African Tech Conversations

African Tech Round-up  |  Podcast, ±54 min episodes every 3 weeks, 2 days
The African Tech Conversations series features relaxed in-depth chats with leading entrepreneurs, innovators and thought-leaders who are intimately involved in Africa's tech scene.
06
APR
In 2012, Musa Kalenga was voted as one of the Top 200 young South Africans by the Mail & Guardian, and for good reason. Musa is a talented digital specialist, marketing maven, author, former Africa Client Partner at Facebook, current Head of Brand at IAB South Africa, and Founder and CEO of a new adtech startup called Microtising,His professional business experience spans over twelve years and includes building his first company from zero to R6,5 million in turnover by the age of 26. Musa has done impressive work for foreign governments and multinational companies-- assisting them to leverage digital innovation to advance their organisational objectives.In this chat with Andile Masuku, Musa shares loads of insights on starting up in Africa and talks about the challenges of navigating Africa's corporate digital scene.
09
JAN
Simon Carpenter is Chief Technology Officer at SAP Africa. In his rather long and varied career at SAP he has been a massive proponent of Digital Transformation and its role in enabling self-sufficiency, inclusiveness and sustainable economic growth on the continent. Simon’s also passionate about helping executives understand how SAP can help them drive their innovation and digital transformation agendas.Theme music by Brian Lupiya. Used with permission. Additional music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
30
DEC
2016
Chad Larson is one of the three founders of the Kenyan solar power start-up M-KOPA Solar. He serves as the company’s Finance Director and Chief Credit Officer and has lived in Nairobi with his wife and three boys since the company launched in 2011. Chad is a qualified CFA and an Oxford MBA who previously served as the CFO of the Africap Microfinance Investment Fund, based in Johannesburg, and prior to that, he spent 10 years in the investment banking division of Bank of America in Sydney and New York, working on fixed income, structured finance, and derivative transactions.M-KOPA Solar is aiming to be a $1 billion company by providing pay-as-you-go energy to off-grid homes. To that end, the company successfully closed a $19 million round of financing led by Generation Investment Management LLP in December 2015.Theme music by Brian Lupiya. Used with permission. Additional music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
23
DEC
2016
Eline Blaauboer is Managing Partner at both TBL Mirror Fund and Safaricom Spark Venture Fund. She’s worked in the venture capital and private equity sector in both Europe and Africa for last 14 years— gaining loads of experience with new investments and portfolio management, negotiation and structuring of investment rounds and deal flow generation. Her latest undertaking is something called 'Africa Tech Ventures' - a fund focussed on investing in and accelerating the growth of disruptive tech-enabled start-ups and businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa. Eline and her team at Africa Tech Ventures are currently in the process of fundraising and on the look-out for investors interested in collaborating with them.Theme music by Brian Lupiya. Used with permission. Additional music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com).
16
DEC
2016
Ethiopian-born, Solomon Assefa is the Director of IBM Research in Africa. He is responsible for IBM’s research labs in Kenya and South Africa, and oversees the development of technologies that aim to transform key industries and address the continent’s grand challenges.As a Research Scientist, Solomon has spent a lot of time at IBM working on nanophotonics technology. His research contributions include high-speed optical detectors, nano-structured platforms for bio-sensing, and quantum information processing. He’s co-authored over 150 publications, has over 50 patents, holds a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and is an Honorary Professor at University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.Theme music by Brian Lupiya. Used with permission. Additional music by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
05
SEP
2016
Tomi Davies is a Nigerian investor, author and tech evangelist who is widely considered the God-father of Africa’s angel investment scene. He is also the founder of the Lagos Angel Network (LAN), as well as the founding President of the African Business Angel Network (ABAN).He lives and works mostly in the UK, and he’s spent much of the last decade investing, mentoring, and advising start-up founders, angel investors, venture capitalists and a good number of public and private institutions.As an angel investor, he continues to manage a growing portfolio of tech-enabled businesses that originate from Africa.Music Credits:All music by Brian Lupiya. Used with permission.
