Caption: Creativity, funding and collaboration were top of mind on the second day of the SA Innovation Summit at the Cape Town Stadium today. A stimulating panel discussion hosted by radio personality John Maytham featured Peter Alkema of FNB, Sibongile Gumbi of Technology Innovation Agency, Alan Knot-Craig Junior of Isizwe, Anita Nel from Innovus, Mclean Sibanda of the Innovation Hub and Alexandra Fraser of Silicon Cape. The discussion highlighted that collaboration between entrepreneurs and private sector funders is critical and when sustainable businesses are built, jobs will follow. [Photographer: Carien van der Linde] High resolution photo available.

Deputy Director General of the Department of Trade and Industry Malebo Mabitje-Thompson announced the launch of the new Support Programme for Industrial Innovation (SPII) which will provide grants to entrepreneurs. “Innovation is going to be the only solution to some of the problems we face today,” she said, adding that smaller entrepreneurs would qualify for proportionally larger grants because they were less likely to receive support from financial institutions to take their ideas to market.

Sibongile Gumbi, from Technology Innovation Agency spoke about the need to accelerate development of tech innovations, not only with funding but through support for business plan development, marketing, legal services and financial and intellectual property management. “It’s not just enough to fund entrepreneurs through grants, they need business support,” she said.

The thoughtleader element of the SA Innovation Summit came to an end on a high note with the official opening of the Market on the Edge. Thirty prototype inventions at the TIA Inventors Garage and 81 products designed by Inscape students, as part of Project81 are on show until Saturday. Inventions included a pineapple biomass briquette, a ceiling in a can engineering concept and cooking stove powered with dried biomass.

Entrepreneurs pitched their creative business ideas to investors in the PWC Pitching Den competitions as delegates explored the market. The Market is open from 10:00 to 18:00 on Friday with a business focus and continues on Saturday, with a focus for the whole family including a Hackathon competition to create mobile apps for Early Childhood Development, food, music and innovative entertainment.

For more information on the 2015 SA Innovation Summit, please visit http://www.innovationsummit.co.za/, email info@innovationsummit.co.zaor call +27 (12) 844 0674.

For more information on the Market on the Edge, please visit www.marketontheedge.com

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