SA Innovation Summit 2020: What to expect


It’s a new world and with a new reality comes a different way of thinking and innovating. Showcasing this will be the SA Innovation Summit, taking place virtually on 30 September and 1 October 2020.

Leading up to this, the Summit will be hosting a Female Founder Build-Up Day on 29 September where the entire day will be dedicated to the women who are propelling African entrepreneurship. The festivities begin with a fireside chat on the Trailblazers of Entrepreneurship in Africa featuring female founders and enablers from around the continent. Moderated by Emtech Founder, Carmelle Cadet, the panel will be comprised of Head of TEF Connect at the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Titi Akinola; Lami Insurance Founder, Jihan Abass: and Ngovu Wanawake Founder, Walda Nxanga. They will share what it takes to be a female entrepreneur in Africa, the support systems available, the gaps and what more needs to be done to grow female entrepreneurship in Africa.

Other highlights will include the Expert Opinion sessions with ecosystem authorities like, Dazzle Angels Co-Founder, Alexandra Fraser; Principal at Africa Trust Group, Lelemba Phiri, Jozi Angels Founder, Abu Cassim; Kingson Capital Managing Partner, Gavin Reardon and South Suez Capital Investment Director, Hannah Subayi Kamuanga. They will be answering questions such as why is it important to invest in female founders; what do you look for in a pitch; and what is a ‘no no’ in a pitch.

The main event on 30 September will open with spoken word artist and social entrepreneur, Puno Selesho, putting her unique spin on the current crisis with her talk titled  RE:COVID19 RE:Set, RE:Think, RE:Create, RE:Do.

With the Summit being the largest start-up event in Africa, the programme is packed with insights and information for entrepreneurs. Starting things off will be the Let’s Scale think tank featuring SweepSouth Co-Founder and CEO, Aisha Pandor; Gozem Co-Founder, Emeka Ajene and other founders from across the continent sharing their experiences of building successful companies that are expanding their reach in Africa. They will also be providing advice and best practices, while giving start-ups a glimpse of what to expect during the scaling process.

Several more think tanks will be held over the two-day Summit. The topics of these will include The Role of Angel Investors and the Fundamentals of Angel Investing, Cities of the Future, Planning the Exit, and The New Normal – The Post-COVID World.

These will  be interspersed with TechSpert Sync-Ups which will see experts in an array of fields sharing their knowledge with the audience on a variety of pertinent topics ranging from Building a Sustainable Business and The Alchemy of Creativity, to Artificial Intelligence and IP Value Creation.    

Adding to the innovation education will be Dan Willis, the Millennial Motivator from Silicon Valley who, in his talk about the Innovation Revolution, will be discussing how the current global landscape is fertile soil for those with the ability to evolve rapidly and consistently. Looking at The New Normal for Start-ups Post-COVID – Digital Payment Trends, Mastercard Division President of Southern Africa, Mark Elliott will explore the current payments landscape and the need for a shift to digital. Providing some tricks of the trade, Conversion Optimisation Specialist, Leon Lategan will unpack Marketing Innovation to 10x Your Business.

Opening the Inventors Garage Demo Day on 1 October will be Deputy Minister Nomalungelo Gina from the Department of Trade, Industry and Competition. She will be unpacking innovation, technology and the impact of COVID-19 on entrepreneurs.

Running alongside the speaker segments will be pitching sessions, a showcase of the latest innovations from Africa’s entrepreneurs as well as slots where investors will be weighing in on common questions.

“This year, like every year, the tech entrepreneur is at the heart of our programme. Come join us! There’s so much to experience, create, learn and do,” concludes SAIS Chairperson, Audrey Verhaeghe.

Book your tickets at Quicket or go to for more information.

Use the promo code: ANA10, and receive 10% discount when purchasing a ticket.

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The SA Innovation Summit is the largest startup event in Africa. The Summit provides various platforms for developing and showcasing African innovation, as well as facilitating thought-leadership. We bring together top entrepreneurs, investors, corporates, policy makers and thought leaders to support startups and inspire sustained economic growth across Africa.