22
AUG
2016
Riaan Badenhorst’s worst disappointment as a young man has led to a fairly successful career in IT security. There’s no doubt that the folks at Kaspersky Lab— currently the world’s fourth largest antivirus vendor, are rather pleased that Riaan’s childhood dreams didn’t come true.Today, Riaan heads up operations for Kaspersky Lab’s Africa Business— a position he’s occupied since late 2012. In his executive role, Riaan oversees Kaspersky Lab's operations in more than 40 countries across the sub-Saharan region.In this conversation, Riaan speaks to me about the increasingly complex challenges of ensuring the safety of internet users. Riaan also gives me his take on the growing trend towards the internet of things, and offers advice around the precautions we all ought to be taking to avoid succumbing to the dangers that lurk in the digital realm.Music Credits:All music by Brian Lupiya. Used with permission.
08
AUG
2016
Brendan Horan is a chartered accountant who has served as Managing Director of Mix Telematics Africa since June 2014 when the firm’s fleet and consumer businesses on the continent were merged into one business. Founded in 1996, Mix Telematics has grown into a leading global provider of fleet and mobile asset management solutions, and is listed on both the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange.Using a Software-as-a-Service delivery model, MiX Telematics delivers solutions to customers in more than 120 countries, across 6 continents— with offices in South Africa, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uganda, Brazil, Australia and the United Arab Emirates.Music Credits:All music by Brian Lupiya. Used with permission.
24
JUL
2016
Frank Schutte, is formerly the Managing Director for Retail Product & Marketing for South Africa’s largest life insurer— Liberty.In a gutsy move, he left his cushy gig there to found a startup called MobiLife, which is "Africa’s first 100% mobile insurance offering" that aims to transform micro-insurance in South Africa.In this conversation Frank chats about what would possess him to take on the massive incumbents who currently dominate South Africa’s fiercely competitive multi-billion dollar life insurance market, and how far ahead of the online insurance adoption curve he thinks he and his team might be.Music Credits:All music by Brian Lupiya. Used with permission.
11
JUL
2016
Gareth Cliff is not only a controversial South African Radio DJ and a judge on DSTV’s hugely popular Idols South Africa, but also the Co-founder & President of Africa’s largest podcast producer, CliffCentral.com.His colourful journey within broadcasting led him to quit one of South Africa’s most lucrative radio gigs to launch a platform that now boasts over 40 podcast titles and garners over 100,000 downloads per week.In this conversation, Gareth unpacks the values that motivated his evolution from broadcaster to startup founder, and shares insights on what its like to be a pathfinder in Africa’s untamed new media landscape.Music Credits:All music by Brian Lupiya. Used with permission.
04
JUL
2016
Maya Horgan Famodu is a consummate eclectic who wears the beautiful complexity of her Nigerian-Swedish-American heritage with pride.Maya is the Founder and Managing Director of Ingressive, a firm dedicated to guiding global capital to African entrepreneurs through a 2,000 member angel database, and semi-annual investor tours. Alongside her serious commitment to promoting entrepreneurship in Sub-Saharan Africa, Maya takes time out to write for Inc., the Huffington Post, and several other leading publications, organise panels for the likes of SXSW, dance hip-hop and take long rides on her motorcycle.In this conversation, Maya shares the challenges of building a bullet-proof professional reputation within the American VC community, and chats about the risks and rewards of building bridges between Silicon Valley and various growth hubs within Africa’s tech ecosystem. Music Credits:All music by Brian Lupiya. Used with permission.
04
JUL
2016
It’s fair to say that the Nigerian-born Toro Orero is a live wire that’s all the way lit. He serves as Managing Partner at DraperDarkFlow— a Silicon Valley VC Fund backed by the illustrious Tim Draper, who’s investment portfolio at DFJ features everything from Tesla and Solarcity to Skype and Twitter. DraperDarkFlow is dedicated to investing in African startups run by "delusional" founders intent on changing the world. Toro also curates SpeedUPAfrica, which is one of the continent’s leading startup bootcamps.In this conversation, Toro talks about how being underestimated is his superpower, what he and Tim Draper look for in startups they hope to invest in, and dishes on the pros and cons of running an Africa-focussed VC firm that’s headquartered in Silicon Valley.Music Credits:All music by Brian Lupiya. Used with permission.