OCFO’s Founders Conference is a leading event for SMEs in Africa and has become a must-attend in the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Hosted by OCFO for the past 5 years, this conference brings together dynamic speakers, motivated attendees, industry-leading sponsors, and allows meaningful networking and learning opportunities for all attendees. Our vision is to inspire, motivate, and support founders across industries by connecting them with successful business leaders and fellow entrepreneurs.
The 2022 Founder’s Conference featured several insightful keynotes and panel discussions by top founders who imparted relevant industry knowledge and gave attendees useful and actionable insight. Speakers and topics included:
Yvonne Wakefield with the topic 'ahead of the curve’. Yvonne is the founder and CEO of Caveat Legal, a fully virtual legal company that has been redefining the concept of outsourcing for over eleven years. Her business model consists of lean costing without any brick-and-mortar overheads, and Yvonne spoke about staying ahead of the industry curve and what it takes to keep an innovative business model thriving.
Next on the agenda was automation, technology and related trends. The first speaker on this topic was Trent Payton, Business Solutions Consultant and MEA at Zoho, a leader in software-based automation solutions. Trent shared industry and specialist insight from the Zoho perspective.
Next, Fred Roed of Heavy Chef shared his insight on relevant trends that founders should definitely take note of. Fred is the founder and CEO of Heavy Chef, a learning platform geared toward entrepreneurs. Fast Company Magazine named Fred as one of The Top 100 Creative People In Business in 2015.
The next panel concentrated on Finance for Founders and discussed finance as the growth engine for successful scaling. Panel member include Damian Baker - Head of Cloud Accounting at OCFO, Leanne Hoffman - Technical Accounting & Tax Manager at OCFO, Jacques le Grange - Director at OCFO, and
Uwais Asmal - Executive Head of Advisory at OCFO, who also acted as facilitator.
Next on the agenda was the Scale-up Lessons with Gideon Greaves, managing director CV VC Africa, who shared insight around the future of money and the influence of Crypto-currency.
Gideon began his career in film and media then proceeded to leadership roles in the food, transport, and gift-tech sectors, and has worked with enterprises around the world on funding and growth strategies. Gideon first invested in bitcoin in 2016 and now holds the role of Managing Director for the African office of Swiss Blockchain VC, CV VC, and shared valuable industry-insider knowledge with all present.
Next on the list of speakers was Alexandra Matthews, who shared stories from scaling in hyper-growth start-ups. Alexandra is the Co-founder & Chief Operating Officer at The Delta, an international venture catalyst. The Delta has launched over 30 ventures into the international market and raised over €3 billion across their venture portfolio and developed 'Orbit', a range of software tools tailored to entrepreneurs.
Daniel Van Zuydam, COO at Teach Me 2 spoke about Scaling up Operations, and what that means for your business venture. A trained lawyer, Daniel specializes in complex problem solving, innovation, design thinking, business strategy, venture capital investments and the life-cycles of startups.
The next big theme on the table was Team, Culture and Strategy
Jon Ratcliffe took the stage and spoke about culture and strategy in a scale-up company. Jon is the CEO of Engage Video Group, a data-driven, social video publishing business as well as the chairman of the Cape Town branch of the Advertising and Media Association of South Africa (AMASA) and the African representative to the World Economic Forum's global agenda council on the global creative economy.
Tim Ohlsen, founder & CEO of Hohm Energy discussed explosive industries and the green energy revolution. Hohm makes the process of going solar and off-grid easy by linking homeowners with accredited suppliers and embedded solar finance, while streamlining the experience by using scalable technology that oversees the whole process. A relevant and timely service in South Africa today, and one that was eagerly received by all attending.
Next we had Helene Smuts, Founder of Credo Growth, speaking about the very relevant topic of creating and supporting healthy working environments. Helene is a facilitator, keynote speaker and author of the book ‘Ditch Mediocrity, and her discussion led to lively debate.
The last theme for the day was the Investment Landscape. Panelists Henri Zietsman, Startup Business Development Manager at AWS, Michel Weiss, Founder & CEO of Counder Network GmbH and Anton Gaylard, Co-Founder, Director & Chief Exponential Officer at Crossfin Ventures led a panel discussion on Investing in the tech start-up / scale-up ecosystem in Africa.
As always, Founders Conference 2022 lived up to expectations, and attendees left energized and ready for new business and personal challenges. Complete recordings of the event available below.