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  • Gartner: Banks need innovative startups to survive

    Observers of the South African startup space may have noticed something interesting happening over the past couple of years: the country's big banks, almost without exception, have suddenly become very interested in entrepreneurs. While they haven't suddenly opened up the funding gates, they have either launched, or started sponsoring, startup initiatives around the country. That interest doesn't stem from a sudden outbreak of altruism towards entrepreneurs, but because they're profoundly aware that without the kind of technology created by innovative startups, they won't survive. In fact, technology research house Gartner predicts that by the end of 2019, 25% of...

  • Company Office

    Netflix: What do South Africans think?

    With the announcement of Netflix launching in South Africa a few months ago, it might have seemed like a belated Christmas gift from America. But has the novelty seemingly worn off quicker than one would expect? There are plenty of reasons why the excitement of Netflix in South Africa seems to have died down. For one, there are not many South Africans who are fortunate to enjoy the luxury of cable TV, never mind Netflix. There is also the added hurdle of using the streaming service with limited to no access to the Internet for many and data bundles that do...

  • Recruitment marketplace OfferZen sees fantastic growth in SA dev sector

    Since Ventureburn last caught up with recruitment marketplace OfferZen in January, the Cape Town-based company has been flaunting some impressive growth. It has strengthened its team from three to nine in order to expand its operations to Gauteng and ultimately corner SA’s software developer job market. OfferZen is an online jobs marketplace for software developers. Both the companies seeking developers and the developers themselves apply to be listed on the website. Once accepted, companies send interview requests to developers, specifying salary, and benefits upfront. The developer can then choose whether they accept the interview request or not. While certainly not limited...

  • 12 African fintech startups to duke it out in Mauritius

    Innotribe has announced the 12 semi-finalists for the second edition of its Startup Challenge in Africa. Drawn from 89 entries, the startups represent the best up-and-coming fintech ventures from five countries across the continent. The startups, which will compete in Mauritius for a chance to attend Sibos, SWIFT’s annual global financial services conference, taking place from 26-29 September in Geneva. The Mauritius event, which is set to attract more than 500 delegates from 40 countries, is one of two regional SWIFT Startup Challenge events with the Latin American event taking place in Mexico City toward the end of June....

  • #Hack.Jozi: 10 projects looking to bring innovative change to SA’s biggest city

    #Hack.Jozi, the startup bootcamp aimed at rewarding innovative Joburg-based technology entrepreneurs, has announced its 10 finalists. Whittled down from a field of 100 shortlisted entrepreneurs (themselves drawn from more than 400 entries), the 10 finalists are in the running for more than R5-million in prizes. Now in its second year, #Hack.Jozi is a joint initiative between City of Johannesburg and the JCSE (Joburg Centre for Software Engineering) at Wits University and looks to encourage ideas that could have a positive impact on the city. The top one hundred entrants, all startup entrepreneurs, attended a special entrepreneurship and business...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [02/05/2016]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or scratch up on some of your skills? Well, you’ve come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we’ve rounded up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or...

  • SeedStars World announces 4 SA competitions for 2016

    Global startup competition SeedStars World is expanding its search for South Africa's best startup in 2016. The entrepreneurial initiative, which specifically targets emerging markets ecosystems, today announced that it would be holding competitions in Cape Town, Soweto, Johannesburg, and Durban. After scouting the global winner from 2016, Giraffe, from South Africa, expectations will be high for the country this year. “With Giraffe as the global winner of our competition, we have proven that South Africa has world class entrepreneurial talent. This year is about casting our net even wider and giving the opportunity to the whole country to participate and...

  • Diversity in tech startups: time to check our privilege

    I was recently asked to speak on diversity in the South African tech space at Net Prophet, the popular technology and entrepreneurship conference. The talk addressed issues around race (mostly) and gender in the tech space. It asked how tech could solve some of the gender issues and race issues in the country and around the world. How are companies and the tech industry at large dealing with fact there aren’t enough women and people of colour in tech in South Africa and Africa at large? And how can we encourage entrepreneurship in those groups? It is such a...

  • $229k up for grabs in African StartUp Cup competition

    When the African StartUp Cup, currently underway in Ghana, wraps up today, three winning ventures will walk away with US$229 000 worth of prizes. The prizes consist of IBM Global Entrepreneur services, access to Microsoft technologies (AZURE cloud services, MSDN, Office, Bizspark & Visual Studio), Amazon’s Cloud Services, Rackspace StartUp Programme, dotco Internet free domains, and all-expense paid trips to RiseUp Summit in Egypt and 2016 World StartUp Cup in Washington, DC. Startups from Morocco, Algeria, Sudan, Uganda, and Ghana are competing for the prizes in a competition which forms part of the World StartUpCup. Alongside the competition, the programme...

  • New fund launched for startups in the app space

    If you're an aspiring app-builder, you may want to check this out. Technology accelerator mLab Southern Africa, in partnership with the Technology Innovation Agency, this week announced the launch of a fund aimed at assisting startups in the local mobile, sensor or wearable app startup space. That support will come in the shape of early stage grants of up to R500 000 being made available to early-stage startups. "This partnership fills a huge gap in the digital innovation value chain by bringing much needed early stage funding to mobile app start-ups and innovators who need funding to...

  • Ecommerce site stagnating? You might be making these common mistakes

    Most online merchants focus on listing as many products on their website rather than focusing on their website’s ranking on search engines. This is the prime mistake merchants make and it ends up costing more than using traditional methods. If you are contemplating on using an ecommerce website to market your products and services, there are a few SEO mistakes you should avoid. Lack of Product Descriptions No matter what you wish to offer on your website, content is always king. It is what contains the relevant keywords that search engine crawlers look for when ranking a website. The complete...