BEN SHAW, co-author of The First Kudu, is a seasoned executive and investment professional with extensive entrepreneurial and corporate experience. He has successfully raised start-up capital and led diverse teams across South Africa.
Ben’s expertise spans a wide range of domains, sectors, and stages of business, with experience in investment banking, payment technology, property and private equity and he has made significant contributions to several ventures throughout his career.
In 2015 Ben founded HouseME, a ground-breaking platform in the real estate industry that changed the way many people rent and manage properties. He led the company as Chief Executive Officer until 2020, and, under his leadership, HouseME gained recognition as a disruptive South African player, challenging incumbents in the market and serving 50 000 registered users.
In addition to other entrepreneurial ventures, Ben played a key role in establishing a start-up accelerator, co-founded a private investment holdings partnership, and served as Managing Director of Varsity View, a student-led educational blogging and podcast site. He now co-hosts the show Shapers, Makers, Builders & Breakers with Riël Malan.
Ben’s insights and writings have previously garnered attention through a selection of his work being published by Flux Trends and The First Kudu is his debut as a published author.
He serves as an advisor to several small companies and is passionate about mentorship and developing the African entrepreneurial ecosystem. His private equity investment areas of focus are late-stage financial technologies, marketplace platforms, regulated financial services, education- and property-technology.
Ben graduated from the University of Cape Town and was honoured as one of South Africa’s Brightest Young Minds in 2013. He is an Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Fellow, represented South Africa in the CFA Institute Research Challenge and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.
LORNE HALLENDORFF, co-author of The First Kudu, is an experienced business leader who has undertaken a broad range of roles from corporate consulting to tech start-ups.
He currently works as the Chief Commercial Officer of a financial technology business in London, overseeing the launch of a new business unit and pursuing expansion into new markets. Previously, he was the Chief Operating Officer of HouseME, a property and financial technology start-up in South Africa that aimed to revolutionise property rentals. He played a key role in developing and launching unique financial products.
Lorne has prior experience as a consultant for a global management consulting firm where he worked in telecoms, IT services, mining, financial services and agriculture across Ethiopia, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, Botswana and South Africa.
He completed matric at St John’s College in Johannesburg, A-Levels at Wellington College in the UK and a Bachelor of Business Science degree (majoring in finance) at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He served two terms on the UCT Students’ Representative Council (SRC), with the second term as president, including a seat on the university council and senate.
Lorne has been featured in a chapter of Reflections of South African Student Leaders, 1994 to 2017 by Luescher, Webbstock, & Bhengu.
He is an Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Fellow.