South Africa is to gain a new co-working space, with the Platform9 office launching in Cape Town next week, aiming to provide an “affordable and authentic” workspace for startups.
Speaking to Disrupt Africa, Catherine Young of Platform9 said the new co-working space – located in Salt River – has been created in a bid to provide the infrastructural support for startups and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to be able to “act big” and compete on the market.
“Co-working space is a useful and affordable alternative to entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses who are not yet financially equipped to have their own offices and facilities, but who are in need of a work space to take their businesses to the next level,” said Young.
“Small businesses often have to “act big” to compete in their respective markets and therefore require infrastructural support such as offered by co-working spaces.”
With this intention in mind, Platform9 offers affordable workspace with the necessary services – such as high-speed internet and printing – available; while the space will also host workshops for entrepreneurs, as well as acting as an “idea factory” for students and graduates hoping to move into the entrepreneurial space.
“Platform9 was launched because we understand the needs of small business. Consequently, we wanted to provide affordable and authentic co-working space for SMEs, as well as relevant, impactful businesses training/workshops, and an idea factory where interns from across South Africa can come to receive administrative- and information technology experience with the support of larger organisations,” Young said.
According to Young, Platform9 will differentiate itself from other co-working spaces in Cape Town by focusing on addressing skills shortages felt by startups and SMEs, by offering tailored workshops and training with a range of expert partners.
“Platform9 is unique in that it will partner with large organisations to be of service to small businesses, in more ways than merely providing co-working space. We aim to make SME training and workshops available through our partnerships, in order to address any skills shortages SMEs may experience,” she said.
“We further endeavour to develop the skills capacity of young graduates from various backgrounds (including coding, information technology and office administration) through internship opportunities – their services could, in turn, be made available to SMEs at affordable rates.”
There will be 30 seats available for rent at Platform9 on a permanent or hot-seat basis, with doors opening on March 2.
A permanent seat will cost ZAR1,500 (US$130) per person per month, while a hot-seat is priced at ZAR999 (US$87) for 100 hours per month per person.
Those interested in renting space should email [email protected].