Review: Heavy Chef Startup Nation


Heavy Chef Startup NationIn a time where there is a global hunger for better leadership and a tendency to blamestorm accountability, a company called Heavy Chef is quietly starting tiny revolutions. These revolutions won’t be televised – but it is highly recommended that you make a plan, save one of your pink notes, and catch on of the inspirational talks that Heavy Chef is bringing to the Cape Town entrepreneurs and dreamers.

I headed over to Workshop 17 – the new space for Heavy Chef Startup Event talks. Just being in Workshop 17, a creative colab nestled above The Watershed at the Waterfront, serves to open the tap of your creative juices, and flips the on-switch to the potential of being awesome. Just do something, anything, that would allow access to the funky work space with loads of high windows, standing desks, shiny creative coffee table books and a buzz of art-meets-digital-innovation. Entering the event space, with a Table Mountain sunset and little boats picturesquely framing the background, Startup Nation awaited our eager ears.

This particular Startup Nation featured two fascinating startup stories. One, the story of SweepSouth (think: the Uber of cleaning services) as told by CEO Aisha Pandor, and two, a blockchain-based augmented reality game (think: the better version of Pokemon Go) called Augmentor’s Game. Both stories were filled with inspiration, endearing moments and incredible facts, reminding us that being an entrepreneur is a wild roller coaster. Game creator Michael Deon related how they managed to raise half a million dollars in 24 hours through crowdfunding – and how an event of that scale changes your life forever.

My favourite part of Startup Nation was probably the Q&A afterwards (and the complimentary gin and tonics). It is a rare opportunity to have direct access to two successful entrepreneurs, with very different stories, and be able to ask them the hard questions. They seemed to echo the values that Heavy Chef stand for – stop talking and start doing. If you are looking for inspiration and self-empowerment, a Heavy Chef talk will leave you with food for thought.

Marilu Snyders

Aisha Pandor and Michael Deon spoke at Heavy Chef on 27 July 2017. For upcoming talks, visit


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