Nedbank announced the expansion of their US partnership with Plug and Play, the world’s largest innovation platform, to include South Africa for the first time. Together, the entities will connect ten visionary entrepreneurs from around the world to business leaders at The Disruption Agenda to be held in Johannesburg in September.
These startups are at the leading edge of digital transformation. They have been accelerated via the Plug and Play platform and identified as relevant disruptors to solving cross-sector business challenges at a corporate level within the local market.
“Nedbank recognises that building an innovation strategy at a corporate level can present a number of significant challenges. To help corporate leaders, we have structured The Disruption Agenda, a first of its kind event on the continent, to simplify how corporates connect to world-class startups,” shares Stuart van der Veen, Head of Disruption and Innovation at Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB). “The problem is that innovative thinking is too often limited to finding new ways of doing old things, when what businesses really need to set themselves apart is to find completely new things to do. And that’s where the successful integration of disruptive technology can be an unparalleled source of comprehensive transformation for any business.”
Nedbank’s participation in Plug and Play’s FinTech accelerator program abroad supports its commitment to source innovative digital enhancements to meet the changing needs of its clients. Nedbank has sponsored Play and Play’s Fintech initiative for close on two years and for each of the four batches that Nedbank has been involved in, the bank’s teams actively engaged with the startups to source new ideas and partnerships with the aim of delivering delightful client experiences and disruptive client value propositions.
“Our partnership with Nedbank has given our startups a successful route to expand their business to South Africa,” said Max Koenig, Director of Plug and Play FinTech, Silicon Valley. “The CIB group, responsible for innovation within Nedbank, has been instrumental in sourcing startups to digitally transform their company.”
The Disruption Agenda is a closed event structured for Nedbank’s clients, while a public event for broader access to Plug and Play is envisioned to take place later in the year. The success of these engagements will form the basis of Plug and Play’s decision to accelerate plans to establish a permanent presence in Africa. “The opportunity in Africa as a whole is endless and we view this event in September as an integral first step for opening and developing an Innovation Hub in South Africa in 2019” noted Saeed Amidi, Founder & CEO of Plug and Play.
“We believe that successful disruptors are those organisations that are able to see through their traditional functions and create new realities for their clients and businesses. In the process of transforming innovation thinkers to disruption leaders, these organisations have real potential to transform the economic reality of entire communities,” shares Van der Veen.