Born in Johannesburg, S Africa in 1960, Jeff Miller knew from early on that he wanted to become an entrepreneur. He later went on to become that dream. After graduating from University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) as a Chartered Accountant in 1985, he entered the field of commerce, and worked for an import and distribution company. Here he honed his skills and the ability to recognise a gap in the marketplace and identify a good deal whenever it presented itself.
By 1990, Miller's entrepreneurial flair and deep insight for 'startups' first came to the fore when he formed Papillon Bags, later amalgamating it with Holiday Luggage, which went on to be listed on the JSE in 1997 as Brandcorp Holdings Ltd.
For the next two decades, Miller has developed wholesale, finance, merchant banking, retail and property companies. With each successful venture he acquired and nurtured intellectual property to do what they did best.
When he bought a men's shirt manufacturing company in Mozambique, he entered the export industry; already back in the nineties he recognised the huge potential for business opportunities in sub sub-Saharan Africa. Today, he continues travelling and trading throughout the Continent, always searching for new opportunities.
His portfolio includes, amongst others, Balboa Finance, Born Free Properties, KNR Flatrock, Eurosuit and Bride & Co, (together a chain of 21 stores. Bride & Co remains the largest bridal departmental store chain in South Africa, creating sizeable employment.
Jeff has a flair and understanding for technology based start-ups, cutting his teeth on Setcom, which today is an extremely successful payment gateway and payment solutions provider.
In 2011, he left active involvement in Bride & Co, while retaining his shares. He followed his innovative vision in filling the gaping need for venture capital and incubation companies in Southern Africa, and has placed his energies in Redwood - a Venture Capital company, where he identifies opportunities, funds, develops business plans, and lends his experience and nurturing to young talented entrepreneurs.
Warren Katz was born in Johannesburg, S. Africa in 1972.
He received his BCom degree at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits), and later went on to qualify as a Chartered Accountant CA (SA).
During fourteen years of working experience in large listed corporations and start-up ventures, Katz has built a formidable reputation for his insight, analysis, and rock-solid integrity.
His business career began after graduating in 1998, when he was appointed as Financial Manager at what is now Dimension Data Interactive Media. Here he was directly responsible for all things financial, including sales and gross profit analysis, budgeting and forecasting, monthly management accounts, credit control, payroll and remuneration structuring and special projects.
Sixty staff members worked directly and indirectly under Katz's helm.
In 2002 Katz left Dimension Data and spent a year at niche market software and services provider, CQS
Thereafter he was appointed Director of Business Development at OHMedia, a Technology Top 100 company.
At this stage, began his great interest in 'start up' companies and his firm conviction about the future trend of business investment in sub Saharan Africa.
After steering OHMedia onto a sound footing, Katz joined Display Equipment Co., as General Manager, responsible for finance, systems, design and implementation, operations, IT and business development – and much later Dabba Telecommunications, a low cost wireless voice and data network and service provider.
He was responsible for financial control, bank and investor liaising, systems and policy design and implementation.
He then consulted for Taximart ( a division of SA Taxi); part of Transaction Capital Group on new systems design and implementation.
In August 2011, Katz co-founded Redwood Capital, a venture capital company.
He is CEO of Incred Finance, a credit provider offering finance for elective medical procedures.
At Redwood Capital he also manages financial modelling, strategy development of new business acquisitions, and hands-on operation of investments and incubation projects.
Katz divides his spare time between the family and the golf course.
Marc Elias (25), was an ace academic long before he entered the commercial world, receiving six distinctions for his MBA - majoring in Entrepreneurship, at Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). He was the creator of a thesis on the relationship between the carbon disclosure of petro-chemical companies and their subsequent investment impact on South African investors, which hit mainstream business publications. Elias is a BCom graduate, majoring in Financial and General Management, and was a finalist in the GIBS Entrepreneurship Business Plan Competition.
Vision and determination drove him to work for a legal and financial consultancy as an undergraduate; thereafter he traded under his own name for a year, assisting fledgling 'start-up' companies. His mission: That of learning from others mistakes.
Elias is passionate about the impact of climate change on commerce and the environment. He intends developing an alternative energy company with as few hitches as possible one day. He is a fiercely committed South African, committed to working with the South African Association of Youth Clubs, in rural areas to provide learning and infrastructure in rural communities.
In 2011, Elias joined Redwood Capital, operating in the management of start-up companies, and the venture capital and private equity arenas.
Here at Redwood Capital, we are active in 3 spaces, namely incubation, venture capital and private equity.
We don't discriminate against opportunity. Hence, we have no particular area of focus. We love to learn about different industries and
share experiences with an array of different entrepreneurs.
We focus on mentorship between all 3 divisions. The idea is that we all learn from each other, despite the different ranges of experience and technical know-how throughout the team.
Do you think you have the next big idea, you think we might be interested? Send us your details which need to include:
• Your CV
• All your personal and contact details
• Your business plan
Once you have everything ready please send it to:
The Biz Center is a standalone workstation environment that allows users to access the internet as well as various office applications, site specific information and printing facilities.
High traffic areas and areas where there is "idle time" for people on the move are transformed into productive environments by deploying the system and its features.
Turkza is a trade relations company for both Turkish and South African companies. It assists businesses from both countries with the sourcing of suitable trading partners and product. It also helps with trade liaison, legal and statutory issues, networking, trade visits and delegations.
Hip Hair is the exclusive importer and distributor for Southern Africa for the cutting edge USA ethnic hair care brand - VITALE.
International retailers in the Health and Beauty industry endorse , stock and promote the Vitale range for its chemically sound, environmentally safe, quality product and exceptional packaging.It
is well known for its skilled team of chemists, licensed professional hair stylists, and quality control personnel.Vitale has enjoyed a decade of measurable success in the hair care business
Swish was born in 2011. Put simply, the company distributes devices and apps that turn smart phones into Point of Sale terminals. The beauty here is, with our proprietry patent pending technology, we are the only company that can facilitate both Debit and Credit card payments anywhere between mobile networks.
Cnectd is an app allowing individuals, companies and other closed communities to speak to each other through text messaging, video, picture, location and voice notes. The company has taken advantage of 2 models including the Cnectd P2P social network as well as the B2C closed community model, which enables companies and other closed communities to white label the interface and distribute rich content to specific users at specific times, achieving optimal utilisation of direct marketing and communication opportunities.
Incred Medical Finance is a niche credit provider that allows patients to access medical procedures by means of specifically tailored loan products for the medical industry.
Incred finances procedures that are not covered, or only partially covered by medical aid for example cosmetic and fertility treatments and procedures.