The Southbridge – A Creative Tech Hub
Post amended Jan 2013
Sadly I was not successful at opening a business/entrepreneurs club in Cape Town in 2012 as I’d hoped. I couldn’t raise the extra funds or get enough general buy-in. I spent £10s of thousands over a 6 month period designing, anchor leasing, flying to and fro to meet interested parties, an amazing journey albeit temporarily cul-de-sac’d.
But my quest isn’t dead just yet.
From my perspective there are 3 things Cape Town (And SA) does well; tourism, financial services and creative tech. So I have decided to approach from a new angle, reduce outlay/risk, venue size and function, increase it’s commercial potential and focus solely on the creative tech scene in South Africa – Web, marketing, advertising, apps, mobile etc.
Original concept drawings:
There is a burgeoning digital sector in South Africa, full of smart techies building web, mobile, touchscreen, augmented reality widgets and thingies that need channel to market internationally.
There are a number of great initiatives and collectives in Cape Town that are fuelling the startup end of the market, but little support for those who already have a sustainable business. The middle to higher end of the market.
So the opportunity is to create an exclusive club/hub of individuals, organisations and companies who want to collaborate on digital products, enjoy an inspiring place to work and play, learn and network, while accelerating the growth of their businesses. I also want the venue to be a showcase for South African tech entrepreneurship and innovation. (I’m not forgetting international business people who will simply enjoy using the space when in Cape Town).
Where better to do that than in foothills of Table Mountain?
Facilities: Meeting Rooms • Bar / Restaurant • Hot Desks • High Speed Internet Access • Swimming pool / Jacuzzi • Outdoor Bar / Terrace • TV and relaxation space (Pictures are of a potential new space pre-fitout)
Club Aims: To offer an inspirational (net)working and thinking space for the digital community where we also collaboratively build digital products for international brands. The offline version of our online world • Encourage 2-way investment opportunities between South Africa and the rest of the world • Invest in local businesses with profit generated from the club
Additional Activities: Dinner and Lunch Talks/Seminars • Educational Forums • Mentoring and Coaching • Idea Pitching • Networking • Collaborative Projects • Private Parties • Sports / Live Events on TV
Suggested Modus Operandi: Membership is invite only and focussed on the creative and tech sectors • Numbers limited to <500 members and split between start-up, small, med and large business • Club is managed by a rotating board of 7 members • % of profit invested in local opportunities, equity retained, with the caveat that a % of their profit is also paid forward
The Financials: Membership will cost R500-R3000 per month depending on usage, ability to pay, location • Day passes available at R200 • Club revenue will come from F&B (standard rates), events, venue hire, membership, and sponsorship • We will invest an average of R1m/year in local business/social enterprise • Reciprocal club memberships operational • We will look to open international venues based on the same principles within 3 years
We need: 1-5 sponsors to raise R100k/mth in total and support the initiative for a minimum of 1 year • 20 Founder Members to operate as ambassadors and encourage membership • General awareness for the initiative
With the Rand currently at R14-£1 developing tech here is cheaper than ever.
Interested in joining? Sponsoring? Hearing more?
email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +27 715 203098 or +44 7766 776611