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Over 200 business heads attend Nedbank, Plug and Play’s The Disruption Agenda

The Disruption Agenda — a new platform initiated by SA bank Nedbank in partnership with Silicon Valley accelerator Plug and Play — saw over 200 top business leaders and innovation thinkers attend a launch event held last week.

The platform is aimed at connecting leading global and local innovation talent to leaders ready to implement disruptive technologies.

Those startups that were showcased at last week’s event were: Koniku, Sentiance, LifeQ, Wasteless, Trueface AI, Aerobotics, What3Words, Dispel, IoT.nxt and GotBot.

The two-day event was structured into deal-flow sessions on the first day where 30 of Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking’s top clients engaged with 10 of the most innovative startups sourced with the help of Plug and Play, a global innovation platform headquartered in Silicon Valley.

Day two saw pitches from the 10 startups and a panel discussion with Nedbank’s leading thinkers on disruption and digital transformation to over 200 clients of Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking’s, Retail Business Banking and Nedbank Private Wealth clients with a goal to stimulate and accelerate innovation action.

Over 200 top business leaders and innovation thinkers attended the launch of The Disruption Agenda — a new platform initiated by Nedbank and Plug and Play

Stuart van der Veen, head of innovation and disruption at Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking, said the focus on disruption is something that the bank has been driving “not only in our business, but as new value propositions for our clients”.

“Additionally, our objective is to advance the local tech community,” he added.

Nedbank will identify 100 top disruptors every six months, both locally and globally. From this, 12 collaborations will be identified across Nedbank with six progressing to experimentation and one through to commercialisation on a rolling basis.

“Aerobotics is a great example. They were one of the disruptors we identified, and we’ve taken them through to commercialisation with several of our clients,” concluded van der Veen.

Reflecting on the event, Alex Fenn, Technology and Innovation Lead for Sibanye-Stillwater, commented, “Mining companies are experiencing increasing cost pressures and volatile commodity prices. We’ve pulled all of the efficiency levers that we have at hand.

“I believe the next paradigm shift in operational performance will come from the adoption of some type of disruptive technology at a very broad level. We’ve identified enormous opportunity amongst the startups that we have engaged with, which could be critical to our digital transformation and sustainability going forward.”

Read more: Nedbank, Plug and Play to host The Disruption Agenda in Joburg [Updated]

Featured image: (from left to right) MC Speaker Pippa Tshabalala, Abrazo Capital founder Janade du Plessis, SBC AfriTech Paul Nel, Alphacode’s Chipo Mushwana, Nedbank’s Stuart van der Veen and Nedbank’s Ray Naicker (Supplied)