Meet our speakers

Comedian and MC

Tsitsi Chiumya is a young comedian from Lebowakgomo, a small township, south of the Limpopo Province. He has fast become a young talent to be reckoned with, winning admirers across South Africa and Africa, not to mention his International shows in Europe and USA where, it seems, everyone can relate to his ‘awkwardly relatable stories’.
Tsitsi was singled out by South Africa’s greatest comedy export – The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah – to take part in the new comedy TV series, Trevor Noah Presents : NationWild. Tsitsi also appeared on BBC Arts Hour, which featured Spike Lee in the same season.
On the awards front, he has received both a Comics’ Choice Award for ‘Best Newcomer’ in 2018 and a South African Film and Television Award (SAFTA) for .Scriptwriting – TV Comedy. As part of the Puppet Nation team.
The BBC featured him in their profile series, The Arts Hour with Nikki Bedi, alongside filmmaker Jahmil X T Qubeka, theatre director Clara Vaughan, writer Yewande Omotoso and blue haired singing sensation Moonchild Sanelly. In December 2018, Tsitsi completed a tour of South-East Asia, where he performed 38 shows in 3 weeks, headlining some of Asia’s most prestigious comedy clubs, including The Merry Lion in Singapore and the Bangkok Comedy Club. He also headlined the biggest comedy festival in Zambia – the ZED Comedy Festival – performing to a crowd of over 3 000, winning rave reviews from the local press. His performances at the Johannesburg International Comedy Festival also won him recognition as one of the comics to watch in 2019.

Co-founder and Managing Director of Perpertu8 and Member of the Presidential Commission on 4IR

Actuarial Science BSc Honours graduate from Wits University who is 3 exams away from qualifying as one of a few Black female South African qualified Actuaries in South Africa. She’s a lifetime member of the Golden Key International Honour Society, which honours the top 15% of academic achievers in universities across the globe. She’s been selected as a FinWeek Top Woman to Watch and made it to the Destiny Magazine “Power of 40 – Forty trailblazers under 40” at the age of 24. She is a speaker, facilitator and has had many appearances at events and media platforms. With a deep passion for systemic change in areas of social development, S’onqoba has played a number of roles in a number of sectors. Most notably she served as the COO of the Sifiso Learning Group; a new age education group spearheading the African education revolution in early childhood to post school education; publishing; education technology and education properties. She started as the second founding employee of the business with seasoned entrepreneur and leader, Sizwe Nxasana at the helm. The group continues to disrupt the education space to better align it to; and prepare students for the 4th Industrial Revolution. In her role she managed the Property and Technology subsidiaries as well as led key central support areas of the Group. Her role was pivotal in the exponential growth of this business in less than 3 years (80+ staff, 4 active subsidiaries, 700+ enrolled learners, 3 school campuses and 8+ properties in Gauteng). S’onqoba is a previous banker with the FirstRand Group; the largest on the African continent by market capitalization. She worked in roles that include: Senior Actuarial Analyst; Brand ROI, Analytics & Research Manager; Executive Assistant / Chief of Staff to the FirstRand Limited Group CEO, Mr. Sizwe Nxasana as well as Head of the First National Bank (FNB) Innovators Programme responsible for the bank’s title of most innovative bank in SA & Africa and one of the most innovative banks in the world. Her current systemic focus for social development is in SMME development where she is the Managing Director of her own business, Perpetu8 that offers niche advisory, implementation consulting and funding services to high potential SMMEs. The business focuses on building businesses of the future through harnessing the Fourth Industrial Revolution. She is also the COO of Scaleup Accelerator, 10x-Entrpereneurs which focuses on scaling the founder, CEO and management team of scaling businesses to drive job creation and increased turnover. Her passion is to bridge between corporate and startups for true SMME development and commercialisation through innovations that have a bankable bottom line. She is also currently serving on the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution after being appointed by the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, to develop an integrated strategy and plan for how the country can lead in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In this Commission she chairs the Integration, Programme Management and Communications workstream.

Futurist and Co-founder of ALLFUTUREEVERYTHING

A futurist with an artist's eye and an inventor’s mind, Monika Bielskyte prototypes culturally diverse, socially and environmentally engaged future world designs for the entertainment industry, technology companies, and cities/countries. As an expert in future of content and immersive media technology space (XR/AI/UX), Monika's work consists in connecting bleeding edge technological innovation with some of the world's most original creative visions that brings Sci Fi to reality.

