Friday, April 2, 2010

Silicon Cape

On Wednesday night I attended my first Silicon Cape event, an initiative started by some Cape Town locals who see Cape Town as the Silicon Valley of Africa. There had been much hype about who would be speaking mostly around a bird who came from Google headquarters. She was actually horribly disappointing, apparently the Google Geek crew don't handle their booze so well and after "a glass of wine" there was much swaying and gripping of the mic to keep herself stable. She threw out a few t-shirts and promptly buggered off...

Thank god for Rob Van Vuuren who was the MC. Kept the crowd entertained from start to finish and was just fantastic. The humor was more than welcome after having queued, for what felt like ages, to get a couple of beers. Will not dwell on that as they were very good at apologizing and getting 2 Oceans Vibe involved and having masses of Butlers pizza delivered.  The Rotherham really is very good.

Pretty much anyone and everyone that had some online influence was there. You had absolutely no idea who they were as they very rarely would leave the comfort of their PC/Mac screen. Fortunately they are surprisingly friendly and so having made an appearance and not known too many others there were some great conversations.... Apart from one very strange chap who continuously asked if I was "free," eventually feeling under some pressure the best response I could come up with was "yes, no, well, maybe this evening, it really depends... you?" He then said "free laptop" and I realized he had probably been electrocuted quite badly after taking his computer apart for the tenth time that day. Poor guy.

Most enjoyable part of the evening involved Van Vuuren getting a bunch of entrepreneurs up onto the stage and then given a minute to punt their money making schemes. There were some great ideas and they all did a really good job of explaining their concepts. Very exciting to see what is happening in the Western Cape.

All in all a great evening regardless of the blal'lad Google chick and massive booze queues. Mistakes are made and I am sure that they have learnt from it and it will be much better next time. If you want to get involved with Silicon Cape events you can register and once approved you can go to events, many of which are for free, and are great places to do some solid networking.

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