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SA bank Nedbank is partnering with Silicon Valley accelerator Plug and Play to bring 10 startups — including international companies among them — to an event in South Africa next month to connect with major companies and business leaders.
In an announcement yesterday, Nedbank said the event, The Disruption Agenda will be held in Johannesburg.
The 10 companies are Koniku, Airware, Sentiance, LifeQ, Wasteless, Trueface AI, Aerobotics, What3Words Dispel, and IoT.nxt.
The 10 companies are all graduates of the Plug and Play accelerator platform and were identified as relevant disruptors to solving cross-sector business challenges at a corporate level within the local market.
While The Disruption Agenda will be a closed event structured for Nedbank’s clients, a public event for broader access to Plug and Play has been mooted to take place later on this year.
The success of these engagements will form the basis of Plug and Play’s decision to accelerate plans to establish a permanent presence in Africa.
‘The Disruption Agenda event will be an integral first step for opening and developing an Innovation Hub in South Africa’
In a statement yesterday Plug and Play CEO and founder Saeed Amidi said he viewed The Disruption Agenda event as an “integral first step” for opening and developing an Innovation Hub in South Africa next year.
Commenting in the same statement, Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) head of disruption and innovation Stuart van der Veen said the bank recognises that building an innovation strategy at a corporate level can present “a number of significant challenges”.
“To help corporate leaders, we have structured The Disruption Agenda, a first of its kind event on the continent, to simplify how corporates connect to world-class startups,” said Van der Veen.
For close to two years Nedbank has sponsored the Plug and Play’s fintech accelerator programme and Nedbank’s team has been engaged with the participants to source new ideas and partnerships.
Plug and Play Fintech director Max Koenig said the accelerator’s partnership with Nedbank has given its startups “a successful route” to expand their business to South Africa.
“The CIB group, responsible for innovation within Nedbank, has been instrumental in sourcing startups to digitally transform their company,” said Koenig.
Editor’s note (6 September 2018): This article has been updated to include the names of the 10 startups that have been selected to attend The Disruption Agenda.
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