Monika was born in Lithuania, lived in Paris, &, for the past 7 years, has embarked on a digital nomad journey that took her researching futures in over 90 countries.

Monika’s past clients include Universal, Google, DreamWorks, BBC, Microsoft, Mexico City, United Arab Emirates, McKinsey, Anonymous Content, Ridley Scott Associates, Reliance JIO, Telefonica, Intel, Aston Martin, MTN, TATA, Xerox PARC & Rick Owens, among others.

Co-founder and CEO of Quirky 30 NPC and Quirky Innovations PTY/LTD

Sihle Tshabalala (Co-founder and CEO Quirky 30 NPC and Quirky Innovations PTY/LTD ) is an ex-offender. During his time in prison, he became a key member of the Group of Hope programme (a prisoner initiated project that changed prison rehabilitation in SA) , where he decided to spend his life helping others avoid the mistakes he had made. Since leaving prison, he co-founded Brothers for All, taught himself how to code and has become a key voice in his community and a game changer in teaching high school dropouts, teenage moms, unemployed youth, ex-offenders and offenders Computer Programming/Coding, Entrepreneurship, Digital Marketing.He spoken widely on TV and radio, presented at the Durban AIDS conference, was awarded the 2014 LeadSA’s Hero, Mail and Guardian 200 Young South Africans award, 2015 Spark Changemaker award, 2016 WSA International Speaker, Juror and Mentor, 2016 TEDx Fellow, 2018 Africa Social Innovation Leadership Award, 2018 Rotary Vocational Award, 2018 VivaTech Conference International Speaker, Redbull Amaphiko Academy seasoned Mentor/Speaker and Levi's Pioneer Nation Mentor/Speaker. 2018 Nominee for the World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. 2018 Nominee for the US State International Visitor Leadership Program. 2018 Google Impact South Africa Challenge Finalists.

Founder of COOi Studios

Sandiso is the founder of COOi Studios, an Open Innovation lab for corporates, that bridges the gap between innovative products developed by start-ups and corporations wanting to solve tough business problems, using design thinking.

Prior to COOi Studios, Sandiso served as the Head of Open Innovation for Africa region at Accenture, a global technology consulting company. In 2013, Sandiso established the Born to Succeed programme, which advocates and educates for young women’s economic participation, to date the programme has helped over 120 women obtain employment.

Amongst other accolades she is a Sustainable Development Goals ambassador, Mzansi’s 100 Inspiring and Aspiring Leaders, a Play Your Part Ambassador with Brand South Africa, an Inspiring fifty Women in Tech and a Mandela Washington Fellow.

Sandiso holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Information Systems from Wits University, a Social Entrepreneurship Certificate from INSEAD and is currently a Master of Management (Innovation Studies) candidate at Wits University.

Director of AI Media PTY Ltd

Dr Nick Bradshaw is a South African based Entrepreneur helping clients understand the value of Artificial Intelligence powered technologies. He has 20+ years’ experience in the technology sector helping customers deploy and mature cloud based Enterprise collaboration software & platforms. Nick has worked in Europe, North America & Africa with a diverse set of Multi $bn global clients. Having built and exited a successful Microsoft Gold software business, and consulted with multiple tech start-ups both in the UK and Africa, Nick has gone onto launch the AI Media Group, creators of Africa's largest B2B AI trade show & business community (AI Expo Africa) with 3000+ members, Africa's first AI & Data Science Magazine (Synapse) and Africa’s first dedicated AI focused streaming channel (AI TV). His company also advises and helps clients understand the African AI landscape and opportunities that exist in the region.

Film and Media Promotion Officer at Wesgro

Lisa Mini is a respected film and media professional with over 16 years’ experience in the South African film industry. She joined Wesgro in 2015, as the Film and Media Promotion Officer. Her experience ranges from production management on the first South African animated feature film and various other high-profile film and television productions, to setting up and running the Cape Town campus of the Big Fish School of Digital Filmmaking. A champion of film as a vehicle for social change in South Africa. Lisa uses her platform to help build an inclusive, skilled and vibrant film industry that will position Cape Town and the Western Cape as a preferred film destination. Lisa holds a post-graduate qualification in Managerial Practice, specialising in Innovative Leadership from the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business and is a certified African Film Commissioner.

