Heavy Chef Cape Town: Sam Paddock - Creating A $100m EdTech Company Out Of Africa

Mon Nov 13, 18:00 - Mon Nov 13, 20:45
Workshop 17
Heavy Chef Cape Town - November 13th 2017, 6pm for 6:30pm: 
Sam Paddock - Creating A $100m Company Out Of Africa

After a whirlwind year, selling his company Getsmarter to international edtech giant 2U, ringing the bell at NASDAQ and scaling internationally, Sam Paddock is coming to the Heavy Chef stage on the 13th of November.

A remarkable journey: 

On May 22, 2017, Sam and Rob Paddock, friends, brothers and effusive founders of the global scaleup Getsmarter, rang the closing bell at Nasdaq, the second largest stock market in the world. 

This is an honour previously bestowed on country presidents, business legends and even Bollywood superstars. A cursory glance at the list reads like a Fortune Hall of Fame with names like Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey and Jeff Bezos featuring over the years. 

So why were Sam and Rob there? 

A few months earlier, the brothers had concluded the final details on a deal with one of the world’s largest EdTech organisations, 2U. The deal was worth a whopping $103b. Not too shabby for a business founded a decade ago on the southern tip of Africa. 

On 13th November 2017, Sam Paddock, CEO of Getsmarter, will speak on stage for the first time in public about the deal, the months leading up the transaction - and the origin story of this remarkable South African success story. 

Book your seat quick. There are a limited number of tickets available. 

PayFast is South Africa's leading payments processing service. PayFast enables easy, secure and instant transfer of money between online buyers and sellers. PayFast is trusted by leading retail outlets, shopping cart platforms and process payments from Visa to Bitcoin. In the highly competitive online payments industry PayFast ghas risen to the top - and have recently celebrated their 10 year anniversary. Heavy Chef's partnership with PayFast speaks to our shared belief in empowering entrepreneurs and providing strong, agile and seamless channels to market. 

Primedia Broadcasting
The home of premium radio stations: 947, 702, KFM, and CapeTalk, award-winning news from EWN, as well as social initiatives: Lead SA and Crime Line, Primedia Broadcasting represents big brands, big personalities and attracts lucrative audiences. In addition to their world-class radio properties, Primedia Broadcasting has evolved into a multi-platform content-creating business with expertise and capacity to deliver response through converged campaigns. Primedia and Heavy Chef have a special bond, with a partnership based on shared ideals. Primedia is instrumental in Heavy Chef's syndication, event videos, Heavy Chef Show and Podcast - and is instrumental in developing a strong platform to educate and inspire South African entrepreneurs.

World Wide Creative
World Wide Creative is an innovation agency based in Woodstock. WWC's focus is to unlock potential through people and technology. The agency has a large African footprint, with offices in Cape Town and Johannesburg and projects in Namibia, Botswana, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, Uganda and more. WWC's clients range include The Foschini Group, Afrimax, Nedgroup Investments, FNB, RMB, ZA Central Registry, City Of Cape Town, Philips and Vodafone. WWC's innovative concepts are making African companies stand out from the rest; it is this spirit upon which the partnership between Heavy Chef and WWC has a long and successful history. 

Workshop 17
Heavy Chef partnered with Workshop 17 in 2017 to host our events. This inspiring workplace, based in Cape Town's iconic Waterfront, has a wide variety of offerings, including a world class events space. Situated at the old Watershed, next to the Aquarium, with views of Table Mountain and the working dock, this stunning setting gives Heavy Chef's audience a proper experience of Cape Town whilst participating in an awesome event. Workshop 17 is an exciting hub that exists to accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship for a positive social and economic change. It is now the work place of more than 240 entrepreneurs, innovators and professionals and 80 companies. Corporates, government and civil society use the space daily for meetings, teachings and events. 

