding and startups who have IPO-ed, in geographies crossing Africa, India, Europe and the USA. Cerina believes that systems provide the structure to make employees feel safe, and allow companies to scale. She met Lauren, her Future Females co-founder, working as an associates in an accelerator – a lack of female founders and involvement, led to the birth of Future Females. Today Future Females is present in 50 countries, with chapters, Future Females Business School candidates and Future Females Founders club members.Her current favourite quote is: “Don’t miss out on something that could be great just because it might be difficult”. Let’s make Magic!

Co-Founder and CEO: These Hands GSSE, Botswana

Thabiso Mashaba


Thabiso is a 34-year-old strategist, cultural economist, policymaker, development practitioner and social entrepreneur. He is the Chairperson of the Botswana Human Resource Development Council’s Creative Industries Sector Committee; Vice Chairperson of the Botswana National Commission for UNESCO’s Communication and Information Programme Committee; an advisory board member of the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST)’s Centre for Business Management, Entrepreneurship, and General Education (CBMEGE); and the Board Chairperson of the Youth Social Advocacy Team of Uganda.

Thabiso is Co-Founder and CEO of These Hands GSSE, a global for-profit social enterprise based in Botswana which supports rural community innovators and entrepreneurs in developing countries. As an enabler for international development work, These Hands GSSE has also developed a social media platform that is dedicated to international development and co-creative design work and does not require the internet to use.

He is a co-founder of the IDIN–SADC Consortium, lead instructor/facilitator of the Injini EDTech Southern Africa Consortium in Botswana, and creative consultant for DSIL Global.

CEO: Vimosure Botswana

Refiloe Matlapeng


Refiloe Matlapeng is an entrepreneur who turns ideas into reality and a software developer best known for co-founding Vimo Studios, a financial technology company which owns Vimosure, a digital solution for insurance institutions. Additionally, the company has created information management solutions for fleets and vehicles using IoT.

She first founded Mahali Media in 2017 with a focus on the development of software and cloud computing solutions. She is also now a co-founder of Meeticks, an automated and safe retail distribution platform to connect consumers directly to local vendors.

With a proven track record, Refiloe has been a speaker in various summits and developer groups as part of her contribution back to society, and has been featured in publications such as BBC Africa. She has won awards for technology and digital innovation from World Summit Awards, and has been named as Top 5 Female Technology Trailblazers in SADC by SAIS, and Top 100 Disruptors in Africa by TYI.

Trend Specialist & Errorthoughtical Engineer: Innovation101

Peter Greenwall


They say innovation mostly comes from unlikely sources – Peter Greenwall comes from the Rock ‘n Roll world of composing original scores for conferences and events e.g. Miss World beauty Pageants, World Cup Opening Ceremonies and Off West End Musicals, so get ready for a Musical Keynote on Innovation!

His book, ‘LOGICAL STUPIDITY – INNOVATION by navigating through nonsense’ deals with psychology of innovation / PIFYAFFING: Pulling Ideas From Your Asspirations For Financial Gain and Errorthoughtical Engineering – ‘how multiple types of failure can be upcycled for innovation’

Peter’s navigation through nonsense is loads of fun and full of laughs but it’s also a lightbulb moment in creativity. It teaches how to access the creative soul within each of us, by showing off both outrageous and serious products from the future and the thinking process that lead to them.

Author of https://www.amazon.com/Logical-Stupidity-Innovation-Navigating-Nonsense/dp/1847991939


Skype Name:Peter Greenwall

Independent Consultant & Doctoral Researcher: Loughborough University London, UK

Auri Evokari


Auri Evokari is a Doctoral Researcher at Loughborough University London studying Entrepreneurship Ecosystems and Startup Culture in Southern Africa. Evokari has a background in combining cultural studies and work experience from the startup world in Finland as well as Southern and Eastern Africa. She is passionate about creating added value to the world by supporting entrepreneurship inclusively and by enabling impact-driven entrepreneurs. She does this in two ways: by contributing to science about the topic and by designing training initiatives for SMEs and startups. Evokari was the SAIS 2 Connected Hubs community manager from 2017 to 2019 and the author of the publication Breaking Barriers:Female Technology Entrepreneurship in Southern Africa.

