Innovation City Celebrates Trailblazers and Visionaries at Awards Night

Cape Town, 25 April – Innovation City, the pinnacle of recognising innovation and excellence in business, hosted its annual Awards Night, a prestigious event often referred to as the “Oscars of Business,” now in its third year running. The evening celebrated outstanding achievements in entrepreneurship, technological innovation, and social impact, honouring individuals and organisations shaping the future of business and innovation.

Amidst the glitz and glamour of the Innovation City Awards Night, attendees were treated to a dazzling performance by Cathy Specific, dubbed the “flight attendant and stage performer extraordinaire.” With her captivating presence and electrifying performance, Cathy Specific brought an unparalleled energy to the event, delighting guests and adding a touch of theatrical flair to the proceedings.

Innovation City Co-Founder Kieno Kammies conducted an insightful interview with Katlego Maphai, Co-Founder and CEO of Yoco. Maphai shared his journey of building Yoco and emphasised the importance of music in his life as a means to relax and connect with others, often attending music festivals to engage with fellow music enthusiasts.

Attendees were then treated to a thought-provoking keynote address by Innovation City Co-Founder Stephan Ekbergh. Titled “The Future According to Innovation City,” Ekbergh’s keynote drew parallels between the entrepreneurial landscape and the iconic movie Back to the Future. He emphasised the importance of embracing innovation and adapting to change, likening it to the famous quote from the movie: “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!” 

The Awards portion of the evening commenced with acknowledgement of the esteemed Advisory Board responsible for selecting this year’s outstanding recipients. Among the board members were notable figures such as seasoned entrepreneur André de Wet, Managing Director at Endeavor South Africa Alison Collier, banking and corporate finance expert Kwanele Radebe Onyango, and the event’s MC for the evening, Iain Banner, renowned for his founding of the Laureus World Sports Awards and bringing Formula-E to Cape Town.

The evening unfolded with the presentation of the Cape Town Impact Award, recognising Bitprop for their pioneering work in property entrepreneurship in townships. Bitprop’s innovative approach to housing solutions has significantly boosted economic development, empowered communities, and addressed housing crises, making them a deserving recipient of this prestigious accolade.

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award was presented to the visionary founders of TymeBank, acknowledging their remarkable leadership and commitment to disrupting the traditional banking sector profitably, serving millions of people in South Africa and Southeast Asia.

Norrsken22 was honoured with the VC of the Year Award for their transformative commitment to Africa’s tech sector, positioning themselves as trailblazers in driving technological and economic advancement on the continent.

The Honorary Award, celebrating exceptional creativity and ingenuity, was bestowed upon Shirley Maltz for her outstanding contributions to advancing technology, particularly in the fintech sector.

The highlight of the evening was the announcement of the Startup of the Year 2024, which was awarded to AI Diagnostics for their groundbreaking TB screening tool. The innovative solution, leveraging AI-enabled digital stethoscopes, enables early and cost-effective detection of Tuberculosis, showcasing the transformative potential of technology in healthcare.

The selection process for the Startup of the Year award was rigorous, with a distinguished panel of judges meticulously evaluating each finalist based on criteria such as problem definition, presentation skills, and scalability. The esteemed panel included industry experts such as Zachariah George, Allan Barr, Natalie Kolbe, Michael Joubert, and Tatenda Nyamuda.

The evening concluded with applause and celebration, acknowledging the outstanding achievements of the award recipients and the collective spirit of innovation and excellence driving Africa’s business landscape forward.

The event was supported by Ayoba and Standard Bank. Startup of the Year prizes were kindly sponsored by Now Boarding, Ayoba, and Lumenii.

For more information about Innovation City and its initiatives, please visit

Media Contact:

Sandra Buckingham

Head of Marketing and Communications

[email protected]