Heavy Chef Discovery Inspire Session: The Investors (CPT)

Thu Feb 27, 18:00 - Thu Feb 27, 20:30
Workshop 17


The Inspire Sessions: 27 February 2020, Cape Town - 6pm for 6:30pm

Inspire Sessions: The Investors (CPT)


  • Keet van Zyl - Founder, Knife Capital
  • Cora Fernandez - Founder, Sphere Holdings
  • Nolo Masite - Founder, Mm Capital

Last year, Heavy Chef embarked on the largest survey of entrepreneur-learning ever conducted in South Africa. One of the most studied items on the list of 'what entrepreneurs learn about' was funding. In a series of two events, in Johannesburg and Cape Town, in February 2020, we have invited six of South Africa's most impressive investors to zero in on two questions:

  1. How to raise funds if you're a business?
  2. What makes a business investable?

In Cape Town, on Thursday 27th February, we're exceptionally privileged to host three innovative founders who are leading the charge in the investment landscape.

Keet van Zyl is a Venture Catalyst with extensive high-growth investment experience. He structured various private equity funds in Southern Africa for a US fund-of-funds investor and worked at industry-leading companies such as Procter & Gamble, Investec Bank and ‘Here Be Dragons’ (HBD) Venture Capital. In 2010 he co-founded VC Firm: Knife Capital to continue the active management of HBD’s South African portfolio of investments and raise third-party funds for growth equity investments. Keet is passionate about building the early-stage funding ecosystem in Sub-Saharan Africa. He is fascinated by the bubbles in Champagne and has a passion for water-skiing. In 2005 he became the first "Extreme Accounting" world champion by injecting the adrenaline rush of accounting into the everyday routine of extreme sports. 

Cora Fernandez is one of South Africa's leading private equity professionals. Cora entered the private equity industry in 2001 when she joined Ethos Private Equity. She joined Sanlam in 2006 as Deputy CEO of Private Equity and was subsequently appointed as CEO of Sanlam Private Equity. She served on the board of the board of SAVCA for two years and subsequently served as the chairperson of SAVCA. In 2006, Fernandez was awarded the top private equity deal maker in 2008 and in 2009 she was awarded Sanlam CEO’s award for her deal making capabilities. In 2012 Cora was appointed the managing director of Sanlam Investment Management (SIM), one of the largest asset management firms in the country. She subsequently became the Chief Executive of Sanlam Investments Institutional Business; which business was responsible for managing Sanlam’s Institutional Clients such as Pension Funds, Retirement Funds, Provident Funds, Endowments and Unions. During her tenure in private equity, she served numerous boards, board subcommittees, advisory boards and investment committees. She currently serves on the Board of Sphere Holdings and chairs the Remuneration Committee of Sphere. She also serves on the Board of Tiger Brands Limited, Tiger Brands Audit Committee and Chairs the Tiger Brands Risk and Sustainability Committee. She serves on the Board of Spur Corporation and its Audit and Risk Committees, respectively. She is a member of the Investment Committee of 27Four’s Black Business Growth Fund. She is also member of the Investment Committee of the National Empowerment Fund and she serves as an independent Trustee on the Allan Gray Pension, Provident, Retirement Annuity - and Umbrella Funds.  

Nolo Masite is amongst the new generation of black professionals who are contributing their skill sets in the investment sector by contributing to food security, supporting black farmers and growing agricultural businesses, particularly in a time when the land is is such a controversial issue. Mila Yarona’s investments in agriculture allow Masite to combine his business and accounting acumen with his expertise in agriculture. Masite began his professional career with KPMG, in the mining assurance division, as a trainee accountant. After a stint at Sasol, he joined British American Tobacco (BAT), where he held various roles across the group both locally and globally, the highlight of which was his appointment as corporate finance & mergers and acquisitions manager in the southern African region. He was later appointed treasurer for BAT’s southern region. Masite then joined Remgro within its investment unit, with a key focus on unlisted investments and the food agri portfolio. “People forget that British American Tobacco is primarily a farming business; I have always been in agriculture,” Masite says.

This event is a collaboration between Discovery and Heavy Chef. 

This event is a collaboration between Heavy Chef and Discovery Business Insurance, and supported by the following partners:


Heavy Chef Discovery Inspire Session: The Investors (CPT)
Workshop 17
17 Dock Rd, V & A Waterfront, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa
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