Who is OceanHub Africa?
Business Chief takes a look at a new Accelerator supporting ocean economy innovation.
As society begins to realise the importance of creating healthier oceans, the formation of accelerators focus on supporting efforts and investments have vastly increased around the world. This weekend (6th December) OceanHub Africa an impact accelerator has launched in Cape Town.
Why Cape Town?
Cape Town is well positioned to lead this battle, due to being at the crossroads of three oceans that sees vast quantities of marine life and maritime activities. In addition, the region offers renowned universities, research centres and a dynamic and fertile business landscape perfect for multicultural and international influence.
Who is OceanHub?
Supported by the South African French Embassy, the University of Cape Town and the V&A Waterfront, 50 stakeholders from multiple backgrounds have co-created a roadmap to shape the future of healthy ocean.
OceanHub Africa aims to inspire and support start-ups that strive to nurture the ocean environment, mitigating the effects of global warming as well as ocean pollution.
The program is set to begin early 2020 launching its first cohort of six local startups to deliver the following services:
An acceleration program that seeks sustainable pathways yielding stable ROIs and scalable growth throughout Africa
A physical working space with access to tailored mentorship, business and scientific expertise
Access to market leads
Hands-on services from corporate partners
In addition, OceanHub Africa is offering a technology transfer support program promoting collaboration between researchers and entrepreneurs for science-based innovation.
OceanHub Africa is currently hosted by South African venture fund and technology incubator - SAVANT Technologies.
For more information on business topics in the Middle East and Africa, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief MEA.
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.