Director General: ABAN

David van Dijk


David van Dijk is co-founder and runs the day-to-day affairs of the African Business Angel Network (ABAN), a pan African non-profit association founded to support the development of early stage investor networks across the continent and to get many more investors excited about the opportunities in Africa. David has also been a long-time team-member of Venture Capital for Africa (VC4A), the largest platform supporting entrepreneurs in Africa, and still manages the VC4A mentorship program pro-bono. He sits on the advisory board of different organizations supporting entrepreneurship in Africa including Amref Ventures NL and the New Africa Impact Fund (NAIF). Until recently he also managed The IGNITE Foundation, a not-for-profit organization supporting entrepreneurship in post conflict areas through direct and indirect financing and was part of the investment committee of the IGNITE Fund. David started his career in the corporate world managing companies in North and West Africa, Russia, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, India and the USA. He holds degrees in economics, business administration and international relations from the University of Oregon, Nyenrode Business University, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Clingendael, the Netherlands Institute of International Relations

Co-Founder & Director: mHub Malawi

Rachel Sibande


Rachel Sibande is a social entrepreneur in the Technology and Energy domains. She established mHub, Malawi’s first technology and innovation hub, in 2013.

mHub seeks to build innovative technology entrepreneurs’ technical and business skills, champions the development of innovative technology solutions, and accelerates emerging innovative entrepreneurs with access to finance and investment readiness support. The hub has deployed innovative technology solutions across sectors such as citizen engagement, education and elections monitoring in five countries. In the past two years, the hub has disbursed over $800,000 in financing to 23 innovative impactful entrepreneurs to scale up their products and services to the market with support from the UNDP.

Managing Partner: Benchmark International

Dustin Graham


Dustin initiated a career in corporate finance and M&A advisory in 2006, concluding various high-profile transactions before relocating to London, New York and later Sydney where he managed a diverse range of engagements in the forensic, fraud and M&A space with leading international advisory firms.

In 2009 he returned to South Africa to acquire a significant shareholding in a local industrial group of companies servicing the materials handling industry and spent four years in maturing the group and driving its organic and acquisition growth strategies. He has since sold the group allowing him to return to the M&A environment and has aligned with Benchmark International in their expansion into South Africa.

Having been a key driver in the development of his own group of companies, and heading Benchmark’s national transactions teams, he is well positioned to advise both technically and through experience in all aspects of a corporate transaction.

Founder & CEO: Lami

Jihan Abass


Jihan is currently the Founder and CEO of Lami, an insurance as a service platform that aims to increase insurance penetration across Africa. The Griffin Motor App is Lami’s flagship product and has shortened the purchase process of car insurance to less than 2 minutes. Prior to starting Lami and Griffin, she worked as a sugar trader in the City of London, trading on the New York and London sugar markets. She has an MBA from the University of Oxford and an undergraduate degree in Finance from CASS Business School, London.

Acting Director: Transport Planning - City of Cape Town

Leigh Stolworthy


Leigh Stolworthy is currently the Acting Director for Transport Planning in the Transport Directorate at the City of Cape Town. Leigh’s normal role is the Manager of Integrated Transport Planning and he was previously the Innovation, Research & Development Manager in the Urban Catalytic Investment Department of the Cape Town Transport and Urban Development Authority.

Leigh joined the City of Cape Town in 2012 originally working exclusively on planning Cape Town’s BRT system. With the establishment of the former Transport for Cape Town (TCT) Leigh’s role evolved towards the planning and integration of all transport systems and land use. Leigh has a keen interest in understanding the relationship between transportation and land use and how they can influence desired spatial form and urban efficiency. Leigh managed the development and approval of the international award winning City of Cape Town TOD Strategic Framework.

His current focus is the development of a Congestion Management Plan and integrated ticketing solutions for Cape Town’s Public Transport Systems as well as the development of urban transformation metrics and the Travel Demand Management aspects of a post Covid City.

