The Disruption Agenda simplifies how leading corporates connect to world-class startups

As part of Nedbank’s digital journey, Nedbank has expanded its corporate partnership with Silicon Valley’s Plug and Play in a move that will see the world’s largest innovation platform come to South Africa as part of The Disruption Agenda to take place in Johannesburg in September.

The first innovation programme of its kind in Africa, Plug and Play will enable major corporations and business leaders on the continent to connect with the best technology startups.

“The Disruption Agenda programme will bring 10 visionary innovators from across the globe to South Africa and introduce them to high-profile business leaders, thereby accelerating the matching of startups to corporates and business leaders in South Africa and Africa,” comments Stuart van der Veen, Head of Innovation and Disruption at Nedbank CIB. “Our relationship with Plug and Play is a corporate partnership,” continues Van der Veen, “and we’ve had great success in terms of experimentation and commercialisation with international startup teams.”

“Africa offers a melting pot of opportunities for new solutions to succeed and thrive,” states Damien Reddy, Strategy and Marketing Executive at Nedbank CIB, “and disruption and innovation can tangibly drive the growth of Africa going forward. It should be top-of-mind for everyone.”

Selected startups were identified as being at the leading edge of digital transformation as relevant disruptors to solving cross-sector business challenges at a corporate level within the local market. These include some of the best and brightest minds from the United States, Israel and the United Kingdom as well as three African startups, with disruption solutions ranging from drone imagery analytics to neurocomputing and cyber security.

“Being African, I think we spend a lot of our time dealing with constraints and challenges of doing business on the continent,” comments Ray Naicker, Chief Digital Officer at Nedbank, “but The Disruption Agenda gives us the opportunity to reframe these constraints into a positive and inspiring message around the opportunities to solve our challenges through the expertise and talent that we have locally, in open-minded partnership with solutions providers from around the world, to deliver uniquely African solutions to African needs.”

“Businesses need to innovate because their customers naturally do,” adds Tawanda Chatikobo, Head of Digital Channels and Product at Nedbank, “and by giving startups the opportunity to meet some of the biggest and best companies in South Africa, The Disruption Agenda moves us to the front-end of innovation in South Africa.”

The Disruption Agenda in September is a closed event, specifically structured for Nedbank clients. A public event that will offer broader access to Plug and Play is planned for later in the year.

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