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A new space dedicated to help startups to do what they do best — build cool stuff, drink coffee, network and learn — has opened up its doors in Cape Town, South Africa.
On a mission to be called home by 30 keen small businesses, the co-working space provides hot desks, a tech-savvy idea factory, meeting rooms and training delivered by quality mentors from some the country’s top organisations.
Alongside its recent launch, Platform 9 is also announcing the Startup Track Night competition which will see three startups get access to one year sponsored residence at Platform 9, as well as training and mentorship. The competition is currently calling for applications, after which 15 startups will get the chance to pitch their businesses in front of a panel of top coaches and mentors.
At the launch event, Warren Larkan, the PR Marketing Lead on the Microsoft BizSpark Programme, took to the floor to discuss the importance of investing in the creation of local ecosystems to build quality small-to medium-sized enterprise (SME) pipelines.
Toby Chance, Shadow Minister for the Department of Small Business Development also shared his views on the importance of public and private sector collaborations to assist in the development of SMEs in the country. “We must create an army of mentors dedicated to creation and support of SMEs that create value for our communities,” he said.
Chance explained that, although government claims to value the contribution of small businesses to the economy and consequently assert their efforts to provide small businesses with sufficient support, he believes that the South African government remains unfriendly towards small businesses, given the general difficulty SMEs experience in the regulatory environment, access to finance and the general red tape faced by SMEs. Initiatives like Platform 9 hopes to help startups overcome these issues.
For more information on Startup Track Night or the co-working space, you can contact Platform 9 here.