Innovation Initiative Networking Event

Intellectual Property:  What you need to know about the law

The Cape Chamber of Commerce’ Innovation Initiative invites you to our first networking event for the year.

Are you aware that your intellectual capital could be your businesses’ single biggest asset?  Do you know the difference between a brand and a trademark?  Can you be sure that your business partners will not steal your business concepts when entering into negotiations?

Come along to this informative session with Roy Taberer of Taberer Attorneys, an expert on IP Law, to find out all you need to know about intellectual property law and how it impacts you in this knowledge-driven economy.


Wednesday, 13 February 2019VENUE:

Council Chamber
4th Floor, Cape Chamber of Commerce
33 Martin Hammerschlag Way
Foreshore, Cape Town
16:45 for 17:00-19:00COST P/P:
Members:  R 150
Non-Members:  R 250

•  Register now
021 402 4300
Linda Roopen

This event is not to be missed.
Light refreshments and drinks will be served.

By |2019-01-10T15:07:51+02:00January 11th, 2019|Innovation|0 Comments

Innovation vs Invention

What is the difference between an invention and an innovation? This is the topic of many discussions we seem to be having recently. Does it really matter? Do we need to clearly define these things to get our businesses re-geared for the future and more sustainable?

Well, yes and no. No, it does not matter for the business development side. It does not matter if you are just improving current things in your business (innovation) or creating something unique and new (invention). If it works in your business and makes you more money, then just do it.

But there is a little thing called IP. That Intellectual Property that you may be creating through either an invention or even through innovation. If you create a unique, new idea, design or formula or process: this could be seen as a new IP for your business. And if you have created IP, then you need to protect it from others and ensure that you add it to the balance sheet of assets for your business.

IP consists of a wide variety of things from a simple design to a global patent: each with a number of classes, sub-classes and classifications: each with its own registration process and associated costs. We understand some of this and work closely with people who live and breathe this stuff. So to make it all simple and easier for you, we have created an online assessment process that will help evaluate your IP and give you clear direction on where to proceed without having to have met with a legal team and breaking the bank on your first few visits.

This simple assessment is done and paid for online and in just a few days you will be presented with feedback and a consultation on the best way to move forward with the registration process of your ideas or inventions.

Check out the online process here

By |2018-08-23T11:55:02+02:00August 23rd, 2018|Innovation|0 Comments

Help I have a new Idea?

New ideas come and go as fast as taxi buses on the N2, but knowing which are good and which to let go is the difficult process that most people struggle with.  But help is at hand: The Innovation Wind Tunnel is now officially open for business.

The Wind Tunnel is a place where new ideas are tested against a number of different platforms to ensure they are robust and geared to withstand the stresses of the current marketplace. The first filter is a simple pitch to the panel: this is done at initial idea stage where you can pitch your concept, no matter how early in the idea phase, to get some solid expertise feedback. This feedback is designed to enable you to iterate the concept as many times as possible in the early stages of development to ensure your idea becomes as solid as possible before you begin to test it in the marketplace and cost you money.

On completion of the pitch, we offer two sets of reports that do solid research on the presenting problem you are addressing and another report to validate the product offering you are proposing. These two reports will form the base of your application for funding from TIA or similar institutions for seed funding that will address the POC or Proof of Concept development and any IP or Intellectual Property submissions.

For a more comprehensive look at these stages: check out our website on

By |2018-08-06T10:49:50+02:00August 6th, 2018|Business Resources, Entrepreneurship, Innovation|0 Comments

Types of Innovation for Your Business

We established in the previous blog article that Innovation needs to be done, always. Innovation should be a regular part of the manager’s focus and staff activity in any business. But what is innovation and how can it be applied to your business?

There are typically four main types of innovation that we see in business:

Market Pull Innovation: this is a response to what your customers want. Based on their needs and wants your business can respond and develop the further product offering to meet those needs. This is typically the normal evolution of a products life cycle. We launch with an MVP or minimal Viable Product and then iterate according to customers comments and needs.

Technology Push Innovation: this is when a new product or technology comes on the market that the potential customers do not yet know of or have a need for. This could be a whole new product or an additional feature to an existing product. This becomes a harder sell to customers and often only taken up by the early adaptors within your customer base. But as the technology and benefits get known it turns from a push into a pull and the demand grows.