Executive Director: Women's Entrepreneurship Access Center (WEAC), Zambia

Nambula Kachumi


Nambula is a Private Enterprise Development Professional with over 12 years’ experience in entrepreneurship ecosystem support and inclusive development. Passionate and eager to see African women entrepreneurs succeed and create wealth in mainstream economies, Nambula has influenced impact and programme design in key development areas ranging from co-designing financial products and business development strategies for emerging markets to supporting impact investing and innovation ecosystems. Nambula has significantly contributed to the design and roll-out of a number of gender-integrated enterprise development initiatives in Zambia and the region. As Executive Director of WEAC, she plays a leading role in the Zambian entrepreneurial ecosystem and across the region in influencing gender parity in entrepreneurship, financial inclusion, and business leadership. Nambula is also a co-founder of the Zambia Entrepreneurship Summit, Word Business Angels Forum (WBAF) Senator for Zambia, Chairperson of African Women in Energy & Power (AWEaP), and a member of the National Advisory Board for Impact Investing in Zambia

Associate Fellow (non-resident): Global Fellowship Initiative, Geneva Centre for Security Policy, Switzerland

Ricardo Borges de Castro


Ricardo is an Associate Fellow (non-resident) at the Global Fellowship Initiative, Geneva Centre for Security Policy.

Previously, he served as Adviser on Strategic Foresight to the European Political Strategy Centre (EPSC), the European Commission’s in-house think tank, reporting directly to President Jean-Claude Juncker. Ricardo led the EPSC’s work on Foresight, focusing mainly on global trends, “anticipatory democracy”, and policymaking. During his tenure, he spearheaded efforts to mainstream anticipation and Foresight across Commission services. He was also the European Commission’s project leader for the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System (ESPAS), an EU inter-institutional collaboration on global trends and Strategic Foresight.

Ricardo holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (MALD) from The Fletcher School and a DPhil (PhD) in International Relations from the University of Oxford (St Antony’s College).

Besides Portugal, he has lived in the US, UK, Turkey, and lately in Belgium.


He enjoys running and the outdoors.

Program Manager: OceanHub Africa

Nsovo Nkatingi


Nsovo Nkatingi is an Entrepreneurial consultant, with experience in training startups using the lean startup methodology and running accelerator programs.

She is a vigorous and proficient startup consultant and coach who is zealous in helping others achieve their potential. She obtained her Masters’ Degree in Consultancy and Entrepreneurship from Rotterdam Business School and founded Nsovo (Pty) Ltd. in 2015; a consulting firm dedicated to helping Entrepreneurs build valuable products for a validated market using the lean start-up methodology.

She has worked with startups in The Netherlands and across the African continent through accelerator programmes as well as run independent entrepreneurial projects. Nsovo has coached startup teams in the areas of business models, value proposition, customer development using lean methodology, speech/pitch coaching, as well as run accelerator programmes, and a business school.

Leveraging her experience working with a business school that focuses on empowering female entrepreneurs, as well as 5 Accelerator Programmes in Europe and Africa, helps founders build, scale, and grow their businesses. Fun

Partner: Virtual Consulting International

Roby Stancel


Roby is a partner at VCI, and has been connecting the spaces of design thinking and business strategy for 25 years. He has developed strategy, technology and cultural roadmaps and transformations for 100+ clients as diverse as Airbus, Apple, BHP, BMW, P&G, Lufthansa, Nestlé, Rio Tinto, SAP or Siemens as well as national institutions in South Africa, Canada or Germany.

As a member of IDEO’s global exco, Roby was part of the small group that invented Design Thinking. He was VP of Products at the early unicorn Nanosolar, with $0.5bn the best funded startup of its time.

Roby advises Chrysalix VC, is on the start-up jury of the EU’s EIT Raw Materials, the investment committee at Stanford Alumni Ventures/ Spike, and Sibanye Stillwater’s digital innovation council. He has started three companies and is a board member/ angel investor in 6 countries. He has taught at Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, TU Munich and others.

