South Africa taps ex-pat knowledge with SABLE accelerator
A new initiative, operating from Silicon Valley, launched yesterday to tap South Africa's knowledge network of expatriate entrepreneurs in order to help South Africa become more competitive. The SABLE Accelerator (South African Business Link to Experts) has been formed by three South Africans living in Silicon Valley and London and features a strong board of advisers comprising South African-born loyalists.
The SABLE Accelerator features a core consulting team of influential South African expatriates holding senior positions at international technology, life science and agri-business companies; consulting and professional service firms; venture capital and private equity funds; as well as research and academic institutions, including the new venture spawning ground of Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.
The international partnership group (LLC) is dedicated to helping South African entrepreneurs, new venture start-ups, academic institutions and companies commercialize technology innovations, promote and protect intellectual property, fund new business concepts, finance growth, as well as expand into global markets.
"We are building a trusted knowledge network of well-placed and highly connected Global South Africans who can make a meaningful difference to the country's brand image and competitive position in world markets," noted Donovan Neale-May, one of the co-founders and managing partners, during a trip to South Africa. Neale-May runs a global marketing consultancy and is executive director of the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Council, a worldwide membership group of 6,000 corporate marketers controlling more than $300 billion in aggregated annual marketing spend.
The CMO Council is among a number of organizational and private sector partners and co-founders supporting the formation of the SABLE Expert Network. Other partners include the law firm of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosatti, Silicon Valley Bank, NetLine, Nomad Ventures, Hasso Plattner Ventures, WESGRO, GlobalFluency, BizCommunity.com, SAGoodNews.co.za, and Brand South Africa.
A big part of the SABLE value proposition is the formation of an elite online community of experts which Sable calls "Global South Africans" (GSA) who possess knowledge, expertise, influence and access abroad. SABLE is using a customized version of the MentorCloud SaaS platform to enable GSAs to import their LinkedIn profiles, present their credentials, and specify whether they wish to consult, mentor, coach, speak, lecture, invest, or serve on a board. They will also be able to provide pro bono coaching and mentoring services, extend their professional networks, as well as monetize their time and expertise.