Venture Network Big Bus Tour was founded by friends Abu Cassim and Wayne Berger, it was created in order to bridge the divide between the startup communities in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Cassim and Berger’s plan is to connect startups, investors, and spotlighting players to the Venture Capital community. “Each ecosystem has a unique profile and set of strengths, through collaboration we can draw on the best of these and grow collectively,” says Cassim. The two founders reached out to their business networks, which included mailers, word of mouth, and the IE Business School. The tour then consisted of 18 attendees with some from the UK, Belgium, Nigeria, and Australia.
The tour group visited a range of startup communities, co-working spaces, accelerators, investors, and entrepreneurs; giving the group an overview of the Cape. Cassim says everywhere they went they were treated with hospitality. “We were made to feel welcome everywhere, half an hour meetings turned into two hours of story telling and healthy dialogue,” says Cassim. The tour will be again later this year, but in the meantime, will look for more sponsors in order to subsidize costs and make it more affordable. “We are in discussions with potential sponsors to host a start-up competition with the winners acquiring seats on the next Venture Bus,” concludes Berger.


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