Business Cape Town community Content Creator coworking Entrepreneur Entrepreneur Network networking SME Social media Start-up

    Learning from Failure

    CapeTownOffice“Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.” – Robert T. Kiyosaki

    This year, CTO is proud to bring FuckUp Nights to Cape Town. This event promises to disrupt the “talk” scene in Cape Town by delivering a refreshingly different take; learning from failure. Founded in 2012 in Mexico, FuckUp Nights is a monthly event that takes place in over 200 cities worldwide where 3 to 4 speakers share their stories on business failure. 

    Our first Cape Town chapter took place on the 9th of Feb and we had around 140 people attend. What a turnout, especially since it was the day of SONA as well and parliament is a few 100 meters away from the venue! Despite the chaos that raged outside, inside the venue the speakers we selected for the first event did not disappoint.

    FUNFirst up, we had Khanyi Pupuma, Founder and CEO of Ekhaya Brewery, followed by Elodie Burls Co-Founder of BlinkTower and our 3rd speaker of the night, Fred Roed, CEO and Co-Founder of World Wide Creative

    We could not have asked for better speakers for our inaugural FUN Cape Town chapter. The takeaways were strong and the audience couldn’t get enough. The night ended with a strong Q&A session followed by networking over a few cold beers. 

    Our venue, Canterbury House is a new licensed venue in the East City precinct and we are so fortunate to call this our new home for FUN nights this year.  

    Our next FUN night – 9th March 2017 – has a solid line-up, so be sure to check the socials, Twitter & Facebook for details on the speakers, tickets etc. 

    Can’t wait and hope to see you all there! 

    #SharetheFailure 

     

    February 20, 2017
    Africa APP development Business co-working Collaborate community conference cowork coworking Digital Entrepreneur Entrepreneur Network hub incubators Investment networking Shared Office SME SouthAfrica Start-up techhubs Uncategorized

    Coworking Africa, a growing community.

    coworking-Africa-Conference-2015-970X180

    Coworking Africa

    On the 5th of February we had the 2nd meetup of Coworking Africa at the Design Bank, in the East City of Cape Town. Organised by the Coworking Europe crew, this was very much a spur of the moment event as a follow on from the very first gathering in 2015.

    Like the first #CWAfrica conference, the content was rich and the contributors all evangelical about the growth of the coworking movement on African soil. What’s clear is that we [operators / owners] are all passionate about the people we’re creating these amazing spaces for; the freelancers, the entrepreneurs, the lone rangers out on a mission to start his/her own business and desperate to get out of “coffee shop working” and into a community of like minds. We understand how crucial enabling this environment is to the bigger picture, i.e. the growth of our economy and that any part we can play in helping the start-ups and small businesses can only be a great thing for the South African and greater African economy.

    For example, we heard at the meet up that there’s so much good news around the growth of Fintech in Cape Town, be it the vast amount of talent Cape Town has to offer the Tech (global) scene, that could rival any San Francisco, London and Silicon Valley today. And the influx of investment that leads to the creation of more Hubs and Incubators that in turn feeds beautifully into coworking spaces. It’s all very good news!

    Now for the part that’s not so good… YET! A clear message from the unconference part of the day was that more needs to be done to assist those who live outside of our cities, in townships and informal settlements to help become part of our coworking communities. It’s not enough to offer discounted or even free space to these entrepreneurs and freelancers. Paying for a desk is only one part of the problem, what about the nearly R2,000 per month to travel in and out of town on top, not to mention lunch!

    We don’t have the answers to these complex social issues, not by a long shot, but participating in platforms like Coworking Africa brings us a little closer to finding those sustainable solutions. I look forward to the continued discussion around this subject and welcome you – yes you reading this – to put forward any ideas on how we can make this a reality.

    A big thanks to Vanessa and Coworking Africa for putting the day together with the help of Steven from The Design Bank and all the lovely people I met on the day! To catch the presentations and an overview by the organisors, read up about it here, http://coworkingafrica.com/2016/02/15/a-look-back-at-the-second-coworking-africa-2016-meetup/

    Keep an eye out for the next meetup & hope to see you there!

    Lizelle

     

    February 15, 2016
    Business Business Plan Cape Town co-working Collaborate community cowork coworking Entrepreneur Entrepreneur Network networking Shared Office SME Uncategorized

    Being social is good for business.

    capetownoffice

    Is being social good for business?

