Inside the Blackberry Lab in Cape Town
Research In Motion (RIM) is on a roll when it comes to looking after is developer community and it yet again shown its commitment to the South African community by opening up another BlackBerry® apps lab in Cape Town, South Africa following the launch of its first lab at the University of Pretoria in May this year.
“Cape Town is a key innovation hub, and a natural site for RIM’s second BlackBerry apps lab in South Africa,” said Alexandra Zagury, MD for South Africa and Southern Africa at RIM. “We are now looking forward to fostering mobile innovation in the Western Cape and helping to grow South Africa’s next wave of mobile app developers. Our investment in this lab is a signal of our commitment to supporting South Africa’s thriving BlackBerry developer ecosystem.”
Glenn Stein, the Cape Town BlackBerry Apps Lab Manager, explains that the lab provide local developers, including students, start-ups, entrepreneurs and others, with access to resources in development, marketing, sales and training to help them expand their ideas and business opportunities.
The Blackberry app lab is set up in an up & coming, rustic part of Woodstock Industrial Centre at the Bandwidth Barn where the atmosphere is all very “startup-ish” and “communal-meets-Silicon Valley-meet Zuckerburg’s development house”.
“I am excited to be able to assist the development community and provide a facilitation role in helping them develop their app”
RIM will work with developers at the Cape Town lab to create local and regionally relevant applications for BlackBerry smartphones and the BlackBerry PlayBook, as well as for devices running the upcoming BlackBerry® 10 platform. The initiative is expected to help create locally relevant apps, new skills and job opportunities for graduates, and new revenue streams for developers.
“as you can see the Blackberry apps lab is set up in a funky yet functional way. We want to encourage individuals to spend time here to build their apps and assist others. We are building a community”
The BlackBerry apps labs form part of RIM’s extensive developer programme that spans Africa and includes facilities in key innovation hubs in Nigeria, Kenya, and Egypt. RIM has been working with 118 universities, colleges and schools across Africa through the BlackBerry Academic Program to provide institutions with course materials and content to teach and educate students on mobile application development.