Help map out Cape Town's top tech start-ups

Cape Town – Over the past few years, the Mother City has been strategically changing its identity into the Digital City, with edgy tech start-up entrepreneurs from all over the world jumping at the opportunity to live and work in Cape Town.

The growth has been fast, but it’s hard to know where to find all these cool cyber nerds. That’s where Rowan Polovin’s neat map has found a gap.

Listen to the full interview:



Using crowd sourcing methods, the map is a simple and yet effective way of visually seeing the tech eco-system.

“I came up with the idea to build an interactive map showcasing all the tech start-ups in Cape Town in September,” he told Fin24.

His aim was to see what the tech eco-system looked like and wanted to find investors and a co-working space for his online loan company. “There’s actually no place where you can go, where it brings all this kind of information together in a visual way,” he said.

Just two months later, Mapped in Cape Town was born.

Click on the above link to add your business to the map.

Enormous traction

“The result has been quite amazing,” he said. “The site has got enormous traction and I think people have been incredibly enthusiastic about the idea of putting themselves on the map.”

Companies simply need to add a brief about their company along with a URL and physical address. They can add community events and initiatives as well as Wi-Fi hotspots. In under a month, over 100 companies listed on the map and over 1 000 Wi-Fi hotspots have been pinned on the map.

“People have just taken to the idea, which is just a visual snapshot of the ecosystem,” Polovin said. “It allows people to get to grips with the ecosystem in one go.”

Clustering inspired innovation

“What’s interesting is that there are a lot of clusters that you can actually visually see,” he said. “I am a big proponent of clustering, which is the concept of Professor Michael Porter, that when people work very close together, incredible innovations start to happen.”

“You can actually see that on the map, where you see pockets of a lot of clustering happening, such as in the Cape Town CBD, [where] you have over 43 companies in very close vicinity,” he said. “You have other clusters that are starting to develop on the map.”

“There’s a lot of interesting things happening in the Cape Town area,” Polovin said. “There’s a lot of collaborating amongst companies here. There’s a big understanding and need that we need some kind of investment community to start growing to actually start the start-ups.”

“There’s also an understanding that you don’t have to actually have an office space, but you can potentially use a pay-as-you-go office, which we have over five listed on the site.”

 “The start-up culture is growing and taking off in the Cape Town area,” he said.

Johannesburg tech start-ups don't need to feel left out just yet, because Polovin has plans to start one there very soon.

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