South Africa’s most innovative tech company of the year will be announced on 18 September 2014 at PwC’s Vision to Reality Awards ceremony.
PwC Partner in Charge of the Western Cape, Danie Fӧlscher, says, “PwC’s Vision to Reality Awards Programme acknowledges tech companies for their outstanding achievements. The programme, which was launched in January 2014, is designed to recognise and honour companies whose outstanding achievements have made them some of South Africa's most successful technology companies.”
“To be a truly successful company requires vision and leadership, financial accomplishment, strategic direction and innovation,” says Fӧlscher.
With less than a week to go, the closing date for submission of entries is 29 June 2014. PwC is looking for the country’s most innovative and dynamic companies that have implemented technology solutions. “Our 2014 Vision to Reality Awards Programme (in collaboration with the City of Cape Town, Wesgro, UCT GSB, the CITi Bandwidth Barn initiative and World Design Capital Cape Town 2014) encourages the best companies to step forward as role models and to inspire future technology start-ups,” says Fӧlscher.
According to recent PwC research the world’s most innovative companies expect to grow by more than 60% over the next five years, adding a total of more than $250 billion in new revenues as result of sophisticated approaches to innovation in all areas of their operations. The study finds a direct correlation between excellence in innovation and superior revenue growth. In addition, almost half of the 1,757 executives interviewed said that innovation is a ‘competitive necessity’ for their business. In total, 83% agreed that innovation is important to the success of their company.
Innovation is not limited to a small number of industries or countries – in fact, innovation pioneers already exist within their own industry and across all parts of the world.
“Innovation is becoming a competitive necessity for companies and should be delivering significantly increased revenue growth,” says Fӧlscher. “If it’s not, then executives need to be asking themselves what they could to do improve the innovation process.”
PwC has been working with some leading entrepreneurs and individuals in Cape Town’s tech ecosystem. Tom Blok, Partner in PwC’s Advisory Division based in the Western Cape, says, “Cape Town’s start-up tech community demonstrates its great potential for talent and innovation.
“PwC recognises the growth and effect of social entrepreneurship. We believe that this is transforming the way business is being done, not only serving a greater purpose but also generating strong growing businesses. We are excited to be an integral part of this transformative process and invite these innovative social entrepreneurs to enter the 2014 Vision to Reality Awards.”
Blok adds further, “Cape Town’s selection as World Design Capital 2014 is a phenomenal achievement. This distinction is awarded to cities which recognise design as a tool for social, cultural and economic development.”
Irene Allen, PwC Partner based in the Western Cape, says, “We envision Cape Town and its surrounding communities as prospering through enhanced employment prospects, local wealth creation and retention and an enriched cultural and social environment. In realising this vision, we foster and promote entrepreneurship and innovation,” says Allen.
In 2013 PwC extended its realm in the Cape Town ICT space by opening an office at the Bandwidth Barn. “Cape Town’s software and IT sector is growing rapidly and we believe that PwC has an important role to play in this space,” adds Allen.
The 2014 Vision to Reality Awards acknowledges the company that has best demonstrated the commercialisation of an innovative technology solution. The innovation must be novel, unique and a ‘game changer’. Submissions are reviewed by an independent panel of judges recognised as experts in the field of technological innovation and building companies based on innovation.
Allen says PwC recognises the challenges that start-ups face in accessing funding, corporates and global markets.
“Many South African start-ups are at the forefront of innovative solutions that are highly scalable. This includes access to local corporate and international markets.”
“To be a world leader in technology, South African companies must be able to not only develop leading edge technologies, but also to sell it,” Allen adds.
The PwC Vision to Reality awards ceremony is an exclusive event for the Top Ten finalists, bringing together entrepreneurs, investors and experienced mentors who want to build a thriving ecosystem. The Top Ten finalists will have the opportunity to showcase their innovative companies and gain access to leading advisors and a direct route to seed and venture capital.
The awards offer a wide range of potential benefits. “These include, amongst others, stronger investor and customer relations, access to local corporates, a boost in employee morale, enhanced professional reputation, and in the process it is hoped they will be accelerated to the global market and ultimately be leaders in their respective industry,” concludes Blok.
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