05 May 2016

Investec dedicated to growing SA economy through entrepreneur development

Investec and its partners, the Entrepreneurship Development Trust and E-nnovate, have selected a group of tech entrepreneurs from across South Africa to participate in a one-week exploratory business trip to Silicon Valley, USA, this month. The entrepreneurs, who all have operational businesses, were selected from more than 200 applicants. They hail from Hardware, FinTech, Mobile and EdTech.

Over the course of the past year and a half, Investec have sent 150 carefully selected entrepreneurs abroad. The aim is to get them to use global lessons to best advantage locally, and to start thinking about doing business globally.

Natan Pollack, E-nnovate co-founder, said:

“What makes this programme unique is the ability for the entrepreneurs to leave the country, and understand an environment that is completely different from South Africa.”

The tech entrepreneurs will meet with venture capital funds, angel investors, intellectual property lawyers, and Stanford University academics. They will also spend significant time with divisions at Google and Facebook HQ, engage with some of the most futuristic local start-ups, and participate in various pitching events with fellow tech entrepreneurs from the US, Russia, Germany and France.

African first in Silicon Valley

The group will also be the first African delegation ever to attend the Silicon Valley Open Doors Conference in its 11-year history. Taking place from 25-26 May at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Silicon Valley, Open Doors is a leading boutique technology investment conference attended by 600+ global start-up founders, 50+ gurus of the tech industry, 300+ top angel investors and VCs, and 800+ experts. Three members of the delegation are among the 35 pre-selected start-ups from around the world who will pitch on stage in front of the premier Silicon Valley angel investors and VCs.

Setlogane Manchidi, Investec head of CSI, said:

“Being a corporate citizen of this country, it is our responsibility to actively stimulate and grow the economy. By finding quality business ideas and exposing them to world-class practice, we are doing just that. We are very proud of our partnership with E-nnovate, and excited about what it will produce.”

Stephen Koseff, CEO of Investec, said:

“Our business was born out of a strong entrepreneurial spirit. This ethos is lived in the way we practice business every day. For us as Investec, it is vital to develop the skills and opportunities for entrepreneurs.”

List of participants:

Mark Allewell, Leash, www.myleash.co.za
Harry Apostoleris, Investec Equity Partners
Dan Brotman, E-nnovate
Ryan Canin, DocFox, www.docfox.co.za
Gareth Cliff, Cliff Central, www.cliffcentral.com
Dario Fanucchi, Isanzi, www.isaziconsulting.co.za
Gur Geva, Indox, www.indox.co.za
Nkosenhle Hlophe, Kenako Multimedia, www.kenakosa.co.za
Ntando Kubheka, Locomute
Murray Legg, Webfluential, www.webfluential.com
Francois Liebenberg, Pocketslip, www.pocketslip.com
Akash Maharaj, Investec Private Capital
Setlogane Manchidi, Investec’s Head of Corporate Social Investment in South Africa
Sapho Maqhwazima, UmoyAir Communications, www.umoyair.com
Lungisa Matshoba, Yoco, www.yoco.co.za
Riaz Moola, Hyperion, www.hyperiondev.com
Prinesh Naidoo, Geco Cam, www.gecocam.com
Martin Naude, Encentivize, www.encentivize.co.za
Natan Pollack, E-nnovate
Harry Shomalistos, STS
Benjamin Shaw, HouseME
Nkululeko Silimela, NKUSI-IT Specialised Services, www.nkusi-it.co.za
Claudia Swartzberg, Top Dog, www.mytopdog.co.za
GG van Rooyen, Entrepreneur Magazine, www.entrepreneurmag.co.za