Spoken Word Artist

Puno Selesho


Puno Selesho is a Spoken Word artist and has performed on local and international platforms for almost 10 years. She studied and completed her BA LAW and LLB degrees at the University of Pretoria. In 2020 she will complete a certification on Social Entrepreneurship at GIBS. She has worked in the social impact sector and now works for herself as a creative and transformation consultant. She has launched a social innovation project called Harvest Books that will encourage children in rural Limpopo to build a reading habit. Additionally, she is building a concept called the Noria Network, which will provide Home Based Care for the elderly in South Africa, leveraging digital tools. Puno wants nothing more than to uplift, inspire and breathe hope into the world.

Chief Advisor & CTO: Global Command & Control Technologies

Cobus van der Merwe


Cobus joined the South African Army in Jan 1975 and served in a variety of posts until his retirement after 26 years of service. At the time of his retirement, he served as Senior Staff Officer Armour R&D for the South African Army and was User System responsible for SA Army vehicle technology programmes.

In 2001, he joined Grintek Avitronics, South Africa’s largest passive electronic warfare development house, as Head of EW Product Management and Deputy Head of Electronic Warfare. In 2010, he won the Saab Corporate Innovator of the Year Award for a revolutionary Active Protection System concept and in 2016, was appointed Vice-President and Head of the Command and Control product unit.

With the establishment of Global Command and Control Technologies in March 2019, he has taken to mentoring young talent and is currently the Chief Advisor and CTO for the company.

Founder & CEO: Alchemy Inspiration

Dr. Puleng Makhoalibe


Dr. Puleng has a passion for creativity, design thinking and innovation. She has twenty years of experience working in the private sector, government and in higher educational institutions. Her academic background entails a BSc in Computer Science and Statistics, an MBA and a PhD in Business Management from the University of Cape Town.Her international peers have recognised Makhoalibe as a global leader in creativity and innovation. In 2013, she received an award recognising her contribution to the international community of innovators and creatives. In 2016, she received an Africa Social Innovation Leardership Award. In 2019 she received an award to be part of the women leaders of the world and became a lead for the cohort. She had now joined the women leaders of the world council. She headed up the center of Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (ICE) at Henley Business School from 2015 t0 2020. She co-founded two startups: the Alchemy Inspiration and Upside Global and works with global organisations that accelerate innovation in various fields. Beyond covid 19, Puleng has transitioned into virtual facilitation and has served multiple industries and organisations designing, delivering and developing programmes in virtual learning platforms and adopted design thinking, innovation and other learning materials into online learning systems that cater for both synchronous and asynchronous learning. She has conceived the #reframecovid19 hashtash where she reframes covid as an acronym that means, Creativity.Opportunities. Vision. IKIGAI. Diversity. She launched the first virtual creativity conference on the World Creativity and Innovation Day, 21 April 2020, which attracted participation from 41 countries and has since worked on several virtual conferences. Puleng is a passionate speaker, panelist, author, facilitator, and an innovation and design thinking consultant.

Editor in Chief: Fast Company

Wesley Diphoko


Wesley Diphoko has been working at the intersection of technology, media and communications across organisations. In the late 90’s Wesley worked for the University of the Western Cape as its head of online communications. He later joined South Africa’s leading media company to develop its innovation lab that was instrumental in the media companies transitioning from print to digital. He also worked within the South African technology startups ecosystem serving as the Director of Africa’s first technology incubator, the Bandwidth Barn. In early 2020, Wesley was named Editor-in-Chief of Fast Company South Africa. He serves as chair of an IEEE Industry Connections and an IEEE standards project on Open Data.

CEO: African News Agency

Vasantha Angamuthu


Vasantha Angamuthu is an African media professional with over 30 years’ experience in content, audience and product development on the twin foundations of good journalism and powerful storytelling. She is the Chief Executive Officer of the African News Agency.

Vasantha has worked as a political journalist covering South Africa’s transition to democracy and Nelson Mandela’s term as President of a democratic South Africa, as a lifestyle editor, a designer, an editor, a content and product developer in both South Africa and India and as a communications strategist in local government.

Vasantha is proudly African and believes that storytellers, innovators, misfits, climate activists and Generation Z can change the world.

