Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [1/9/2019]

Featured image: Heavy Chef via Twitter

Startup Guide will hold the launch party for its Startup Guide Cape Town at Workshop 17 Watershed on Wednesday (4 September). The book is a directory and guide to Cape Town’s entrepreneurship ecosystem (see this story).

AI Expo Africa, one of the largest business focused artificial intelligence (AI) and data science community events in Africa, will be held at Century City Conference Centre on Wednesday and Thursday (4 and 5 September).

Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival will return to Johannesburg to explore and celebrate technology and creativity by Africans for Africa with the theme “Own Your Force”.

Elsewhere on the continent, Port Harcourt in Nigeria will host a Global Women Startup Weekend starting on Friday (6 September).

This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup events, competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences in Africa.

If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or next week’s, please let us know in the comments below or send us an email.

Not all of the events are free and some will require booking in advance. Please click on the event names to find out more information.


Startup Grind Bloemfontein

Startup Grind Bloemfontein hosts Black Gold Engineering founder and CEO Pedro Da Fronseca, the inventor of  Namlux LED lights.

Date: 4 September, 6pm to 9pm
Location: Stereo Cafe, 35 President Steyn Avenue, Bloemfontein

Startup Grind UFS

Startup Grind UFS hosts Rooistel founder Evert Kleynhans.

Date: 5 September, 5pm to 9pm
Location: Senate Hall, Equitas Building, UFS Campus, Bloemfontein

Cape Town

Hartford InsurTech Hub Cape Town Office Hours

Hartford InsurTech Hub, powered by Startupbootcamp, will hold its Cape Town Office Hours event as part of its international tour to find the best-rising insurtech companies.

Date: 2 and 3 September, 9am to 5pm
Location: TBA

AfricArena Tour 2019 Cape Town Pitch Event

Join the Cape Town leg of the AfricArena Tour 2019 where some of the best entrepreneurs in the city will get the opportunity to share their business models and convince the expert judges why they should be advanced to pitch at the grand finale in Cape Town, South Africa.

Date: 3 September, 3pm to 7pm
Location: Workshop 17, Watershed, 17 Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

AI Expo Africa 2019

The AI Expo Africa 2019 programme consists of four tracks and eight workshops. In total there will be 68 talks and panels. The expo will also include case studies, technical demonstrations, as well as a dedicated innovation section that will showcase 17 AI startups.

Date: 3 September, 3pm to 7pm
Location: Workshop 17, Watershed, 17 Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Startup Grind Cape Town

Startup Grind Cape Town hosts DataProphet CEO and co-founder Frans Cronje who will talk about how the startup has become a global leader in artificial intelligence (AI) for manufacturing.

Date: 4 September, 5.30pm to 8.30pm
Location: Workshop 17, Watershed, 17 Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Startup Guide Cape Town launch party

The event will feature a panel discussion on the factors that help put startup scenes on the map, the challenges that SA entrepreneurs still face today and the strategies that other African countries can employ to grow their own ecosystems.

The session will be moderated by SAP Next-Gen Africa director Kwena Mabotja, SAP Africa innovation strategist Mervyn George, Amazon Web Services technical evangelist Cobus Bernard, Startup Guide founder and CEO Sissel Hansen and Silicon Cape chairperson and director Sumarie Roodt.

Date: 4 September, 11am to 3pm
Location: Workshop 17, Watershed, 17 Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

World Economic Forum on Africa

The 28th World Economic Forum on Africa focus on how to scale up the transformation of regional architecture related to smart institutions, investment, integration, industry and innovation.

Under the theme, Shaping Inclusive Growth and Shared Futures in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the meeting will address the African Union’s Agenda 2063 regional strategic priorities through innovation, co-operation, growth and stability programme tracks.

Date: 4 to 6 September
Location: Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC2), Cape Town

Global Goals Living Room

The Global Goals Living Room brings together thought leaders and influencers from industry, government, academia, the startup ecosystem, NGOs and other partners to share strategic thinking and inspire action to make the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) a reality.

Date: 4 to 6 September, 4pm to 9pm
Location: Inner City Ideas Cartel, Sand Hill Road, De Waterkant, Cape Town

Heavy Chef The Inspire Sessions: The Educators Thabo Mbeki, Sam Paddock, Rapelang Rabana

Join former South African president Thabo Mbeki and Getsmarter CEO and co-founder Sam Paddock and thought leader Rapelang Rabana as they discuss education in Africa, how the Fourth Industrial Revolution is impacting education and how Africa must evolve in order to meet the challenge and thrive.

