The Idea Workshop


Do you want to take your venture to the next level?

The Idea Workshop is a fast-paced, interactive three-day workshop that will teach you the KoiCreate methodology used by top startups to accelerate their business at every stage of the growth cycle.

Neil Hinrichsen has cofounded two companies that were both acquired including a mobile payments company acquired by Visa for $110m.  He now mentors some of the top startups in South Africa.


This is an intensive three-day workshop for new and existing ventures.

DAY 1  -  Innovate

Explore new spaces, technologies, and business models.

From the base of the pyramid to augmented reality to smart dust to shifting profit zones to the second economy we will explore how top startups use groundbreaking new technologies and business models.

DAY 2  -  Build

Learn from a master strategist on how to develop, market, monetise, scale, fund and protect your idea.

Neil draws from over thirty years of first-hand experience in the trenches plus advising hundreds of startups to teach you how to create a successful new venture.

DAY 3  -  Evangelise!

Learn how to craft a compelling story for your new venture that will excite and engage your investors and management, your team, and the marketplace.

Every new idea must excite, thrill and move people to succeed.  Learn from an accomplished evangelist who has spent years bringing new ideas to market how to create and present a vibrant identity and story for your new venture.


On the last morning join the "Coffee with Neil" session before the workshop to discuss how to take your idea forward in a relaxed setting.  (The entrance fee is a cappuccino for Neil!)


Want a taste of the Workshop ?

Many of the insights and lessons from the Idea Workshop are condensed into Neil's KoiTips newsletter that goes out to several hundred people fortnightly.

Read some of Neil's KoiTips here, or watch a guest lecture by Neil.

About The Idea Workshop

The Idea Workshop has been run by Microsoft, mLab, the Bandwidth Barn, the Innovation Hub, R Labs and Stellenbosch University to train hundreds of their entrepreneurs over the past five years.

The workshops are all fully sponsored so anyone can afford to attend.


Alumni of the workshop share new ideas, opportunities, resources and connections in the Koi Entrepreneurs Group on Facebook (open to everyone).

Your presenter - Neil Hinrichsen


Neil's first company Realtime won numerous "Best Company" awards in the IT industry, was the first company on the Internet in South Africa and was Netscape's third regional partner in the world, before being acquired by Datatec.

Neil went on to cofound Fundamo, a mobile payments company backed by Sanlam, Venfin and Mark Shuttleworth. Fundamo employs over two hundred people and has installations in over twenty countries. The company was ultimately acquired in by VISA in 2011 for $110m.

Neil now provides strategy consulting to corporates and startups through KoiStrategy. He has worked among others for Sanlam and Times Media Group and with startups in fields such as healthcare, artificial intelligence and mobile apps. He also mentors many startups through the Bandwidth Barn in Cape Town and The Innovation Hub in Pretoria, is a lead mentor for Microsoft South Africa, is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the CSIR, serves on the advisory board for Stellenbosch University's LaunchLab incubator, is an Accredited Specialist with the University of Pretoria and serves on the SiMODiSA government-industry taskforce on entrepreneurship in South Africa.  He has been a mentor and judge for the Cape Town Entrepreneurship Competition, Startup Weekend, LaunchCapeTown, the eKasi Entrepreneurship Conference and IBM SmartCamp among others.

Neil is also passionate about working with people. He was an elder for many years in his church, does youth ministry, has run workshops on parenting teenagers, and mentors township teens. He has a keen interest in civics and was a founding member of the Garden Route Protected Area Committee. He holds a BCom Honours degree from UCT, is a member of Mensa, has run Comrades, and enjoys watersports, reading and music.