• BURN MEDIA
    • Memeburn
      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!
  • 7 things you need to know about pitching to South African angel investors

    Many youngsters rock up at my door asking for money to chase their dreams. Some of the ideas are great, but the pitch is amateurish. If you can’t execute your pitch, most investors will assume you can’t execute, period. Here are some tips. These are not Silicon Valley tips. These are tips for pitching to South African angel investors. 1. Dress neat Don’t be late. Have manners. Bring a gift (read Cialdini on reciprocation). 2. Start with summary Very few ideas are original. Make it easy for the angel to quickly decide whether it is original and worth concentrating, or whether he should...

  • Ecommerce startup Mergims named Rwanda’s top startup

    A mobile application that connects migrants to merchants, called Mergims, was selected as the best startup in Rwanda by Seedstars World. Seedstars World is a global pitching competition which invites and celebrates startups from emerging markets. So far in Africa, South Africa's mobile job-finding platform Giraffe and transport industry app MyQ in Nigeria have been selected to pitch on the international stage. The Rwanda event, was held in Kigali at the klab incubator. Mergims was selected out of a pool of 10 startups which were invited to compete in the country's iteration of the global pitching competition. The startups pitched in...

  • Building merchant-consumer trust is vital for ecommerce success

    Trust: It may be a two-way street regarding interpersonal relationships, and challenging enough to maintain between human beings. But shift this intangible quality to the digital arena, especially sites through which money changes hands, and this immediately places trust at risk of becoming exploited. When considering cybercrime​, trust between online collaborating parties is the new modern currency. So, how rich is your business in trust currency, and how can you obtain more of it? It isn’t an easy task. The anonymity of the Internet’s early days just isn’t a reality any longer, with the advent of personal and business emails,...

  • Workshop17 officially launches to celebrate African collaboration, innovation

    In order to foster collaboration and innovation among South Africa and the greater continent, the V&A Waterfront’s Workshop17 officially launched last night in Cape Town. The innovation hub was born out of the desire to support all kinds of initiatives -- whether startups or big, experienced companies. Workshop17 will be managed on behalf of the V&A Waterfront by OPEN, a co-working space operator and a partner in the initiative. The initiative will curate and manage a programme of talks, lectures, workshops, and educational programmes that will concentrate on fostering innovation among entrepreneurs. "Workshop17 was a seed of an idea six years ago...

  • Nigerian financial services comparison site TopCheck scores over $1M

    Nigerian financial comparison startup TopCheck has announced an investment of 1-million Euros (around US$1.1-million). The website will enable Nigerians to compare and buy insurances online. It also plans on adding a range of other financial services within the near future. Company founder Thomas Pilar elaborated in a recent press release sent to Ventureburn: With TopCheck, African consumers can finally enjoy the security and convenience of buying financial services online. We bring transparency to a market that traditionally suffers from inefficiency. Our customers can compare prices and save money. TopCheck was founded by an international team of entrepreneurs who have worked at renowned companies...

  • Who will win the battle of Nigeria’s online classifieds?

    First it was ecommerce with Jumia and Konga fighting neck-to-neck, then the attention went to the online marketplace space with the likes of Kaymu, this is followed by learning -- remember PrepClass, Tuteria, Tutor.ng, NearTutors. It now appears that the latest space that foreign-founded companies are eyeing in Nigeria is the classified ads. In other words, the battle to create Nigeria’s Craigslist is on. Classified ads are not entirely new in Nigeria thanks to the popularity of Craigslist in the country -- especially among the early internet savvy demographic. However, the inability of Craigslist to fully localise its platform to allow...

  • The Duke of York, President of Nigeria start African Entrepreneurship Programme

    The African Entrepreneurship Programme (AEP) has been created in partnership by the UK's Pitch@Palace and The Global African Investment Summit (TGAIS). This venture aims to further develop the African private sector while stimulating innovation and technology throughout the continent. Much like similar entrepreneurship programmes, AEP will allow businesses the opportunity to present and connect with potential investors. This will help open doors to them, which would normally be closed or difficult to open. A chosen top three entrepreneurs will present their business proposals to an audience of potential investors, mentors and CEOs at the Pitch@Palace event at Central Hell Westminster, London 1...

  • Alan Knott-Craig Jr gets into the ISP game

    Former Mxit CEO and current Project Isizwe head Alan Knott-Craig Jr has entered the internet service provider game. The serial entrepreneur today launched a new Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) aimed at bringing wireless broadband to homes and offices. The new venture, called HeroTel, is meant to consolidate the local WISP space (which currently has more than 200 providers) and provide a viable last-mile broadband alternative across the country. Right now the business' site is scant on information, saying only that it "partners with Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPS) around the country to help them become more profitable" and that...

  • Cracking the nut: An indie game startup’s mission to balance passion and profit

    Starting your own video game startup is a tough nut to crack. Given South Africa's relatively small online community and few investors looking at games as a potential gold mine, the nut is even tougher. These obstacles however aren't stopping game developers from starting their own ventures, and finding creative ways to help keep them afloat. One of these companies is Stellenbosch-based Clockwork Acorn. Ventureburn sat down with one of the founders, Francois van Niekerk (pictured middle), to share the startup's journey so far. Clockwork Acorn was founded at the beginning of 2014 by friends Francois van Niekerk, Leon van Niekerk,...

  • Is state VC funding becoming the name of the game?

    The Indian government this week launched a much awaited venture capital (VC) fund. Dubbed the India Aspiration Fund, the 20 billion rupee fund (US$306-million) will operate as a fund-of-funds administered by the Small Industries Development Bank of India (Sidbi). Life Insurance, India's biggest insurance company, will be a co-investor in the fund, which will then invest in private sector VC funds. Sidbi will put in one rupee for every two rupees that each respective VC fund plan to invest. Israeli model Like this, India hopes to imitate the success of Israel’s Yozma programme, in which the state invested in VC funds before...