Sharing innovative ideas to take Africa to the world
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Sharing innovative ideas to take Africa to the world

Selina Rapulane

The Vaal University of Technology Southern Gauteng Science and Technology Park (VUTSGSTP) attended the 12th Annual South African Innovation Summit from 11-13 September, hosted in Cape Town under the theme: From Africa to the World.

This theme spoke to authentic leadership, that these leaders should be the change, build capacity, show entrepreneurial talent and make a deal.

The summit, as stated on its website, is a flagship event on the African innovation calendar and a platform for nurturing, developing and showcasing African innovation, as well as facilitating thought leadership. It has been created to support and promote innovation and facilitate collaboration within its own eco-system. The initiative brings together corporates, thought leaders, inventors, entrepreneurs, academia and policy makers to amplify South Africa’s renowned competitive edge and to inspire sustained economic growth across the continent of Africa.

This year the summit showcased the best from South Africa and the continent to investors serious about African startups. Its programme included:

  • The launch of three crowd sourcing campaigns with knowledge on how to invest in African startups;
  • Talks on how to build vibrant innovation ecosystems and city regions for tech startups;
  • Panel discussions on: Artificial Intelligence investment; How data supports growth; Founders conflict; Innovation in Justice; Design Thinking; Market-Fit; Accelerating Incubators and a bootcamp for entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley.

Leading entrepreneurs on the continent also shared their lessons learnt and their journeys for inspiration and pitching dens from various stakeholders were also on the cards.

The VUTSGSTP was at the summit to meet new inventors as well as those in the industry to seek new business and partnership opportunities. The VUTSGSTP is renowned for transforming ideas into products, so this was a good platform to source new ideas and market its facilities in assisting investors and corporates bring their ideas to life.

Dr Joseph Molete: Executive Director at VUTSGSTP was one of the keynote speakers. His address focused on Township Innovation Districts.  He presented the great opportunities that lie at VUTSGSTP for innovators and investors in early-stage entrepreneurs and corporates who are in the Additive Manufacturing space. His team from the Design Department demonstrated the park’s services and capabilities that afford clients access to product design and development services.

“The summit was a success as we reached our target market. It was relevant because a lot of top entrepreneurs, innovators, thought-leaders, policymakers and investors who converged in the City of Cape Town to witness the very best of African innovation, now know who we are and what we can do,” said Ms Manani Hlongwane: Public Relations Officer.

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