CEO: Health Systems Technologies

Gerrit Henning


Gerrit is the CEO of Health System Technologies – a South African ICT business providing solutions and services to healthcare enterprises across the African continent. With a background in computer science, Gerrit has been actively engaged in the South African healthcare ICT environment for over 25 years. During the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Gerrit and his team were behind the seamless integration of 28 private independent laboratory systems throughout the country and the NHLS (National Health Laboratory System) to deliver real-time large-scale testing, reporting and national statistics on the spread of the disease. Gerrit has made it his mission to advance meaningful and sustainable e-health strategies and technologies in SA and on the rest of the African continent.

Group Executive - Business Development: AYO Technology Solutions Limited

Xolo Motswasele


Xolo Motswasele is a celebrated ICT professional with more than 20 years in the industry. Since the dawn of technology development in South Africa, Xolo has worked with renowned tech-pioneers like Alcatel and Nokia Siemens Networks and contributed as an executive at Sentech Soc and BT SA. She is now a Group Executive at AYO Technology Solutions, working on identifying and exploring business development opportunities for scale and growth of innovative technology companies within the group.

Ambassador of Switzerland to South Africa: Embassy of Switzerland

Dr Nicolas Brühl


Dr Nicolas Brühl is currently the ambassador of Switzerland to South Africa and accredited countries. He was a diplomatic trainee 25 years ago and today as an Ambassador, he dedicates his time to promote Swiss interests and values in the region, build new opportunities and strengthen existing bonds by shaping the relations between Switzerland and South Africa and the citizens.Ambassador Brühl studied at the Law Faculty of the University of Basel and became the academic assistant at the President’s office of the University of Basel after graduation. Over the years he has taken on various roles in the FDFA including, Counsellor in 2002 and head of section politics and institution in the European Department.

Environmental Communications Consultant: Namibia Housing Action Group (NHAG), Namibia

Ina Wilkie


Ina Wilkie is the project coordinator of the SAIS 2 Living Permaculture project in Namibia, which innovates with shack dwellers. She also runs Farm Okukuna, an urban Permaculture farm in Windhoek’s informal settlements.

For many years, Ina led the World Future Council’s projects on sustainable ecosystems and food security in Africa, covering topics such as combatting land degradation, sustainable wood energy, urban agriculture, and more.

As a consultant, Ina develops communication measures such as films, articles, and books for a number of clients, including UNCCD, the Right Livelihood Foundation, and GIZ. Ina has a diploma in Political Science from Hamburg University.

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.

Director: Resilience - City of Cape Town

Gareth Morgan


Gareth Morgan is the Director of Resilience in the City of Cape Town, a position he has held since August 2017. He leads a team the developed the first Cape Town Resilience Strategy, a strategic response to a range of shocks and stresses, in the aftermath of the multi-year drought from 2015 to 2018. He performed strategic roles in both the drought response and more recently in the pandemic response. Gareth has a MSc Environmental Change from the University of Oxford, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar. He is also an Archbishop Tutu Fellow.

Managing Director: MEST

Ashwin Ravichandran


Ashwin joined MEST in 2015 as a Technology Teaching Fellow and has since served as the Incubator Manager for MEST Accra and Director of Portfolio Support and Country Director of Ghana. With a background in Computer Science and Engineering and previous experience working in the innovation team at Honeywell and building startups in India, Ashwin brings extensive technical knowledge to his executive management experience at MEST. In his role as Director of Portfolio Support, Ashwin has overseen the growth and development of highly successful MEST portfolio companies such as Complete Farmer, Asoriba, Leti Arts and Kudobuzz, working to maximize their growth and success in terms of business development, product management and raising further rounds of funding. Ashwin is greatly inspired to nurture and guide the African entrepreneurship Space with a talented team so that these entrepreneurs can take on new challenges. He now serves as the Managing Director at MEST.

Managing Director: Endeavour

Alison Collier


Alison Collier is the Managing Director of Endeavor South Africa. Alison joined Endeavor in April 2019, bringing close to 20yrs of experience in Strategy & Business Development roles – understanding what it takes to establish new offices for both large multi-nationals & start-ups both in the international markets and the power of technology to transform business & society.

