Official launch of the Cape Town French Tech Hub

On Wednesday, March 16, the Cape Town French Tech Hub was officially launched at a cocktail dinner organized by the French Tech team, gathering both South African and French tech entrepreneurs and institutions. 

On this occasion, key South African and French personalities expressed their welcoming of the initiative:

  • Patricia de Lille, Executive Mayor of Cape Town
  • Elisabeth Barbier, Ambassador of France in South Africa
  • Tim Harris, CEO Wesgro
  • Daniel Guasco, Chairman of Silicon Cape
  • Camille Agon, Founder of We Think code
  • Christophe Viarnaud, Lead French Tech Ambassador and CEO of Methys

The event also brought together more than 250 French and local tech entrepreneurs based in both Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The Mayor of Cape Town welcomed the initiative by these thankful words:

“We're grateful to the French government for the vote of confidence they're showing in the local tech economy in Cape Town.” 

Moreover, Elisabeth Barbier, Ambassador of France in South Africa stressed the dynamism of Cape Town in the technology sector and the opportunities it offers to South African and French entrepreneurs. Elisabeth Barbier said  

« I am delighted that Cape Town has been designated as a French Tech Hub. This success rewards all the efforts made by a dynamic community of French entrepreneurs, rooted in Cape Town, who benefits from a leading innovation ecosystem in Africa. This success will also foster business and human talent exchanges between France and South Africa, in innovation and especially in the digital industry».

Tim Harris and Daniel Guasco also congratulated the initiative and were very enthusiastic for future partnerships that the French Tech will establish between the South African and French technology ecosystems.

Discover the post event video: 

            

This project has been supported by:

  • French companies: Dassault System, Gemalto, Methys, Orange, Schneider Electric
  • Local companies : Wesgro 
  • Local organizations : Business France, Cap40, Sillicon Cape
  • Institution: French Consulate in Cape Town

Thanks to their experience in South Africa, the project sponsors will advise new entrants. A new web portal has been created to provide information about the local economic partners, useful contacts and measures to support start-ups. The other key objective of the Cape Town French Tech Hub is to help South African companies to benefit from all the opportunities that this label offers in terms of new technologies, investments and also recruitment of new talents.

 The Cape Town French Tech Hub already relies on five dynamic start-ups:

The active participation of these five start-ups during the event provided a concrete illustration of what the Cape Town French Tech Hub consists in. 

This launch was a great success and promises more exciting developments.

 Future prospects

The French Tech Hub should quickly take advantage of its recent high visibility both in France and South Africa, and will soon disclose its line-up of events for the coming months.

The vision for the FTH incubator in Cape Town    

Objectives

This FTH incubator in Cape Town represents:

  • The hosting facility of the skunk works teams and the digitalization projects/teams of the Cape Town French Tech Hub members
  • The incubation space for spin-off companies of the French Tech Hub members or the start-up identified as strategic for their businesses
  • The channel for open innovation projects and sourcing of innovative ideas for French Tech members
  • The one-stop gateway for French and South African entrepreneurs looking to access French Tech development capabilities
  • The soft-landing location for the companies members of the French Tech metropolis and the French Tech Hubs willing to grasp the South African and Sub-Saharan Africa opportunities
  • The platform in Cape Town dedicated to the building of capacity in coding and programming
  • The location of French Tech Hub events

 

Type of services proposed and potential business model

Many services can be envisioned such as easy and fast access to affordable hands-on advisory and soft landing services, referrals, fund raising assistance, shared office space, meeting rooms, administrative help, business development, financial and technical expertise, IT support, marketing PR, events.

To provide them, an analysis should be performed to evaluate how the business model will be balanced between revenues generated directly by the incubator and the investments in CAPEX & OPEX from the partners.

For instance, these services, commonly shared in incubators, can be monetized as revenue streams:

  • Support in the development of the business: advice on milestones, way to proceed, with the ability to become a member of the team
  • Provide a sectorial knowledge and local specificities advices
  • Assist in business development and scanning of local competitors
  • Facilitate the access to networks: relevant business and technical contacts, investors, mentors, tech facilities, tech teams
  • Offer office space rental with an easy access to other entrepreneurs
  • Support the technological development with an in-house development team

 The billing of these services will be facilitated by the establishment of service packages, each package allowing the access to increasing levels of support. The French Tech Hub founding and funding partners will be eligible to either free access to these services or discounted prices depending on their financial involvement.

 The incubator can also take equity in the companies supported transforming the support provided into shares.

 Following event should be:

  • 11th of May : French Tech/Cap40 FSATI Visit
  • May: Lauch of French Tech South Africa at Johanesbourg !
  • June: French Tech/Cap40 Teleperformance Visit

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