    More and more companies are looking at coworking spaces as a fast and effective way of expanding their business operations. Instead of worrying about signing a lengthy lease, kitting it out with furniture and negotiating the best internet package, all you need to worry about is getting here. That’s the obvious bit, but there’s more to it than that.

    Tapping into the existing social network of a coworking space can play a big part in making sure that your new employees don’t feel isolated while you’re off building the base in the new city.

    Coworking is not just for start-ups

    A good recent example of this is a company from Gauteng that currently employ more than 250 people and looking to expand with an office in Cape Town. When I asked them why they’re looking at coworking the answer was simply, it’s a lot more social and in the short term will help the guys feel good about coming to work! So it got me thinking. Is it good to be social at work?

    For me, absobloodylutely YES. If I’m having a bad day, struggling with a tricky work related issue by simply stepping out of my work zone into the common area, I’m bound to bump into someone there and a quick chat immediately makes me feel better, especially when its random and off topic . Right now at CTO we have a great mix of cultures which also adds to the flavour. Just yesterday in fact a couple of American guys told me they were off to The Spur for the Monday night special and quite looking forward to trying the burgers to compare it to back home. Since I was practically raised in The Spur, like most kids in SA, I was delighted to hear that they had a great experience 😉

    Community

    Of course there are lots of other benefits to coworking, but I don’t think enough is said about the social benefits. A few months ago we had an expat return to South Africa join us after more than 10 years of living in Hong Kong! She’s not from Cape Town either, so you can imagine there was no social circle to jump into, she was starting from scratch. After just a few weeks here she joined up with a few CTO members to go for Sunday walks up the mountain, every Sunday. It’s definitely helped her settle back much faster than had she opted for the work-from-home option.

    We are after all social creatures who enjoy hearing one another’s stories and experiences. Very few of us are designed to sit in a room alone for up to 9 hours a day working, so why do it? I hear it quite a lot that the only reason people would choose to work from home is to save money, but how do you put a price on being happier? Maybe some clever person can design a happiness measuring tool so we can see the results. Wouldn’t that be cool!!!

    So, still unsure about sharing space with other people? All I’d say to you is that once you’ve tried it, you won’t look back. Five years and counting for me and I’ve loved every day of it. So, if your company is looking to set up an office in Cape Town, give us a shout, you won’t regret it.

    October 14, 2015
    Cape Town co-working Collaborate community cowork coworking Design Digital Entrepreneur Entrepreneur Network flexoffice hub Internet networking Shared Office SME SouthAfrica Start-up workcation

    Five reasons to join a coworking space.

     

    photo-1433650552684-d4004a945d6c (1)

    So this is something I get asked quite a lot and I hasten to add that it’s usually from people who have never worked in a coworking space or people that haven’t heard of coworking before *gasp*, but yes…it’s true, there are people out there who haven’t heard of coworking.

    I think there are many really great reasons, but as we’re all busy people I’d like to distill it down to just five great things and I guess you could say reasons why it’s great to be in a coworking space.

    1. You’re not alone.

    Now even though this sounds pretty obvious, I think it’s really important to remember that humans are naturally quite social beings. We like to meet new people. We like to share our experiences and most of all I think we like to be reminded that we’re not alone.  So being part of a coworking community like Cape Town Office is a great way to not spend what is a large chunk of your day/s alone.

    2. You get all the trimmings, without the price tag.

    This is a pretty great reason all on it’s own to join a coworking space. With the collective buying power a coworking space has, you get enterprise class internet (or you should) without the hefty price tag, for example. Installing a fibre optic internet line, if you’re lucky enough to be in an area where it’s possible, can cost thousands. Then there’s the monthly premium which again can cost you thousands per month so as a freelancer or a small business that’s a really tough expense to swallow every month.

    3. Resources.

    Here at Cape Town Office we have loads of really talented people. Graphic designers, Illustrators, Website developers and even a guy who sells aluminium components to the building industry. Now, granted the last one isn’t exactly something you can make use of daily, but being a couple of desks away from someone who can help create your new brand identity, a cute logo or even your new website can be a very handy thing!

    4. Productivity.

    I know we all like to think of ourselves as self-starters, energy bunnies who jump out of bed in the morning with a big smile on our face ready to face the day, but let’s be honest. There are many days where the mere idea of getting out of bed can be a challenge. Here’s where having “somewhere to go” can be a life saver. You get in, grab a coffee and get to it! Head down for a few hours and before you know it you’ve conquered most of your To-Do list and suddenly the world is a sunnier place.

    5. It’s fun.

    In a coworking space like ours, there are loads of cool and quirky things you can do when you need to get up from your desk and take a break. Games, yes proper arcade games with Pac-Man, Space Invaders and even Moonpatrol on tap…suddenly it’s all about setting that high score. We’ve also got an old school vinyl record player with heaps of tunes and if you’re still feeling a little bored you can always grab a deck of cards and have a few games with someone.

    So there you have it. Five really great reasons to get out of your pajamas and book a desk here at Cape Town Office or any of the coworking spaces in Cape Town for that matter. It’s important that you find your tribe and settle in to a great working experience, so give me a shout if you want to check out CTO.

    Lizelle

    Your host at Cape Town Office

    August 10, 2015
    APP development Business Business Plan Cape Town co-working Content Creator Design Digital Entrepreneur Entrepreneur Network Hot Desk Infographic Internet Investment Not for Profit Outdoor gear Pitch Shared Office SME Social media Start-up Student Uncategorized

    These major coworking events will take place in 2015

    Coworking-Africa-Conference-2015-970X180

    Almost 300,000 people have worked in nearly 6000 coworking spaces worldwide by the end of this year. The coworking movement acquires maturity, expanding with bigger spaces and more locations, an higher diversity of business models, and exploring more niches. This development will be also reflected in more coworking events next year. Asia’s first coworking unconference will be held in Bali.

    The Global Coworking Unconference Conference is going to California. However, it won’t take place only once, but three times, by popping up in Australia and Canada as well. And Africa will get its first dedicated conference on coworking, in Cape Town. It’s time to mark your fresh calendar with the upcoming major events on coworking in 2015!

    Click on the link to get the full list –> http://www.deskmag.com/en/these-major-coworking-conferences-events-barcamps-will-take-place-in-2015

    Via http://www.deskmag.com/

    deskmag

    March 09, 2015
    Business Business Plan Entrepreneur Entrepreneur Network Investment Pitch SME Start-up

    Why you need a mentor.

    LaraMorgan

     

    By Lara Morgan

    Lara is Chairman of Company Shortcuts and a member of The Supper Club

    Launching a new business requires such a broad range of skills that it can be extremely daunting for a novice entrepreneur to face alone. Asking for help isn’t always the easiest thing to do in business, but could tapping into the expertise of someone who has already been there and done it be a shortcut to success?

    I was fortunate to be able to call upon numerous mentors over the 17 year period that I ran my first business, and each of them offered different areas of expertise that helped me to navigate the challenges of managing a business going through fast growth.

    Learning to deal with people was one of the first pieces of the management puzzle I identified, so I set about finding a mentor who was an expert in recruitment. Happily, the gentleman I found not only offered me great advice on dealing with people, but he was also a lawyer, the owner of a larger company, a major supplier of mine, and most importantly someone who I liked, respected and could trust.

    I started the company aged just 23, so to be honest I knew very little about some of the more technical aspects of business. I asked my accountancy firm to mentor me through learning accounting, and I would have lunches and buy dinners for individuals that had professional expertise I could tap into, perhaps in social media, branding, digital marketing or almost any other area of business learning. The key is really not being afraid or too proud to ask other people for their help and advice – you will usually find they are flattered you have asked them.

    A mentor can be an invaluable resource for you and your business, and here are the five things I believe a mentor can give you that you will struggle to get anywhere else:

    1. Help identifying and understanding your own strengths and weaknesses

    2. A network of contacts that would take years to build for yourself

    3. An alternative perspective on problems and challenges

    4. Honest, constructive criticism – it is not a mentor’s job to just agree with whatever you do

    5. Coaching to help you develop the skills that you are lacking

    When it comes to mentoring, I have found that my time and skills are much better suited to public speaking. This has allowed me to share enterprise stories around my successes in export, the experiences I have in both failed and successful business exit and my opinion on the other areas of company development that I have a strong passion about, with a much wider audience. In a public speech I can reach a number of people in a short period, and get an understanding of the challenges the whole audience may be facing.

    With that in mind, it doesn’t mean that I am not delighted to be asked for advice by entrepreneurs. I feel humbled to think people may want my one-to-one advice, but I hope that by sharing my story and the lessons I have learned on a larger scale will help more entrepreneurs all over Britain take the right shortcuts to success.

    Lara Morgan is Chairman of Company Shortcuts – a consultancy dedicated to excellence in sales and leadership. Lara combines her own fast-growth experience with a passion for unlocking the growth potential of established businesses to help organisations whose ambition has stalled. 

