Workshop17 co-working space to launch at V&A Waterfront

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Collaborative city workspaces firm OPEN is to open a new co-working space – Workshop17 – at Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront, with the space dedicated to enabling and showcasing solutions for Africa.

OPEN, which opened its first South African space in Maboneng in 2012 and is also opening spaces in Braamfontein and Mamelodi this year, said the space is in the final phase of its fit out and is inviting entrepreneurs to apply for membership.

Workshop17 will have “possibly the fastest internet available to end users in South Africa”, with 1Gbps of unshaped internet capacity. OPEN said the new co-working space will provide a technologically rich environment for innovators, entrepreneurs, professionals, academics and policymakers to work, meet, showcase and host events.

“Workshop17 will go beyond a traditional co-working space. We are creating a multifunctional platform on which people and organisations can work, share, innovate and showcase. On this platform everyone is treated equally: it is a level playing field where personal passion, ideas and contributions matter and status and hierarchy are left at the door,” said Paul Keursten from OPEN.

“We build on the idea that new solutions come about when people from various backgrounds come together and exchange ideas. At OPEN, we often witness how unexpected meetings and exchanges bring inspiration and new opportunities. Workshop17 will provide a space where these positive accidents can happen frequently.”

V&A Waterfront chief executive officer (CEO) David Green said the plan was to create a space in which startups and experienced companies could come together to collaborate and innovate.

“The space will facilitate a community of passionate, innovative and interesting people, learning and working together to create new solutions,” he said.

“Economic growth and job creation in South Africa will largely be driven by entrepreneurship and innovation, and as such, the fostering of small businesses and entrepreneurs is a key focus within our business. The focus for this project is impact investing.”

Workshop17 will offer a flexible pricing structure designed to make membership accessible to all, with drop-in and hourly rates available. Hot-desking rates start from ZAR1,500 (US$120) per person, per month, while meeting rooms and event space are also available for hire.

OPEN said anyone could apply, with applications to be reviewed based upon a person or company’s ability to both benefit from and contribute in a complementary manner to the Workshop17 community.

The co-working space will be housed in the Watershed building, above the craft and design market, and overlooking a working dry dock and Table Mountain.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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