After three days in Johannesburg, the TechWomen delegation traveled to explore another important region of South Africa. Known for its vibrant startup culture, delegates arrived in Cape Town eager to connect with women and girls in STEM.
The first stop was to the Khayelistsha township to visit Bandwidth Barn. Meaning “new home” in Xhosa, Khayelistsha is now home to the bustling Bandwidth Barn, a business incubator encouraging entrepreneurship in technology. The Barn enables people to start businesses, develop innovative products, and drive social and economic change through access to networks, programs, infrastructure, and funding.
— US ConsulateCapeTown (@USConsCapeTown) January 29, 2015
— Kim Humby (@Kim_Humby) January 29, 2015
The delegates continued their introduction of women and girls in STEM in Cape Town with a networking event hosted Silicon Cape later that evening. Silicon Cape is non-profit, community owned and driven movement comprised of tech entrepreneurs, developers, VCs, and angel investors who are passionate about enhancing the future of South Africa. With the theme of “Supporting the Next Generation of Women Tech Leaders,” delegates heard first-hand from organizations housed in Silicon Cape that are developing a pipeline of women tech leaders of the future.
Nandini Ramani, Vice President of Engineering at Twitter, gave the keynote for the evening. Nandini shared with the audience the cornerstones of the TechWomen mission: amazing things happen when women empower one another through mentorship. She also shared her personal journey to becoming a woman leader in STEM, and encouraged the audience to follow their passions and encourage those who want to do the same. Nandini also gave the keynote at TechWomen’s Mentoring Girls in STEM Community Event last October during the 2014 program, and we are grateful for her continued support of the program in the Bay Area and beyond.
Attended by over 120 people, the networking event was a tremendous success, filled with excitement, great exchanges, and insights shared. With just one more day left in South Africa before the delegation trip concludes, visits to the Bandwidth Barn and networking at Silicon Cape energized the TechWomen delegation to continue giving back through mentorship and education.
If you would like to learn more about our delegation trip to South Africa, please read the following blog posts about the trip: