Silicon Cape Chairperson and Business Developer at Invenfin Alexandra Fraser encouraged South African startup entrepreneurs to widen their horizons at yesterday’s Geek Girl Dinner in Cape Town.
“South Africans are very closed-minded. They don’t have a global outlook. They don’t have an idea what is happening on the doorstep, what is happening in rural South Africa, what is happening in Africa, what is happening in other developing markets,” Fraser said in her speech.
Her response to this ignorance is “Have you Googled it?”, because she believes that “there is a lot out there. It is growing and it is happening”.
Fraser deems travelling an important part of experience.
“Does formal education or experience help? I think both but I would actually recommend travel. Especially for South Africans,” she said.
She aspires to the “default yes” approach to opportunities.
“This is specifically around networks. Default into yes and then go around the details because it immediately creates a cyclical l relationship… it immediately becomes an exchange”.
The startup enthusiast and venture capital expert advised the audience not to wait for an invitation upon starting something new, even though patience with the development of a fresh initiative is essential.
“It’s not instant pudding,” Fraser explained. “The illusion is that you can have it all. Men can’t have it all. You can’t have it all.”
“Women tend to feel more intimidated in a male dominated space,” Fraser commented.
Fraser was the guest speaker at the Geek Girl Cape Town Dinner last night at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC).