INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION FOR STELLENBOSCH BUSINESS

 This article by Johan du Preez is part of a series on innovative businesses in Stellenbosch’s Techno Park, which appeared in the Stellenbosch newspaper, Eikestadnuus.

Cable News Network (CNN) recently recognised Wyzetalk in Stellenbosch’s Techno Park as one of 10 African startups that rocked 2014.

Wyzetalk offers communication solutions which is to a degree similar to everyday social media software, but developed for business use in the so-called enterprise social network arena. In this arena real-time electronic communication between a business’s employees, partners, suppliers and customers is essential to allow for immediate collaboration between role players.

“Being named by CNN as one of the ten most exciting young companies in Africa is certainly a huge honour,” says Gys Kappers, Wyzetalk CEO and co-founder. “To be further described as building a business that can solve the continent’s problems and provide services long awaited, make us as South Africans proud,” he adds.

Through the Wyzetalk software platform, secure communication within a business community is possible via smartphones, tablets and computers. The software offers an important archive function and even allows for engagement via mobile technology with the blue-collar workforce on factory floors, in mines and the like.

Gys, together with Gerhard Pretorius, established Wyzetalk in 2012 upon completion of his Executive MBA Programme at the UCT Graduate School of Business. Gys’s thesis, “The delay of social business software adoption in the enterprise and its effects” which has gained him international recognition, formed the basis for the commercial launch of Wyzetalk into the African market.

The Wyzetalk platform is used by businesses such as Deloitte, AngloGoldAshanti, Deli Spices and Cash Crusaders, Afrimat and the UCT Graduate School of Business, amongst others.

The enterprising spirit of Gys Kappers was clearly evident when in his twenties he started an online and offline transaction platform company that he later sold. He then spent the next 18 years building, what became, the largest privately owned concrete masonry business in South Africa. In a multi-million rand buyout Gys sold the company before he enrolled for the Executive MBA Programme.

Gys’s belief in the entrepreneurial spirit of South Africans and the success that they’ve achieved with Wyzetalk, are central to his viewpoint that South Africans can take on the Silicon Valley giants of America. “Local companies continue to show that South Africans can build amazing products for markets across the world,” he says. “As for Wyzetalk, we want to own Africa.”

“And a CNN recognition as one of 10 African startups that rocked 2014, is only the beginning,” I thought he could have added.

Ends