Accelerating innovative enterprise

Micheal Vacy-Lyle, FNB Business chief executive

Micheal Vacy-Lyle, FNB Business chief executive

Business innovation has never been as relevant in the South African context as it is now. As corporate South Africa, we need to help accelerate entrepreneurship, innovation and business scalability. The FNB Business Innovation Awards creates a platform where business innovators have the opportunity to showcase their ability to scale, and their potential positive impact on the growth of our economy. 

True business innovators see opportunities where others don’t. They create disruptive business models that replace the broken and old with the new, the transformative and the profitable. These ideas are tested in challenging economic climates, and they redefine the very way we think about our world. 

The FNB Business Innovation Awards, supported by Endeavor, is a programme that aims to recognize true innovation excellence, while emphasising the importance of business scalability — a significant driver of employment in our developing country. 

Endeavor South Africa is a well-known enabler of high-impact entrepreneurs around the world. Their involvement allows us access to their globally recognised framework and process, providing a platform for impactful mentorship and business collaboration. This has been, and continues to be invaluable to the success of our programme. 

The 2016 call for entries attracted more than double the number of registrations than the previous year, resulting in 11 finalists from an array of industries, proving yet again that good ideas and game-changing innovation can be found just about anywhere. This year’s entries span across the technology, education, marketing & advertising, telecommunications, consumer goods, media & entertainment, construction and food & beverages sectors. 

Because of the nature of digital innovation, it is often tempting to think of innovation only in technological terms. The truth is, good ideas can be found across all industries.

We are also proud to feature several women entrepreneurs. This year we have Toni Glass (The Toni Glass Collection), Catherine Lu?ckhoff (NicheStreem) and Kirsty Chadwick (The Training Room Online) on the final list. We hope to continue expanding the diversity of our finalists in years to come. 

Congratulations to all the entrepreneurs entering the final judging round. We wish them all the best and look forward to the prestigious gala awards evening on June 9. The FNB Business Innovation Awards 2016 finalists are:  

- Trevor Wolfe and RemonGeyser: co-founders of crowdsourced marketing and advertising research company, which provides near-instant insight and intelligence for clients’ creative projects;  

- Melvyn Lubega and Andrew Barnes: co-founders of, a cloud-based e-learning platform offering customisability for companies and organisations looking for training solutions; 

- Richard Johnson and Graham Rowe: their venture Guidepost builds and delivers patient-centric chronic disease management solutions. The core product is the Guidepost software platform, a chronic disease coaching solution; 

- Paul de Kock, Dennis Marketos and Paul Marketos: with roots going back to 1996, IsoMetrix is now one of the world’s leading providers of enterprise software for governance, risk management and compliance; 

- Erik Oosthuizen and Gareth Farrow: founders of Kliq Holdings, which specialises in providing telecommunications services like VPNs, broadband and voice in the most remote areas; 

- David Shapiro and Jonathan Shapiro: their company LESCO Manufacturing is an innovative and socially conscious local venture, designing and manufacturing electrical products for the local market; 

- Catherine Lu?ckhoff: NicheStreem shows that niche markets aren’t necessarily small markets for this music streaming service built for specified local markets; 

- Scott Sargent and Stuart Prior: co-founders of an environmentally conscious wood business that converts abundant soft wood into sought-after and increasingly scarce hardwood using ecologically conscious methodology; 

- Kirsty Chadwick: the lifelong educator behind The Training Room Online, an innovative, high quality, cost-effective and fully customizable digital learning platform; Toni Glass: 

- The Toni Glass Collection is the eponymous tea company that blends old and new age tea drinking methods for an experience to pleasure any palate; and 

- Bevan Ducasse: the man behind wiGroup who overhauled his business to provide easy mobile payment solutions to retailers.