The 20th of January saw the first Startup Grind Cape Town event for 2017, hosting Lean Iterator co-founders David Campey and Roger Norton. Ventureburn attended the event at Workshop 17 in the V&A Waterfront.
The event was geared around the pair talking about their experiences in the startup industry as well as some of their own history. Before things started, several speakers addressed the audience about Startup Grind Cape Town and its partners.
“StartupGrind is an entrepreneurial networking event that happens every single month in 200 cities around the world,” explained Guillaume De Smedt, the Global Community Director of Startup Grind.
“It’s really exciting because the guys that organise these events are welcoming to entrepreneurs themselves.” De Smedt added that if anyone in the room is travelling to one of those 200 cities, he’ll be happy to connect them to the Startup Grind hosts. He gave an example of connecting Microsoft to the Vietnam hosts.
“It is about connecting you globally and also helping you connect here locally[…]”
“We don’t do any pitching. We don’t do funding. We don’t do any business hubs or anything, but through our partners, we do help startups here in Cape Town and also internationally.”
A representative from Standard Bank, one of Startup Grind’s key partners in Cape Town, also gave a quick talk to the audience. The Standard Bank incubator manager, Linda Swart, spoke about the bank and startups and their hub in Johannesburg. She also said the organisation is looking to expand its reach in Cape Town.
“In Cape Town, we are looking to do a few acceleration programmes, bootcamps, and we are looking for local partners and people to work with us to help startups get to the next level.”
She also mentioned the new hybrid hub, which recently launched in Pretoria.
“We just launched a new hybrid hub. I don’t know if you guys have heard of it, but it’s a bank branch. The top floor of the of the bank branch is actually a co-working space and events space for entrepreneurs and young people in the area.”
The OM Revolution was announced as another Startup Grind Cape Town partner. A little different to the usual startups that speak at the events, owner and founder, Victoria Csarmann, introduced the idea of ‘mobile yoga’ and where it came from.
“We realised that South Africa has a lot of yoga studios, but not a lot of opportunities for anybody that wants to do yoga outside of the yoga studio.”
The OM Revolution was pitched as the perfect way to help office workers with stress and posture.
David Campey and Roger Norton started off the talk by giving a bit of history about themselves.
Norton said that he “kinda stumbled into yachting”. After studying engineering at UCT for two years, he decided it wasn’t for him and took a gap year. After working a day or so a week and living on a friend’s couch he found a job as a deckhand and was later offered the position of an engineer’s position and spent four years on super yachts.
Campey had a different experience. At an early age he “made a lot of money doing internet stuff”. At 16 he started an internet business with someone he met at work. He took R12 000 and purchased a server for their business. One day, he realised that his partner had stolen the server and later found out that the partner was wanted by the police for a number of things.
After starting their own companies, the pair met after several people told them they needed to. When Campey and Norton finally met, they noticed they were wearing the same shoes and began comparing business models. Norton noted how similar the models were, but with changes here and there.
From there, they spoke about Lean Iterator, their views on business models and technology, as well as general thoughts on startups.
Keep checking back for an article detailing what we learnt from Campey and Norton’s talk.