“I have a passion to drive business development & growth, specifically in the entrepreneurial space given the huge positive impact high growth emerging businesses have on long term job creation and economic growth. I am very excited to be back in South Africa and working with Endeavor to drive this locally.”

Alison has strong commercial acumen and experience in establishing value creating partnerships having worked in senior global procurement roles for SABMiller (JHB, London, Zurich) & Unilever (Singapore) as well as having successfully led the international expansion of a Cape Town based beverage start-up BOS ICE TEA to Europe (Amsterdam, Paris). Through these global roles, Alison developed a broad understanding of the business landscape across the globe and understands the importance of appreciating the local context especially for market entry.


Avid nature lover & a fan of the outdoors.

CEO: SGT Solutions

Dr Vincent Scholtz


Dr AV (Vincent) Scholtz is CEO at SGT Solutions, a systems integrator of telecommunications solutions in South Africa with a long history of providing solutions to Telkom, Vodacom and other local operators.

Dr Scholtz obtained his PhD in Electronic Engineering from the University of Pretoria, specialising in optical computing, and a master’s degree in Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic in New York – in the field of optical signal processing. He has worked in the fields of cryptography, IT outsourcing and defence electronics, as well as commercial telecoms. Prior to taking over the reins at SGT in 2012, he managed Saab’s local interests in Security and Defence Systems, which includes the design and manufacturing of military radios and command and control systems. Previous responsibilities include managing the Enterprise Division of Siemens Telecommunications in South Africa.

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.

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.

Vice President: Business Integration - Mastercard

Gabriel Swanepoel


Gabriel Swanepoel is the VP of Business Integration at Mastercard, South Africa.Gabriel has been involved in New Business Development and Innovation initiatives within the Payments industry for the past fifteen years where he was responsible for all aspects of innovation and product development from project inception to commercialisation.

Prior to joining Mastercard, Gabriel was the New Business and Innovation Manager for Verifone Africa, where he oversee all new product and business development initiatives in South Africa.

Prior to Verifone, Gabriel contracted to MTN Mobile Money and before that also served as the New Technologies Manager for Visa in Sub Saharan Africa, where he was responsible for all the innovation initiatives throughout Sub Saharan Africa, specifically with a focus on Mobile and Contactless projects.

Gabriel’s focus on innovation coupled with an entrepreneurial approach has also brought success when he was one of the founders of XLink Communications, a machine to machine communications business, which today is one of the leading providers of card terminal and ATM communications services in South Africa.

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 (www.dazzleangels.com); and a co-founded the African Angel Academy (www.africanangelacademy.com), 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.

Group Executive: Technology - AYO TSL

Mahomed Doola


Mahomed Doola (Mo), is a well-known and respected technology professional in South Africa, having held various CTO and IT directorship positions over the last two decades, particularly in the media and publishing sectors. In his current role as Group Executive: Technology at AYO Technology Solutions, Mo draws on his deep understanding of IT infrastructure and technology and his passion for modelling future-proof solutions, to help companies develop innovative responses to many of the problems facing Africans in their everyday lives.

Acting Executive Manager: STP - Small Enterprise Development Agency

Tervern Jaftha


Tervern Jaftha is currently the Acting Executive Manager for the SEDA Technology Programme and previously the senior manager for technology business incubation.

Tervern was responsible for the building of the first cohort of the rapid youth incubators/accelerators in South Africa with 13 centres for entrepreneurship nationally. He has 20 years of experience in operations in both senior and executive levels in the private and public sectors and the sister agencies.

Tervern sits on various panels and committees including the Seda Technology Business Incubation Adjudication Panel, the Strategic Partnership Programme Adjudication Committee of the DTIC, and the Deputy Ministers of Small Business Developments Advisory Committee on Technology for Women in Business (TWIB) & Techno Girl Programmes.

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.

