Women in Tech of the Week: Gabi Immelman

February 22, 2022 in CEO, Founder, Profiles, Women in Tech

Name: Gabi Immelman
Designation: Founder and CEO
Company: Mindjoy

What do you do every day?
I try play in expert mode at Mindjoy.

We are working to keep growing our inbound leads so that we can unlock the potential of children, ages 8-14 by connecting them to peers and projects that they love learning to code with. Our goal is to prepare youngsters with the critical digital and collaborative skills required for the future of work. We also aim to build children’s confidence in expressing themselves through technology.

How did you get into the tech space?
My desire is to have an impact beyond serving a small group of children at a micro-school I ran and leverage that technology in to larger communities.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Discipline = Freedom

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get into tech?
Focus is underrated. Start super small and and experiment weekly. The faster you can figure out how to get things done and develop a weekly executional cadence the more likely you are to make progress.

What motivates you to get out of bed every day?
Forget about getting out of bed, trying to create experiences where kids can find self-expression through building with technology keeps me in the fight. It is all for the moments where a child realises that they now have a superpower allowing them to make many valuable insights.

Who do you want to be when you grow up?
An astronaut
But I’ll settle for a pirate

Women in Tech of the Month: Kate Farina

December 5, 2021 in Founder, Profiles, Woman of the Month, Women in Tech

Name: Kate Farina
Designation: Co-Founder
Company: Be In Touch (Pty) Ltd

What do you do every day?
Be in Touch is a team of digital family wellness activists. Our business focuses on upskilling parents (primarily mothers) to understand the digital world their kids are heading into, both good and bad, and to empower them to protect, manage, monitor, guide and mentor their kids as they go online. We simplify what it means and what it takes to be a digital parent in today’s busy online-offline, one life world, and provide practical tools and solutions to give parents peace of mind, and keep kids safer and saner!

How did you get into the tech space?
I left a multi-portfolio governance executive role at one of South Africa’s largest corporates, to pursue a passion for making the world around me a better place. I loved the component of my job that entailed mentoring other women in the corporate environment, many of them mothers trying to juggle it all. Now, instead of mentoring their career development, I mentor their child development and protection! I have a teen and tween, so am right in the same space as so many other parents who are busy with so many priorities, and digital parenting feels like another heavy burden.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Don’t hide your light, there are people in the dark who really need it, to find their way out!

What advice would you give to someone wanting to get into tech?
I have an environmental legal background and am now in a very technical field, where I have to grapple with device, app and game settings, and how we can make tech safer for our kids to use! I capitalise my non-tech background to make and keep things simple for others. The point is that the tech field is wide open to so many different applications and opportunities.

What motivates you to get out of bed every day?
That there are parents and a family to whom I can bring peace of mind and a safer, saner online journey.

Who do you want to be when you grow up?
A star in the night sky, that can help parents navigate their way

New Founders Forum competition announced

January 25, 2019 in Entrepreneur, Founder

Founders Forum, a global community for digital and technology entrepreneurs, is giving start-ups the chance to pitch their business ideas on the future of air travel.  On June 12, with support from British Airways, a panel of leading investors and CEOs will be 30,000 feet in the sky while ideas are pitched from the ground via on-board WiFi.

The competition is looking for start-ups that are building next generation travel tech products or services which have the potential to transform customers’ air travel experiences through innovative technology solutions. The competition is open now and full details to enter are available at https://thefutureofflying.com/?forum=founders .

Entries will be whittled down to a shortlist of businesses that will face a unique challenge of pitching from the ground to judges on board a British Airways aircraft full of leading investors and CEOs. Entrants will take part in a live question and answer session using the airline’s inflight new WiFi all while the aircraft is 30,000 feet over the Atlantic.

British Airways is introducing industry-leading streaming WiFi on its long-haul flights. It currently has more than 50 aircraft with this service, and 80 per cent of the airline’s 134-strong long-haul fleet will be fitted by the end of 2020. The airline’s entire short-haul fleet will be WiFi enabled by summer 2019, all part of British Airways’ £6.5bn investment for customers.

Alex Cruz, Chairman and CEO of British Airways, said: “The competition, which ties in closely with our centenary activity looking to the future of flight, is a unique opportunity for some of the most innovative start-ups to put forward their ideas for travel in the future. We’re excited to be supporting Founders Forum in the pitch process, which is set to be an exciting challenge using our inflight WiFi.”

Greg Kennaugh, Chief Operating Officer of Founders Forum, said: “We are thrilled to be hosting this competition, fostering new ways of thinking about travel and directly supporting early-stage entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas to a community of leaders in digital. Connecting seasoned West Coast investors with the most promising European talent midflight on their way to our event is a new milestone for Founders Forum and we are delighted to work with British Airways to deliver this unique initiative.”

