AIN Conference Durban, AM Wednesday 17th March 2010

March 24, 2010 at 5:06 pm | Posted in AgriTech, AIN, Business Support, Economic Development, ICT, incubation, incubator, Online Community, startup, Tools | 1 Comment
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Up early and revised my speech. Nerves and adrenalin kick in as we move towards the commencement of first day’s proceedings. Decide to skip breakfast and to have a hearty lunch once I have spoken!! Check out my ppt works (phew safety net in place, now I can deliver it?) 

Day1Discover we will have a full conference room with 130+ delegates. There have been a number of last-minute entries and arrivals.  

As everyone registers, we get delegate bags, agendas and brochures including a superb publication “celebrating incubation in Africa 2010” packed with incubator facts, client success stories and forewords from Valerie, Michael and Jayesh. If the proceedings can match this standard of knowledge and dissemination – boy are we all going to be glad we came. 

Incubator exhibitorsThe adjacent room is for coffee and breakout networking and already the place is buzzing. Lots of smiles and handshakes as we re-aquaint or meet for the first time face to face. We are surrounded by exhibition stands revealing the breadth and depth of markets’ AIN and SEDA incubator clients are already taking to Domestic and International markets. 

exhibit2 

These range from essential oils, natural extracts and nutrients for the starving and rural many to products for thoroughbred race horses – organic & “green” cleaning and disinfectants for hospitals – Crafts and jewelry, smart software, digital media and e-commerce. 

One stand is dedicated to franchise opportunities – never thought of bog rolls as a route into your own business? 

Definitely worth spending more time here speaking to the staff and their clients – add to dac’s  TO DO list. 

Koogan Nairoo our programme director gets us all seated and gives us taste for what lies ahead. [click to view doc] Calm and unflappable – just what you need when logistics of late arriving speakers raise their heads. 

AIN2010_Official_opening

Welcome and Official opening By Hlonela, Logie, Valerie, Jayesh & Michael

 

Firstly the CEO of the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA): Ms. Hlonela Lupuwana performed the official opening declaring not only how wedded South Africa is to incubation for economic growth but showing her personal committment to AIN and SABTIA by remaining with us throughout the 2 days proceedings – a first in my experience of previous conferences. Thank you. 

Opening addressMr. Deputy Mayor, Councillor Logie Naidoo avoiding the jokes about the gridlock and Durban traffic welcomed us all to Durban, He regaled us with why come to Durban? It has the World Cup venue closest to the beach and with the most sunshine – we must all decide to be here in June. The best stadium, the city with the most fibre connectivity, the best incubators recognised by the World bank and infoDEV, the best conference venue in Africa AND the best Local and Provincial governments. 

Valerie

Valerie da Costa, Head of infoDEV

 

Now we were all spellbound and glad to be here. We listened as Ms Valerie da Costa Head of infoDEV presented their new investment strategy to the Conference. [click to view ppt] Lots of opportunities for partnership, collaboration and action – just the food to give the troops, sitting on the stage I could see the cogs ticking and the pens writing furiously hanging on her every word. 

THEN Jayesh whispers I am up second before and NOT after him. Before I realise I am in full swing – trying not to get too excited  – speak slowly David as with your dialect no one will understand a word………. 

growing Africa through incubationGrowing the African Incubation Network [click to view ppt] Solvebrand is based in Scotland 1 hour north of Edinburgh but in real-time it is “only an arm’s length away” [between head & keyboard] from everybody in AIN and our virtual business incubator clients within North America, Europe, Africa and New Zealand!
We started using Skype in 2002 as no. 70,000 and 70,001  to support and collaborate with our network. 

David

David, AIN webmaster

 

Now when we go online over 20M people are talking at the same time. VOIP has saved our incubator $10000 in telephone costs alone. Two examples of our most successful clients are Dr Phil Harrington, YouBloom, based in LA/Ireland and Jessica Fulmer Mo-DV Inc, HQ in San Francisco. 

Nobody looks like they are falling asleep from jet lag – good – proof will come in the question time.  

I then showed the audience that;
* From the 50+ incubators on our AIN Bing map 6 months ago, we have now located over 150 incubation centres and hotspots in 25 countries.
* From the 300+ AIN membership, we now have accumulated 500 subscribers including diaspora and expats seeking to support African Incubators and entrepreneurs.
* I also took the opportunity to explain the recent membership experiments with AIN on LinkedIN [click to join  – sourcing fellow incubator professionals, supporters and mentors] and AIN on YouNoodle [click to join – tools for AIN newsletters, networking, competitions and forecasting ventures’ success]. 

Jayesh

Jayesh, Seda STP International perspective

 

Jayesh completed our International Perspective by showing us the impact incubation is making within Southern Africa.   “Turning 8 in 10 failures into 8 in 10 successes”  STP Incubators in Comparison Internationally [click to view ppt] 

AIN RSAI noted there are 29  STP-supported incubators across South Africa serving 17 industry sectors and sub-sectors. 
  1 x Private Sector Incubator  
  4 x Incubators that have Local and Provincial Govt support
  Approx another 5 that do Incubation related services  

Incubation in RSA has been around for approx 10 years  
Almost all Incubators are not University based.  
All STP Incubators models have been adopted internationally but adapted to South African needs creating – Growth, Equity and Employment. 

We now all sat down bang on time and opened the floor to questions – they came thick and fast from the floor, many probed, some enhanced others thirsty for more examples. A lively and rewarding exchange of professional and succinct responses. …………..and so downstairs to lunch

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  1. […] to Durban (RSA). It was 6 deg C……..DAY 1 Welcome to all – Official opening Session 1 Our international Perspective of incubation in Africa Session 2  Role of Incubation in Local […]


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