We’ve mentioned the tech renaissance happening in Johannesburg’s Braamfontein suburb in our recently compiled startup guide. The initiatives aimed at tech innovation in the area are collectively known as TechInBraam, and things are picking up steam, reports TechCentral.
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TechInBraam is backed by Wits University and the government, academia and industry partnership based at Wits University, the Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE). Microsoft, Marketing agency Quirk and international IT consultancy, ThoughtWorks, are also onboard.
The idea is to create an ICT cluster in Braamfontein fueled by Wits University’s creation of the “Tshimologong Precinct” — “Tshimologong” is the isiSotho word for “Place of New Beginnings”. The Precinct will be situated in five weathered buildings in Juta Street. One of the buildings has been renovated so far — with an emphasis on excellent internet connectivity — and the surrounding area is undergoing a facelift of sorts, reinvigorated by the development of new commercial and residential properties.
The buildings will serve as co-working space and TechInBraam’s hub for tech innovation meetings and events. The programme’s driving force, Professor Barry Dwolatzky, Director of the JCSE, says that the hub will also host short courses, internships, skills and leadership development programmes and a startUp incubator.
Some of the events taking place include a software quality meetup called QA In Braam, Agile Africa, Coded in Braam, UX Jozi and Black Girls Code. Microsoft’s Windows 8 App Factory, will also be moving from its office in Sandton to TechInBraam’s buildings.
It’s good to see tech entrepreneurship being taken seriously outside of Cape Town. Close by, the Praekelt Foundation launched JoziHub, which it claimed to be the “city’s first technology incubator dedicated to fostering entrepreneurship and innovation.”