Alan Knott-Craig

Alan Knott-Craig is a successful entrepreneur, best-selling author, and founder of Project Isizwe, an NGO that advocates for affordable internet for all.

He is also the founder of HeroTel, a broadband operator operating throughout South Africa.

Originally from Pretoria, he studied at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (formerly UPE) and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Deloitte in 2002.

In 2003 he founded Cellfind, one of South Africa’s first mobile location-based service provider, and served as CEO until 2005. In 2006 he was appointed as CEO of iBurst and succeeded in building one of South African’s largest wireless broadband networks. In 2010, he founded and became CEO of World of Avatar, an investment house for apps for Africa and later became CEO of Mxit after acquiring the company in 2011. At the time Mxit was Africa’s biggest social network.

Between 2003 and 2017 he has co-founded and/or funded 27 companies in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications sector in Africa, including Cellfind, iFind34600, Toodu, The Daily Maverick, Pondering Panda, Inqaku, Tribage, AvoChoc, and Namola.

He has published nine books since 2008, including a national bestseller, Don’t Panic, and a global history of telecommunications.

He was named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2009. He was also included in “100 Choiseul Africa”, a list of top 100 young African business leaders in 2014, 2015 and 2016, and nominated as the 2015 ICT Personality of the Year by ITWeb.

He has been nominated by Entrepreneur Magazine as one of the top eleven entrepreneurs changing the African landscape.

He is the author of several viral articles, including Don’t Panic (2008), Reasons for Optimism (2019), and South Africa Might Get Lucky, arguing that the future of South Africa is bright, and Entrepreneurs will save World.

He writes a daily blog for entrepreneurs at