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  • IBM opens nominations for black tech firms with its Techscale programme

    Established black owned tech companies in the financial services, healthcare and telecommunications sectors can get help from IBM to grow their business -- with the latest call of IBM's Techscale programme. IBM South Africa has opened applications for its six-month IBM Techscale programme. Applications can be made through Joburg-based consultancy Youth Innovation Entrepreneurship Design Institute (Yiedi) which is implementing the programme on behalf of IBM. Applications close on 10 April, while the selected companies will be announced later on in the same month. Over the course of programme, participants will get the opportunity to collaborate with decision makers from the tech...

  • Company Office

    SUPERBALIST.COM CELEBRATING YOUTH Changing the way the youth shop and applauding creative talent

    Superbalist.com, South Africa’s only high-trend curated online shopping destination, has in excess of 1 million members. With an ever expanding selection of the best international brands at affordable prices; an understanding of what the youth market wants in terms of shopping and content; and campaigns that resonate with their target market, the site is set to change the way the youth shop and consume information. “We understand what it’s like to want coveted international brands, and know that we can actually afford them. It’s been one of our main business objectives since we launched, and we’ve become really good at delivering...

  • SA startup FlexClub closes $1.2m round led by CRE Venture Capital [Updated]

    Joburg-based startup FlexClub, which links investors and drivers to cars for ride-hailing services, has landed $1.2-million in investment in a round led by CRE Venture Capital. SA angel investor and former banker Michael Jordaan, through his Montegray Capital, also took part, as did the Nairobi based Savannah Fund. The deal was closed in early January, according to Savannah Fund's founder and managing director Mbwana Alliy in a phone call with Ventureburn today. According to Crunchbase, FlexClub is registered in The Netherlands and was co-founded in November last year by former Uber employees Tinashe Ruzane and Marlon Gallardo, and Rudolf Vavruch, who according...

  • No need to panic over new critical skills list expected next month

    In September last year, then minister of the home affairs, Malusi Gigaba announced that a new critical skills list is expected to be released in April 2019. The industry is in turmoil as business and providers scramble to submit visa applications prior to the list being published and certain categories removed. But there's no need to panic, yet. The Department of Home Affairs confirms the critical skills list will first be published in draft format and distributed for public consultation prior to finalising and legislating the new list. The draft list is expected to be signed off by the Minister and distributed next...

  • Katapult Accelerator planning launch of African hub, programme this year

    Oslo-based Katapult Accelerator plans to launch an African hub and accelerator programme in the second half of the year, so says co-founder and managing partner Haakon Brunell. The Norwegian accelerator works with startups that use exponential technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and blockchain to solve environmental and societal problems. Startups selected to take part in the accelerator's three-month programme receive $150 000 investment, in exchange for eight percent equity. In a Skype call with Ventureburn last Thursday (14 March), Brunell said the accelerator is aiming to establish a physical office on the continent in the second...

  • Here are the 12 startups selected for Google Launchpad Africa’s third class

    Google has revealed the names of the 12 startups selected for the third cohort of its Launchpad Africa accelerator, based in Lagos. They include four startup from Kenya, three from Nigeria, two from South Africa and one each from Uganda, Senegal and Egypt. The names of the startups were revealed in a blog post by Google Developers earlier this month, in which the tech giant also revealed the names of those startups selected for its Brazil and India accelerators. Google said its team reviewed over 1000 applications in all for its Africa, Brazil and India cohorts. Applications for the Launchpad Accelerator...

  • Meet Ridver, the ride-hailing app that has netted interest from Zambian investor

    A month doesn't seem to pass without news of the launch of another ride-hailing app. Last month it was sushi king Kenny Kunene's Yookoo Ride. This month was the turn of Ridver, launched by Opynio Media and Technology, a black women owned company, on Friday (15 March). Ridver co-founder Sam Apata (pictured above) told Ventureburn by phone today that the app has already garnered attention from a Zambian investor who wants to launch a version there. The company behind the app also has two black women directors who are not operationally involved. Apata said he and co-founder Moses Aderonmu --...

  • Women tech entrepreneurs sought as nominations open for 2019 Awief Awards

    The Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (Awief) has opened a call for nominations for the 2019 Awief Awards. Now in their third year, the awards are meant to highlight and celebrate the achievements of women entrepreneurs and business leaders who contribute to the transformation and development of Africa’s economy by creating jobs and opportunities across the continent. The deadline for nominations for the 2019 Aweif Awards is 15 May Nominations for the awards can be submitted across eight categories that include the Tech Entrepreneur Award, Young Entrepreneur Awards, and the Social Entrepreneur Award. The deadline for nominations is 15 May. Thereafter, Awief will shortlist...

  • How South African startups are solving informal sector problems [Opinion]

    A valid criticism of the country’s nascent startup scene is that the businesses that are being created are just thoroughly irrelevant to the actual needs of the country. Entrepreneurs are often dazzled by the shiny things that come out of Silicon Valley, and want to emulate. In reality they are just appealing to a small middle class as opposed to 90% of the country’s population. It’s a big opportunity, because the informal sector offers an ability to come up with unique and creative business models, as well work with a large, untapped potential market. Not all startups have that Silicon...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [17/3/2019]

    Google will host a Women Techmakers Summit in Johannesburg on Saturday (23 March). Want to learn how to find clients and grow your business? There's a practical workshop covering just that on Joburg on Tuesday (19 March). For those in Zambia, an expert panel will discuss how to build and scale an edtech in Zambia and Africa on Tuesday (19 March). In West Africa, Africa Business Angel Network president Tom Davies will host an angel investor workshop in Dakar, Senegal today (17 March). This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup events, competitions, networking sessions, workshops...

  • SA student accommodation marketplace DigsConnect raises R12m in funding

    Cape Town based student accommodation marketplace DigsConnect has raised R12-million in investment from undisclosed investors, according to a report today by tech news site Disrupt Africa. DigsConnect's platform pairs up registered students looking for a place to stay with homeowners in Cape Town that are looking to rent out their properties on a long-term basis. Disrupt Africa reported today that the funding will go towards development of the DigsConnect's platform, sales and marketing. DigsConnect was founded in 2017 by CEO Alexandria Procter, head of technology Brendan Ardagh and head of marketing Greg Keal DigsConnect was founded in 2017 by CEO Alexandria...

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