Sam Paddock is the former CEO and Co-Founder of the digital education company, GetSmarter. Sam and his brother Rob started the company in 2008 and grew it to operate in 167 countries by partnering with world-class universities to offer short online courses for professionals. Sam is also a co-founder of Getwine, Hubble Studios, and investor at Yuppiechef. Sam was on our stage last year alongside former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki speaking about the future of education.
There is a problem with education in South Africa (and Africa). That much is patently clear. The problem is that leaders don't know how to tackle the problem - or where even to start tacking the problem. The '4th Industrial Revolution' has rendered much of the landscape unintelligible for the people in charge of education portfolios at leadership level. When faced with the challenge, the trap is to call yet another round of talks - and all that results is more talks. After listening to two stirring talks by Sam Paddock and S'onqoba Maseko, Former South African President, Thabo Mbeki, gave a fascinating, cogent and sometimes hilarious speech on the Heavy Chef stage.
DigsConnect is a platform that assists students looking for a place to stay by pairing them with homeowners in Cape Town that are looking to rent out their properties on a long-term basis. DigsConnect CEO Alexandria Procter recently revealed at a Heavy Chef event that the team have raised R12-million in what is a groundbreaking seed round for a student startup. I spoke to Alexandria about the round seed funding she acquired.
Mike Schalit needs no introduction in the South African advertising world. A highly gifted and unique individual, he has been voted the country’s top Creative Director for eleven consecutive years. In this Heavy Chef presentation, Mike relates how he went from advertising in the digital economy to... building libraries.
Alexandria Procter's energy is infectious. While studying biology, Alexandria had the idea to connect students to student digs in a safe, user-friendly way. Her lecturer persuaded her to drop out of university to pursue her dream to build her innovative venture. Together with her co-founders, Alex has grown DigsConnect into one of South Africa's most exciting startups.
African student entrepreneur Xabiso Lombo is creating a vital resource for young people trying to make a better life in Africa. The problem she's trying to solve? Safety. In this energetic talk, Xabiso relates how she came from a dusty town in the Eastern Cape to creating a tech company that will enable young folks in South Africa to carry on with their lives without the pervasive feeling of helplessness in the face of crime while studying.
Mvelo Hlophe has a presidential air about him. Strong, confident and enigmatic on stage, Mvelo is the CEO of the exciting new student startup Zaio. Mvelo related to a riveted Heavy Chef audience on Thursday 2 May, 2019 at Workshop17 in Cape Town. Mvelo gave some insights as to why Zaio is such an important idea, and some glimpses of how hard it is to run a business behind the scenes - particularly when you're a student at the same time.
Tim Willis gave a fascinating insight into Aerobotics, nominated one of SA's Top 5 Most Exciting Startups in 2018, and how they are changing the world. With a presentation that spoke the power of big data and AI, Tim explained how company is creating a flywheel of agricultural data. This data is allowing Aerobotics to make more informed decisions in real time, and ultimately change the world of farmers everywhere.
Conn Bertish is our second speaker at Tuesday's Heavy Chef event, focusing on Grit, and he is remarkably hard to kill. Conn is one of the country’s top creative thinkers, having worked with some of the leading creative agencies in Africa. In 2006, Conn was diagnosed with a form of adult malignant brain cancer, leaving him at the mercy of the world's most feared disease. Using a very creative approach - and a truckload of grit - Conn finally beat cancer in 2013 - and then started building a tool, to help others do the same. Read how he did it, here. This week, Heavy Chef CO Fred Roed spoke to him about the journey - read the interview here.
The Educating Africa event, featuring speakers S'onqoba Maseko, Sam Paddock and Former South African President Thabo Mbeki, has been postponed by one day. The event was originally scheduled for September 13 2018, and is now being held one day later, on Friday September 14th 2018, at The Birdhouse, in Owl Street, Braamfontein.