Frugal Innovation: We have come to see a lot of this in recent times in our own personal lives as well as in business. Frugal innovation addresses how we do more with less. Cutting back on resources such as electricity, water and staff and common across all sectors. The awareness of environmental impact and cost saving all lead to frugal innovation in business.

Marketing Innovation is an interesting one that we follow closely. It is the constant battle for customer attention through marketing. Brands spend huge sums of money with agencies to develop campaigns that will get the initial attention of customers and then try to keep it as long as possible driving this attention to sales. Creative campaigns include great TV and radio adverts together with client engagement activities.

But no matter what type of innovation you do in your business, ensure that it is client focused and moves your business away from any decline or plateau in sales and customer attention.

By |2018-07-24T10:12:40+02:00July 26th, 2018|Innovation|0 Comments

Why Innovate Your Business

Last week I had the opportunity to present to a group of business owners on why we need Innovation in business. The majority of the audience seemed a little shell-shocked at the reasons for innovation and the need to have innovation as part of the regular activity in any business.

So let me unpack some of these here in this and a series of blogs for you to read through.

Why do we need to innovate in business?

Three main reasons support this answers, but all have the same purpose. Attention span: personal attention span, product attention span and the life cycle of a business. For each one the life or attention span is limited and soon drops off as people get tired, things change and new things come into focus. If we are expecting our business to continue to flourish as it may have done once before by changing nothing, then think again. If you are at a plateau in the cycle thinking things will be ok, then map this against the rest of the world and you will soon see that you’re flat, or even slight growth looks dismal against the relative growth of the economy and new innovation of the markets.

Mapping your customer’s attention span or engagement to your product on a graph will show you the key places where the slumps are and when customers begin to move away to other brand or substitute products.

Any product life cycle has an initial hype cycle followed by a decline and plateau season. This is then followed by a slump of attention and purchases. Once again, mapping this out will detail the different trends and takeup from your customers.

The final graph to use is the business bell curve or life cycle. The bell curve clearly shows the early success, plateau and decline of a business. Every business goes through the same cycle, just the timing may differ. It is a wise and productive business owner who is able to manage this by innovating at the right time to lengthen the businesses lifespan as well as the customer’s attention and the product’s lifecycle.

Innovation does not need to be a huge change or revamp of your logo and change of corporate colours. It is often small regular changes to keep your brand fresh and top of mind for your customers.

Next blog we will look at the different types of innovation as we begin to unpack some of the things you can do for your business to keep it fresh and in business.

By |2018-07-24T09:48:14+02:00July 24th, 2018|Innovation|0 Comments

Google Duplex: the future is here

Google has released their new Artificial Intelligence platform dubbed Google Duplex. The key aspect of this application is to relieve us humans of mundane tasks that can easily be done by a smart computer giving us more time to do the important stuff like running our businesses.

I the video below you can see, or hear an example of Duplex phoning an actual hair Salon to make an appointment for Lisa. The interactions and understanding of the human conversation are astounding. All the research and data gathered by Google from years of ‘failed’ projects that we have seen come and go online have all added valuable input into this now clever system.

The future is here. I am keen to see where we go from this as we begin to interface AI speech robots with wearable devices and mobile phones. Scary or not: the future has arrived.

By |2018-05-22T13:21:11+02:00May 22nd, 2018|Entrepreneurship, Innovation|0 Comments

Win €500,000 for your Green Innovation Idea

Get in the Ring and the Dutch National Postcode Lottery are looking for start-ups and scale-ups to combat climate change together. To face the issues of our time, the Postcode Lottery wants to boost and support start-ups that are ready to speed up the transition towards a low carbon economy.

The Postcode Lottery Green Challenge is one of the world’s largest competitions in the field of sustainable entrepreneurship. Green start-ups from all over the world can submit their promising sustainable business plans. The winner will receive €500,000 to further develop the product or service and to bring it to market. The runner-up will receive €200,000 and the three other finalists receive €100,000 each. An international jury selects the winner and runner-up.

