22 – 23 November 2018, JOHANNESBURG

Collaboration between startups and established companies:
A dream combination or a nearly impossible goal?

The Startup Assembly is an intense educational and motivational entrepreneurial experience,

and one of the largest gatherings on entrepreneurship in the South Africa.

An event that no true entrepreneur or intrapreneur should miss.










Inspiring keynotes, forward looking panels & insightful pitches! #TheStartupAssembly #ConHill #StartupMzansi


The central topic of the Startup Assembly 2018 will be collaboration between startups and established companies. We will mostly talk about the importance and benefits of collaboration, models, approaches and why this type of collaboration is so important: not only for the growth and development of startup companies, but also for maintaining innovation activity and competitiveness of established companies.


We will look at different perspectives and views on collaboration as well as at the best practices from the national and international environment. We will mostly discuss the following aspects of collaboration between established and startup companies:


View from the perspective of young startup companies or innovative Startups

  • What can startups and small innovative companies learn from corporations and large companies?
  • How can startups benefit from collaboration with established companies – from sales channels and help with international expansion to joint PR
  • The same values and vision – the basis for successful collaboration between a startup and an established company
  • The optimal approach and selling the idea of collaboration to big companies
  • The path from small to big, and important differences in individual phases of company growth – experience of successful entrepreneurs from when they were small
  • Co-branding and marketing support from established companies
  • Main differences between startups and established companies in lean methodologies
  • View on metrics for established and startup companies


Conference motto for the segment of small innovative companies: Attention, startups and SMEs! Big established companies want to collaborate with you! Join us at the Startup Assembly 2018 and get more information on how and why.


View from the perspective of established companies

  • What can established companies learn from startups in order to improve intrapreneurial activity
  • Increasing innovation activity by collaborating with startup companies
  • Models of collaboration with startup companies – from buying the company and running corporate accelerators to contracting cooperation
  • Using the existing sales channels for distributing products of startup companies
  • Lean entrepreneurship in big companies and organisations
  • Main factors in large companies that hinder collaboration with startup companies
  • When to choose a collaboration model and when is it more sensible to compete?
  • How to change company culture so it will support lean entrepreneurship?
  • Are “innovation colonies” inside big companies the right answer?


Conference motto for the segment of established companies: Established companies, increase your innovation activity and keep the leading position on the market with the startup approach and collaboration with innovative startups and SMEs. Learn more at the Startup Assembly 2018.


View from the perspective of the government’s role and the entrepreneurship support environment

  • The role of the support environment in promoting collaboration between startups and established companies
  • Process and models of connecting established companies with startups and best practice examples
  • Can a dynamic startup ecosystem be a convincing argument of the government for attracting foreign investors?
  • The system of open innovations – a platform for collaboration between all types of companies
  • Managing the talent battle – channelling talents into entrepreneurship or safe jobs
  • Modern trends of efficient entrepreneurship ecosystems


This and more, only at the Startup Assembly 2018.

You should join us as well!


The Startup Assembly is meant for everyone who wishes to have an intense two-day entrepreneurial experience; for those developing their own innovative company as well as for those developing intrapreneurship in established companies, but especially for:

Startup founders in new companies

With the purpose of getting motivated, acquiring new knowledge, networking with guests from South Africa and abroad, identifying potential co-workers and co-founders, but also for finding potential investments and, last but not least, for having fun.

Product developers in established companies

Big companies have to constantly innovate and in this aspect be similar to startup companies, especially when it comes to the development of new products. At the conference, product developers in established companies will acquire the latest knowledge from the field of intrapreneurship, as well as have a lot of opportunities for networking and establishing contacts with potential partners from the lines of startups and other innovative small companies.

Venture capital investors

Investors attend the Startup Assembly to identify new investment opportunities, network with entrepreneurs and other conference participants. The investors are actively involved in the conference’s activities, participating not only in organised presentations of business ideas but also as mentors, evaluators of startups, speakers and so on.

Entrepreneurship support environment and public administration

Collaboration of all key stakeholders of the support environment is of key importance, as one of the purposes of the conference is to unite all stakeholders of the support environment as well as present the global trends and best practices in order to bring them into the local environment.

Everyone else interested in innovative entrepreneurship

The Startup Assembly is also meant for anyone who is interested in modern innovation-driven entrepreneurship and has an entrepreneurial soul; from developers, technical directors and development managers to researchers in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship, business and technology transfer consultants, students and young researchers, and everyone who either has or is searching for good business ideas.

Everyone else interested in innovative entrepreneurship

The Startup Assembly is also meant for anyone who is interested in modern innovation-driven entrepreneurship and has an entrepreneurial soul; from developers, technical directors and development managers to researchers in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship, business and technology transfer consultants, students and young researchers, and everyone who either has or is searching for good business ideas.

