3 Lessons we learnt at the SA Innovation Summit
For startups and entrepreneurs that are always nervous to ask the ‘right questions’, take the leap of faith, you have nothing to lose.
We found ourselves in conversations with the right people over the week of the SA Innovation Summit. We were in the same room with the decision makers of some of the biggest businesses in the Southern Africa region, at the Old Biscuit Mill and at Innovation City. So it was only fortunate for us to use the opportunity to get our business, Successful Journals, recognised.
The best part about it, there were as much young entrepreneurs and small businesses as there were investors and thought leaders from all walks of life. With that said, we hope that these three lessons will help you to grow or scale your business.
We were following 10 to 15 entrepreneurs and business owners from the township and other parts of South Africa. We realised that a majority of them got good business over the course of the SA Innovation Summit. So when we asked them, how did they get it right? They opened up to us — they came prepared, they dressed well and spoke to as much innovators as they felt were driven towards the growth of their businesses.
Let alone building networks, they found the right culture of prospective clients and investors. The SA Innovation Summit is one of a kind, it is the type of event to bring innovative solutions and inclusivity to the world.
2. Follow up
A few days later, after the summit, we caught up with one of the speakers, KK Diaz, at the Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn and we asked him about the secret to getting more business. KK Diaz gave us a good example of when he was at the summit. Of course, he would have his contact details available in his presentation, but afterwards, when he was in the networking booths, he would take the contacts of people rather than handing out a business card.
KK Diaz said this was his way of assuring himself that he would follow up on the conversation and take it further. Because, when people receive your business card, in particular when it does not have a QR Code for them to scan and save your contact details, they tend to forget to follow up. So when you take someones details, like KK Diaz, you are able to follow up quicker than usual.
3. Always carry your pitch deck
As a small business that is looking for clients and investors, it is always wise to have your updated pitch deck in your smartphone, laptop or printed out. Remember, some venture capitals have money to spare, but a majority of the entrepreneurs do not know about this. In a chat with Sahil Affriya, he mentioned that in the technology space, he is always looking for the next big thing, in particular coming out of the townships and rural areas.
If for some reason you do not have a pitch deck, at least have your website up and running with all of your business details available.
We realised that thought leaders love to talk, so talk less and ask more questions, let them do the rest. At these events, you will get information worth millions of money, for free, just by listening attentively.
On the 22nd of October 2022, Successful Journals, in partnership with the Khaltsha Call Centre, Fivvo and the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative, will host a venture capitalist funding and cryptocurrency education summit at the Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn. Save the date and register, it is free: