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About Innovation Edge.

OUR VISION

A country in which all children are provided with the starting blocks they need to begin school with equal advantage.

OUR MISSION

To actively seek out and support unconventional ideas that aim to transform early life experiences for children, aged 0 to 6, living in poverty.

 

 

Innovation Edge was founded in 2014 through a partnership between the Omidyar Network, the UBS Optimus Foundation, the DG Murray Trust, the FirstRand Foundation and the ELMA Foundation.

We are an innovation catalyst and social impact investor.

Our hands-on backing spans the journey from ideation, to proof of concept (POC), to the transition to scale for successful concepts that promise transformative impact in the lives of young children and those who care for them.

We provide financial, strategic and active support to individuals, nonprofit and for profit organisations.

In our first year of operations, the focus was on experimentation with sourcing ideas and development of an iterative approach to POC. By year three, we had 22 investments in South Africa and 6 successful POCs, 4 of which began transitioning to scale.

As of end 2018 we have made a total of 42 investments, mostly in South Africa. While we continue to experiment with ideation and POC, we have begun to place greater emphasis on addressing the challenges associated with transitioning to scale.

We are collaborative, competent, curious, grounded and are driven by a fervent desire to create meaningful change.  

Find out more about the way we work.

Read our First 1,000 Days Report.

The Innovation Edge Team.

Sonja Giese

Founding Director

Erika Wiese

Head of Portfolio Management

Nicole Biondi

Head of Marketing & Communications

Adliya van Niekerk

Financial Manager

Lyndsey Petro

Portfolio Manager

Andrea Petersen

Junior Portfolio Manager

Nadanababalwa Hermanus

Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Bulelwa Mkangeli

Office Administrator

The Innovation Edge Investment Commitee.

Dhun Davar

Program Manager, Social Finance, UBS Optimus Foundation

Colin Almeleh

Executive Director, Ilifa Labantwana

Llewellyn Fredericks

Investment Principle, ESquared

Sebabatso Manoeli

Innovation Director, All Children on Track by Grade 4 (DGMT)

Shikha Goyal

Investment Advisor, Omidyar Network

Carley Furness-Symms

Senior Program Manager, ELMA Philanthropies Services

The Innovation Edge International Advisory Group.

Asif Saleh

Senior Director of Strategy, Communications and Empowerment for BRAC and BRAC International

Kofi Marfo

Professor & Founding Director, Institute for Human Development, Aga Khan University

Joan Lombardi

Director, Early Opportunities, LLC

Mirjam Schöning

Independent, Former Global Head of Programmes and Partnrships at the Lego Foundation

Maniza Ntekim

Regional ECD Advisor for East and Southern Africa, UNICEF

Anne Healy

Chief Innovation Officer, Evidence Action

Isabelle Irani

Founder, Sumerian Partners