SA startups need reality check – Borole


South African startups need to take a “reality check” and to realise starting a business is not an easy choice, according to new Silicon Cape head of startup relations Roy Mathieu Borole.

Disrupt Africa reported last month Borole, who is co-founder of WumDrop, had been elected alongside Guillaume de Smedt as head of startup relations at Silicon Cape, in elections that also saw Daniel Guasco take the role of chairperson.

Borole began his tenure by telling Disrupt Africa startups in South Africa needed to be more realistic about the difficulties they faced if they are to be successful.

“This game is incredibly difficult, it’s unforgiving and it requires unrelenting effort and precise execution,” he said.

“The reality of it is, we need to see local companies growing quicker and more aggressively.”

He said Silicon Cape and the startups it assisted needed to set “some pretty high targets and goals”, unpacking these so entrepreneurs can understand what they need to be achieving.

“We need to promote an environment which gives entrepreneurs greater insight into what it takes to succeed and more importantly, what they need to be doing,” Borole said.

He said the quality of South African startups was definitely improving, but that education will be one of the keys to truly unlocking the potential.

“It’s not so much “move fast and break things”, but more understand how fast you’re moving,how are you going to move faster, and what are you trying to break,” he said.

Silicon Cape will play a role in providing PR, connecting startups to relevant stakeholders in the local ecosystem, and matching as many mentors to companies as possible.

“But capable and established mentors to good companies. Maybe even starting a hot desk in the community where companies and entrepreneurs can access coaching and mentorship,” he 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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