Thapelo Moloantoa
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Thapelo Moloantoa

Journalist at Finbuzz.com
Highly experienced Digital Content Journalist who is one of our ‘foot soldiers’ in the hustle and bustle of the world’s financial capital, London.

Armed with a rich profile in Content Management, Thapelo has lived and worked as editor and journalist between London, Johannesburg and Cape Town since 2002. His entrepreneurial drive saw him establish a digital content start-up in London, FullCircle Circle Online, which he sold in 2013.

Thapelo attained his Bachelor of Social Sciences (BSosci) at the University of Cape Town, where he studied International Relations and Industrial Sociology. He continued his studies at the University of British Columbia (UBC), in Vancouver, Canada.

Thapelo’s vast digital content experience is supplemented by further studies at the University of Westminster Business School, where he recently attained a Certificate in Digital Marketing (Institute of Digital Marketing).

He enjoys playing and watching football (Arsenal fan who lives 10 minutes from the Emirates Stadium), reading up on the latest in Fintech and also keenly follows trends in international politics and socio-economics.
Thapelo Moloantoa
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Sky PLC subsidiary Sky Ventures is pleased with the level of prowess displayed by the various entrants to its ‘TEAM Sky Global Innovation in Sports Competition’.

Earlier in the week, the European entertainment giant hosted a platform called ‘The global innovation for sports competition’ at which start-ups pitched their tech ideas to a panel of judges comprising of some of London’s leading figures in business, media, and technology.

Organised along with HYPE Foundation, the initiative has held eight regional competitions in various parts of the world – in the U.S, U.K, Middle East, Europe, Balkans, Africa and Latin America. The winning projects from each of the regions are set to present their concept in front of an international panel at the current Olympic Games in Rio.

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The winner on the evening was ‘SayYeah’, a free app and web based platform where a friend is enabled to watch a video or live stream content face to face and live with other friends, making it possible for them to enjoy the moment together.

Finbuzz.com spoke to several members of the judging panel, as well as Emma Lloyd, CEO at Sky Ventures (a part of Sky PLC) about this initiative.

Emma Lloyd, Sky Ventures
Emma Lloyd, Sky Ventures

Lloyd, who has over ten year’s business consulting and mobile telecommunications experience, said that the competition helps the conglomerate to identify and nurture key strategic relationships at start-up level..

“Our focus now is on making sure that we become more systematic in the way that we find start-ups to help Sky innovate, and this event is one of the ways through which we undertake this search process.

“We want to maintain our reputation as a business at the forefront of innovation whilst finding new revenue streams that are relevant to us. We also want to find new means and measures to help us implement the processes that we already implement in more effective and efficient ways.”

The former Coopers & Lybrand and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) executive outlined the systems areas in which Sky plc is currently looking to derive value from its engagement with tech start-ups.

“Sky Ventures is currently doing this across four strategic themes. Firstly this is in Direct-To-Consumer, over the top services. Secondly we are looking at better ways for Sky to engage with the millennial audiences. Thirdly new, and better ways to help monetise our digital estate and lastly to find new ways to become more data-driven across the board.

“Our engagement with the start-ups is driven more by the strategic benefit. The venture financial return is important, however our focus in hosting activities such as this one tonight. For us the benefit is derived from having something that a start-up can do that helps to accelerate a part of Sky’s business, introduce new products and services or helps to better systems and processes that we already implement.”

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She expressed her satisfaction with the proceedings. “Tonight was absolutely brilliant, all the start-ups were fascinating, so unique and diverse in their content and approach.”

Iain Edmondson, London & Partners
Iain Edmonson, London & Partners

Iain Edmonson, Head of Major Events at London & Partners was on hand to provide insight into the role of tech start-ups in promoting London as a centre of global commerce.

“London & Partners exists to promote the best of London to the rest of the world not just for tourism but also for investment. Part of our mandate involves growing our reputation as a global centre that is open for business.

Edmonson, who is largely credited with having played a key role in the winning London 2012 Olympics Bid, said that the convergence of technology and international events formed a key part of his organisation’s deliverables.

“London has a ‘sweet spot’ for technology and innovation. We are also number one on the rankings for hosting international sporting events. So when you combine the two in this city you land directly on London & Partners’ agenda.”

The organisation, which is funded by private financial partners as well as the Mayor of London, not only encourages tech start-up innovation externally but also within its own operations.

“In our offices we have a number of tech-start ups whom we encourage to take advantage of the network that London & Partners already has. We work with them to demonstrate the fact that one can succeed as a tech start-up in London.

“We’ve got confidence that some of these entities are going to become the ‘next big thing’. We want more investors in the City to work with these businesses.”

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Echoing the importance of tech start-ups to London’s digital economy is Kristina Tauchmannova, Partnerships Manager at Tech City UK, a government funded accelerator that was initiated by former British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Kristina Taucmannova, Tech City
Kristina Taucmannova, Tech City

“We promote various verticals of tech, and this event here is definitely one that we are proud to become a part of.

“Tech City has a number of programmes in place to help start-ups and I have encouraged those that are here to take advantage of this and apply.

Tauchmannova also emphasised the convergence of finance and tech.

“The Old City and The City are right next to each other and we want to see them practically working hand in hand to cement the reputation that London already has a the centre of global business.”

Nick Sargeant, WIRED
Nick Sargeant, WIRED

Nick Sargeant, Commercial Director at WIRED, elaborated on the relevance of convergence for his company and highlighted the scalable value of tech start-ups to other areas of business and society in general.

“WIRED is interested in convergence. So for instance, underneath the theme of sport innovation lies elements such as finance, technology, data, health,” he said.

“Where would Wired take such a concept? We would build a brand around WIRED, we would talk to key players in the industry. We would look to connect an innovator WITH the likes of Nike. Wired has already seen the benefits of these efforts at our events where we have start-up stages on which we bring big brands who can invest in people.

“We make sure that they see the very best of innovation. From venture capitalists to the Googles of this world, the Facebooks, the Nikes and the Adidas’. The aim is to connect people B-to-B and B-to-C, that is the culture we promote at WIRED and I am happy to see this happening here at Sky tonight as well.”

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