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Cape Town based IT movement, the Silicon Cape has launched a new initiative it is calling the Silicon Cape Academy. The initiative takes the shape of a monthly educational event which aims to assist entrepreneurs in developing successful startup ventures.
According to a press release issued by the Silicon Cape, the organisation has partnered “with industry experts to provide start-ups with practical advice on how to run and grow their businesses”.
Rob Stokes, chairman of the Silicon Cape, believes that the academy has a valuable role to play in advancing the region’s startup culture:
Entrepreneurs are the backbone of our economy and we need to give them all the support we can. The Silicon Cape Academy offers technology startups an opportunity to learn from industry professionals on topics that matter to their businesses: marketing, finance, human resources, the different funding options, how to pitch to a VC and many more. We believe that through this free initiative we are delivering a valuable service to our community and helping more South African technology businesses succeed on a global scale.
The first Silicon Cape Academy event focussed on startup funding and included presentations form a number of industry experts who spoke about the various types of funding, private and public, available to startups. Each academy event covers a new topic pertinent to IT entrepreneurs.
The academy is expected to work in unison with another of the movement’s initiatives, VC Office Hours.
Office Hours gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to spend 20 minutes with a VC fund manager once a month. and ask any question relating to any aspect of their startup business including intellectual property ownership; who best to approach for funding — a local or international VC, what is required to receive VC funding; and the global pertinence of their products and services.
Invenfin’s business development manager Alex Fraser believes that Office Hours is a vital initiative in that it “assists entrepreneurs in providing the right information, to the right funder, at the right time, hopefully increasing their chances of raising capital”.
Since its 2009 inception, the Silicon Cape has engaged in a number of activities aimed at bringing entrepreneurs together with local and foreign investors.