Date: 5 September, 6pm to 8.30pm
Location: The President Hotel, 4 Alexander Road, Cape Town

Absa Hackathon @World Economic Forum

How do we activate the financial sector in Africa’s Fourth Industrial Revolution to access the opportunity of integrating business and academia? Join 12 innovators as they collaborate, crack and pitch solutions to this challenge.

Date: 6 September, 9am to 5pm
Location: Cape Town International Convention Centre, 1 Lower Long Street, Foreshore, Cape Town

Lunch&Learn: A tap away

Join this Catalyst Fund and Cenfri event that will explore how and why Africa is the space to watch for tomorrow’s insurance products and business models.

Date: 6 September, 12.30am to 3pm
Location: Workshop 17, Watershed, 17 Dock Road, V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Crypto Fest 2019

This one-day event aims to move away from the traditional exhibition model, into a ground-breaking festival of engaging, thought-provoking and quality content on driving meaningful discussion and debate on how best to accelerate global adoption of cryptocurrencies.

Join controversial crypto debates in the Crypto Battle Arena, live crypto gaming and fun competitions with crypto giveaways. Come dressed as your favourite crypto coin or don your most expressive crypto t-shirt to win exciting crypto prizes.

Date: 7 September, 11am
Location: Shimmy Beach Club, 12 South Arm Road, Cape Town



Join Africa’s largest gathering of business leaders, professionals and entrepreneurs.

Date: 3 to 4 September, 10am to 8pm
Location: Sandton Convention Centre, Sandton, Johannesburg

Fak’ugesi African Digital Innovation Festival

The Tshimologong Precinct, Wits Theatre and the BKhz Gallery will host this year’s mind-bending line up of hack-a-thons, game jams, aniMarathons, workshops, digital art, creative pitches, exhibitions as well as a special conference on creative economies and digital innovation.

In total, Fak’ugesi Festival will offer 15 creative technology workshops across the week, starting with the festival’s annual Making Weekend (31 August to 1 September) right until closing weekend on 7 September 2019, including an array of exciting talks, exhibitions, and meet-ups in between.

Date: 31 August to 7 September
Location: Tshimologong Precinct, 41 Juta Street, Johannesburg

Savca Valuation Masterclass

The programme will include an introduction to international private equity and venture capital valuation guidelines and their application in reporting to investors.

Date:5 September, 7.45am to 4.45pm
Location: GIBS Campus, 26 Melville Road, Illovo, Johannesburg

Lioness Lean In Sandton

Hear the inspiring entrepreneurial stories of women and get the opportunity to pitch your businesses, products and services at this strictly women only networking event.

Date: 6 September, 8am to 11.30am
Location: Volkswagen Group SA, 129 Patricia Road, Sandton, Johannesburg


Startup Grind Gaborone

Apex Group CEO and founder Umesh Lonna will speak about how he marketed his competitive advantage in various sectors in Botswana.

Date: 5 September, 6pm to 9pm
Location: Cresta Lodge Gaborone (Sports Bar Area), Samora Michele Dr, Gaborone


AI Workshop: Feedback Analysis

Do you know what your customers really think about your product or service? Join this workshop to learn how to create a Node.js web app built on Watson Discovery and Watson Knowledge Studio to understand customer feedback.

Date: 4 September, 6pm to 9pm
Location: IBM Maroc, Route Sidi Maarouf, Casablanca


Global Women Startup Weekend Port Harcourt

Techstars Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs.

Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, Techstars Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos and presentations.

Date: 6 to 8 September, 4pm to 8pm
Location: Olotu Square Solutions, D/Line, Dline, Port Harcourt

Startup Pitch Bootcamp

If you have a strong idea that could be pitched more clearly, then join this event. In just three hours, this intensive workshop will help you improve your pitching skills and understand the components of a great pitch, providing plenty of practice until you get it right.

Date: 7 September, 12pm to 3pm
Location: Olotu Square, No 1 Khana Street Dline, Port Harcourt

Featured image: Heavy Chef via Twitter

Daniel Mpala


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