It's the largest tech startup event in Africa and, this year, things are working a little differently. Every year, the SA Innovation Summit (SAIS) helps connect new businesses and entrepreneurs across countries and continents. It also aims to promote economic growth and encourage business development across South Africa and Africa as a whole. It's become a huge event in the tech startup world and now SAIS2020 is almost here. If you're a small business owner looking to take part in SAIS2020, here's everything you need to know about this exciting virtual event...
The SAIS2020 online event
What is SAIS?
We should probably start by answering this basic question. If you weren't familiar with the event before, the SAIS is basically the largest local platform where African entrepreneurs and business leaders can get together and make connections. The purpose of the event is to showcase Africa's leading innovations and encourage economic growth and sustainability on the continent.
At SAIS, everyone from entrepreneurs and innovators to corporates, investors and industry leaders can interact, network, and learn from each other. It celebrates African tech and tech-enabled startups that are helping to make a difference and impact African lives.
Who can be part of the SAIS2020 event?
The simple answer is anyone interested in and passionate about furthering tech startups and developments in Africa. The SAIS organisation encourages anyone from tech 'originators' and 'showcasers' to 'supporters' to join their community and be part of their platform.
At the event itself, tech startups are given a platform to promote themselves and their innovations, entrepreneurs are equipped with tools and knowledge on how to expand their businesses through world class workshops and masterclasses, and business owners are matched to potential investors to form partnerships and share ideas. If you're in any way involved in the tech space, the SAIS2020 is a crucial event.
How will this year's event operate?
Because of the general chaos that's engulfed 2020, this year's SAIS will be held virtually, online. But you can still look forward to a programme packed with competitions, demo days, exhibitions, pitch battles, panel discussions, masterclasses and workshops. You can access the event through the SAIS2020 web and app platforms that have already been made available so that attendees can start familiarising themselves with the functions before the official programme kicks off. You can also do some pre-programme networking to get a head start.
The app (available on iOS and Android) gives you access to information and announcements as well as mentor sessions, promotional offers and virtual meet-ups. You can download the app here.
The web platform is where you'll be able to stream special content, and network 'face-to-face' via the Match&Invest portal. You'll have to create a Whova account in order to sign in. Access the web platform here.
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When does the event take place?
According to the website, the Female Founder Build-Up Day takes place on 29 September. Then, the official summit programme runs on 30 September and 1 October. And on 2 October there's a Boost-up Africa Day demonstration as well as closing remarks. It's definitely worth setting aside some time to make the most of this opportunity.