South Africa’s favourite innovation event-of-the-year, the SABC Education SA Innovation Summit 2016: Ekurhuleni Chapter, is set to take place from 21 to 24 September 2016 at the Birchwood Hotel in Ekurhuleni. The Summit invites all entrepreneurs, innovators, thought-leaders, inventors and policymakers to secure their seat at this prestigious four-day event.

The SA Innovation Summit provides an opportunity for South Africans to rub shoulders with like-minded individuals every year. It provides the tools, knowledge, competitions, discussions, networking and funding opportunities necessary to help take innovations from a simple idea to the market.

This year’s theme, ‘Accelerate-Innovate-Ignite’, aims to move South Africa forward through thought-leadership and innovation. “With fantastic sponsors, media partners and enablers on board, we are once again able to host a memorable event that promises to accelerate, innovate and ignite economic growth in South Africa,” says Audrey Verhaeghe, Chairman of the SABC Education SA Innovation Summit.

The mayor of Ekurhuleni, Mondli Gungubele, will deliver a thought-provoking opening speech focussing on ‘a city with a vision to be a city driven by innovation’. Other renowned local speakers include Craig Wing, partner of FutureWorld International; Matsi Modise, managing director of Simodisa Startup; Dion Chang, owner of Flux Trends; Jason Goldberg, co-founder of Edge Growth and Peter Alkema, Chief Information Officer at First National Bank (FNB). Topics range from artificial intelligence in the job space to how to develop your prototype.

Aside from the local talent, the stellar line-up includes international speakers, such as Sherry Lassiter, head of the Fablab Foundation from the United States; Lydia Ofori, founder and CEO of Victoria Lion Partners in the United Kingdom and Dimitrios Noukakis, director of MOOCs for Africa.

Specialist workshops and CEO panel discussions are some of the highlights to look forward to. These sessions will keep delegates entertained with insightful topics such as Innovation in Education: Reach and Access, Social Innovation, Entrepreneurial Innovation and Innovations entering South Africa.

Other not-to-be-missed activities that will accelerate innovation in the City of Ekurhuleni include:

  • The Match and Invest Lounge, a platform that matches business opportunities;
  • the Pitching Den, where entrepreneurs or upcoming entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of judges; and
  • the Santam 24 hr Blockchain Hackathon, inspiring teams to strategise, code and mull over a specific challenge pertaining to the insurance landscape.

The Market on the Edge, the official exhibition area of the SABC Education SA Innovation Summit, will open on Thursday, 22 September 2016 at 17:30. The interactive exhibition platform brings innovation alive through the senses. “This is done by providing an organic innovation experience that encapsulates the activities, ambitions and business approaches of South Africa’s foremost thought leaders and innovation drivers,” adds Verhaeghe. Another reason to visit the Market on the Edge is to see the finalists of the Inventor’s Garage competition who will be displaying their inventions.

The Summit will conclude on the fourth day with a vibrant youth programme where large groups of learners will attend workshops on innovation and creativity. The youth day includes fun-filled activities such as LEGO robotics, solar kit constructions, science exhibitions, as well as design thinking and mathematics activities. “The youth is a key focus area for us as they are the leaders, innovators and inventors of tomorrow,” says Verhaeghe.

“With a jam-packed Summit programme, delegates can expect to be inspired by life-changing innovations and thought leadership at its best, as well as have the opportunity to see and hear some of the most inspirational innovation speakers,” concludes Verhaeghe.

For more information on the not-to-be-missed SABC Education SA Innovation Summit Ekurhuleni Chapter, taking place from 21 to 24 September 2016, please visit http://www.innovationsummit.co.za/, email info@innovationsummit.co.zaor call +27(0)82 708 1960.