Benji Coetzee, Founder

A millennial South African "gone global" polymath, with over 12 years of professional and entrepreneurial experience; across strategy consulting, entrepreneurship and investments.

Her track record includes top tier firms such as the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Singular Group, World Economic Forum (WEF), HSBCHollard Insurance, Vodafone and Ziggo. Benji has lived and worked in South Africa, Switzerland, Germany, United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands.

 

Key "corporate" projects to mention:

  • At BCG and Singular, Benji led large-scale operational optimization, process re-engineering, and transformational restructuring projects (incl M&A).

  • At the WEF Benji managed a multi-national African $5.5bn infrastructure programme of the World Economic Forum in Geneva (led fundraising via public, private and NGO’s to accelerate a rail corridor in East Africa).

  • Benji currently leads the Digital Channels of both Vodafone and Ziggo (JV of Liberty Global and Vodafone Group) of the Netherlands in Digital Director (Tribe lead) capacity across both B2C and B2B portfolio, from sales to service, guiding away from legacy (technical and cultural).

Key entrepreneurship ventures:

  • Founder of Seedpitch as boutique strategy conduits, selectively acting as sounding board to executives and startups (mechanism to bootstrap ventures of her own until VC was raised in 2017).

  • Benji was the Founder and CEO of EmptyTrips, a multi-award winning platform that leverages algorithmic directional AI and machine learning to reduce freight space wastage, costs, and carbon emissions of industrial transport vessels. For this, Benji was recognized as a top 60 women technologists globally by Forbes in 2018. Exiting to Vector Logistics (Part of RCL Foods / Remgro portfolio) in 2019.

  • Benji designed and developed SUREcargo (previously Surefox) an on-demand instant freight insurance tech platform. This was exited to Santova in the Netherlands in 2019 too.

Investor and partner:

  • Benji is a conscious investor into positive brands both in her personal (Angel) capacity and as a Venture Partner for Calibre Capital (private equity investment company). 

  • She also facilitates the Scout Network to accelerate and reward identifying opportunities.

  • Mentors and supports entrepreneurs through the process of capital raising and performance management.

At Seedpitch: 

  • Benji facilitates experts within the network and continues to selectively consult to executives and mentors founders.

  • Preferred agenda items include innovation, venture diversification, culture change, and business model transformation.

  • She leverages data and behavioral science for better decision making to build sustainable momentum.

Education:

  • Benji holds two Master degrees; a Master of Laws in Corporate Finance from Goethe University in Germany, and a Master of Philosophy in Maritime Economics, and a Bachelor of Commerce in Finance with Statistics from Stellenbosch University.

  • Executive Leadership programmes and courses such as NEXUS from GIBS, the Executive Programme at  Singularity University in San Francisco and Behavioural Economics with Johannesburg Business School. 

  • Avid learner of Data Science to better the world and applies agile processes as a Certified Scrum Master.

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