SA Innovation Summit (SAIS) 2023 was a dynamic week filled with innovation, entrepreneurship, and collaboration. As a proud event partner, UVU Africa played a significant role in several exciting activities throughout the event. Let’s dive into the key highlights of our collaboration at SAIS 2023.
We were honoured to be event partner for Confluence40, a strategic side event of the SA Innovation Summit. Hosted by RIIS and Frost Sullivan, this event brought together South African thought leaders and innovators across diverse sectors of the corporate world. Embracing an “unconference” format, Confluence40 explored the rapid changes occurring at the intersection of technology, industry, and society. It was a platform to seek innovative solutions to pressing challenges and included short video interviews with attendees, fostering collaboration. Confluence40 is poised to become an annual event, further driving innovation in South Africa in the coming years.
Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn Watch Party
This year UVU Africa brought the Summit to the township entrepreneurial community by hosting a vibrant, live stream watch party at the Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn, our innovation hub in one of Cape Town’s bustling townships. More than 45 local entrepreneurs attended, connecting over SAIS events while enjoying good food, music, and valuable networking opportunities. The event also featured a pitch practice competition, providing an opportunity for participants to refine their entrepreneurial pitch skills.
UVU Africa Group as an Exhibitioner
UVU Africa’s exhibition stand at SAIS garnered significant interest and attention from delegates. A large number of people popped over to our booth to learn more about the UVU Africa Group and the catalytic interventions that are bringing about digital inclusion across Africa. We had the opportunity to showcase leading digital career accelerator, CAPACITI, bioeconomy enabler and contributor UVU Bio, entrepreneurial accelerator UVU Accelerate, EdTech accelerator and Think Thank Injini as well as our township economy focus through the Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn. The presence of partners and friends further enriched the networking experience. It was also inspiring to see CAPACITI candidates playing a pivotal role as official volunteers of the event, providing a range of services including technical support and interviewing attendees for social media content.
UVU Africa as a Thought Leader
Day two at SAIS had UVU Africa front and center with a range of activities throughout the day. Marietjie Engelbrecht, Head of Marketing, Ecosystem, and Township Economy, took the stage as a panelist to discuss Cape Town’s remarkable status as a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship on the African continent. Krista Davidson, Executive Director at Injini, delivered an enlightening masterclass on emerging technologies in EdTech solutions in Africa. The day concluded with a thought-provoking panel discussion on the integration of Generative Artificial Intelligence to advance quality learning outcomes in Africa. The panel was moderated by Injini’s Venture Scale Lead Gigi Ngcobo and included contributions from the CEO’s of emerging EdTech organisations including Resolute Education, Mindjoy and Digify Africa.
Founders Day: Celebrating the Entrepreneurial Journey
To round off this exceptional week, UVU Africa proudly hosted Founders Day, a dedicated event celebrating the entrepreneurial journey. Attendees immersed themselves in informative masterclasses and fireside chats focused on Unveiling VC Perspectives and sharing inspiring success stories. Lara Rosmarin, Head of Entrepreneurial Development at UVU Accelerate, skillfully served as the day’s MC, ensuring a memorable experience for all attendees.
A group of investors, international startups, corporate and government support organisations visited the Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn on the last day of the Summit to learn more about the entrepreneurial talent coming from the township and see 12 people pitch their businesses and discuss the challenges, needs and opportunities in Khayelitsha. The support provided by the Barn including digital literacy, tech-enablement and grassroots support is building a fertile ecosystem where more businesses can thrive and provide earning opportunities to the community.
A big thank you to the SA Innovation Summit for presenting a brilliant SAIS 2023 and the various sponsors for collaborating with UVU Africa! It is a privilege to extend the reach of the Summit to enhance innovation inclusion and participate in the integration of the tech and innovation ecosystem across Africa.
Catch the highlights in our event recap video below. We are so fortunate to have spent a few days with some of Africa’s most talented and future-focused individuals. Innovation in Africa is alive and thriving, and we are exceptionally proud to be a part of that. Until next year!