First Artificial Intelligence Expo to launch in Cape Town, South Africa

Silicon Cape
09 Feb 2018

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is in full swing and with emerging technology breakthroughs in AI now going mainstream, understanding the business opportunity from both a supplier and client perspective has never been more paramount. AI ExpoAfrica 2018 is focusing on real world applications & trends driving the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Economy in Africa and seeking to build an AI Business focused community across the continent. 

Roy Bannister, veteran media & publishing consultant and Expo Chairman, commented, “This event is aimed at the C-Suite and Enterprise decision makers who are grappling to understand how AI applications can add value or impact their business today.  Allied to the inclusion of AI Cloud platform providers, Tier 1 & 2 deployment & service providers, AI start-ups, investors, educators, government and AI ecosystem community builders, this event will give those attending a real feel for what’s available now or in the near future.  With six themes and three tracks the event is focused on real Enterprise AI case studies and the application of AI in Business, AI deployment challenges, ethics and skills plus the business innovation driving current deployment trends across all industry sectors.”

Brett StClair, CEO Siatik, Google’s Leading Cloud partner in Africa said, “We specialise in Cloud, AI, ML, IoT and Big data, so this event gives us a great opportunity to explain the current and future AI business opportunity Enterprise Execs.  AI is going to be one of the biggest positive impacts on business over the next decade and AI Expo will be a great learning opportunity, we look forward to being part of this pioneering business focused community”.

John Kamara, Director of Digital Growth & Development Africa stated, ”AI is the next level of our evolution and as the world becomes more advanced we find AI becoming a core part of everyday life. It is no longer a thing of the future it is happening now. AI Expo Africa will offer a forum for businesses to seek out current real-world AI solutions for current and future business challenges.”

Simon Carpenter, Chief Technology Advisor SAP Africa said, “Having an Expo solely focused on AI in Business is a great idea.  SAP’s strategy for the Intelligent Enterprise incorporates a growing portfolio of AI solutions covering Brand Intelligence, Service Ticketing and CoPilot.  SAP understands the AI and Cognitive Enterprise space and helping C Suite leaders in Africa understand this opportunity is something we look forward to doing at the show.”

Jannie Strydom CEO LARCAI, a South African based AI start up company, stated “We are looking forward to attending and speaking at AI Expo Africa, a conference focused on the AI business opportunity that exists now for both Enterprise and start-ups alike.  Being part of the Expo Innovation Cafe, showcasing African AI start-ups and SMEs will really help strengthen the AI ecosystem in the region.”

Alexandra Fraser, Board Member at Silicon Cape, a nonprofit company committed to building and catalysing the technology ecosystem in the Western Cape, South Africa said, “This is the first event of its kind, bringing together international and local corporates and start-ups involved with AI under one roof. One of the biggest challenges for any start-up is to access customers and key decision makers. This event with it’s range of activities and key notes will allow AI innovators to show case their products, demonstrate use cases and secure new business opportunities.”

Nick Bradshaw, Event Director stated, “We have created this event so that start-ups and the big ICT / Cloud / AI players can all be in the same room, something that is often overlooked by event organisers who exclude SMEs, so this event is uniquely inclusive in that regard.  We also have dedicated tracks for innovation, vendors and case studies so delegates will see ‘real world’ AI business applications they can adopt now.”

Education and awareness form a key pillar of this event, allied to the AI skills gap this rapidly expanding technology frontier is creating in Africa.  Ryan Falkenberg, Cofounder & CEO at CLEVVA, a growing SME working with Virtual Adviser Apps stated,   “We are delighted to be part of an event that moves beyond the AI hype, and seeks to answer the question most business execs are currently asking – How do we make AI practical in our business and able to deliver meaningful and measurable benefits within the next 6-12 months?”

Keet Van Zyl, High-growth Venture Investor and Partner at Knife Capital said, “Its great to be part of an event that is aiming to bring both big business and innovative start ups together under one roof.  Inclusivity of this kind will help delegates gain a range of real world perspectives about the impact AI related technologies will have in the Enterprise be you B2B or B2C.  We are proud to be speaking at this event and being part of this new business focused AI community in Africa”

Zachariah George, Partner & Chief Investment Officer of Startupbootcamp Africa, the leading multi-corporate backed venture accelerator in Africa focused on high-growth startups in tech-enabled industries including block-chain and AI, stated, “We are excited to be joining this event and will be exploring how big business can de-risk investment in AI and foster innovation that helps B2B enterprises. It is clear that this event is about real, tangible AI business opportunities and how clients can leverage these new technologies today”.

Bannister concluded, “We are also proud to be working with AI Expo’s chosen charity and upliftment partner Starting Chance who are creating grass roots educational environments in the Western Cape”.  Dr Ian Corbett Chairman of Starting Chance stated, “Starting Chance empowers female entrepreneurs, uplifts early childhood centres and improves access to high-quality early learning programmes to give the children of Mfuleni a firm foundation from which to grow, develop and not only grasp their future, but be embraced by it.”