Co-founder & CTO of South Africa Makes

Dr Cherise Dunn is the cofounder of South Africa Makes™ - a unique social hybrid enterprise that uses 3D-printing for socio-economic and educational development in Africa. 

Dr Dunn was named one of the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans for 2019 in the Business and Entrepreneurship Category. She was later being selected by #cocreateSANL (an initiative by the Kingdom of the Netherlands in South Africa) as one of South Africa’s fifty most inspiring women in technology. Most recently Dr Dunn was selected as a TEDxCapeTownWomen speaker where she shared insights on the value that 3D-printing could bring to African communities, if the technology were used to solve uniquely African challenges.

Dr Dunn aspires to increase the involvement of young women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM) and support the economic opportunity of disadvantaged entrepreneurs to drive growth and social upliftment in Africa.

Dr Dunn strives to encourage entrepreneurship in youth by fostering skills for success in the fourth industrial revolution. 

Co-founder & CTO of South Africa Makes

Dr Riyad Domingo is the cofounder of South Africa Makes™ - a social enterprise offering 3D-printing/additive manufacturing services such as rapid prototyping, small volume manufacturing, educational, and consulting services to entrepreneurs, businesses, and higher educational institutions around the world.

He also leads the South Africa Makes’ long-term public-private partner research division,
with Manufacturing-as-a-Service (MaaS) set to disrupt a range of industries - from healthcare to nutrition to pharma - additive manufacturing has emerged as a viable alternative for sustainable entrepreneurship in emerging economies with a conservative valuation estimate hovering around $100 billion by 2023.  

Dr Domingo completed his PhD in Medical Biochemistry at the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine within the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Cape Town. He has worked with and consulted for university technology transfer offices across Africa and has also contributed to numerous peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, and the filing of technology patents.

Dr Domingo has received numerous awards from the Department of Science and Technology, National Research Foundation, Medical Research Council and the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust. He has also been invited to present at numerous prestigious conferences around the world including “Global Challenges in the 21st Century” and more recently as an expert on “Future-Proofing Africa for the Fourth Industrial Revolution” on behalf of the United States Consulate General in Cape Town. He is also an advisor for the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation, founded by the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Head of Innovation - Snake Nation

Andrew “Dre” Ngare is Co-founder General Manager and Head of Innovation at Snake Nation, a content, technology and culture company Headquartered in Atlanta Georgia and Cape Town South Africa.

He focuses on connecting young creators and technologists with the creative economy and opportunities by working with NGOs, corporates, brands, and government.

He also serves as director and mentor at Black Unicorns Venture Studio located in Hout Bay, South Africa. In 2018, companies of like-minded ambitions created an ecosystem for incubating and accelerating early-stage young diverse entrepreneurs of color focused on content and technology sectors who are building solutions and narratives for Africa. An organic but intentional need for sharing skills, networks, and resources that fill gaps in the entrepreneurial journey.

Dre hails for Detroit Michigan with roots in Kenya. In 2016 he moved with his wife to South Africa where he Co-founded Snake Nation South Africa. Previously he served as a Non-Commissioned Officer in the US Army and worked for Accenture in Federal Sevices within the Technology Group. Dre's studies and previous work focused on communications, international relations, information systems, cybersecurity. He holds a BSc in Business Administration from the University of Maryland Global Campus and is a candidate for a Masters's degree in Technology and Entrepreneurship from the University of Maryland.

Head of Experience at Ringier One Africa Media (ROAM)

I'm Medford Torr, I come from a creative background and started my career as a digital designer in 1998. I've worked half my career as a freelance designer and more recently as a UX designer for digital service agencies. I've spent the last 5 years focusing on UX and being an advocate for promoting the value of great user experience.

Executive Director of Molo Mhlaba

Rethabile Mashale-Sonibare is the Executive Director of Molo Mhlaba, a STEAM-focused girls school in Khayelitsha. Rethabile holds a Masters in Social Policy and Management from UCT and a PhD in Social Work from Stellenbosch University.