Co-Founder & Director: ViKtoria Ventures

Stephen Gugu


Stephen is also a co-founder and Director at ViKtoria Ventures the manager of Viktoria Business Angels Network (where he is also an angel) a sector agnostic angel network out of Kenya focused on commercially viable early stage investments from East Africa which are post traction. Through Viktoria Stephen has made several investments and assisted angel investors in Kenya access and make investments. He has consulted widely for early stage innovative businesses training over 400 entrepreneurs, carried out valuations and assisted them in fundraising and deal structuring. He sits on the advisory board of several start-ups and the African Business Angels Network. Stephen is also a venture partner at Consonance Investment Partners assisting with deal sourcing and evaluation.

On a day to day Stephen runs InVhestia a project and corporate finance advisory business that acts as an intermediary between entrepreneurs and investors offering a range of services that include financial modelling, deal sourcing, valuation, due diligence, negotiations support, deal structuring, capital raising and mergers and acquisitions.Stephen also works as an adjunct faculty member in Entrepreneurial Finance at Strathmore Business School. He has been teaching finance and entrepreneurship related courses for the past 10 years. In this capacity Stephen acts as the academic director for the private equity and venture capital program in the business school.

His education background consists of an MBA from Vlerick Business School in Belgium (Under the Kofi Annan Fellow Scholarship) (2011) an undergraduate degree in Law from the University of Nairobi and several professional courses in Finance and Accounting

Industry Consultant: Dassault Systems

Tebatso Maake


After graduating with a Bachelors and Honors in geology and chemistry at the University of Limpopo, Tebatso started his career working as assistant supervisor at ALS (Australian Laboratory Services) before going to China taking the role of geochemical and environmental mapper -exploring ways to minimise mining activities’ environmental footprint. He then came back to PE in South Africa to study and work in the field of Marine Sciences. He is now working as an industry consultant for Dassault Systems, leveraging the engineering softwares of the company to optimise its clients operations, safety and environmental footprint thereof.


Always easier to practicing swimming in the simulation world, before you hit the real wave. That is why in the 3D Experience Platform we have SwYmers

Non-Executive Director: The IBL Group

Isabelle de Melo


Isabelle de Melo, a Mauritian, Swiss French and German national, graduated from HEC Paris with a Masters in Management . She started her career as an auditor with Arthur Andersen in Paris where she worked up to Manager on industrial SMEs and public companies on statutory, consulting, as well as – mergers and acquisition and privatization engagements in diverse sectors including industrial manufacturing, equipment, wholesale, consumer goods, publishing and insurance.

She later held CFO positions in the fast growing high technology multinational Gemplus ( worldwide leader in smart cards), for an aviation Group Privatair also adding Human Resources to her responsibilities.

She was also COO for a large family office as well as a Geneva based Sports’ team group. Since 2010 she is an active angel investor in early stage start ups having invested 70 rounds in 25 Companies. A Fellow of MIOD (Mauritius Institute of Directors) Isabelle de Melo currently sits as non executive Director on the Board of a public groups in Mauritius as well as advisory boards of some start ups. Part of the first cohort of the African Angel Academy, she is currently launching with other member the first Angel investor Group out of Mauritius to focus on Early stage financing in Mauritius and Africa.

Founder & Managing Director: PayFast

Jonathan Smit


An entrepreneur at heart, Jonathan started PayFast early in his career in 2007 after gaining valuable business experience at global engineering and consulting firms. With a degree in computer engineering, Jonathan is passionate about all things technical, most especially the internet and distributed systems.

After personally developing the core PayFast platform, Jonathan has steered PayFast through the last decade, growing the company into a leader in online payment processing in South Africa with one of the most recognised payment brands in the country


Founder: Jozi Angels

Abu Cassim


An entrepreneur and an investor, Abu is founder of Jozi Angels, a network of angel investors based in Johannesburg. There are 29 investors in the network and together they have made a combined 44 early stage investments. Abu has previously started a number of other companies, including Ground Flr an online platform that he scaled to 37 countries.

Abu also has an MBA from Europe’s top business school (FT Rankings) and prior to that spent almost ten years in asset management, including a five year stint in Dubai. He was born and brought up in Johannesburg but has also lived in Madrid, Spain. His mindset has been shaped by his diverse experiences and he brings a global perspective to the work he is doing in the startup space.”

