Daniel Guasco steps down as Silicon Cape chairperson

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Daniel Guasco has handed over the reins as chairperson of the board of Silicon Cape to Dr Sumarie Roodt.

A former co-CEO of Groupon South Africa now running insurtech startup Click2Sure, Guasco was elected as chairperson of Silicon Cape in March 2015, replacing Alexandra Fraser.

The non-profit organisation (NPO), which is committed to building and catalysing the technology ecosystem in South Africa, was founded by Justin Stanford and Vinny Lingham, and has gone through a number of changes over the course of Guasco’s tender on the back of raising more than ZAR3 million (US$270,000) in funding from First National Bank (FNB) in late 2014.

This started a process of professionalisation of the organisation, which saw the appointment of Nozuko Poni as marketing and project coordinator in March, and that of Ellen Fischat as its first permanent managing director in May. Fischat paid tribute to Guasco.

“It has been a privilege to have had Daniel, who is also a global technology entrepreneur, serve Silicon Cape as the chairperson,” she said. “His advocacy for strengthening the local technology ecosystem and entrepreneurial community will continue as he remains a director of Silicon Cape and mentor to the broader ecosystem.”

Guasco’s involvement with Silicon Cape started in 2009 as an entrepreneur and active community member. He was first appointed to the board in 2012, before being elected chairperson in 2015.

“With the continued support of the board of Silicon Cape who I sincerely thank, I believe the initiative has made big strides,” says Guasco.

Current director Dr Roodt has been unanimously elected by the board as the new chairperson, effective September 1. She has been actively involved with the initiative since 2015, heading the Students and Careers portfolio, and became a director last year.

“Dr. Roodt’s passion for unlocking the power of technology for ICT4 Development across Africa means she has valuable insight to the ecosystem,” Fischat said.

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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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