Co-founder and CEO of Sea Monster Entertainment

Glenn is the co-founder and CEO of Sea Monster Entertainment, one of Africa’s pre-eminent animation, gaming and augmented / virtual reality companies. This rapidly growing business has delivered financial education, retail engagement and learning solutions for some of the largest companies in Africa and around the world.

CEO of Wits University’s Tshimologong Precinct

Lesley is the CEO of Wit’s University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct that aims to realise African digital innovation for global markets. She has 20 years international experience in curating innovation ecosystems and networks with a primary focus in social and digital innovation. She breaks barriers by creating common ground between corporates, government, international developments agencies and entrepreneurs to work together.  A career highlight was moderating a dialogue on Nelson Mandela’s legacy and the Future of Africa between President Barack Obama and Graça Machel at the African American Museum in Washington DC. Lesley travels extensively around the world delivering keynote speeches, for learning, dancing salsa and leisure. Her work is celebrated through multiple awards and regular media features including CNN, Fast Company, CNBC Africa, and Entrepreneur Magazine, USA. She has also fulfilled a childhood dream of presenting to audiences at the United Nations and African Union.

Manager for Digital Communications - City of Cape Town

Katherine Roderick is the manager for digital communication at the City of Cape Town. Her experience includes a long history with design and all things web. She's interested in helping users navigate the digital world more simply and tries to live by the motto; "change the world or go home".

CEO of The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative and The Bandwidth Barn

Ian Merrington is CEO of The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative and The Bandwidth Barn and is also a Director of Injini, Africa's first EdTech Incubator. The Bandwidth Barn is Africa's oldest technology incubator and is to-day regarded as one of the leading Technology business incubators in the world. Ian is currently a member of the Economic War Room for Tech & BPO established by the WCGov, he also sat on the advisory boards of the University of Cape Town’s Information Systems department and also the Computer Sciences department. He was appointed an ambassador for AfricaCom 2018 (Africa's largest Tech event) in recognition of his leadership role in driving Africa's digital transformation. Ian is passionate about the role of innovation in solving the challenges faced by modern societies. He believes that inclusive innovation can improve lives across the continent. In his current role as CEO of CiTi, he has a focus on supporting and incubating inclusive tech enabled innovation, seeding technology clusters, creating job ready candidates for the Industry 4.0 and also accelerating tech entrepreneurs.

Director: CoLab for E-inclusion and Social Innovation and Institutional Planning University of the Western Cape

Leona Craffert (DPhil) is a research psychologist, specialising in organisational development, leadership, HCD and innovation with a particular focus on the people-technology interface. Since 2012 she has been fulfilling the role as Director: CoLab for eInclusion and Social Innovation at the University of the Western Cape, a transdisciplinary research and project unit with a key interest in societal change processes for a (digitally) inclusive, just and sustainable society. Prior to joining UWC, she was Group Manager: Organisational Development in a listed ICT company and had responsibility for large-scale technical and non-technical change processes. Before joining the corporate sector, she managed several national research programmes as senior research specialist at the Human Sciences Research Council. She is the author/co-author of more than 40 research reports and articles.

Associate Professor at the University of the Western Cape

Dr. Ödman is Associate Professor at the University of the Western Cape, South Africa. Trained in physics at EPFL in Switzerland, she holds a PhD in cosmology from Cambridge University, UK. After a Marie Curie research fellowship in Italy, she became the first international project manager of Universe Awareness, an early childhood development programme centered around the inspirational aspects of astronomy. She joined the South African Astronomical Observatory as an SKA Research Fellow working at the interface between astronomy and technology, which she continues, as founding member of the ".astronomy" conference series. She was Director of Academic Development for the Next Einstein Initiative before joining a financial technology start-up as Chief Scientist. There she set up a data science and analytics pipeline. In 2018, she joined the Inter-University Institute for Data Intensive Astronomy as Associate Director, Development and Outreach. Her work has earned her numerous awards, including an International Astronomical Union Special Award for Astronomy Outreach, Development and Education (2018), Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans (2014), Bilan Magazine 300 most influential of Switzerland – category under 40s (2013), an American Association for the Advancement of Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (2010).


Buhle has held senior leadership roles for over 18 years in the financial services, technology, retail, and tourism sectors. She has worked across sub-Saharan Africa, as well as in Asian and European markets. A certified international retail banker, she also holds a BCom Marketing Degree from UNISA and an Executive MBA from the GSB at the University of Cape Town, Buhle has also completed post graduate management programmes in Inclusive Finance, Digital Finance and Social Impact at Harvard Business School, TUFTS Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy and Oxford Saïd Business School, respectively.