Join us on an incredible entrepreneurial adventure!

We promise you that the upcoming, inaugural sitting of the Startup Assembly in the year 2018 will be bolder, more internationally oriented and a more intense two-day event for all entrepreneurial individuals from big as well as small companies. We will do our upmost to ensure that excellent esteemed entrepreneurs and experts from home and abroad will line up on stage. Besides diffusing important current knowledge, we will also provide opportunities for networking, fun, and practical work on real-life examples.

It is our pleasure and our responsibility to continue to play the incredibly important role of connecting all key stakeholders and designing a competitive entrepreneurial environment within the country and the region. Our final goal is to design an attractive environment not only for entrepreneurial talents and innovative individuals, but also for big and successful companies from all across the world. The success of each environment depends on people with the same vision, and we are glad that the Startup Assembly is the event at which everyone who dearly cares for the future of South Africa and the region meets once a year.

A big thank you to everyone working with us and welcome to the Startup Assembly 2018!

A dream combination or a nearly impossible goal!

Introductory remarks

Diversity and active collaboration are crucial

Stable and developmentally efficient economies are based on constant improvements, on creative destruction, where new innovative products and services replace those that customers don’t respond to anymore. What bring new blood into the economic system are not only startup companies, but also a redesigned offer and new ventures in already established innovative companies. This is why collaboration, mutual exchange of experiences and joint conquest of customers are so important. Markets today have become too complex and turbulent for anyone to be able to succeed on them all on their own.

Much like startups are not shrunken big companies, big companies are not merely enlarged small companies. Sometimes, there is an impression that two completely different worlds exist when it comes to this. One of them small, adaptable and dynamic, but incredibly fragile, while the other one big, clumsy and bureaucratic, but full of propulsive power. But this is not entirely the case. There are more contact points between startups and established innovative companies than it might seem at the first glance. Even when companies are at the very top, their long-term success strongly depends on intrapreneurship, constant innovation, development of key staff and talents, and efficient management of relationships with all key stakeholders. All successful big companies also have to be startup companies in a way, and all propulsive startup companies endeavour to become as successful and high-impact as the leading company in their industry.

The topics of the Startup Assembly are precisely these common contact points between startups and established innovative companies. The kind of contact points which can lead to efficient collaboration and consequently to even bigger joint success – of big and small companies, startups and established companies.

Join us in the discussion and socializing while uncovering the veils of high-impact innovative entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurial Regards,
Startup Assembly Preparatory Committee


Sandile Shabangu


Billy Moyo

Communities Coordinator

Mthunzi Mavuma

Startup Analyst

Catherine Smith


Policy Stage agenda

Thursday, Nov 22, 2018 - Startup Assembly


Registration & Breakfast

8:00AM - 8:45AM


Opening Ceremony

8:45AM - 9:00AM

From grassroots startup communities to Constitution Hill

Emcee welcomes Startup South Africans and the leaders of more than 9 Startup Communities to Johannesburg and sets out the objectives and program for the day.

  • Herman Mashaba, Mayor of Johannesburg
  • Sandile Shabangu, Founder & CEO of Startup Mzansi

Ministerial Opening Remarks

9:00AM - 9:05PM

Kicking off the conversation on ‘South Africa’s Innovation Strategy’

The Hon. Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Small Business Development welcomes Startup South Africans to the nation’s economic capital and shares the Government of South Africa’s vision for the development of South Africa’s Innovation Strategy.


Entrepreneurial Opening Remarks

9:05AM - 9:10AM

Follow the entrepreneur to build an ‘Innovation Nation’


Fireside Panel:// Building an Innovation Nation

9:15AM - 9:50AM

Defining South Africa’s Vision for Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Growth



9:50AM - 10:00AM

The Story and Dream of a Newcomer Entrepreneur


Attracting & Retaining Talent (sponsored)

10:00AM - 10:30AM

Creating the conditions to attract, retain and settle talented newcomers into South Africa’s startup community



11:00AM - 11:45AM

 STAND TALL & WALK PROUD – The Story of an Aboriginal Changemaker and the Opportunity for South Africa


Fireside Panel:// Building the New South African Dream - A Nation of Entrepreneurs

11:10AM - 11:45AM

How do we build an Innovation Strategy that brings out the best of South Africa as a nation of entrepreneurs?



11:45AM - 12:45PM



12:45 - 1:15PM

 A Global Perspective on Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Building a Startup Nation


Doubling Down on Diversity for Growth

1:15PM - 1:50PM

 How can we create exponential growth through harnessing the innovative and entrepreneurial potential of every South African?



2:10PM - 2:20PM

 Empowering the Startup Generation through Design Thinking and Entrepreneurship


Service Innovation & Starting Up Government

2:20PM - 3:00PM

 How can we build an entrepreneurial culture within government and leverage tech innovations and startups to better serve citizens

The panel will discuss service innovation and how the government of South Africa can leverage disruptive technology to create more transparent and effective governance and programming.


