Tumi Menyatswe. Supplied
Tumi Menyatswe. Supplied

What SA can learn from #VivaTech, French tech scene

By Wesley Diphoko Time of article published Jun 4, 2018

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CAPE TOWN - A few days ago #VivaTech hosted technology startups across the world in France where the French leader Emmanuel Macron kickstarted his programme for AI leadership by France. 

Business Report interviewed one of the participants, Founder of Minderz and head of ecosystems at Silicon Cape, who attended the tech show. 

According to Tumi Menyatswe the 2018 VivaTech conference was an inspirational platform for African startups. Business Report asked her what were the major lessons learned?

Menyatswe indicated that one of her takeout points was the need for collaboration within the South African tech eco-system.

She pointed out that there was no need for the Pretoria, Joburg and Cape Town tech eco-systems to work in silos.

According to her, one of the major lessons was the need for a more consolidated South African tech eco-system in order to sell a single story to the International market.

Menyatswe also highlighted the role played by other governments to promote tech small businesses within their countries.

"Countries such as Morroco did very well in driving a national programme to support tech small businesses and the result was showing at #VivaTech" she indicated.

President Macron unveiled a €10bn fund to give visibility to innovation in France and create a more attractive environment for entrepreneurs. 

He also stated that the French government, through the French Development Agency, will launch a R900 million-programme aimed at investing in African startups. 

All these measures were welcomed by the startup community. Reflecting on this gesture by Macron, the local startup founder Menyatswe called on South Africa to also consider a startup fund, particularly for tech startups. She felt strongly that this is necessary if South Africa is to be considered an innovation nation.

She called for more support by South African government for tech small businesses in order to truly drive innovation in South Africa.

Menyatswe was amongst a group of startups that were attending the VivaTech conference this year. 

South African startups were well represented at VivaTech, thanks to support by DTI & Legazy.  

Legazy is a full-service start-up centric business built, for now, to support start-ups in  South Africa on their quest to disrupt. 

They partner with the worlds very best to up-skill, invest in and collaborate with South African start-ups. 

Through a strategic relationship with VivaTech, Legazy was able to bring 20 startups from South Africa to participate in the conference and access opportunities.

According to Menyatswe more collaborated, efforts and interventions by companies such as Legazy are crucial if South Africa is to become truly an innovative nation that supports startups.


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