Introducing Startup Guide Cape Town

Read time 2min 40sec

Cape Town’s start-up community got its first look at the Startup Guide Cape Town at a book launch held in the Mother City yesterday. 

The brainchild of global start-up support initiative, Startup Guide, the Cape Town Startup Guide brings together expert advice, insightful interviews and successful founders, as well as curated lists of start-ups, co-working spaces and other resources entrepreneurs and investors need to build a successful business in Cape Town.

Startup Guide has produced guides for cities including London, New York, Berlin, Tel Aviv and Stockholm, among others, and the Cape Town edition of the handbook was developed in partnership with SAP Next-Gen and Silicon Cape.

Speaking at the book launch event, Sissel Hansen, German-based entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Startup Guide, outlined why she believes this kind of resource is so important. For Hansen, encouraging more people to become entrepreneurs comes down to finding the right role models.

“Entrepreneurs need someone they can look up to and who will make them believe they can be successful business owners too.”

In line with this, she stressed the importance of teaching start-ups and entrepreneurs about the value of mentors.

Hansen believes mentors are perhaps one of the most critical components of start-up success. “Start-ups need someone who can take them by the hand and get through whatever hurdles may come their way.”

Another critical ingredient for success, according to Hansen, is access to information. This includes everything from accessing insights about potential competitors, to learning where entrepreneurs can turn for advice/support when times are tough.

The book is divided into seven sections:

  • Start-ups: Featuring a selection of successful Cape Town start-ups.
  • Programmes: Offering information around various accelerators and bootcamps.
  • Spaces: Highlighting some of the best co-working spaces in the Mother City.
  • Experts: Providing solid legal and financial advice from industry insiders.
  • Founders: Showcasing the efforts and offering insights from some of Cape Town’s shining start-up stars.
  • Schools: Outlining where entrepreneurs can go when they want to expand their skill set.
  • Investors: Detailing what options entrepreneurs have when looking for investment.

So, how should the 200-odd page resource be used?

Hansen explained the guide has several “use cases”. These guides are sent to various investors and investment networks that use these books to identify businesses to invest in.

“Perhaps the biggest group of readers are people who live in other countries. As much as 60% of the books will be distributed outside of Cape Town, in fact,” noted Hansen. “People from the US, China and Canada are buying these books to understand what the city is all about.”

By providing all the tools, tips, inspiration and information they need, her hope is that the guide will encourage people who are curious about starting a business to do just that – get started.

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