The top three finalists selected on board will be invited to attend Founders Forum London on June 13, 2019, to pitch in person to a judging panel of top CEOs.

The lucky winner will receive 100,000 On Business points in British Airways’ business loyalty programme, equivalent to four return flights in World Traveller Plus (long-haul premium economy) to New York (JFK) from London Heathrow. The prize also includes 100,000 Avios, a profile in Business Life magazine, a presentation at the Founders Forum London event attend by hundreds of investors and a business meeting with Brent Hoberman founder of lastminute.com and the Founders network.

Woman in Tech of the Week: Emma Donovan

July 9, 2018 in Business development, Founder, Profiles, Woman of the Week

Woman in Tech of the Week: Emma Donovan

Name:  Emma Donovan

Designation: Co-founder and new business director

Company: Yellow Door Collective – www.yellowdoorcollective.com

What do you do every day? I develop new products for Yellow Door, meet with potential clients and give strategic input on all our current projects and retainers. Every day brings a new set of challenges and I love that no two days are the same. We have a diverse range of clients that keep us on our toes and give us the opportunity to expand our knowledge, try out new marketing ideas and delve a little deeper into the tech space.

How did you get into the tech space? My Media & Writing degree at UCT only just scratched the surface when it came to exploring the tech space – but it whet my appetite and left me hungry to learn more.

My first job gave me the opportunity to write about a broad range of topics and really delve in to the fast paced and ever-changing online world; however it was the guidance of a few great mentors and partnering with Dominique Sandwith to launch Yellow Door Collective in 2014 that really enabled me to effectively adapt and use my skills in the tech space.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you?  Speak with honesty. Think with sincerity. Act with integrity.

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Before you dive in to the tech sector (or any industry for that matter) my advice is to network, research and get as much work experience as possible. Job shadowing and short internships will give you a good sense of what you’re in for – and will help you make an informed career choice. Work experience is also great on your CV and is likely to help you get a foot in the door once you’ve hand picked the companies you’d really like to work for.

Find out what you’re really passionate about, and then do that.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday?  Having the opportunity to lead a balanced life and add value in different ways – mentoring our team, creating strategies for clients, and enjoying time with the people that matter most.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? A successful entrepreneur that still appreciates the small things in life.

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Woman in Tech of the Week: Lindiwe Matlali

May 14, 2018 in Brand Manager, CEO, Entrepreneur, Founder, Profiles, Training and development, Woman of the Week

Woman in Tech of the Week: Lindiwe Matlali

Name: Lindiwe Matlali

Designation: Chief Executive Officer

Company: Africa Teen Geeks

What do you do every day? I spend an hour or two every day keeping up with tech news on Techcrunch and MIT Tech Review.  Staying informed is very important.  “I also make a list of the top three things I must get done each day.  I also make a list of the three things that must be achieved each month and each week to ensure that we remain focused and committed to our strategic goals.

How did you get into the tech space? I didn’t study technology at University. I got involved in tech because I saw the need to expose children from disadvantaged communities to tech not only as consumers but as creators too. I believe that the difference between a child born in Sandton and a child born in Diepsloot is lack of opportunity not intelligence. My passion is to close the opportunity gap and hopefully inspire the next Mark Shuttleworth or Elon Musk.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? My grandfather told me to never compare my weakness to other people’s strength. Consistency can achieve more than intelligence. I need both to succeed.

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? My advice for anybody wanting to get into the tech sector is to just do it. There are may free resources now available for one to learn how to code from Edx, cousera and others. All it takes is commitment and determination. In as little as three months you can be a software engineer. 

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? I am motivated by the impact we have made so far. We have children who before joining ATG had never touched a computer but now are writing a Java code and coding robots. They now have dreams to be the next Mark Shuttleworths. Instead of looking up to celebrities, they now have raised their aspirations and see themselves as the youth who could change the world one day. That for me is what inspires me and help me get up in the morning even when things are tough. Knowing that in my small way, I am making a difference.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? I would like to teach one day. I am furthering my studies torwards my dream of becoming a University lecturer within the next 5 years.

Twitter: @LindiweEM

Blog: https://medium.com/@lindimatlali

LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lindiwematlali/

 

Do you know an inspirational women in tech? Please get in touch with Robyn (robyn@kato.global) to get her featured!

Do you want to sponsor Women in Tech ZA (our research, website and events around South Africa)? Please get in touch with Robyn (robyn@kato.global).

Do you want to advertise to the  Women in Tech ZA network? Please get in touch with Robyn (robyn@kato.global).