Business Development and Partnerships at Naspers Labs

Born on a farm in Kwazulu-Natal, Victoria (aka Vo) moved to Cape Town in 2001 to study medical psychology and social work at the University of Cape Town. After 5 years, 3 degrees and 2 theses, she soon followed a path of a seasoned entrepreneur. Her twelve year career as an entrepreneur is one worn proudly and brought about by tenacity and hard work. Both as a solo-preneur as well as collaborative entrepreneur, she has been fortunate enough to have a colorful and successful career in many various vertices. Organically growing from being on the ground, slowly the evolution sprung to life for the provision of peer support, various angel investments as well as building networks for growth and knowledge transfer in order to support other budding entrepreneurs with access to markets and scale. Post exiting various positions and companies, Victoria had both the time and the drive to focus her full attention on supporting the development and growth of individuals and teams starting and scaling in the ecosystem. As a Regional Director at MEST, Vo has since had the privilege of developing multi-market knowledge across the continent through an incubator footprint in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. With the three core MEST pillars - Tech Entrepreneurial Training Program, Seed Fund and Network of Pan-African Incubators her focus was not only on developing a broad understanding of building and scaling solutions for both a local and global markets but with working with a variety of stake holders to design programs and events focused on educating and accelerating the various methodologies of innovation. One of the many highlights to showcase was developing and executing a program for the UNDP focused on Innovation for Inclusive Financial Services in Lesotho. Currently, Victoria has chosen to focus on her South African home soil and leads Business Development and Entrepreneurship for Naspers Labs. Naspers Labs is a youth development program that equips young, unemployed South Africans with the full array of skills required to secure gainful, sustainable employment. Alongside her Naspers Labs Role, Vo also forms part of the AlphaCode team as a Business Mentor. AlphaCode is the fin-tech accelerator powered by Rand Merchant Investment Holdings (RMI) and Rand Merchant Bank Holdings (RMBH). Here her focus is with fintech teams, practicing lean start-up methodology, from ideation through to launching and scaling the various solutions in South Africa. Supporting and facilitating the development of innovation is where Victoria’s passion lies.

Head of New Region Development at Yoco

Ronald Makomba is Head of New Region Development at Yoco. Ronald joined Yoco in 2014, before the Yoco brand was officially launched, where he served on the front lines to acquire Yoco’s first 50 beta merchants. As the VP of Sales and Business Development, Ronald led this team that surpassed Yoco’s 20 000 merchant milestone, during its first phase of hypergrowth. Before joining Yoco, Ronald worked at Cobi Interactive as the Sales and Marketing Director - again focusing on the growth of their portfolio, while working with big brands such as Multichoice, Media24 and Business Day Live. Ronald is now wholly focused on Yoco's next period of hypergrowth: exploring new regions and communities, where Yoco can better serve these diverse and ever-evolving markets.

Performing Heartist, Story Weaver and Thrive Coach

Nicola is a Zimbabwean born, Southern African, world-traveling Story Weaver, Performing Heartist and Thrive Coach. She graced our TV screens in Isidingo, she has a feiry passion for the heart of being human, and all her works support innovative ways to move beyond survive, into ways where we thrive and live the joyfully wonder-filled lives of our dreams. Innovative and courageous - she's the co-creator of the successful not for profit - The UPliftment Programme ( - actively enthusing emotional wellness programs nationwide since 2004. Her latest co-creation is the remarkable SOUL Circus, inspiring active citizens to work together for the Win Win wins of all.. This bold edu-taining project launched in October 2019 and is also the pilot series of her other new co-creation - the Real Tv Show - "Thrivors - 21 days from Survivor to Thrivor" a brand new docu-series set to hit the screens in 2020.

