immedia is proud to have been selected as one of the handful of investment targets for the DTI/Microsoft EEP Programme, an initiative that aligns strongly with our own ambitions as a company.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) previously commented that the initiative had the potential to boost transformation within the South African ICT sector – and that it was on track to drive the shared vision of creating a strong home-grown South African software industry.
Programmes like the EEP provide real benefit for entrepreneurs like ourselves allowing us to dream beyond our circumstances.
We want to foster a new generation of South Africans, animated by the impact we can make on our communities when we are focused on the boundless potential of what we can do together, not alone. After all, this is a new world of everything being a ‘thing’ on the internet transmitting their ‘thoughts’ in real time for other ‘things’ to do something with.
At immedia, we are committed to thinking and improving, and becoming better technologists and converged innovators in service to a better future for ourselves, better opportunities for ourselves, and better satisfaction for ourselves in the impact that we have in the world around us.
We believe that by changing our community, we change our city, and so our country and so our continent… and if we do that, would we not have changed the world?
From a genesis of two people, today immedia Studio employs 20 people in high value jobs and have inspired dozens of ex-immedians who are making an impact on our communities and industry. A small band of people drawn from many of the communities that Durban and South Africa have to offer have pioneered an industry that offers us 21st century jobs and, as entrepreneurs, 21st century opportunities.
We believe we can compete with the world.
That inspiration is a real, tangible thing here at immedia. We have been told that you feel it when you walk in.
We see it when a teenager attending one of our Open Nights thinks, “This could be me.”
and “I can do this here!”.
And we see it in the space that has been carved on a Silicon Beach in Durban by teams like ourselves, by being relevant in this new age and by creating the careers we want – wherever home happens to be.
The DTI/Microsoft EEP programme makes it possible for us to accelerate that process; to shore up the things we aren’t good at, and to pour energy into the things we are great at.
As a child of apartheid I could have laid blame for the many challenges that lie at the feet of any entrepreneur there, but true entrepreneurship is about being inspired by the “why not?” At the things that can be done better, not the things that have been done badly.
There is a sign in the Intel Museum in Silicon Valley – a quote from Robert Noyce, one of the Valley pioneers: “Don’t be encumbered by history. Go off and do something wonderful.”
It’s so important we take teams there every year to see it and see around them, what gets created with that belief, so that they can come back and create something wonderful. What we’ve learnt is that Silicon Valley is not a geography, it’s a state of mind.
It’s a state of mind that allows us to believe that, from the green cane fields and blue ocean we gaze on out every day, we can create a future for ourselves that allows us to be a part of the world, to be an actor in our country, to have our labours be of value to our communities.
Technology is changing the world.
We were fortunate enough to play with a new Microsoft innovation called the HoloLens, a holographic computer that immerses you in virtually created worlds. Microsoft have been polishing it in collaboration with the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory who manage the Mars Rover programme. When JPL team members first tried HoloLens on and ‘walked on Mars’, they often became so emotional they were reduced to tears. In a sense, the first ‘manned’ mission to Mars took place with HoloLens.
The promise of technologies like this for science, medicine and education is something we want to bring to life for our people.
That’s the future we can see and it’s a future we want to play our part in.
We begin this journey with the best generation of talent immedia has ever had and, if we do our jobs right, our greatest generation is yet to come.
We are incredibly grateful to DTI and Microsoft for this opportunity and to our families, clients and colleagues in giving us the support and understanding to try to access that future.