Ellen is a sought-after partner in designing tech-related events and programs due to her inclusive and innovative approach to projects.

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Innovation is putting two existing things together in a new way.

Social change thrives when we team up with like-minded people different from us.

The work we do

Our services

Founded in Cape Town, South Africa, in 2017, Story Room specializes in designing and implementing powerful and tailor-made technology incubation and acceleration programmes for local and international partners. The intention is to foster impactful innovation. We offer range of services to achieve this, including:

  • Enterprise development
  • Mentorship & coaching
  • Training & development
  • Strategic innovation management
  • Incubation/accelerator programme design
  • Monitoring & evaluation
  • Diversity consultation
  • Keynote speaking
  • Guest lecturing

Creativity is thinking up new things. Innovation is doing them.

Our portfolio

We have worked alongside and with companies in and outside South Africa, from medium-size businesses to multinationals, to bring human-centric innovation at the core of their operations. This has led to our involvement in a number of projects in and outside South Africa. Please find a snapshot of our portfolio below:

Incubators
Silicon Cape | South Africa

Ellen was the first managing director at Silicon Cape, a Cape Town-based Not-For-Profit Organisation that brings together tech entrepreneurs, developers, investors and other stakeholders together to drive innovation. It assists innovators from in and around Cape Town and the rest of South Africa to avoid the many pitfalls associated with starting a tech venture, whilst helping them seize the many opportunities.

Propella Business Incubator | South Africa

Propella, as one of the first business hubs in South Africa to be fully geared for Business 4.0, provides enterprise development support to innovators and disruptors from the Eastern Cape. Ellen served as the director and incubator manager of this partnership between Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Engeli Enterprise Development and private players.

Telkom FutureMakers | South Africa

We launched and headed up Telkom’s Futuremakers Hub in Nelson Mandela Bay. As the enterprise and supplier development programme of Telkom, South Africa’s national telecommunications company, FutureMakers supports strategic start-ups and existing small businesses as well as other entrepreneurial ventures aligned to the technology sector and the Telkom value chain.

The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself – with others.

Accelerators
Africa4Future | Pan-Africa

Our portfolio

We managed Africa4Future, which is a joint business accelerator by Airbus, the Make-IT in Africa initiative by German development agency GIZ, the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) and other partners. The programme focuses on African tech start-ups and innovators who are actively working on developing aerospace-based solutions for Africa and beyond.

Merck | Pan-Africa

We were approached to design the South African Accelerator Programme on behalf of the GIZ and the Merck Accelerator, with a strong focus on proudly African eHealth solutions for African health problems developed by African tech innovators. This programme supports emerging tech ventures with the final objective of partnering up with them.

Innovation that fuels social change is progress in the face of tradition.

Women in tech
Inspiring Fifty | Global

Inspiring Fifty benchmarks and awards the world’s 50 most inspiring women in the field of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM). These trailblazers and change-makers play a major role in challenging the industry’s norms of what makes a great leader whilst serving as important role models for girls and women who seek STEM careers. Ellen is their ambassador.

Girls for STEM | South Africa

We co-founded and designed the Girls for STEM programme by the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University and the Propella Business Incubator. The initiative is dedicated to inspiring Grade 9 girls towards Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and careers. In the Eastern Cape, it is a first of its kind programme that brings together business, academic, technical and community stakeholders.

Women who are crazy to think they can change world, are the ones who do.

Events & keynote speaking
AfricaCom | 2019, keynote speaker

AfricaTech is interested in conveying the importance of disruptive new technologies such as Internet of Things, Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence. In a manner that helps their audience successfully navigate digital transformation.

SA Innovation Summit | 2019, presenter

As an annual flagship event on the South African Innovation Calendar, the SA Innovation Summit is a platform for nurturing, developing and showcasing African innovation.

VivaTech | 2018, keynote speaker

Viva Technology or VivaTech is an annual conference held in France that is dedicated to innovation and start-ups and their role in transforming businesses and society. In 2018, Ellen as one of the keynote speakers presented Airbus Bizlab’s Nurturing the Spirit of African Innovation programme.

Future Females | 2018, organiser

Future Females aim to increase the number of and success of female entrepreneurs & intrapreneurs, by breaking down the barriers to access the resources they need to be successful.