It’s a special Monday night – its Mobile Monday night !
This means that over 200 people from all sectors of the Technology and Mobile industry descend on the Culture Cafe in Fourways. But don’t be fooled by the sea of men in checkered collar shirts and ladies in business formal suits. Mobile Monday is not “just another corporate event”. Its an event that has managed to crack the right mix of informal gathering of tech-industry-minded people and formal presentations followed by a night of serious networking.
During Mobile Monday on the 18th Feb, a venue packed to capacity, was the ideal platform to showcase some great locally developed technology.
First up was Yolande van Wyk the CEO of eWallet Solutions at FNB. Yolande was given her 5 minutes in the spotlight and presented her overview of the mobile landscape. Yolande discussed the "Smartphonatic" who is a consumer who changes shopping and financial behaviours due to owning a smartphone. This is something that all business must be aware of and adapt to embrace this technology. Yolande also confirms that “Convenience trumps all” in other words the customer will choose what works for them be it in the method of payment, research or communication.
For her grand finale: “Who wants money ?” Yolande shouts to a flurry of hands that shoot up into the air. Yolande then proceed to open her FNB app and find the first person who has Geo-payments in the room and gives them some cash – instantly. This was followed by FNB’s new innovation for offering eWallets to everyone including non-FNB customers. This allows anyone to send money to anyone with a valid South African cellphone number and the money is transferred instantly and can be used to withdraw cash from FNB ATM’s and even selected retailers.
Next up were two companies who described how they had their start by attending Mobile Monday events. Gidon Judes from Cytrus met his now business partner, Methys Group, when he presented his app at a Mobile Monday event. Their relationship has advanced to the point where the Methys Group, an international Technology and Business Performance Management Consulting firm with operations in France, UK, Benelux, Tunisia and South Africa has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Cytrus. So a great Mobile Monday success story.
Rob McClean from SATPack Travel was not there however his presentation was played in his absence. I have written about Rob’s app Kruger Live in the past where in a short 6 month it has grown from early stages to a live app and is that fastest-selling travel app in South Africa and in December 2012 was downloaded over 9000 times and had over a quarter of a million hits on his site from 97 countries. Rob first showed his app during an open showcase night at Mobile Monday and a short time later he has achieved amazing success.
Matt Benic, from Luma Arcade, is a local South African developer whose company has developed the popular game: Bladslinger. The game has shot up to take its place as the top 10 apps in the USA iOS store – a place reserved for the likes of Facebook and Twitter ! Matt explained that their team is made up of 7 – 10 people all working remotely on an 18 month development cycle. Their differentiation was to focus on delivering high-quality visuals, innovative controllers, and deep combat on a mobile device to rival the likes of game-consoles. A task they have clearly achieved.
With that, the formal part of the evening was over and the usual chit-chat, networking and “so what do you do ?” and “here is my business card” began.
And as per usual, it went on until the lights were switched off and we were forced to leave – yet another fantastic Mobile Monday event was had by all.