French Tech Night in Johannesburg
On Thursday 28 June 2018, the French Tech Hub Cape Town, in association with the French Embassy and Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, hosted its first networking evening in Braamfontein, aimed at connecting the Tech Hub Cape Town with the Johannesburg’s Tech Ecosystem and supporting South African start-ups to interact with key investors in the innovation and tech industries.
The networking event had a specific focus on investing in start-ups in South Africa. A round table with key investors took place along with a specific pitching session for French Tech entrepreneurs and South African entrepreneurs with specific connections to France.
H.E. Mr. Christophe Farnaud, Ambassador of France to South Africa, opened the event with a speech on innovation and France’s commitment to support entrepreneurs in Africa.
«If things change we have to adjust. We must not be threatened but see it as an opportunity.»
With 1% of global investment in start-ups targeted at Africa and 30% of that going to South Africa, the French Tech community in South Africa is committed to bridging the gap between the South African creativity and investors from the rest of the world. It was precisely the aim of this event and of the second edition of AfricArena in November 2018 in Cape Town, with its strategic partnership with the now internationally visible Vivatech conference.
The French Tech brand was launched by the French government in 2013 to improve the visibility of French innovative entrepreneurs in France and abroad and to enhance the development of coherent start-up ecosystems. In 2017, French Tech start-up companies have raised more than R45 billion with 743 deals in France, compared to R9 billion and 143 deals in 2013.
Since the selection of Cape Town as one of the 21 international French Tech hubs in 2016, the French Tech community, with its dozen of South African start-ups led by French nationals, has been very active in South Africa, notably with the successful launch of the French South African Tech Labs accelerator with investment from Methys and SEDA. Through this initiative, France and South Africa are bridging their ecosystems enabling collaborations between French and South African entrepreneurs and fruitful business opportunities.