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Innovation goes viral. This is the theme of this year’s SA Innovation Summit with about 1 500 founders, ecosystem builders and investors exploring how great innovations can be multiplied, scaled, and go viral.
Held from 27 to 29 September in Cape Town, #SAIS2022 is one of Africa’s biggest tech start-up events. Last year, $22 million worth of investments were raised with organisers saying the event will again facilitate deals.
#SAIS2022 is held amid a global economic slowdown with Buntu Majaja, chief executive of the SA Innovation Summit, saying African innovation could be a “recession-proof beacon of light” as the world braces itself for an unprecedented recession.
“The innovation summit is a catalyst for innovation in the economy, a platform where discussions, decisions and deals are made in order build Africa’s scalable economies. We are honoured and humbled every year to work with partners from all over the world to produce Africa’s largest start-up conference,” says Majaja.
“This year is special because the sedatives of the pandemic are wearing off and like a phoenix, we can see innovation diamonds and start-up unicorns unearthing from the 2020 ashes. This is the momentum we want to build on because we believe that there are huge deltas across African markets and it’s only the beginning of the Africa rising narrative.”
The speaker line-up includes Sacheen Kala, head of the Founders Factory Africa partnership at Standard Bank, author Nicky Verd, and Elmen Lamprecht, co-founder of 3 Degrees Tech. City of Cape Town representatives will speak on its transition to “Silicon Cape”, attracting tech talent and money to the Mother City.
Furthermore, the department of science and innovation will showcase the preliminary success stories of its Innovation Fund while Von Seidels invites delegates to the metaverse and world of IP law at the forefront of innovation. Newtown Partners will bring together Africa’s CXOs to unlock corporate venture capital and play host to an NFT auction where top local art will be showcased and sold.
#SAIS2022 grows African unicorns
Majaja says #SAIS2022 takes place against the backdrop of increasing regionalisation and integration across the African continent. The summit positions start-ups and tech-enabled businesses to join the ranks of other growing African unicorns where their markets must be pan-African and/or global.
#SAIS2022 is the ultimate environment for tech entrepreneurs looking to scale but may lack capital, skills, or markets to tap into, organisers say.
Entrepreneurs get automatic access to the summit’s unique business matching platform where they can meet up with investors, find collaborative partners and explore new markets through productive meetings over the three days. On 27 and 28 September the summit will be hosted at Old Biscuit Mill in Salt River with events of 29 September to be held at Innovation City’s their premises in Gardens.
Last year’s Innovation Summit welcomed over 150 local and global venture capital and angel investors as well as some 1500 early-stage entrepreneurs, serial entrepreneurs, professionals at leading corporations, and industry thought leaders and 48 industry expert speakers.