Tech startups in the Western Cape are being encouraged to contribute to World Design Capital Cape Town 2014 (WDCCT), although they are unlikely to see any of the ZAR60 million (US$5.9 million) invested in the initiative.
An information event was co-hosted by Silicon Cape and WDCCT organisers last week in a move designed to explain how technology and small businesses can be incorporated into the year-long celebration.
The second and final call for submissions from companies and individuals wanting to contribute to WDCCT opens in July and the organisers are keen to work closely with Silicon Cape to ensure the tech community is included.
Sarah Blake, Silicon Cape’s liaison officer for WDCCT, said: “I am seeing World Design Capital as a catalyst for two types of conversation.
“These umbrella design events recognise technology and our tech startups as design as well. From a tech point of view we are doing ourselves a disservice by not recognising what we are doing is design.”
One of the four themes WDCCT is focusing on is titled “African Innovation. Global Conversation”, and Gugulethu Mhlungu, community engagement manager at WDCCT, picked out South African chat app Mxit as a good example of how innovation in the country can boost connectivity.
Any submissions accepted by the organisers to contribute an event or service during the celebration will be endorsed by WDCCT branding, but they will not receive funding support.
WDCCT has however enlisted the services of MetropolitanRepublic for communications and branding and Quirk for its “digital needs”.
While trying to describe what kinds of contributions they want, the organisers said the requirements were very broad.
Initiatives taking in areas around the Western Cape and even in the Eastern Cape could be submitted to celebrate the City of Cape Town’s position as World Design Capital.
Cape Town is the fourth city to hold the position of World Design Capital, after Torino, Italy, in 2008, Seoul, South Korea, in 2010, and Helsinki, Finland, in 2012.