Nedbank brings Silicon Valley platform to South Africa

Nedbank says it has expanded its partnership with innovation platform Plug and Play, to include South Africa for the first time.

Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Plug and Play provides active investments with 200 Silicon Valley VCs, and hosts more than 700 networking events per year.

Successful portfolio exits include Dropbox, PayPal, and Zoosk.

The business builds accelerator programmes, corporate innovation services, and has an in-house VC.

Nedbank in conjunction with Plug and Play, has launched The Disruption Agenda to connect technology startups to major corporations and business leaders in SA.

“Together, the entities will connect 10 visionary entrepreneurs from around the world to business leaders at The Disruption Agenda to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa in September,” Nedbank said in a statement on Monday (13 August).

“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,” said Stuart van der Veen, head of disruption and innovation at Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB).

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,” said Saeed Amidi, founder and CEO of Plug and Play.

Read: New features coming to the Nedbank banking app

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Nedbank brings Silicon Valley platform to South Africa