Celebrating Trailblazers: Meet the Nominees for Innovation City Awards 2024

In anticipation of the upcoming Innovation City Awards Night on April 25th, we’re thrilled to introduce the remarkable nominees who are set to be celebrated as trailblazers of innovation and entrepreneurship in 2024. 

Selection: Our Esteemed Advisory Board

Behind every exceptional nominee stands a discerning Advisory Board, meticulously guiding the selection process with expertise and insight. Comprising leaders from diverse industries, including technology, finance, and entrepreneurship, the 2024 Advisory Board brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table.

  • André de Wet: A seasoned entrepreneur and visionary leader in the mobile industry, André has a proven track record of founding and leading successful companies. His expertise extends to advising and directing others, making him a valuable asset to the Advisory Panel.
  • Iain Banner: With over 35 years of experience, Iain Banner has co-founded and directed successful businesses worldwide. His ventures span various industries, including sports, entertainment, luxury goods, and hospitality. As the co-founder and chairman of E-Movement, Iain orchestrated the successful staging of Formula-E Cape Town in February 2023.
  • Alison Collier: As the managing director at Endeavor South Africa, Alison brings 20 years of experience in strategy and business development to the Advisory Board. Her strategic insights and business acumen are instrumental in evaluating nominees and selecting deserving recipients.
  • Kwanele Radebe Onyango: Passionate about the role of African Fintechs in driving financial inclusion and digitization, Kwanele serves as an Executive at Standard Bank, specialising in Telco, Media & Technology sector coverage. With a background in banking and corporate finance law, Kwanele offers valuable international experience and expertise in cross-border finance transactions.”

Together, these individuals contribute their diverse perspectives and deep industry knowledge to ensure the integrity and fairness of the award selection process.

Impact Award: Recognising Catalysts for Change

The Impact Award stands as a testament to those entities or individuals whose actions have left an indelible mark on the Western Cape in the past year. Bitprop, JOBJACK, amplify5, and ExploreAI emerged as formidable contenders, each embodying a commitment to driving tangible and sustainable change within their respective domains.

About the Impact Award Nominees:

Bitprop pioneers scalable technology aimed at empowering property owners to become entrepreneurs, fostering sustainable income streams for their families. Through innovative partnerships, Bitprop invests in developing rent-generating apartments on the homeowner’s land, sharing rental income over a fixed period to provide immediate stability.

JOBJACK revolutionises recruitment by offering an automated platform that benefits both job seekers and employers. Their solution streamlines the hiring process, saving time and resources for businesses while ensuring a seamless experience for potential candidates.

amplify5 specialises in offshoring customer interactions from the UK to South Africa, offering tailored solutions to enhance customer satisfaction, drive sales, and reduce costs for businesses seeking to optimise their operations.

ExploreAI leads the way in developing market-leading applications for global telecommunication providers, maximising return on investment and profitability through cutting-edge technology solutions.

Entrepreneur of the Year: Champions of Vision and Tenacity

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award celebrates individuals whose entrepreneurial spirit and leadership have propelled their ventures to remarkable heights. Among the standout nominees are Kimberely Taylor, Louis Buys, and the dynamic trio of Coenraad Jonker, Tjaart van der Waalt, and Tauriq Keraan. 

About the Entrepreneur of the Year Nominees:

Kimberley Taylor leads Loop, an innovative delivery management platform that empowers businesses to optimise and scale their delivery operations. 

Louis Buys serves as the CEO and founder of The Delta, a dynamic firm specialising in web development and digital operations. With over seven years of industry experience, Louis has been instrumental in founding several successful startups.

Coenraad (Coen) Jonker, Tjaart Van Der Walt, and Tauriq Keraan are the driving forces behind TymeBank, a cutting-edge digital banking institution revolutionising financial services in emerging markets. Coen serves as the CEO of TymeBank and is a Co-founder of Tyme, while Tjaart, also a Co-founder, holds the position of Co-founder & Director. Tauriq, as the CEO, leads the innovative strides of TymeBank, showcasing their collective vision and leadership in transforming the banking landscape.

VC of the Year: Architects of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

In the realm of venture capital, Knife Capital, Norssken22, and Crossfin emerged as frontrunners for the VC of the Year Award. These esteemed investors have not only provided critical financial support but have also served as catalysts for the growth and success of countless startups. Through strategic guidance, mentorship, and unwavering support, Knife Capital, Norssken22, and Crossfin have significantly shaped the investment landscape,  fostering a vibrant ecosystem conducive to entrepreneurial flourishing. 

The Advisory Board meticulously evaluated the impact, reach, and efficacy of each nominee’s investment strategies, recognizing their instrumental role in fueling innovation and driving economic growth.

About the VC of the Year Nominees:

Knife Capital stands out as a venture capital investment manager dedicated to accelerating the international expansion of African innovation-driven businesses. Leveraging Knowledge, Networks, and Funding, Knife Capital empowers entrepreneurs to reach new heights of success.

Crossfin is a visionary investor in fintech solutions, committed to fostering economic growth in emerging markets, with a particular focus on Africa. By supporting innovative ventures, Crossfin plays a vital role in driving financial inclusion and prosperity.

Norrsken22, backed by over 30 prominent unicorn founders, operates as a technology growth fund with a mission to partner with exceptional entrepreneurs. With a focus on building Africa’s next tech giants, Norrsken22 catalyses innovation and drives positive change across the continent.

As the excitement builds for Innovation City’s Awards Night, we extend our warmest wishes to all the nominees. With such an inspiring lineup of innovators and entrepreneurs, it promises to be a night filled with celebration and anticipation. Good luck to all the nominees, and see you on April 25th for a night to remember!