I think the Silicon Cape Initiative is a great idea. I'm one of many people not currently in SA but working very actively on rejoining the great country that it is, and hopefully adding to the community.
I think the question (what do developers want from the Silicon Cape initiative?) is a strange question - it seems to me that the question is more:
What can developers (and the start-up community as a whole) do to _create_ 'The Silicon Cape'?
It's a bottom up thing (lets make it happen by ourselves), rather than a top down thing (this Initiative needs to do stuff for us) in my opinion.
Silicon Valley and The Silicon Roundabout etc are really nothing more than active communities. They're communities of people who create MeetUps, give lectures, attend lectures, share information, meet in bars to talk start-up, issues, ideas etc. These interactions lead to better ideas, better products, better funding and a self-perpetuating system of more start-ups moving to the area.
So to me it's really about everyone at the lowest level (the entrepreneur) doing their bit to create and foster that community. The Silicon Cape will start to be a force to be reckoned with when the community creates great products and people. Those things will help get the attention of investors and help facilitate the creation of Accelerators and the like.
And I think that the Goals and Objectives of the 'Silicon Cape Initiative' are perfectly stated. They do reflect that community creation.
I think there's tons of good things to come from the SA start up scene.
What is the feeling like on the ground? Is it 'when are these Silicon Cape Initiative guys going to get this started for us?' or is it 'lets set up a regular MeetUp and exchange ideas so we can grow the Silicon Cape?'
PS (tone always gets confused in writing - mine was definitely one of naive questioning rather than lecturing, in case there's any confusion!)
I personally want the ios developers to have more meetup's. As there is quite a few in cape town, but everyone is just coding away in their small hole.
I think someone has just started a cape town ios meetup, check meetup.com (i think it was robert fall).
I attended the meetup in mention.
The attendance was poor to my liking, but hey it was the first meetup so didn't put expectations too high.
That's a good point, I think it is important to help these groups get more exposure and support.
But as Kurt says, it's a start - everything starts slowly and then builds from there. The key is to not have one meetup and then wait 6 weeks until the next one. Momentum is quite important.
As for exposure: Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Forums like this, Meetup emails are all easy ways to increase exposure, you don't need the Silicon Cape Initiative to do that for you.
Also Kurt - nothing's stopping you from setting up your own meetup and putting it out there!
The point is that it takes time to build a community, but it won't happen by itself. It needs active engagement and participation...and it needs to be user driven to a large extent.
Again, all imho
Good points Ty, I'm spreading the word about the ios meetup and our goal is to have a meetup at least once a month to keep the momentum going as you recommend.
So my statement has changed from "more ios meetup's" to "getting ios dev's to attend meetups"