Partner at dy/dx

Nevo Hadas is a partner at dY/dX, a digital transformation practice that helps businesses keep pace with digital change by delivering solutions that create new revenue opportunities and/or improve internal operating models. Together with his clients, Hadas works to understand the nuances of what changes the customer desires and how to get there using human-centered design.  He has lectured on innovation, pricing, and design thinking at business schools in South Africa and Paris. Hadas shares his experience and passion in bringing new businesses, products, and services to market with clients across Africa and Europe and has worked with clients including Vodacom, Susu and Smollan, Old Mutual, Travelex, and Tsogo Sun. Hadas hasprevious experience as Chief Digital Officer at Kagiso Media where he headed upthe convergence business unit and helped the company acquire, grow and launch arange of digital businesses including Gloo, Acceleration Media and MSN. Priorto that Nevo was based in San Francisco and founded a start-up focusing ontelecommunications billing and customer care software which grew into amultinational business.


The Service Design Network (SDN), founded in 2004, is the leading non-profit institution for expertise in service design and a driver of global growth, development and innovation within the practice. Through national and international events, online and print publications and coordination with academic institutions, our member-based network connects multiple roles within agencies, business, and government to strengthen the impact of service design within the public and private sectors. Ours is a global, open-minded network, focused on knowledge-sharing, collaboration and exchange.

Visionary. Leader. Trailblazer.

Miles Kubheka, the entrepreneur, refreshing keynote speaker and author, is the poster child for the audacity of hope. Having once been employed by a leading mul<na<onal, he went out on a limb and ingeniously created a restaurant with the same name and branding as a fic<onal restaurant portrayed in a famous 'beeg beeg dreamer' TV ad campaign. In doing so, he catapulted into media stardom, and soon translated his innova<ve thinking into entrepreneurial success. When occupying centre stage at a business symposium and delivering a keynote, Miles has a clear message of hope for mul<na<onals and small businesses alike. If you hire the right people with an entrepreneurial mind-set, you can build new business models within your company, rather than have disgruntled employees leave and start a business in compe<<on to your own. Miles is also a firm believer that entrepreneurial mind-sets can be fostered within an organisa<on. He encourages organisa<ons to build a culture that supports employees to become intrepreneurs: people who behaves like an entrepreneur whilst being employed. While Miles’s compelling rags-to-riches story speaks to any audience – his message is universal – it serves as a plaHorm from which to address some of the pressing issues in business today, such as compe<<on, retaining good staff, changing company culture and inves<ng in the future. Both an analy<c and crea<ve thinker, who holds a Master’s degree in Business and a post-graduate Business Diploma from a leading business school, Miles believes companies who want to generate wealth, rather than to preserve it, need to offer new products and services. He shares his vision with businesses that are ready to ‘think out of the box’ when it comes to leadership, teamwork, branding and reputa<on management. In Miles’ own words: “It is okay to build a new business on the back of a legacy business – but will it look like lips<ck on a bulldog or a new puppy?” His accomplishments include star<ng a chain of pharmacies and co-owning an IT soQware solu<ons company. His never-say-die message about going back out there every day, even when <mes are tough (he almost experienced bankruptcy), is something all South Africans in the business world can relate to. Driven by tenacity, op<mism and self-belief, Miles is uniquely capable of inspiring audiences to dream big but execute with prac<cality.

Co-founder and CEO of Yenza

Jared Molko has returned to South Africa after a 7 year tenure with Google where he worked across Africa, Europe and the Middle East. His main contributions for Google was delivering digital transformation programmes to top multinationals and driving adoption of YouTube across Emerging Markets. He is now focused on building scalable educational technologies in Africa. Jared is a well-acclaimed speaker who has spoken on behalf of Google around the world, as well in his personal capacity speaking across a range of topics from Artificial Intelligence to skills for the 21st century. He also has had the honour of speaking on the TEDx stage twice with one of his talks being listed on the global TED platform. He is on a mission to make sure no one is left behind as we learn to adapt and to thrive in the technological age.

