What do you get when you put a bunch of executives, investors and generally smart people on a plane and fly them to Africa? You get Geeks on a Plane ! (seriously – that’s a thing). This catchy titled group is organized and headed by 500 Startups which is a Silicon Valley company that specialize in helping fund and nurture new emerging technologies. Therefore, it makes sense to group smart people and fly them out to different parts of the world and find the emerging tech and see it in action on their home turf. This year, the group is headed to Africa – and rightly so! Africa is an understated powerhouse for new technology and is also a world leader in areas such as Mobile Money from companies such as Mpesa out of Kenya and Nollywood is Nigeria’s “Hollywood” is said to be the world’s second largest movie industry at over $3.3 billion. South Africa was one of the first countries to use drones to catch rhino poachers partnering with Google and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) back in 2012. like the say, “necessity is the mother of all invention” and this is very true to Africa especially when it comes to technology!
Being from South Africa, I am often asked in the USA if Africa is still a “fly-infested-poverty region as seen on TV asking for donations?” People are genuinely impressed to discover all the innovations and technologies that have emerged out of African companies especially since internet penetration has increased dramatically with more and more internet cables landing on the continent.
Wanna join the Geeks ?
Not everyone can get a ticket on this flight. You need to be invited. If you do make it into the Geek-Tech-Club, you are sure to engage with incredible people, and see for yourself the source of tech that could be the next game-changer used around the world.
Some of the goals of the program are to:
- Meet startups, geeks, and investors in cities around the world
- Learn about trends in internet, mobile, and other tech platforms
- Gain insight into local markets, demographics, and business models
- Meet cool people, new ventures, and have fun on planes, trains & buses
Looking at this agenda should make any tech entrepreneur or investor salivate:
March 20 — 23: LAGOS, NIGERIA –
- Explore the Yaba District Ecosystem, Nigeria’s Silicon Valley. Visit key hubs and startups like CcHUB and Andela.
- Hang out with leading Nigerian actors and directors focused on the growing film industry, digital distribution, monetization and content creation at a Nollywood media & tech party night.
- Network with top-tier VCs and angel investors, while learning about the Nigerian investment ecosystem at a VIP investment dinner.
- Enjoy a night of Afrobeat music & dance at New Afrika Shrine, an open-air entertainment center.
March 23 — 25: ACCRA, GHANA
- Join the conversation at Enterprise Africa Summit – 300 delegates, 23 countries, 1 city.
- Explore one of Accra’s most vibrant markets and shop for handcrafted beads, Kente clothing, and herbs.
- Network with leading Ghana investors at a curated dinner.
- Meet FinTech CEOs, mobile network operators, banks and investors at an intimate unconference
March 25 — 28: OVERNIGHT SAFARI, SOUTH AFRICA
- Take in the South African wilderness with an overnight safari – relax in camp lodges, see the “Big Five” (lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffalos), and bond further with geeks over actual fireside chats.
March 28 — 30: JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
- Get schooled on Johannesburg’s early stage business at Braamonfontein Cluster, an innovative technology hub bordered by two of the country’s oldest universities.
- Experience a traditional African braai (cookout) courtesy of our host Sw7, the largest mentor-led tech innovation accelerator in Africa.
- Tour Soweto, the most populous black urban residential area in the country – a must-see destination thanks to its bustling economy and rich history.
- Head to the northern suburbs to learn more about Johannesburg’s later stage ecosystem. Attend a FinTech pitch event hosted by SiMODiSA.
- Make valuable connections in Johannesburg’s FinTech, InsurTech, and banking communities – we’ll set up curated 1:1 meetings for those who specialize in each area.
March 30 — APRIL 2: CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
- Learn more about Cape Town’s thriving startup scene at an entrepreneur event hosted by Silicon Cape at Workshop 17.
- Ride the wine farm tram and taste local wine in Stellenbosch. End the evening with a high-level investor dinner at a private wine farm.
- See the sites of Cape Town – hike Table Mountain, tour Cape Point, explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Robben Island, or dive with sharks.
More info is available here: http://geeksonaplane.com/africa-tour-details/