Partner: Dazzle Angels

Hannah Subayi Kamuanga


I am an experienced investor (private equity / venture capital & early stage investments) in Africa.

I am one of the Partners of Dazzle Angels, the first SA female angel fund (http://www.dazzleangels.com/#overview), only investing in women-led tech businesses in South Africa. I have also expanded her activity in the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa.

Through this platform, I am regularly advising hubs (including incubators, accelerators and innovation labs) in Sub-Saharan Africa, as well as entrepreneurs (both start-ups and small businesses).

I am also a guest lecturer in entrepreneurship at the African Leadership Academy (https://www.africanleadershipacademy.org/), teaching and advising entrepreneurs on growth strategies, market expansion and operations in particular.

Congolese (DRC), I am currently based in Cape Town and travel extensively on the Continent (including West Francophone Africa and North Africa).

I am also a regular speaker, host, panellist, judge of start-up competitions.

Vice President: Business Integration - Mastercard

Gabriel Swanepoel


Gabriel Swanepoel is the VP of Business Integration at Mastercard, South Africa.Gabriel has been involved in New Business Development and Innovation initiatives within the Payments industry for the past fifteen years where he was responsible for all aspects of innovation and product development from project inception to commercialisation.

Prior to joining Mastercard, Gabriel was the New Business and Innovation Manager for Verifone Africa, where he oversee all new product and business development initiatives in South Africa.

Prior to Verifone, Gabriel contracted to MTN Mobile Money and before that also served as the New Technologies Manager for Visa in Sub Saharan Africa, where he was responsible for all the innovation initiatives throughout Sub Saharan Africa, specifically with a focus on Mobile and Contactless projects.

Gabriel’s focus on innovation coupled with an entrepreneurial approach has also brought success when he was one of the founders of XLink Communications, a machine to machine communications business, which today is one of the leading providers of card terminal and ATM communications services in South Africa.

Principal & Angel Investor: Africa Trust Group

Lelemba Phiri


Lelemba Phiri is an award winning educator, writer, keynote speaker and gender-lens angel investor. She is the Principal at the Africa Trust Group that takes a holistic approach to investing in women by investing in both the woman entrepreneur and the enterprise; and facilitating their access to markets and critical business tools.

She is also a shareholder (and the current board chair) for Zoona Zambia, an African mobile payments business that provides financial services where they are needed most and a shareholder at Africa Trust Academy a coaching and consulting company focused on leadership and entrepreneurship development and financial literacy.

Lelemba is passionate about women leadership and entrepreneurship development in Africa and is committed to advancing gender equality and empowerment.

Managing Partner: Kingson Capital

Gavin Reardon


Gavin Reardon is an entrepreneur and investor. He is the Founder and Managing Partner of Kingson Capital, a venture capital firm based in South Africa. Kingson invests in early stage tech businesses.

In 2019 Kingson was acknowledged by the United States Government for its role in unlocking private sector capital and awarded with a guarantee facility to continue its work in catalysing the VC industry in South Africa.

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 (www.dazzleangels.com); and a co-founded the African Angel Academy (www.africanangelacademy.com), 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.

CEO: MyGrowthFund Venture Partners & Managing Partner: Watermark Afrika Fund Managers

Vusi Thembekwayo


Vusi Thembekwayo is a Global Business Speaker, private equity Managing Partner at Watermark Afrika, CEO of pan-African impact investment firm MyGrowthFund Venture Capital & convenor of leading research boutique IC Knowledge BureauRanked number 1 in public speaking at the age of 17, Vusi went on to receive third place in the world at the English-Speaking Union International Competition. He delivered his first professional talk in 2002 and over the past 15years he has been gracing the global stage with his humour, charisma and thought-provoking content. His debut book, the Magna Carta of Exponential was launched in Barcelona, Spain in 2017. It sold 6,000 copies on the day of launch.His follow-up book, Vusi – lessons from a Black Dragons is a multi-award best-seller available on audible & Kindle.Vusi Thembekwayo is making waves internationally as a thought-provoking young business leader from the continent with many ideas on solving economic issues in Africa. His mission is to change the African narrative by challenging the mindset and approach towards achieving economic freedom.