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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  29 Oct 2008

INFOTECH: Future Cape IT Industry Leaders Announced


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All the blood, sweat and tears that went into the making and developing of 12 ICT businesses in the Western Cape paid off when the Cape IT Initiative (CITI) graduated the companies from their business development programme, VeloCITI on Thursday, 23 October.

The VeloCITI programme which aims to help ICT entrepreneurs re-assessing their business model in order to position them for growth, was one of three CITI projects that was highlighted during the ceremony that took place at Kelvin Grove Club in Newlands.   The VIP Graduate programme and the My Business Group programme participants and winners were also honoured.

The two finalists in the VeloCITI programme, Breadbin Interactive and Nclose, both secured large deals with major corporate clients, but it was Nclose who walked away with the winning title and prize.  “The value and input we have received from Cape Venture Partners, PeerPower and CITI has been tremendous. We have seen a marked improvement in the effectiveness of our daily tasks, the way we handle ourselves and our outlook on the future. The lessons we have learnt have assisted in creating strong foundations as well as giving us the tools necessary to sustain the growth we are currently experiencing”, said Stephen Osler form Nclose.

According to Viola Manuel, CITI’s executive director, the VeloCITI programme and its participants have shown significant growth since the launch in 2006.  This year’s cumulative monthly turnover grew to R1.62 million from R275,000 over a period of seven months and the cumulative owner’s salaries grew to R172,000 from R21,000. “This continued curve in growth shows a definite need and hunger for sustainable support and mentoring in the market.  With the available infrastructure support from the Bandwidth Barn, we are able to address the looming ICT skills shortage combined with the necessary business skills that is required to run a thriving business”, Manuel said. 

The VIP Graduate programme focuses on closing the existing gap between final year ICT students and entering the workspace as a marketable individual.  A maximum number of 12 candidates participated in this year’s programme that consisted of ten modules.  The two IT graduate winners were Wayne Neethling and Ncumisa Ndungane.  “Still being in college, I know nothing really about the working environment.  This programme trained me in basic corporate necessities – like where to start, how to act in a working environment and how to behave in an interview.  Winning this programme means that I am on the right track and that motivates me to keep on going”, Ndungane said.

A further 12 companies participated and completed the the My Business Group programme.  This six month programme creates an add-on opportunity for VeloCITI graduates or anyone who is already in the IT business sector to come together and to grow their strategic thinking process, supply ideas to their businesses and to share experience and information in a group. This creates a sense of belonging amongst entrepreneurs and makes them feel less isolated.
“We are really pleased with the growth and competence of this year’s graduates.  With the continued  private sector and provincial government support, CITI and the Bandwidth Barn will definitely continue to invest in the development of the local ICT sector as the demand for specialised and skilled individuals are expected to increase even further over the next few years”, Manuel said.

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