South African Innovation?

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Looking for real life examples of South African Innovation? Connect the dots did a riff over at SARocks. She makes very valid points regarding local Innovation:

One of the things that I’ve seen come up time & time again on the blogs of our local web.entrepreneurs is the sheer frustration at the lack of innovation in the ideas that get funded.

Attack of the clones.

I would LOVE to see SA starting to shake off the shackles of learned helplessness and shining as one of the brightest hubs of fresh ideas.

Our friends over at the Bandwidth Barn are hard at work making this a reality with programs like VeloCITI.

we need to individually start rocking it hard if we want this country to get the right kind of attention (that we can be proud of please – not the Bullard version – there are times when all PR is good PR is bollocks)

Bullard: The guy in the cigar ad in The Sunday Times that poses as a column. (is this legal?) Glad to see he’s kicked the cigar from his pics on his bullog.

Back to Innovation. On a quest for some examples of South African innovations. Two I can immediately think of is IncuBeta & Clickatell.

I’ve got some real work to do so if you know of any South African Innovations you’d like to share with us, please do.

  • hehehe Connect.the.Dots reporting in IQ >>
    indeed – reminds me of the conversation we had roadtripping to the Gardenroute Geekdinner huh?

    Where’s that list of 10?!
    For those who weren’t in Captain Chris’ car at the time:
    I asked the guys if they could quickly come up with 10 interesting/fresh/innovative tech projects that were underway. We were stumped after the first 2.

    think things have changed much ..?
    My challenge goes out again in encore. 10 innov8ve tech projects currently underway in SA 3..2..1.. go >>

  • Wow you’re right in the spot! I was actually about to blog about something very similar.

    One of the areas I would indeed like South Africans to excel in is the Semantic Web (a.k.a. Web 3.0). The main front-page article in the Intelligence Magazine this month is about that and it is something that’s potential has not been exploited even 1% on the global scale. If we can jump in early and excel at that we can become the leaders in Web 3.0 technology.

    We already have projects like Kupa but the problem is that we’re too busy this time of year to drive those projects ourselves. If more contributors would like to join us, I’m sure we could do something big.

    Ok, I don’t want to sit and advertise Kupa but I do believe that it has some serious potential. I would rather have people working together to achieve a common goal though than everybody going off doing their own little thing and scattering the available work force around with everybody repeating each other’s work. Or maybe I’m missing something. 🙂

  • Ride on Charl! You go boy! I would almost venture to say that unless we start innovative semantic projects, we’re forever going to clone Web2.0 stuff. I might be wrong, but I sure hope that the Semantic Web take off in a big way!

  • Maaike – awarded earlier this year at Design Indaba (

    In the same ‘field’:

    Innovation = inventions? Ok, I realise the debate is mainly about technological (www) innovation.

    Although I do not know the climate in that sector, I feel it is, in general, just not geared towards innovation:
    – the mentality is not right – traditional, scared, not service oriented and hit-and-run deals (instead of building relationships);
    – ‘infrastructure’ – monopolies ripping you off, a legal system that doesn’t protect consumers, lawyers that are ‘untouchable’;
    – relatively small domestic market;
    – copyright-laws? How easily to patent your ideas? At what costs – I can’t say, but it is a factor that might discourage people.

    So, there is a business climate that doesn’t offer enough incentives – not the financial ones, as that is always uncertain, but structural ones. Change takes time….