South African startups selected for Stanford Africa Business Forum

22 April 2019 3 min. read
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South African entrepreneurial ventures occupy three of six spots for business pitches at a Stanford Africa Business Forum, which will take place on the 20th of April this year. Senior consulting officials from McKinsey & Company and the Boston Consulting Group will attend the event. 

Innovation has been the battle cry across South Africa ever since the economy took a tumble in 2014, when oil and commodity prices across the globe fell drastically. The economy has since looked to diversify and keep pace with digital advancement across the globe, through a combination of local innovation and foreign investment.

A number of startups have emerged in the tech domain as a result, and these firms are looking to gain international attention in order to draw foreign investment. The Stanford Africa Business Forum to be held in California is the ideal platform to achieve this combination of goals.

The 12th edition of the Stanford Business Forum will be held this year, and the event’s success has been driven by its ability to focus on the most current business trend. This year, the event will focus on the best ways to drive growth on the continent, as it looks to emerge as a global financial centre.

South African startups selected for Stanford Africa Business Forum

Innovation is the primary focus in this regard, and six African startups have been selected to present their business ideas at the event, three of which are South Africa. The three firms are Pineapple, Lüla and Vollar. The startups had to match certain minimum criteria to be shortlisted for the event, including a maximum headcount of 40 people. Selected firms must be based in Africa, and must have been judged to have had a substantial influence on their domestic communities, to the extent of having raised funding.

All six will pitch their ideas to a number of illustrious judges, including representatives from HSBC Venture Capital LoftyInc Capital Management and Pact Ventures. Also on the panel of judges is Nyimpini Mabunda, Senior Advisor to global management consultancy The Boston Consulting Group. Mabunda formerly was CEO of the Consumer Business unit of Vodacom in South Africa and was Managing director of Uganda Breweries, now part of global beverage alcohol player Diageo.

Speakers at the event include CEO of Africa50 Alain Ebobissé and Acha Leke, Chariman of McKinsey & Company in Africa. Based in the firm’s Johannesburg office, Leke Acha serves governments, multinational, and private sector institutions across Africa on issues of economic development, tax administration, growth strategies, holistic transformations, and investment decisions. He joined McKinsey in 1999, transferred back to Johannesburg in 2002. Since, he has worked across over 20 African countries to date. The Stanford University alumni was named one of the 50 Most Influential Africans and Top 10 Youngest Power Men in Africa a few years ago.