In Conversation with Pieter de Villiers

Twenty years ago Pieter de Villiers and his co-founders came up with a tech innovation that was a world first. It literally went on to change the world of digital technology. They launched the company Clickatell which now has offices around the world, including Silicon Valley, although most of its developers still sit in Cape Town. Apart from being a successful South African tech entrepreneur, Pieter has worked really hard to encourage and develop local innovation and entrepreneurship. He is also working on an initiative to grow digital skills in South Africa.

Profile

Pieter de Villiers started his professional life as an optometrist in Cape Town. However, he was always a tech innovator and entrepreneur at heart. Many young techies dream of coming up with an invention that “will make it” in the-super competitive world of digital technology. Most aren’t brave enough to try … and many of those who try to take an idea to market don’t succeed for a variety of reasons. Pieter is one of the few South African tech entrepreneurs who was brave enough to try and succeeded. Twenty years ago with his brother and two friends he came up with a tech innovation that was a world first that literally went on the change the world of digital technology.

They launched the company Clickatell which now has offices around the world, including Silicon Valley, although most of its developers still sit in Cape Town.

Apart from being a successful South African tech entrepreneur, Pieter has worked really hard to encourage and develop local innovation and entrepreneurship. He is also working on an initiative to grow digital skills in South Africa.

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Barry Dwolatzky

Prof Barry Dwolatzky is the original "Grand Geek" and founder of The Grand Geeks collective. He is an Emeritus Professor at Wits University and Director of the JCSE at Wits University