Western Cape Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  23 Aug 2011

INFOTECH: Silicon Cape's Plans To Fast-Forward Entrepreneurs


Recent Western Cape Business News

Silicon Cape has launched a new initiative called the Silicon Cape Academy – a monthly educational event which aims to assist entrepreneurs in developing successful start-up ventures. For every topic, Silicon Cape partners with industry experts to provide start-ups with practical advice on how to run and grow their businesses. 

The first topic covered by the Silicon Cape Academy was Funding for start-ups. The Alba lounge at the Waterfront was jam-packed with entrepreneurs listening to different funding options from industry experts. Alex Fraser, from Invenfin, spoke on Equity, Angel and Venture Capital (VC) funding; Shamillah Al-Qudah and Fadhloe Levy, from FNB covered Debt; and Craig Landsberg and Naim Rassool from the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) spoke on government funding and royalty deal structuring.

Promising many more practical, well-researched and on-demand topics, Rob Stokes, Chairman of the Silicon Cape says: “Entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy and we need to give them all the support we can. The Silicon Cape Academy offers technology start-ups an opportunity to learn from industry professionals on topics that matter to their businesses: marketing, finance, human resources, the different funding options, how to pitch to a VC and many more. We believe that through this free initiative we are delivering a valuable service to our community and helping more South African technology businesses succeed on a global scale.”

Over the past three months, the Silicon Cape has hosted another successful initiative for entrepreneurs, VC Office Hours. Once a month, entrepreneurs can spend 20 minutes with a VC fund manager and ask questions relating to any aspect of their start-up business including intellectual property ownership; who best to approach for funding – a local or international VC; what is required to receive VC funding; and the global pertinence of their products and services, to name just a few.

VC Office Hours provide entrepreneurs with the opportunity to access expert knowledge directly from funders, in an informal environment. Because South Africa has a relatively young entrepreneurial ecosystem, VC's often receive proposals lacking key information or outside of their mandate. This forum assists entrepreneurs in providing the right information, to the right funder, at the right time, hopefully increasing their chances of raising capital,” adds Alex Fraser, business development manager at Invenfin.

Other active networking sessions organised by the Silicon Cape include Thirsty Thursdays and a number of periodic forums bringing together mentors and investors from around the globe with our brightest local talent. One of the most recent forums was a delegation from Invest Hong Kong who presented to Silicon Cape members interested in expanding in that country.

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