Building South Africa One Business at a Time

A few weeks ago, Ed and I sat down and had a good State of the Nation chat about Empire State. We discussed all our current projects, as well as how the business is presently positioned.

We chatted about the projects ES is enjoying and those we’d rather not take on in future. We discussed the quick turn-around work we’re doing with some big corporates and how much the team enjoys it. We chatted at length about how certain work affects the morale of our family, and the decisions that we are required to make to ensure we keep our team and clients happy.

We then discussed the growth opportunities for ES and the route that would be best. We considered approaching more large corporates; trying to get big, lengthy projects which might seem lucrative, but could go on to drain the energy and passion we currently have. After much discussion, we thought that from a growth perspective, we should follow our hearts first. So that’s what we’re doing.

Empire State is a start-up. All the companies we own or are part of are start-ups. It challenges us. We enjoy working with entrepreneurs who believe they can contribute to making the world a better place. It inspires us. We love seeing others around us succeed. It motivates us. Why, then, would we not do everything in our power to work with even more start-ups and entrepreneurs?

So that’s exactly what we’re doing.

We know money is tight for small businesses. We understand that it takes a special set of skills to build a technology business. Empire State has those skills. We have built a wide range of solutions, from life-saving solutions for the medical industry to augmented reality applications, payment systems and low-bandwidth video technology. We possess a vast array of technical skills that any entrepreneur would love to have access to.

We are offering access to these skills – for free, with no strings attached – to three entrepreneurs/start-ups. All they have to do is visit startup.empirestate.co.za to apply.


Because we can, and because no one else is. We believe in South Africa and we want to help play our part in helping small businesses to thrive. By helping an entrepreneur build the foundation of their business, we’re essentially aiding them either to fail or fly quickly. If something fails, well at least it was tried. And if it flies? Awesome – maybe Empire State will continue assisting with the technology side, but that’s up to the entrepreneur.

At the end of the day, we’re just four guys: me, Ed Wrede, Brandon Muller and Gary Bannatyne, who really care about the start-up scene in SA. We’re passionate about doing our bit to make SA even better, and if we can help others along the way then we’ll do that every day.

We have no idea if this will make us money in the long run. We have no idea if any of these businesses will succeed. That’s what makes things so much more exciting.

So please spread the word as we try build South Africa one business at a time.

Onwards. Always.

James Coetzee



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