Deshnie Govender

April 7, 2017 in Entrepreneur, Founder, Owner, Profiles, Social media
Deshnie Govender

Name: Deshnie Govender

Designation: Creative Director

Company: iVENT

What do you do every day? No two days are the same in digital but essentially I work with brands, agencies and influencers. From strategy and content creation to post production – engaging and authentic content is my key focus.

How did you get into the tech space? It found me! Starting out as a DJ I needed my music to be heard and social media was the easiest (and free) platform that allowed me to connect with others in seconds. When I realised social media and influencer management could become actual careers, I leveraged off my experience in music to start up my consultancy.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Do what you love and never work a day in your life. I can honestly say that I love what I do and, notwithstanding stressful days, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

What advice would you give someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Start with your own platforms. What do your social media accounts look like and what is the frequency of your content? Hands-on experience is the best way to start so I would suggest job shadowing or interning at a digital agency. Trust me, this is the environment that will show you how fast paced this industry can be.

What motivates you to get out of bed every day? My company, iVent. I am deeply passionate about what I do and never do anything half-heartedly. My work ethos dictates that my dedication and commitment – not just to my clients, influencers whom I collaborate with and projects that I run – are given 150% of my effort. There is no such thing as sleeping in for me!

What do you want to be when you grow up? I’d like to become a better version of me ☺

Expanding my offices in the UK and America, showing that market what our local influencer offering is like and collaborating on projects. We need to be the first to market, not the last option.

Blog: www.ivent.co.za
Linkedin: https://za.linkedin.com/in/deshnie

Jennifer Bezuidenhout

August 24, 2016 in Director, Entrepreneur, Founder, Profiles

Name: Jennifer Bezuidenhout

Jennifer Bezuidenhout

Jennifer Bezuidenhout

Designation: Technical Director / Co-founder

Company: Viga Interactive, Taggo, Boulot

What do you do every day? I hustle. My days vary considerably, some days I’m swamped with admin and strategy meetings, some days I’m in back to back usability tests, other days I just code or create architecture, but every day I manage a team and client’s projects.

How did you get into the tech space? I started my career in the graphic design industry. Even while studying I wasn’t convinced of this weird exotic thing called coding, but one day I was asked to develop a website instead of just designing it, and so I started coding. I started my first registered company at 25, unfortunately it failed just over a year later. The failure of my first business resulted in a knock to my confidence, from which it took a while to recover from. When I started my next company, however, I was a lot more knowledgeable, stronger and wiser.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? Stay humble. As entrepreneurs we have to be confident, sometimes even arrogant, so it is difficult to remain humble all the time. When I succeed in staying humble it keeps me honest, grateful, and makes me a better listener. All of which tends to come in handy in the big bad world of business.

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Never stop learning. Things move fast in the tech space and you need to stay up to date and relevant, when it comes to new technology and trends.

Another essential piece of advice I would give is to create rock solid specification documents. Because there are always issues around communication, a good spec can avoid misunderstandings.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? The possibility of a game changer. Every day I’m excited about the prospects that particular day can bring, you never know what’s around the corner and how it can make your business a success.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? I love being an entrepreneur. Yes, it is extremely difficult and sometimes I think I must be crazy. The reason I keep pushing is that someday when I’m all grown up I can look back and say it was all worth it, I helped build some really cool stuff.

Twitter: @VIGAInteractive
LinkedIn: https://za.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-bezuidenhout-26484235

Prudence Spratt

August 1, 2016 in Founder, Managing director, Profiles

Name: Prudence Spratt

Prudence Spratt

Designation: MD / Founder

Company:  Spratt Digital Consulting

What do you do every day? Running a small business I do a little bit of everything, I meet with clients, project manage work in progress, execute on tasks and do all of the admin that comes with running a business.

How did you get into the tech space? I think I was born into it.

I was born in the 80s and at the time my mom was a computer trainer when PCs first came out so there was always a PC in my house and I loved being on the computer.

When my mom was pregnant with me she met Bill Gates at a trade show in Sydney so in some way I think I was meant to get into tech – that and the fact that I started coding websites when I was 14.

What was the best advice anyone ever gave you? To take accounting to Gr12. It helped with my further education and work after school immensely.

What advice would you given someone wanting to get into the tech sector? Follow your passion – find the sector of tech that you like the most because when you love what you do the other parts of your job that you don’t like become much easier to deal with.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday? My great team and the ability to work with them on exciting projects and with awesome people. That and if I don’t get up and feed my dogs they will probably eat my couch.

Who do you want to be when you grow up? A grown up version of myself…

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/SprattSA
Website:  www.spratt.co.za
LinkedIn: https://za.linkedin.com/in/prudencespratt
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SprattConsulting
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+SprattCoZa/posts