BY Wesley Diphoko 2 MINUTE READ

Nowadays the word “Innovative” is thrown around very easily without paying attention to its meaning. In this issue through the chosen “Most Innovative Companies” we attempt to pay attention to the true nature of an innovative company. Globally there’s no company that comes close to Nvidia. Our Global technology editor Harry McCracken spoke with co-founder and CEO Jensen Huang for a story about how Huang realised his long-gestating vision and what’s next for the company. Locally, in South Africa we pay attention to 10companies whose work serves as a reminder of what it means to be innovative in a country with immense challenges. We pay special attention to their solutions.

One solution that stands out in this issue has been developed by our cover star Mamadou Toure. He is resolving an old age dilemna for the African continent and the world. Since time immemorial Africans have been trying to find a way to derive value from its gold. Africas mineral resources have enabled just the elite to be wealthy. Ubuntu Tribe under the leadership of Mamadou has married technology with a physical object and devised a way for ordinary people to generate value from gold.

This is not just a solution for the African continent as you will read. It is a means through which the world can generate value from mineral resources without extracting them. Tokenisation as enabled by a technology developed by Ubuntu Tribe is what will make this possible. The solution by Mamadou is a prime example of what innovation means for the global community.

We also revisit a story we’ve been tracking, the “Please Call Me” story about the on-going battle between Nkosana Makate and Vodacom. As this matter is drawing to a close we outline key lessons from this debacle that companies can apply to support innovators internally. Lastly, we visit one of the most important innovation accelerators in the world, theY-Combinator. Our senior writer Ainsley Harris looks at the power-ful diaspora of Y-Combinator. Nineteen years after the startup incubator was launched as a way to circumvent the Silicon Valley VC establishment, YC has become the establishment (not to mention the launchpad for more than a dozen of 2024’s Most Innovative Companies).We were so inspired by stories of YC alumni that we wondered about MIC alumni or the companies that were enabled and recognised by FC. Be on the lookout for my conversations with some of these leaders who are making even more impact in society. It is my hope that their journey will serve as an inspiration to you as you develop solutions. Once again I challenge you to share your innovation story with us. As we develop the “Innovation Index” we would like to add all SA’s innovative companies to inspire each other and future innovators. Who knows this could just contribute towards developing an innovation nation.