Growth Talks:// Ideas for South Africa's Innovation Strategy (sponsored)

3:00PM - 3:30PM

 Top entrepreneurs from each South African region pitch their ideas for South Africa’s Innovation Strategy and then we throw it open it up to the audience for 15-second pitches


Closing Keynote ://

3:30PM - 3:50PM

 How to Make South Africa Growth Take Off


3.50 – 4.00pm will see closing day-time remarks


Startup Mzansi

5:30PM - 7:30PM

Join us for an evening reception celebrating South African entrepreneurship. Featuring a Startup Marketplace, growth exhibitors and networking with the ‘who’s who’ of South African entrepreneurship and politics, two cultures collide to create new opportunities for South Africa.

  • Welcome by Emcee
  • Global Podium Announcements with Amanda Coetze, Startup Mzansi
    • Announcing the winners of Just Pitch Competition
  • Final words by Sandile Shabangu, CEO of Startup Mzansi
  • Closing remarks by Hon. Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Small Business Development and Catherine Smith.

Startup Stage agenda

friday, Nov 23 2018 - Startup Workshops


Registration & Breakfast

8:00AM - 9:00AM


Startup Finance 101

9:00AM - 9:45AM

With StartupGuy (Sandile Shabangu)

Join us for an accelerated info session covering the startup finance continuum, how to set up your financial systems and top tips for new entrepreneurs to build a financially fit and fundable startup. Bring all of your startup finance questions.


Startup Law 101

10:00AM - 10:45PM


Join us to discuss incorporation, corporate structuring and share structures and bring all of your legal questions on starting up and scaling up.



11:00AM - 11:45PM

With Bridgit Evans of SAB Foundation

Join Bridgit Evans to learn how to get started in building a social impact startup – from structure and financing, to mentors and educational programs, bring all of your questions on starting your social enterprise.


Lunch (sponsored)

12:00PM - 01:00PM


Government Support for Startups

01:00PM - 02:00PM

Learn about Government Programs to help you to start and scale

1.00pm Government Support for Small Business

1.15pm Protecting Your Idea

1.30pm Selling to Government

1.45pm Innovating with Government


Going Global

02:00PM - 02:30PM

Join Alex Simpson to learn how you can take steps in Going Global

Why is now the time to think about going global and where should you start? Join Alex Simpson to gain insights on how to build your global strategy.


Just Pitch Reloaded

3:00 - 04:00

Six Entrepreneurs Pitch for their Chance to Win R50,000 in Prizes 

Join Startup Mzansi to hear six pitches from entrepreneurs to a panel of investors for their chance to win big.

RT : Courage is refusing to be a slave to fear. @StartupMzansi12 days ago
RT : Day 2, Prof Nothemba Nduna presenting research findings on the current WIL practices research on challenges a…@StartupMzansi12 days ago
RT : . is on the hunt to find Africa’s top tech start-ups– the digital pioneers solving critical challenges with te…@StartupMzansi17 days ago

An excellent entrepreneurial gathering in the Gauteng Province that you shouldn’t miss!



Policy Stage

Join the ministerial discussions and other key policy makers and institutions in a bid to help define South Africa’s Innovation Agenda


Workshops Only


Startup Stage + Workshops


Startup Stage


All Access

  • Access to all of the conference stages
  • Food and drinks at breaks
  • Access to evening party


Startup Awards Ceremony

Startup Mzansi Awards – Enjoy a toast as we celebrate those driving impact and demonstrating excellence in South Africa’s entrepreneurship and innovation community at the Startup Mzansi Awards, a red carpet event. Be the first to know – national announced onstage!


Agenda – 23 November 2018

5.30 – 6.30 pm | Reception and Networking

6.30 – 8.30 pm | Ceremony

*After party details TBA


The Startup Mzansi Awards are the hallmark events celebrating outstanding achievement in South Africa’s entrepreneurship and innovation community.

Nominate yourself or someone you know before February 12 here:


register now to attend

Join us on November 23rd in Johannesburg for Startup Assembly at the Constitution Hill presented by Startup Mzansi Foundation to help build South Africa’s Innovation Strategy and continue to build South Africa as an entrepreneurial Startup Nation. #StartupAssembly brings together South Africa’s entrepreneurship, innovation and startup community with South Africa’s government and industry leaders to accelerate the dialogue, action, innovation and nation-building necessary to unleash the entrepreneurial potential of every South African and unlock growth and impact for South Africa.

  • The Startup Assembly
    22 - 23 November 2018

    Constitution Hill, Gauteng Province

  • Assembly Address

    Constitution Hill, 11 Kotze Street, Braamfontein. Johannesburg, Gauteng

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    Startup Mzansi Foundation NPC

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