Heavy Chef And Huawei South Africa Host Silicon Valley’s ‘Unicorn Whisperer’ In CT

Fred Roed, founder of Heavy Chef, exclaims: “Recently there’s been a lot of doom and gloom in the news, so we thought it’s time to look for something to celebrate in South Africa. One area which I believe is particularly compelling is our startup sector, so I emailed 20 of my colleagues and community members at Heavy Chef – I asked them for their opinion of the most exciting startups in the country at the moment. We measured which startups featured in the suggestions and, together with Heavy Chef’s premium partner Huawei, we asked the top 5 to participate in our end of year event.”

The five startups have all agreed to share a 10 minute presentations on how they are changing the world. Heavy Chef and Huawei will be sharing who the five startups are in the two weeks leading up to the event.

Keynote speaker: super angel, Zach Coelius

The big scoop of the night is that Silicon Valley investor and entrepreneur Zach Coelius has agreed to deliver a keynote, presenting his view on the SA startup scene from an international perspective – and providing advice on how to scale companies into a global arena.

“Zach is only in the country for five days, but we’re incredibly privileged to have him on the Heavy Chef stage,” says Roed. “He has an astonishing array of companies in his portfolio covering a wide range of industry segments – from self driving cars to drone invasion prevention, 3d facial modeling and, um, childcare. You can safely say that he’s eclectic in his investment selection.”

Before focusing on angel investment, Coelius is a four time founder and CEO of Silicon Valley startups. When asked about what it’s like being an entrepreneur, he says: “Being an entrepreneur is like meeting Mike Tyson in a dark alley and he’s got a left hook in one hand and an ice cream cone in the other. Only you never know which one’s going to hit you in the mouth.”

Last year, Coelius shot to angel star-status when he led the angel round to fund Cruise Automation, then sold it to GM for $1b. The previous year Coelius sold his ad-tech startup Triggit to LinkedIn for an undisclosed sum. Coelius now spends his time mentoring entrepreneurs and looking for new investments.

To MC the evening’s proceedings, serial entrepreneur and author Mike Sharman will share the stage with Heavy Chef Show Host Caley van der Kolk. Mike has had a massive two years, having sold a stake of his company Retroviral to Imperial Group and now successfully releasing his first book “The Best Dick”, which is receiving rave reviews around the country.

“Mike has spoken at Heavy Chef twice before, and we’re stoked to have him MC proceedings on the 14th,” says Roed. “Not only is one of the smartest entrepreneurs we have, but he’s incendiary funny too. Mike and Caley will certainly keep the crowd awake.” Mike will have copies of his book to sign at the event.

Co-MC, Caley van der Kolk is an entrepreneur in her own right as CEO of the social startup Artisans In Africa (AIA), which aims to uplift Africa’s artisanal sector and sell their wares as high-end fashion and accessories in developed nations. Caley was born in a rural African village and speaks four languages, including fluent Xhosa, and was a top 5 finalist in Chivas Regal’s social entrepreneur competition “The Venture”.

The Top 5, filmed by Huawei Mate10 Pro

The five startups are now hot topics within the entrepreneurial ecosystem in South Africa, some of whom have made international news recently. One is a surprise, only having recently burst onto the scene – and all five have global aspirations.

“We’ve asked the five startup leaders to present on stage how they’re making a change to the world – and hopefully give us a glimpse of a brighter future,” says Roed. “And thanks to Heavy Chef’s partner Huawei, we will be filming footage of the talks using the extraordinary new Huawei Mate 10 Pro phone camera, which is confidently the best phone camera on the market. These videos will be available via the Heavy Chef website and communication channels after the event.”

The evening will end off with a set by German DJ, JanuaryOne, one of the hottest rising talents in the Deep House circuit.

Heavy Chef is a platform for people that do

Heavy Chef creates inspirational experiences for graduates, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.

“Our name comes from the saying never trust a skinny chef,” Roed explains. “We celebrate people who walk the talk, who practice what they preach – who eat their own food. We believe that, in a world of talkers, it’s the doers that are going to change it. Together with our partners, we aim to inspire our community members to start things and empower them to succeed.”

Tickets can be purchased on Quicket or the Heavy Chef website: www.heavychef.com/upcoming-event

Complimentary Backsberg wine, CBC beer, Sir Fruit juice and Joe & Co snacks will be served at the December 14th Heavy Chef Year End Celebration event.

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