The Dutch Postcode Lottery started the competition in 2007, after being inspired by President Clinton to look for those dedicated entrepreneurs with brilliant green business plans. Plans that are ready to speed up the transition towards a low carbon economy. The answers to the issues of our time are already in front of us. But it takes entrepreneurs like the Postcode Lottery Green Challenge finalists to present us with sustainable solutions and get them out into the world.


We are being confronted with the consequences of climate change around the world. We are looking for solutions from green businesses, which have the potential to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

Watch the video:

For more information and entry forms:

By |2018-03-08T10:34:45+02:00March 8th, 2018|Entrepreneurship, Innovation|0 Comments

Innovation Eco-System Map of Cape Town

The Cape Chamber of Commerce & Industry through its Innovation Initiative is embarking on mapping the Innovation Eco-system in the greater Cape Town region. This eco-system is defined through the Innovation Initiative mission of being an assistant to the Innovation Entrepreneur in their business and product development.

Cape Town has become the hub of innovation activity across many different sectors in recent years. We have a thriving ICT sector with numerous businesses making world headlines all supported by local organisations and programmes. We also have a well-established academic and private support programmes and Tech Transfer Offices within the main universities who support both students and other SMME in their innovative product development. The selection of Incubators and Accelerators who span across both the private and public sectors offer a full range of services and products.  And the list goes on.

Through the Innovation Initiative, we aim to identify and map out as many of the role-players and stakeholders within the innovation eco-system in order to create a seamless process roadmap for new ideas and products.

We have identified 13 different sectors within the eco-system and will over the next few weeks, using email, Monkey Survey and in-person interviews begin to build and populate the map.

All identified organisations will be pinned to an open source Google-based map application detailing each sector, offerings and details. This map will become a part of the Innovation Initiative toolkit offered through the Cape Chamber to the entrepreneurs in Cape Town.

We call all interested parties, people and organisations who wish to become a part of this process to please email us on for more information or to gain access to the questionnaire.

By |2018-02-06T10:18:42+02:00February 6th, 2018|Entrepreneurship, Innovation|0 Comments

Mapping the Innovation Landscape of Cape Town

In association with the Cape Chamber’s Innovation Initiative, we have begun a process of mapping out the Innovation Ecosystem in Cape Town. This mammoth task is required to understand the different role players and offerings to innovative entrepreneurs across all sectors and how to best leverage their idea to market.

We have been joined by Ricardo Padrón, originally from Venezuela on a three-month internship program to assist in this project. Ricardo was a project manager for New Ventures, a platform to catalyst social entrepreneurs in Latin America. He earned a Degree in Business Administration with a minor in Marketing and a Master’s degree in Administration and Development of Sustainable Enterprises. (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center – Costa Rica). Prior to coming to Cape Town, Ricardo was responsible for implementing SMEs and actions linked to the socioeconomic integration of refugees in Panama, Colombia and Venezuela for international humanitarian organizations.

Ricardo will spend the next few months interviewing and visiting people and organisations across the greater Cape Town region to understand the different offerings and opportunities each has to offer.

If you have a contribution to the innovation sector, then please email us or contact us at our offices, so we can include your information on the new innovation map.

The future is here.

By |2018-02-01T12:41:59+02:00February 1st, 2018|Entrepreneurship, Innovation|0 Comments

Innovation Information Session

The Cape Chamber of Commerce’s Innovation Initiative Forum invites all Innovators and Inventors to our first monthly Innovation Information Session. If you have a new project or idea and need help to get it to market, then join us and other like-minded innovators and inventors as we unpack the challenges of product and business development.

  • Planned activities for 2018 will be presented
  • Feedback on issues and desired topics of future talks and workshops will be discussed

Speaker profile:
Bruce Wade, following 15 years in corporate life, has run his own business since 1998, giving him a wide range of experience in developing ideas into sustainable companies. He is an author, speaker, trainer and the inventor of The Sphere of Mankind and the Business Arrow.
Bruce is a qualified Merchant Naval Officer, Fire Fighter, Ships Medic, Radio Operator, Ski boat Skipper, Advanced Scuba Diver, Computer Programmer, Business Analyst, Project Manager, Retail Analyst, Trainer, Counsellor and Business Coach.

•  Register now
021 402 4300
Linda Roopen

By |2018-01-09T11:29:36+02:00January 9th, 2018|Innovation|0 Comments
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