Welcome to entrepreneurs heaven: Cape Town

Business Report | 24 March 2017, 4:44pm
Vivian Warby
Cape Town – A growing number of local and international entrepreneurs as well as numerous corporates, for example Barclays Africa and Thompson Reuters, have chosen to call Cape Town home.
This has seen the city grow tremendously as a tech hub over the past few years, says Alex Fraser, director of Silicon Cape.
“We have a community .. selecting Cape Town as their innovation and acceleration hubs for the African continent,” she says.
This bodes well for the property market, with those relocating to Cape Town seeking homes.
Cape Town was recently featured among the world’s top tech cities with its “vibrant urban environment” making it a hot choice for tech startups, according to a report by global property giant Savills.
The city is ranked number 22 in the report, which is titled Tech Cities 2017. While it is “a huge honour to be included on Savills’s list of top tech cities, and the only city in Africa, we are a fairly new ecosystem and still have much to do in order to compete with globally renowned tech hubs”, says Fraser.
However, Cape Town’s community, talent, relatively low cost of living and excellent quality of life are a good starting point, she says.
Cape Town is home to the largest number of co-working spaces, incubators and accelerators in Africa and attracted the majority of early-stage investors in South Africa to base themselves in the city and surrounds.
According to the latest South African Venture Capital and Private Equity venture capital survey, 58% of South Africa’s venture capital funds are located in Cape Town and 75% of transactions were into companies headquartered in the Cape.
“We have also seen a number of startups select Cape Town as a base for their businesses both from overseas, for example Aaron Marshall from Over,and from other parts of South Africa, like Alen Ribic and Aisha Pandor, co-founders of SweepSouth.
“Many entrepreneurs are attracted by the lifestyle that Cape Town has to offer, but many also choose to relocate to the city because of our strong startup community and ecosystem.
“We are focusing on marketing the tech sector internationally to attract more investors and businesses.”
Silicon Cape and The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative are working closely with Wesgro, as well as the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape on this project.
“We have visited San Francisco, Singapore and Toyko in the past few months.
“The upcoming Geeks on a Plane Africa (a tour for startups, investors, and executives to learn about high-growth technology markets) and 500 Startups visit at the end of the month are examples of the type of outcome we would like to see more of.”
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