SA Innovation Summit
Audrey Verhaege founded the SA Innovation Summit and has a wealth of insight about the innovation culture in South Africa and beyond, in Africa.
According to Audrey, innovation is new ideas linking output to make a difference in society and not just a matter of inventing new things or being creative.
In order for that impact in society to happen, three parts of society need to work together with respect to innovation, and not work in isolated fields.
– Government needs to formulate the policies to enable innovation to happen and to assist with the funding streams that are required.
– Academic institutions need to nurture the talent that causes invocation to be created.
– The private sector needs to be the implementor of the commercial result of innovation.
Audrey has some thoughts on how to make innovation more successful in Africa:
– For innovation to be successful, people need to have a global mindset and be able to network and create connections.
– Venture Capital should be introduced earlier in the innovation process in Africa, as many innovators don’t have the access to funds and support here, as they might in other parts of the world. Too many good ideas are never developed far enough, because they are abandoned too early in the process because of lack of funds.
– The leaders of Venture Capital firms should be more diverse in order to ensure that the effort is made to reach more diverse innovators.
The Innovation Summit has many competitions and fields of entry. Please check out their website for more about the program.
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