Head of Finance at Yoco
Fabian Newton is Head of Finance at Yoco. He joined Yoco in 2017, when the company had only 7000 merchants and 40 employees. He worked on enabling the business to thrive, by fostering innovation and framing decisions around ROI. This has been instrumental in facilitating and nurturing Yoco’s more recent hypergrowth phase.
Before joining Yoco, Fabian worked at Uber in Amsterdam as the Revenue Manager for all international markets - setting up finance teams and systems for scale across more than 400 cities, globally.
He is now focused on Yoco’s next period of expansion, and committed to further cultivating access to better opportunities for previously underserved sectors of our economy.
Operations Manager at Dutch Game Garden
Christel van Grinsven is the operations manager at Dutch Game Garden. As part of the management team, she has helped build Dutch Game Garden to be the number one game hub in Europe and to become an international visible player in the game start-up scene. With a background in regional development, she has ample experience with (semi-) governmental organizations that stimulate innovation and entrepreneurship and has been leading work packages in several European projects. Christel has 10 years of experience in managing international (serious) game projects where the games industry meets education, research, and clients in various sectors, such as healthcare and education. This has given her a vast knowledge of the industry and experience in research, project management, policy advisement, and innovation combined. As a key figure behind the past three editions of the Games Monitor for the Dutch games industry, she has a lot of insights into the growth of the industry, the challenges (start-up) companies face and the myriad of inspiring games that have been developed in the Netherlands.
CEO of Zindi
Celina is the CEO of Zindi (, the first data science competition platform of its kind in Africa. Celina a dedicated leader with a passion for unleashing the power of data for social good. Celina has a proven track record of thought leadership in the intersect between data and development and has played central roles in launching global initiatives to that effect including the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (, insight2impact (, and now Zindi ( Celina's work has bridged across the private and public sectors and across various development areas including financial inclusion, micro and small enterprise development, market system development, gender, climate change, and public health. She has implemented projects and conducted research in countries across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Celina holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Applied Mathematics with a minor in Computer Science from the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Columbia University and a Master’s of International Affairs with a focus on Advanced Policy and Economic Analysis from the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
Production designer, director in animation and animation trainer at Triggerfish
Thulani Yose-Simantov is a multi-talent. Having a background in fine art, he worked as a production designer, director in animation and animation trainer. He has over 20 year of experience across a broad spectrum of classical animation and design work in the animation industry. He started his career with animation houses such as Digital Arts, Art Attack and Love Boom. From 2004-2006, Thulani provided animation courses at the prestigious University of the Witwatersrand. Furthermore, he taught aspiring artists in Denmark and India in 3D animation. Thulani’s passion is to find, develop and inspire raw untapped creative talent in Africa and thus share and celebrate African artistic excellence worldwide.
Co-founder of Studio PMS
Studio PMS is a Utrecht fashion collective. The trio thinks that digitizing design processes has the potential to make industries more sustainable. PMS has therefore embraced interdisciplinarity as a design principle and have often looked for innovative and alternative ways of communicating fashion. They believe it’s no longer justified as a contemporary designer to produce something, simply based on our own fascination. During all their projects, the studio is constantly trying to redefine tactility in the digital realm.
Director at PR Trends ZA
Nelisa is a PR & Communications Strategist. She’s gained more than 15 years’ experience through opportunities in the financial services (with companies such as Old Mutual and Metropolitan Health Group), NGO sector (UNICEF Children’s Radio Foundation), publishing and PR & Media consulting sectors. She’s studied Journalism (CPUT), International Relations & Media (UCT). Recently, she completed a journalism fellow at Wits Journalism on their Journalism and Media Lab accelerator programme. Her innovation project as part of JAMLAB was one of the 9 winners of the SA Media Investment Programme Innovation Challenge in 2017. Currently, she is managing director and founder of PR Trends ZA, a PR and communications consultancy. Her latest venture is Coding Mamas, a tech start up teaching moms and kids to code. Nelisa speaks regularly on reputation and crisis management, PR and social media/tech trends. She is regular contributor to SABC’s tech and social media news show, Network and Capricorn FM’s Breakfast Show. Connect with her on Twitter: @neli_ngqulana Email on
Founder of Studio Tast
