Cape Town and Stockholm Partner to Build Business Opportunities for Economic Growth and Job Creation

Two of the world’s tech capitals are teaming up to present the first in-person Cape Town / Stockholm Connect (CSC) Business Summit and a full week of networking and collaboration events.

An exciting partnership between organisations in Stockholm and Cape Town will see local entrepreneurs and enterprises given unparalleled access to Swedish thought leaders and investors. In a partnership between Business Sweden, the Swedish Embassy, City of Cape Town, Silicon Cape and Wesgro, the Summit aims to create sustainable and mutually beneficial partnerships between entrepreneur and investor sectors.

Stockholm is the birthplace of fast-growing tech companies like Skype, Spotify and Klarna. At the same time, Cape Town is considered Africa’s Tech Capital and is home to startups such as Aerobotics, SweepSouth and Sea Monster.

The CSC Business Summit, which took place on 25 April in Cape Town, brought together companies, government, investors, entrepreneurs, and key ecosystem players from across Cape Town and Stockholm to share ideas and brainstorm solutions to shared problems. The event featured a diverse group of speakers, including Geordin Hill-Lewis, Executive Mayor of Cape Town, Håkan Juholt, Swedish Ambassador to the Republic of South Africa, and Wrenelle Stander, Chief Executive Officer of Wesgro.

Wesgro CEO, Wrenelle Stander, spoke to why Cape Town and the Western Cape has a strong economic story to tell, indicating that “The tech and green value propositions are successfully driving the province’s competitiveness to capture its share of global investment. Increasingly traditional, mature sectors and industries that contribute to the Western Cape’s GDP, are being transformed by, and incorporated into, the tech ecosystem.

Stander went on to add “Wesgro’s focus is deliberately shifting to what needs to be done to scale up and take our place as a tech powerhouse on the global stage. I believe there is an incredible amount that we can learn from Sweden’s enormous success in technological innovation. Sweden has honed its reputation as a tech powerhouse to rival Silicon Valley. While there is no silver bullet strategy for scale-up success, we can take inspiration from brands who have put Sweden on the map for entrepreneurship and innovation”.

Today, 28 April, Team Sweden and Team Cape Town are partnering with Stellenbosch Network to hold an event to highlight the innovation and business development taking place in the region. The event will also provide networking and pitching opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors with the Swedish delegation. There will be three panel discussions at the Summit, focusing on Collaboration and Business Practice, Disruptive Tech in South Africa, and Scaling successful ventures.

“Stockholm and Cape Town have much to learn from each other and have proven essential partners in developing knowledge and commerce in the respective markets. This Summit, the first to bring stakeholders together in person, is just one way we’re creating local business opportunities through global partnerships,” said Juholt.

The business delegation from Sweden attending the Summit, offers South Africans the unique opportunity to network with like-minded individuals and gain an international understanding of the sector. With funding flowing into the startup ecosystem in the Western Cape, this Summit offers an ideal opportunity for established companies to reinvent their offerings and scale their impact and ideas, by allowing entrepreneurs and investors to network and procure talent and funding. 

Both cities are home to world-leading companies, universities and innovation hubs, which are driving the development of tech and digital startups and SMEs that provide economic growth and job creation – essential to changing the trajectory of South Africa’s future.

“Cape Town has a thriving startup economy and connecting these businesses to markets in other regions increases local growth opportunities. We look forward to sharing our knowledge with and learning from the Swedish delegates to ensure Cape Town remains one of the fastest-growing startup centres in Africa,” says Hill-Lewis.

To learn more about Cape Town / Stockholm Connect, visit https://bit.ly/3MpoVIU.

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