    Lara Morgan is on Twitter @IamLaraMorgan

     

    January 13, 2015
    Business Business Plan Cape Town co-working Content Creator Entrepreneur Entrepreneur Network Hot Desk Infographic Internet Investment Shared Office SME Social media Start-up

    Thank you!

    Well here we are team, the nearly nearly end of 2014 and pheweeee what a ride it’s been! I wanted to take a minute and thank all of you who helped make this year a very special one in the life of CTO. Too many to mention by name, and I’m sure you’ll forgive me for not running off a list of names like the shiny people do at the Oscar’s.

    So, please accept this token of thanks for me for your contribution, love and support.

    A quick recap of 2014

    We started the year in our old 3rd floor offices with a full compliment of monkeys all beavering away in a very hot and rather stuffy office. It was challenging to say the least, with no airconditioning to help us cope in the heat of Cape Town summer. But we soldiered on with fans, ice buckets and spritzer bottles galore along with the endless supply of ice cold Cafe Gelado’s from Vida downstairs.

    Then came the news… we’d found an investor and we were E X P A N D I N G. Exciting and scary all at the same time it was clear that we needed to make this move as we’d outgrown our space and demand was growing by the day. We then went about scouting for a new home and found the ideal spot, same building, just one floor down – twice the size with windows and views. What more could we want. The rest of the story moved pretty fast with the appointment of LEVR creations as our design team, the work began.

    Work took about 3 months from start to finish, which is pretty good considering most of the hard stuff  had to happen after hours due to the noise restriction in the building. It’s one of those things you don’t realise when  you’re not in the “trade” I guess, but a pretty big consideration no less. The LEVR team were impeccable in their management of the project and the delivery and I couldn’t be happier in the space we’re in today.

    On swealtering days, 29C + we’re cool as cucumbers inside because of their very clever design. I’ve waxed lyrical about their work in previous blogs so won’t go on too much here. Check out the pics here –> http://www.capetownoffice.com/gallery/

    September we had 16 people working from Cape Town Office and I’m proud as punch to say that we’ve more than doubled that already. There are of course still a handful of places left from January, but it’s filling up…fast!

    Looking at 2015

    #CTO3: Very exciting year ahead for CTO with the development of our 3rd space underway already that will have bigger workstations and optional private offices for 2-4 people. We can’t wait to get cracking on this when the builders return from their holidays. For now everyone has downed tools and gone on holiday, a well deserved holiday to say the least.

    #CoWorkingAfrica:  I’ve spent the past few months colluding with Global Enterprise, organizers of the annual CoWorking Europe conference. 2014 saw the 5th successful European #coworking conference take place in Lisbon attended by 320 delegates from 40 different countries. The growth and continued interest in the phenomenon we call #coworking has, as we all know, spilled over into Africa. We felt that the time had come for Africa to celebrate the community of #coworking spaces and what better African city to host this event than Cape Town?!!

    After many skype calls to Belgium we finally arrived at the date of July 23-24 2015 and proud to say that the conference will be held right here in our building at East City Studios. The website for the conference is still under construction, so I will keep you updated via Twitter @capetownoffice on that and other goings on.

    I’m looking forward to the next six months and hope to see you all sooner rather than later!

    Happy Holidays - CTO

    December 19, 2014
    APP development Business Business Plan Cape Town co-working Content Creator Digital Entrepreneur Entrepreneur Network Internet Shared Office SME Social media Start-up Uncategorized

    So who CoWorks in a space like CTO?

    DSC_0467 (2)

    I often get asked “what other businesses are in the space”, so thought it was time for an update. What’s lovely is the variety of “trades” we have here at Cape Town Office which really creates opportunity for everyone to naturally network. Also, some of you might be interested to learn that not all our members are Entrepreneurs either. We have three companies that use CTO as a base for their employees, two in the UK and one in the USA. We also had our very first UNISA undergraduate join the CTO this month as he simply needed a quiet, focused space to do his studying from away from home.

    Sometimes its not about anything more than breaking the dreaded isolation curse that so many people face when working from home. Socially a space like this can be very uplifting and naturally help someone who might be stuck in a rut change tact in their business to gain better results. Sometimes its just a bit of human interaction that’s required to lift the spirits after a tough day in the office and comfort in the knowledge that you are not alone. Many other Entrepreneurs have been in your position and there is a way out!

