Category Archives: Business development

Woman in Tech of the Month: Maureen Grosvenor

Name: Maureen Grosvenor
Designation: Director – Head of Custom Applications
Company: APPSolve (Pty) Ltd

What do you do every day? Problem solving and business development. I look for opportunities in industries where I can use tech to help solve their problems and stream line the business.

How did you get into the tech space? The entrepreneurial and technology bug bit me at an early age. In 1986, when I was 16, my father bought one of the first home personal computers on the market and I took the opportunity to learn the software languages available at the time. I loved the idea getting to know and understand new innovations and being ahead of the pack. Plus I have always suffered from FOMO (fear of missing out). While still attending school, I started developing custom applications for friends and family and the rest is history. Programming came easy to me and my life since then has emulated the same problem-solving logic that computers run on.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? You teach people how to treat you

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? It is no longer a prerequisite to have a computer science degree to get into the ICT sector. The industry is so dynamic that the relevant diploma with the right attitude and appetite will get you into this job sector. We need more innovative new ideas and skills in South Africa. There is a plethora of jobs that did not exist 10 years ago, and we can just contemplate the endless possibilities of how the world will change over the next 10 years. While fields such as cyber security, social media and mobile development continue to grow, untapped industries such as Blockchain and AI are emerging and expanding. The future is limitless. Make your destiny part of that expansion.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? Farmers Markets, Innovation, the next great idea and inspiring young South Africans to reach for the stars
Who do you want to be when you grow up? A chef in Italy. ICT is lucrative and mentally challenging, food, however, is where my heart is

FaceBook : https://www.facebook.com/1264556650
LinkedIn : linkedin.com/in/maureen-grosvenor-3a207915
Twitter : @maureengrosven2

Deirdré Fryer

Name: Deirdré Fryer

Designation: Product Management Africa

Company: SYSPRO

What do you do every day?
Lots of meetings…
Industry and product Research to understand our positioning in the market as well as our strengths with a focus on looking for improvements.
Customer and sales engagements to understand and solve business needs with software and technology.
Product messaging and positioning to drive enablement of the product across our employees, partners and customers.
Collaboration with marketing and sales teams to drive collaboration around our product and the value features add

How did you get into the tech space?
By chance, while writing my final exams I took a temp job in reception at a software company, SYSPRO, and never looked back.
What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?
If people are not adopting or buying into what you are proposing, change your approach. You need to show people the value in what is being offered specific to them, not how you see it, solve their pain and they will embrace what you are offering without question.
What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector?
Learn, read, learn, read and never say no to an opportunity, even the smallest and most insignificant task will teach you something.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday?
The thought that today I could be part of something that will make someone’s life easier. Making a difference little bit by little bit
Who do you want to be when you grow up?
A wine taster 😉
The best role model to my two daughters, showing them that having a career and good life balance is possible, you can have the best of both worlds.

Twitter: @FryerDee
Linked In: Deirdre Fryer

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Johanna Kollar

Name: Johanna Kollar

Johanna Kollar

Johanna Kollar

Designation: Android Business Development Manager

Company: Google

What do you do every day? My role is to support the Android ecosystem in Africa, so there are lot of touchpoints. I work with Android device manufacturers, large telco partners, and developers. The goal is to find new business opportunities with our partners, that can benefit Google users.  Another critical mission for our team is to bring the Africa story back to California, to build awareness about our unique markets and inform product development back at the mothership.

How did you get into the tech space? Google was opening up its Johannesburg office and asked me to join! I was working in private equity and venture capital post-MBA studies but I am always up for a new challenge. The tech sector is shaping our society in so many important ways and I love being a part of that.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Always be improving. Your self today is not your future self; be the person you want to be.

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? There are so many opportunities in tech, you should really go talk to people who are doing what you think you’d like to do and grab some of their wisdom. And, do not be afraid to experiment. I’ve been in four different roles during my time at Google, all of which have been fun and have allowed me to grow in different ways.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? Knowing the doors of opportunity the internet provides to everyone. It is egalitarian and doesn’t play favorites. I want to help more people seize these opportunities.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? I’d like to be my dog. He has a very excellent life!

LinkedIn: https://za.linkedin.com/in/johkollar
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/1/+JohannaKollar/posts

 

Lianne du Toit

Lianne du Toit, Silicon Cape, U-Start

Lianne du Toit, Silicon Cape, U-Start

Name: Lianne du Toit

Designation: U-Start Business Developer and Silicon Cape Events Liaison

Company: U-Start and Silicon Cape

What do you do every day? I am blessed as it changes daily, from meeting startups, assisting with tech events, liaising with partners and stakeholders, coding with the youth, speaking at events, creating content for sponsors, going to and planning networking events, to researching the industry and implementing our social media strategies. Every day is an awesome and fulfilling day.

How did you get into the tech space? By default, I am secretly a geek wannabe. Though it was my passion for creating engaging events for the community to meet and collaborate that got my foot in the door to the tech space. I was also inspired by a visit to the Google Campus in London a few years ago. It was there that I thought, imagine how cool it would be to have daily tech and startup event in Cape Town! Through Silicon Cape that vision is becoming a reality with the support of an engaged community.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Do what works for you; be the change you want to see in the world; expect less, give more and persistence and determination go a long way. Nothing is no until it is a flat out no.

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Go to networking functions, research trends, meet new people, give more than you receive, get a mentor in the sector and add value where you can – the break you need will find you.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? My novel-thick to-do list.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be the person my dog thinks I am.

Find me on:
Twitter: @Siliconcape, @barefoot_Binary, @govhackSA, @u-startconf
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Siliconcape,  www.facebook.com/UStart1, https://www.facebook.com/lianne.dutoit?ref=tn_tnmn
LinkedIn: za.linkedin.com/pub/lianne-du-toit/20/315/385/