A city in the Western Cape province of South Africa with a population of about 191,013 inhabitants, Paarl is the 3rd oldest town and European settlement in South Africa (after Cape Town and Stellenbosch). Today it's a de facto urban sprawl of Wellington famous for its fruit and viticulture heritage about 60km from the tourist hub of Cape Town. This is where in 1990 Nelson Mandela walked out of the Victor Verster Correctional Centre ending 27 years of imprisonment. Today there is a bronze statue of Mandela standing outside the prison where he spent 3 years living in a private house within the prison walls. Paarl may not be a tech startup hub, but it is an alternative address for inventive souls who have no wish to live in the chaotic and bustling city of Cape Town. Coworking venues have sprung up to cater to these individuals who wish to stay amidst the grape vines under the majestic outcrop of Paarl Rock.
Cape Town attracts some of the most dynamic entrepreneurs and is nicknamed "Silicon Cape". It has the most established startup ecosystem on the continent and plenty of support by the government and various institutions, plus venture capital companies who have based themselves in the city. Cape Town is looked upon as the perfect base not only to look after the South African market but to service the rest of the continent as well. It is a perfect location for tech whisperers with its time-zone perspective putting it on an easy footing to access business hubs such as London. It has lower setup costs and there is plenty of brainpower running around having internationally recognized tertiary institutions within its midst.
Coworking venues are one more supporting step in the entire startup ecosystem that give out-of-the-box thinkers the place to mingle, share ideas, cry on each other's shoulders if need be or to celebrate with that special bottle of Nederburg Cabernet Sauvignon with its hints of ripe berries and dark chocolate.
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