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Cape Town based tech initiative Silicon Cape has paid tribute to Burn Media Group founder Matthew Buckland, who passed away last Tuesday. Buckland, who had cancer, was 44 years old.
In a newsletter sent out on Friday (26 April) Silicon Cape chairperson Sumarie Roodt said Buckland played a key role in the early days of Silicon Cape.
“On Tuesday (23 April) morning many of us learnt with shock, that one of the pillars of the digital ecosystem, Matthew Buckland had died. If you were at the launch of Silicon Cape at the Bay Hotel in 2009, you will remember that Matt was the MC that day, bringing the community together and inspiring us with his opening speech to start the movement,” she said.
Roodt said Buckland was elected onto the first Silicon Cape committee. “He helped found the organisation, raised funding, built partnerships and credited his involvement with Silicon Cape as the inspiration for leaving the corporate world to start Burn Media and Creative Spark,” she said.
Rob Stokes, former Silicon Cape committee member and chairperson said: “I will miss Matt deeply. He was a giant of the digital industry in South Africa, first in Joburg with his pioneering work on M&G Online and then in Cape Town both working on his own entrepreneurial ventures but also his contribution to the industry through organisations like Silicon Cape”.
Matthew Buckland helped found Silicon Cape, raised funding, built partnerships
Stokes said as a person Buckland was “intelligent, ambitious, fun and kind”. “He was an all-round good guy who was great to be around. His tragic death is a reminder to us all to seize every day with zeal,” he said.
Daniel Gausco, past Silicon Cape chairperson and committee member, said Buckland’s contribution to the SA technology space was “significant”. “He was selfless, humble and so giving of his time and knowledge,” he said.
“I had the honour of getting to know him personally and will treasure the many engagements we had over the years. Although he will be dearly missed there is no doubt his impact and contribution will not be forgotten” said Gausco.
Alexandra Fraser, another former Silicon Cape chairperson, said Buckland was an active mentor, advisor and investor in the ecosystem and “will be missed by all”. “Matt was an active member of our community, always up for a debate and would challenge you to think differently, but he was fun, quick to laugh and deeply committed to building the industry,” she said.
Said Roodt: “The Silicon Cape community, committee and all who knew and worked with Matt, send our sincere condolences to Bridget, Stella, Izzy and the rest of his family”.
A memorial will be held for Matt tomorrow at 10am at the Cape Point Vineyards in Noordhooek, Cape Town. All are welcome to attend.