    We have Graphic designers, Content creators, Financial analyst, Aluminum Composite Panels suppliers, Architects, Software developers specializing in interactive digital display installations, Knitwear, Not for profit, Videographer and even Tour operators and more…

    Here’s a quick list…

    Shane / Ridhu / Richard, Digital genii of RenderHeads

    Ronelle, Founder of TREK outdoor survival gear  and Graphic Designer, GraficTrafic

    Rethabile, Founder of  Thope Foundation

    Michael, Website guru of Solutions Web

    David, Entrepreneur and Founder of NitroCreamy & Missing Piece Films 

    Thorsten, Social Media Consultations and Website Design / www.thorsteneggert.com

    Julian, Chief of Head Stream Water Solutions

    Naomi, Operations behind Khuluma Education

    Anthony, Sales engine of DrinC

    Pete, Illustrator and Founder of LightSpeedDesign

    Annie, Inbound Product and Operations Manager for Jacada Travel

    Tobias & Ann-Marie, Founders and Creative monkeys behind LEVR Creations. (Architects / Interior Design / Furniture)

    Kevin, Sales & Marketing engine of Chocolate & Love

    Amy, Designer for Top Left Design UK

    Dylan & Meagan, Support operators for Order Talk US

    Andrew, Freelance online marketing  & content creator for www.capetownbig6.co.za www.capepoint.co.za www.civair.co.za

    Roberto, Energy Trading Analyst for Trailstone

    Sean, Sales Genius for Alcobond 

    Lizelle (that’s me), Founder of LVR – Business to Business lead generation / marketing

    John & Sonja of Big Blue Sky Tours – Independent Tour Operators

    Brigitta, who with her mom run a small family business supplying quality Knitwear to South African high street retailers

    Denise, in the throws of writing a book & doing her Post PHD

    Guiseppe, doing his Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing via Unisa

    Roelf, Founder of Extra Mile Cabs (Pty) Ltd

    Johann, our resident IT guru – MyIT FIX (website coming soon)

    So, that’s the current list of CTO members and more joining us every week now which is just brilliant. Keep in touch via Twitter @capetownoffice or Facebook /capetownoffice for all the goings on at CTO. If this sounds like it could be a solution for you, don’t wait – pop in & see what you’re missing out on!

    #cowork #network #collaborate

    Best,

    Lizelle

     

    October 17, 2014
    APP development Business Business Plan Cape Town co-working Digital Entrepreneur Entrepreneur Network Hot Desk Infographic Internet Investment Pitch Shared Office SME Social media Start-up Uncategorized

    Seeking investment? The Supper Club Angels’ Tips to a Winning Pitch

    The Supper Club is the UK’s leading membership club exclusively for fast growth entrepreneurs of mid-sized businesses, encouraging business leaders to inspire, support and challenge each other in the pursuit of business growth. http://www.thesupperclub.com/

    By The Supper Club (UK) 

    Are you seeking investment?

    Raising money for SMEs and start-ups is not an easy job and one of the many challenges that entrepreneurs face. Angel investors can be a valuable option and source of funding, support and expertise.

    Our Investment Club runs twice a year, offering you the opportunity to raise investment via our panel of vetted and experienced entrepreneurs. With a combined turnover of around £150M our Supper Club Angels can offer expertise in a variety of sectors such as; technology, gaming, property, logistics and business services.

    In such a competitive environment, having the right information is your best tool. Here are our Supper Club Angels’ top tips on working up a winning pitch:

    Investors often look to invest in the people ahead of the business. Be confident, speak in plain English and ensure you come across as polished. Make sure you explain who your team is and why they are the right people to drive success.

    The scalability of your venture is what will appeal to investors so aim for an exciting but realistic outlook. Emphasise existing revenues and customers if you have them as these will give investors a lot of confidence. Be clear on the risks and how you will address them.

    State what your own personal investment in the venture has been or will be. Investors will not put money in if you haven’t put in some of your own cash and time. Investors will place a premium on you if you work in your venture full-time as this demonstrates your commitment.

    Keep your business plan short, around 2-3 pages, be concise, focus on what the reader needs to know and remove any fluff. The plan should explain clearly how you deliver value to your customers and extract value from them along with a realistic financial projection.

    Get to grips with the finances! Whoever you are pitching to will want to see that you have a very tight plan, know every future figure and know when you’ll see return etc. Avoid a hockey stick plan that relies on sudden massive growth – it won’t be believable.

    Investing in a business is never going to be something an Angel takes on lightly. Of course your pitch needs to reflect you and your business, but the recipe to success is based on your power to inspire confidence, reliability, passion, ability and integrity.

    Follow The Supper Club on Twitter for more great tips on growing your business @TheSupperClubUK

    October 06, 2014