In 2014, Mitchell graduated excellent as MSc. Industrial Design at the Technical University of Eindhoven with his design vision "Design for Education". Subsequently he founded Studio Tast in order to bring his vision and design products effectively to market. His investigative attitude became the backbone of the studio's design vision: make people willing to learn with joy and motivation by doing. Meanwhile, Studio Tast has grown into a multidisciplinary team with whom we work on various challenging education innovation projects. We do this both by means of our own projects, but we do not shy away from challenges as well. These projects take place both within education and in other contexts where a fresh look at learning is needed. Through our self-developed didactic design method we can find a suitable solution for every problem.
Founder and Managing Director of Silulo Ulutho Technologies
Luvuyo Rani is an award-winning entrepreneur, and founder and managing director of Silulo Ulutho Technologies, a Cape Town based IT services company. The story of Silulo began in 2004 when Rani, a teacher in Khayelitsha, saw teachers struggling with the new computer technology that was being introduced into classrooms. He started his business from the boot of his car, buying old computers, refurbishing them and selling the gadgets. Today, Silulo has 46 stores in townships and rural areas in the Western, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, 220 full-time staff members, and 21 franchises. Rani gradually set up internet cafes in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, while establishing one-stop ICT (information and communication technology) centres offering internet access, training, sales, repairs and mobile support. By 2008, they had perfected this model and started to expand. Today Rani is an award-winning social enterpreneur with a top-floor office in the city and a business that is helping thousands of South Africans to succeed. He is still driven primarily by the desire to empower township and rural communities by connecting them to the world of technology. Several awards and accolades have accrued over the years, including the national Productivity Award and the Endeavour Global Entrepreneur award. Luvuyo Rani was featured in Forbes Magazine’s March issue in 2014 and he was the Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the year in 2016. Luvuyo was named one of the 2014 JCI Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World ( JCI TOYP) recipients in the category of business, economic, and/or entrepreneurial accomplishment. One of strengths of the business has been the entrepreneurial spirit that has kept it one step ahead. As the internet became more accessible and smartphones entered the market, for example, the company adapted its business model to offer more training courses and partner with other companies. Silulo has become a known brand and this has opened doors. At the same time the business has been helping to secure loans for individuals to open franchises, mentoring young entrepreneurs and creating networks for others to succeed. In 2018, the Silulo Business Incubation Hub was opened in Mitchells Plain, to assist young entrepreneurs in setting up and launching their business.
Attorney of the High Court of South Africa and Co-founder of Lenoma Legal
Leah Molatseli, an admitted attorney of the High Court of South Africa, co-founder of Lenoma Legal, a legaltech startup co which focuses on provision of legal services to small businesses across the country. I am a blogger, writer, speaker, award winning entrepreneur and legal technology and innovation specialist. Finalist of 2016 Quickbooks Mompreneur of the Year University of the Free State (UFS) 2017 Young Alumnus of the Year Award recipient, an award bestowed upon an alumnus who was graduated within 10 years and has greatly impacted their industry. Lenoma Legal was named one of 2017's Top 10 SeedStars World Startups of the Year in South Africa one of 2018 #InspiringFiftySA winners Named one of South Africa's Top 15 TOTAL StarterUppers in 2019 Currently sit as one of the youngest African female council members of the University of the Free State( the institution's highest decision making body) Awarded the 2019 Mandela Washington Fellowship, studied Business Leadership at the University of Notre Dame in the state of Indiana, USA 2019 Top 100 Most Influential Young South African.s Most notable speaking engagement being at the Global Youth SDGs Summit held in Accra, Ghana were I shared with Vice-President of Liberia. Twitter handles @leahmolatseli @lenomalegal Please always make use of our official hashtags #lenomalegal #legaltech too.
CEO and Co-founder of Enlabeler
After completing her MSc. in Business Administration at ESADE in Barcelona, Esther worked at several global locations for companies like British Petroleum (BP), Nike Inc., Naspers & Media 24. Within these companies, she possessed a variety of roles - focusing on (digital) transformation with the aim to service consumers in an easy and seamless way. She’s now CEO and co-founder of Enlabeler - a data labeling service provider with the primary mission of creating jobs in the townships for unemployed youth. Enlabeler steps into a growing global data science industry and provides work through a mobile web app - paying their labelers on a contract basis for the work they do.
Director at Khanyetsa
Sinal is an independent consultant focussing on innovation, intellectual property, technology, and privacy developments. Growing frustrated by living her life one billable hour to the next, Sinal left her job as a Senior Associate at one of the world's largest law firms to start her own consultancy, Khanyetsa, in November 2017 and joined the team at d8amatiks in June 2018. Through both these start-ups, Sinal provides advisory legal services to individuals and companies on data protection, privacy law, intellectual property, social media and advertising. She also works with the OLICO Maths Foundation to foster their relationships with current and new donors and to drive the business development of the organisation. In between being a lawyer, writer, and speaker, Sinal spends her time eating avo toast and standing up for other millennials.
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