French Tech Cape Town launches new French Tech Labs in South Africa

French Tech Cape Town announced the launch of French Tech Labs – an Incubator and Accelerator structure for French and South African start-ups – in Century City on the 16th of November.

FTL Launch

Cape Town – November 16th, 2016.


On the 16th of November, during AfricaCom, French Tech Cape Town will celebrate the launch of its brand new 400 sqm  incubation and acceleration structure French Tech Labs, dedicated to the development of French and South African Tech businesses. This cocktail dinner will gather 150 guests both South African and French key Tech players, including public figures like Provincial Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde, Consul of France in Cape Town Xavier d'Argoeuves, and Wesgro CEO Tim Harris.


Since its launch in February 2016, French Tech Cape Town , supported by major French Tech players such as Orange, Dassault Systemes, Schneider Electric and Gemalto, is an increasingly powerful force in the Cape Town Silicon Cape Tech community, aggregating hundreds of start-ups to large companies, joining in an effort to cooperate and co innovate in South Africa. With a community of more than 2 000 key Tech actors, the network has been growing through monthly events and the dynamism of its initiatives at the local, national and international scale (with programs such as French Tech Ticket, Development and Digital Africa Days, Start-up Challenge Digital Africa…). Thanks to the joint efforts of the French and South African Tech communities, those successful initiatives embrace the acceleration of innovative technology ventures, supporting the digital skill development at the local and national scale. French Tech Cape Town aims now at expanding from being not only a networking platform but also to include a physical location dedicated to entrepreneurs and start up incubation and to the development of disruptive businesses and services. 

FTL Launch - Cocktail


Building on the established success of its core Cape Town component, Methys Labs, French Tech Labs will be a home base for digital entrepreneurs, providing in-house development engineers, business mentoring, coaching, business development, funding and access to an international network of 22 international French Tech Hubs around the globe and thousands or small to medium size tech players. be an integrated hub for innovation related to the digital industry. The initiative is kick started by a R5 million investment in Methys, to be completed by sponsors and South African partners expected to further expand the capacity of the Labs within the next few months, with a focus on black entrepreneurship. Ultimately the goal of the hub is to create sustainable jobs and profit generating ventures in South Africa, having the ability to scale up internationally.

 

About a dozen start-ups, including award winning Powertime, Energy Intelligence and Paygenius are already in the French Tech Labs portfolio and embrace the key focus areas that will be addressed by the Labs, reflecting the specialization fields of the founding members of the French Tech Cape Town ecosystem: Smart City, Smart Home, Smart Commerce, Smart Media, and Smart Education.

FTL Launch - Alan Winde

Alan Winde, Provincial Minister of Economic Opportunities, said: “French Tech Labs is a very exciting investment for our region, and I am confident this facility is going to provide a powerful platform for the development of tech and innovation. The French ICT sector is among the largest in Europe. Through the French Tech Lab, our entrepreneurs will now to able to tap into this world-class expertise. In this way, this initiative will allow South African and French tech start-ups to access key networks to develop their ideas. I’d like to thank French Tech and Methys for their continued business confidence in our region. You have a proven track record of setting up successful start-up ventures here. On behalf of the Western Cape Government, I would like to commend you for your commitment to accelerating our tech sector, and your contribution to driving jobs and growth.”


FTL - Tim Harris

Tim Harris, CEO of Wesgro, commented “Wesgro welcomes the news that French Tech Cape Town launches the Disruptive Incubator South Africa French Tech Labs. The French community in the Cape has made an outsized contribution to tech entrepreneurship and innovation in “Silicon Cape”, and we are thrilled that this contribution is today going further, with the establishment of a physical location dedicated to the development of local start-ups. The launch of a new incubator, combining French know-how and South African innovation, will scale up the development of the local tech ecosystem and help to drive investment, trade and technology transfers between our region and France.”


FT L - Xavier  d.

Xavier d’Argoeuves, Consul of France in Cape Town, said “Since the French Tech Cape Town ecosystem has been approved by the French Government on the 29th of January, its initiatives have been increasingly dynamic, gathering both South African and French entrepreneur communities to create a leading innovation ecosystem in Africa. The launch of the French Tech Labs marks today a new turning point in the exchanges between France and South Africa regarding innovation and the digital industry.”


FT Launch - Christophe Viarnaud

Christophe Viarnaud, co-founder, Chief Executive Officer of Methys and Lead Ambassador of Cape Town French Tech, added “Over the past few months, French Tech Cape Town has developed successful initiatives and scaled up its capacity from the core 6-year-old Methys Labs structure, combining French and South African innovation. Today, French Tech Cape Town is pleased to announce the launch of a physical platform, French Tech Labs to support digital development in South Africa and welcome startups and new talents in our incubation and acceleration program. We are working very hard with the global French Tech Network, the French Tech Hub founding members, and our South African partners, to accelerate the development of these Labs to accelerate start up creation in the digital sector.” 


FT Launch - Justin

Justin Coetzee, CEO of GoMetro, commented “GoMetro is very happy to be part of the French Tech Lab in Cape Town. As a Cape Town startup looking to scale - the Lab gives us a physical space in our hometown to access the French digital market. French Tech Cape Town is a very effective economic bridge between Cape Town and French business.”

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