Sir Fruit
Sir Fruit is the official soft drink sponsor of Heavy Chef. The healthy choice for entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs and people on the move, Sir Fruit provides the South African retail and hospitality industry with the most environmentally sustainable juice on the market - and it doesn't hurt that it is delicious to boot. Sir Fruit have over ten different flavours in their retail range and four in their smoothie range. With a hard working, family orientated team behind it, Heavy Chef is excited to have Sir Fruit as our health-conscious sponsor of choice. 

Backsberg Wine
Backsberg immediately comes to mind when wine and South Africa are mentioned in the same sentence, having recently celebrated over 100 years of business. There’s clearly no stopping this farm from producing quality product. A family-run business, entrepreneurship runs thickly through their sumptuous offerings. This world-famous farm is environmentally-conscious, equity-focused and innovative. Backsberg is a perfect partner for Heavy Chef's forward-thinking audience. 

Cape Brewing Company (CBC)
Cape Town's premier craft beer caters for those who enjoy sipping on a cold one while getting schooled in the principles of entrepreneurship. Despite that CBC is so ubiquitous in the South African market, this fast growing beer brand only opened their doors in 2012. Within its first year, the brewery drew more than 30 000 visitors - and then over 45 000 visitors in 2014. Today, word continues to spread as more and more people share in the passion for finely-crafted beers. With one of the world's top master brewers at its helm in Wolfgang Koedel, this brand is a perfect match for Heavy Chef's hard-working audience. 

Whipping the Cat
Whipping the Cat was founded in late 2013 with a strategic vision to be a dominant NewLaw firm and preferred fixed cost legal partner to modern small and medium size businesses. Our key practice area is corporate and commercial law. In a short-time we have grown our brand and our reputation and are acknowledged as a credible game changing alternative to the traditional small law firm in in South Africa. We have strategic alliances with specialist law firms, tax specialists, wealth managers/insurers to provide seamless value adding services to our clients. We invest in our people (currently a team of 5 lawyers and a coordinator) and use technology to improve accuracy and quality, streamline workflow and manage our knowledge capital – all of which adds value and ultimately reduces costs for our clients. We have offices in Cape Town, work extensively in Johannesburg and have clients throughout South Africa.

Heavy Chef creates inspirational experiences for graduates, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs.

Our name comes from the saying never trust a skinny chef*. We celebrate people who walk the talk, who practice what they preach - who eat their own food. We believe that, in a world of talkers, it's the doers that are going to change it. Together with our partners, we aim to inspire our community members to start things and empower them to succeed.

*Nope, nothing to do with cooking. Heavy Chef runs events and educational tours for graduates, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs in South Africa and beyond.


We know that it's impossible for us to influence the major environmental factors that influence our lives. It can be frustrating to watch as our leaders reshuffle cabinets, fire ministers, devalue currencies, threaten to build walls and marginalise minorities. However, we also know that we can influence the sphere around us. We can make a difference to the lives that we touch directly, whether inside a business or via an entirely new initiative. 


We inspire you to start something, to become an intrepreneur/entrepreneur, and then empower you to succeed. Our aim is to inspire you to become president of your own little space on the planet. Whether that's a start-up, a company, a department in a big corporate, a team or a charity organization. You probably won't ever be able to sway a country by reshuffling cabinet members, but you can make a dent in your neighborhood by employing, teaching or influencing a handful of good people. If we all do this, we will have a better continent, a better country, a better city and a better neighborhood. (Okay, maybe not Saxonwold, but all the others, definitely.)


We aim to host the world's most inspiring events, and produce the world's most empowering media. We want you to walk away from one of our sessions with that 'Staying Alive' cocky-mofo walk - like you got sugar in your step and steam in your strides. 

At Heavy Chef we believe you truly can be the change you wish to see in the world. You just need to take the first step. 


If you have ideas for speakers, would like to participate in workshops, want assistance with your event, want to partner with us - or if you just want to shoot the breeze - email [email protected] and say ‘howdy’. We look forward to hearing from you. 

Additional information

Refund policy Refunds allowed (view policy)


Heavy Chef Cape Town: Sam Paddock - Creating A $100m EdTech Company Out Of Africa
Workshop 17
17 Dock Rd, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
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