Silicon Cape launches new innovation support model

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Western Cape startup support organisation Silicon Cape has launched its strategic membership plan to enable the accelerated inclusion of tech startups and grow the dynamism of the local ecosystem.

The Africa-first 2021 Strategic Plan launched by Silicon Cape arrives alongside a new membership model for those seeking to connect to the local and global tech scene.

The strategy aims to connect stakeholders, amplify the stories of the continent’s tech innovators, advocate on behalf of the ecosystem as a collective, and build bridges with other hubs in order to grow the continent.

The new membership model aims to grow connections within the ecosystem, aligning tightly to new research that revealed the broader Cape Town as Africa’s Tech Hub.

“What we have seen from the Endeavour Report is that our ecosystem’s strength comes from our connections between the various stakeholders. Our community works hard to keep talking to each other, supporting each other and trying to leverage collective resources where possible,” said Kerry Petrie, general manager of the Silicon Cape Initiative.  

“This speaks to Silicon Cape’s success historically, but also, critically, informs our new membership model. The model is how we plan to grow and strengthen those connections to maintain the dynamism of the ecosystem.”

The new membership model offers different paid-for plans that provide local and global innovation stakeholders curated access to the ecosystem, access to resources and marketing opportunities on the Silicon Cape platform. Plans start at only ZAR500 (US$38).

Membership also incorporates bespoke tech tours to highlight what key startups and innovation spaces are doing for visitors to the ecosystem. There is also a strong focus on building the networks for student entrepreneurship to capitalise on and accelerate the rising number of student ventures.

Silicon Cape has created a model that benchmarks itself against international best practice that has been effectively used to achieve financial independence and sustainability.

The shift away from a single source of corporate or government donor funding aligns to the strategic goal to stimulate inclusivity and ensures long-term financial sustainability for the same reason. Critically, the new model allows Silicon Cape to hold a closer working relationship with a wider range of stakeholders through clearly articulated relationships.

“Silicon Cape’s new Africa-first membership model launch gave them an opportunity to update their members on what they are doing in helping us create this amazing ecosystem, this tech innovative space, where we can do things in Africa for Africa,” said Western Cape minister of economic opportunities Alan Winde.

“What stood out for me from the launch is how they’ve come up with an innovative model where no one member can take an overbearing role in the organisation and I believe that in itself will be an innovative way in which business chambers and other sector bodies are going to look at the way they fund themselves. This is the most amazing way for government to become a member of an organisation like Silicon Cape.”

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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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