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Rise, in partnership with Barclays Africa Group Ltd (Barclays Africa), landed the ‘Collaborative Innovation Winner’ award at the My World of Tomorrow SA Innovation Awards held at the Sandton Convention Centre last night. The awards recognise and celebrate innovative companies and individuals. Rise is a physical and virtual global community for open innovation designed to help shape the future of financial services.

“Globally, Barclays has a rich heritage of innovation. This latest accolade further demonstrates how Barclays Africa is positioned to harness change. Our customers and clients are demanding innovative solutions, and to keep pace and meet their needs, we need to change the way we think and operate. It is with this ethos in mind that we created Rise in Africa,” says Ashley Veasey, Chief Information Officer at Barclays Africa.

In addition to its presence in the virtual environment, Rise currently has physical innovation hubs in London, Manchester and New York. Its first hub in the Southern Hemisphere will open in Cape Town in December.

Over 5 000 start-ups have interacted through the London and Manchester hubs in the first year alone, while more than 20 hackathons have been hosted and in excess of 130 companies have made use of the global sites. Rise Cape Town is set to enable Africans to connect, co-create and scale the next big thing in financial services.

“Africa has the ability to use technology to leapfrog other regions as it is unencumbered by legacy systems and hard infrastructure that is slow to innovate. Rise helps to empower entrepreneurs to accelerate trends that are already dramatically improving lives across the continent,” concluded Veasey.