Net Prophet 2016 took place on 7th April 2016 at the Artscape Opera House for its 7th year! The conference was well attended, affirming that it really is the tech entrepreneur event of the year. It was a great day of connecting industry leaders, passionate entrepreneurs and innovative online professionals.
The speakers which included some of the major industry heavy-weights in the Start-up/Entrepreneurship and Technology innovation industries, kept the audience enthralled with their stories, passion, lessons learnt and their hopes for the future in the online industry.
There was a thread throughout the day linking to social change, as highlighted by Michael Baretta CEO of [dot]Good who advised, “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it”, and Marlon Parker founder of Rlabs who identified that, “Many people in our communities have ideas on how to solve their problems” and at RLabs they strive to create an enabling and environment for these people.
One of the many challenges set by the speakers on the day was from Arlene Mulder co-founder of We Think Code challenging all entrepreneurs to stay in South Africa saying, “If your business works here it will probably work anywhere in the world” and calling out for investors to “Invest locally in the young potential – the magic lies in our diverse and innovative people.”
David Wilson co-founder of Asimmetric spoke about making your own luck and put out the following challenge to the audience, “I challenge you to break your routines, listen to your intuition, find, make and take more opportunities.”
There was also consensus of free access to the Internet which Alan Knott-Craig Jr founder of Project Isizwe believes is the future; “Everyone of us will be within walking distance of free Wi-Fi”, and Erik Hersman CEO of BRCK said, “If you want to win the battle of the internet in Africa you need a ground game”
When asked about what he thought of the conference, Net Prophet speaker Michael Jordaan venture capitalist at Montegray Capital had this to say, “It’s a group of like minded people and the thing that really stands out for me is the fact that they all want to make South Africa a better place and they have got ideas on how to do that.”
Not everything on the day was focused on the digital side of the tech industry, Lebo Motshegoa, Managing Director of Foshizi shone a light on the importance of knowing your market and explained the power of the informal sector.
“Businesses are making money in the townships but they don’t know why” says Motshegoa as their products are not being used for the manufactures intended purpose. He went on to explain that, “Grey money is money that never sees a bank, the people have created their own system to move their money around” and this plays a role in the social fabric of our society.
For the first time in Net Prophet history, passionate conference attendees were able to ‘pay-it-forward’ with a Net Prophet VIP ticket. By purchasing a VIP ticket not only did they get all the VIP perks on the day and were able to interact with speakers and some of the industry’s greatest minds but part of the ticket went towards sponsoring a bootstrapped start-up or a student who couldn’t afford to attend the conference. One VIP ticket equaled one sponsored ticket for a techie/geek in need.
All-in-all another brilliantly successful day of innovation and insights.
We would like to thank all the sponsors and the team behind-the-scenes for making this event possible and the great success that it was.