Caption: Key note speaker, Dion Chang shared innovation trends with a packed audience at the SA Innovation Summit attended by close to 400 delegates earlier today. Conversations focussed on South African innovations, entrepreneurship and funding for inventors who have great ideas and are ready to take their concepts to market. [Photographer: Riette van Schalkwyk] High resolution photo available.

The SA Innovation Summit, hosted by radio personality John Maytham, was officially opened by City of Cape Town Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Economic Development, Councillor Garreth Bloor. “This is a city with people who are incredibly talented, there is a clear underlying current of innovation,” said Bloor.

Key note speaker, Dion Chang talked about trends in innovation, referring to online accommodation booking platform Airbnb which now books more rooms than leading global hotel chains. Airbnb succeeded, he said, because the founders did not stop looking for investors to back them after they were turned down by the first venture capitalists whom they pitched their idea to.

According to a survey of 534 emerging tech companies in South Africa, 51% are looking for global market growth. In a presentation by Maija de Rijk-Uys, responsible for the PwC Accelerator in South Africa, delegates heard that funding was not the biggest challenge for the entrepreneurs, but rather getting products to market and landing contracts with big customers.

Inspiring presentations on trends, design thinking, innovation in education and acceleration of innovation raised further interest among delegates who also heard from Netherlands based LinkedIn influencer, innovation blogger and founder of the FORTH Innovation Method, Gijs van Wulfen.

The Summit, which continues tomorrow, Thursday 27 August 2015, will be followed by the Market on the Edge on Friday and Saturday.

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.

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