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All posts by Daniel Mpala

  • SA should learn from Silicon Valley sexual harassment says SweepSouth founder

    South African startups and those that help entrepreneurs should learn from the sexual harrasment exposes that have rocked Silicon Valley recently, says SweepSouth founder Aisha Pandor. Speaking at a Heavy Chef Startup Nation event a Workshop 17 in Cape Town last night, Pandor (pictured above, right with Michael Deon the founder of Augmentors Game on the left and Fred Roed, the founder of Heavy Chef) said a three-month stint in 2015 working in Silicon Valley taught her a lot on entrepreneurship, including a few negative lessons. “We also learnt what not to do as a start-up,” she added. SA should use case of David McClure as lesson on sexual harassment stresses Aisha Pandor Read...

  • Startupbootcamp receives 518 applications for first Cape accelerator

    Startupbootcamp has received 518 applications for its inaugural Startupbootcamp accelerator programme in Cape Town. Benjamin Caine, scouting manager at Startupbootcamp Africa, said in an email that the organisation is in the process of selecting the final 10 teams from the 518 applications received. Caine did not say immediately when the 10 would be announced. The accelerator will be looking for tech startups operating in blockchain, connected devices, payment solutions, asset management, ecommerce, alternative financing, identity management, data and behavioural analytics, digital connectivity, enabling technologies and integrated supply chains. The three-month accelerator programme will begin in Cape Town on 4 September and will conclude with...

  • Q&A: Africa’s mobile money ecosystem and its opportunities for startups

    Ninety-nine percent of high school fees in the Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) in 2015-2016 were paid via mobile money, while M-KOPA and Fenix International have sold over 600 000 home solar power kits in East Africa via mobile phone as of April. These are just two interesting insights provided by Gerry Rasugu (pictured above), GSMA’s mobile money market engagement director for Africa and the Middle East. Rasugu spoke to Ventureburn following a report that the international mobile operator association released earlier this month. More innovation in mobile money is taking place in those markets with enabling regulatory frameworks Ventureburn: To what extent would you say the growth...

  • Looking to go global? Start-Up Chile opens applications for new cohort

    Startups looking to base themselves in Chile and benefit from funding and accelerator support have until 5 September to apply to join Start-Up Chile's latest cohort. Applications for the six-month acceleration programme's Generation 19 opened last week Tuesday. Early-stage entrepreneurs from around the world who will contribute to Chile’s startup ecosystem can apply. Start-Up Chile will announce the names of those selected for the next cohort on 1 December and the programme will start in February. Startups that are selected will get access to a $30 000 equity-free grant, receive a one year work visa, have up to 90% of programme costs covered by Start-Up Chile and benefit from a free...

  • SA, Ghanaian startup shortlisted for Swiss-based Kickstart Accelerator

    South African startup Libryo and Ghanaian startup Farmerline have been selected for Swiss-based Kickstart Accelerator’s second cohort of 30 startups which hail from around the world. The announcement was made by Kickstart Accelerator on Wednesday. Libryo, a legal platform which enables organisations to understand their legal obligations, and Farmerline, an information service for small-scale farmers in Africa, will take part in the 11-week programme in Zurich from 4 September to 17 November. The second cohort has been divided into four verticals, namely: fintech, smart cities and robotics and intelligent systems. Adel Raslan, who handles publics relations on behalf of Kickstart, told Ventureburn that 10% of the applications...

  • HeePD to launch coding academy for people living with disabilities

    People with disabilities in Cape Town will be able to access free training in coding, with the expected launch next month of a local coding academy. The Hub Employment Ecosystems for People with Disabilities (HeePD), a commercial enterprise started in February, is working with partners to launch CoD - Ability Academy for People with Disabilities at the Open Design Festival between 13 and 25 August. The academy for people with disabilities will offer training in HTML, Java and C+. HeePD founder Riad Masoet, who has multiple sclerosis, told Ventureburn that HeePD will partner with various coding partners to establish the academy. Masoet did not want to say yet...

  • Geekulcha VacWork encourages innovation in the Kalahari

    Geekulcha VacWork, a grassroots programme teaching high school pupils about ICT and startups, took place between 10 and 14 Juy in Mier, in the Northern Cape. Geekulcha co-founder and COO Tiyani Nghonyama told Ventureburn that the initiative, which was launched in 2014, aims to provide a platform for skills redistribution by university students to high school pupils. "There was a realisation that we need to monitor the transition from being a learner to university student to the job market," he said. Nghonyama said one of their main goals was to empower and elevate young female talent. 85% of the attendees at the Geekulcha VacWork Kalahari...

  • LinkdPro completes projects worth R2.5m on its freelance marketplace

    Members who have used LinkdPro, a South African digital platform for consultants looking for contract and project-based work, have completed projects worth more than R2.5-million in the almost year since its launch, says co-founder and CEO Scelo Makhathini. “We are seeing a growing demand for industry sector experts and management consultants as investment and private equity firms look to these professionals to help assess investment opportunities and up-scale or create value-add teams on-demand,” Makhathini (pictured above, left) told Ventureburn. Makhathini, who refers to the platform as the "Uber for consulting”, added that since the platform's launch in August last year the site's 600 members have generated a combined revenue in...

  • PeaceTech Accelerator looking for more startups for its next cohorts

    PeaceTech Accelerator, a Washington DC based cloud innovation centre and scale-up programme devoted to peace technology, is looking for more participants for its next cohort starting on 8 September with the third planned for January next year. PeaceTech Accelerator was launched earlier this year by tech investment firm C5 Accelerate and PeaceTech Lab , a peace building non-profit, in collaboration with cloud computing service provider, Amazon Web Services, and has since graduated its first cohort. It runs eight week programmes for companies and non-profit organisations involved in the development of innovative technologies that promote peace and build stronger, safer societies. Dimitra Hatzudis, external relations coordinator at C5 Accelerate,...

  • Q&A: Karoo Tech Hub hosting developer handling $1 billion a month in spend

    A tech hub in South Africa's Karoo has already attracted 20 to 30 people since launching nine months ago -- including a team of developers who have developed software that handles transaction of over $1-billion a month for clients. "They (Rubberstamp.io) are managing over a $1-billion of spend each month for companies all over the world," says Karoo Tech Hub founder Priscilla Kennedy, of the team that is building and marketing an innovative software that helps companies control their expenses. Rubberstamp.io is currently managing over $1-billion in spend a month for firms all over the world, says Karoo Tech Hub founder Ventureburn asked Kennedy to tell us more about the tech...