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All posts by Daniel Mpala

Daniel Mpala
Daniel's focus is on the African tech startup ecosytem. Besides that, he is passionate about online security, privacy and international affairs. He studied International Relations and Media Studies at the University of the Witwatersrand.
  • Call from East African Swiss ambassador to startups to pitch disruptive solutions

    Ambassador and representative of Switzerland to the East African community Arthur Mattli has called on innovative Tanzanians to approach the Swiss embassy with tech solutions that will benefit the country and the region. Mattli was speaking today (13 December) at the 2018 Seedstars Africa Summit conference in Dar es Salaam. In his speech, Mattli invited Tanzanian innovators to think about how they can collaborate with the Swiss embassy and to explore whether their projects can be matched with the embassy’s ideas. “Challenge us please, come to the embassy, present what you want to do. You have to convince us that you have impact...

  • Four African startups in PeaceTech Accelerator secure multiple partnerships

    All four African startups that took part in the PeaceTech Accelerator's fifth cohort have secured corporate partnerships following the conclusion of the accelerator's eight week programme -- Mike Ravenscroft, the programme director of C5 Accelerate which runs the initiative, has revealed. C5 Accelerate launched the Washington DC based accelerator last year in partnership with PeaceTech Lab, a peace building non-profit, in collaboration with cloud computing service provider, Amazon Web Services. The aim is to help scale startups on the cloud and solve problems relating to peace, stability and security worldwide. Africa’s contingent to the accelerator’s fifth cohort included two Nigerian startups — proptech Muster and talent marketplace...

  • Meet the African startups that won this year’s Seedstars World pitch events [Updated]

    After a seven-month long journey that saw the Seedstars World team travel through more than 25 countries on the continent, a total of 17 African startups will this week participate at this year's edition of the Seedstars Africa Summit which kicks off tomorrow (11 December). The startups are winners of the 17 pitch events Seedstars World held across the continent. North African startups 7keema, Optimalogic and Elham Education took part in the MENA Seedstars Summit which was held last month in Beirut, Lebanon. At the summit, the 17 -- along with three Swiss startups -- will participate in a day-long growth bootcamp where they will learn more about...

  • Four Savant backed startups secure TIA seed grants totalling over R2.5m

    Four startups incubated at Cape Town based hardware tech incubator Savant have secured seed grants totalling over R2.5-million from the incubator's seed fund partner -- the government's Technology Innovation Agency (TIA). Savant CEO Nick Allen (pictured above) yesterday (6 December) told Ventureburn that the four -- ATTRI Orthopaedics, Energy Shift, Jonga and Global Energy -- received seed grants worth R580 000, R649 000, R654 000 and 641 000, respectively. He said the first tranche of the funding would be transferred to the startups between either yesterday and today (7 December). Cape Town based ATTRI Orthopaedics develops lightweight, state-of-the-art metallic implants that replace skeletal structures damaged from bone...

  • Nigeria’s Itanna accelerator startups secured eight partnerships says head

    Four Nigerian tech startups have secured eight agreements to partner with Nigerian corporates following the conclusion of the inaugural cohort of Lagos-based accelerator Itanna, the accelerator's director Tomi Otudeko has revealed. The accelerator was launched by Nigerian conglomerate Honeywell Group in August, with the four -- Accounteer, KoloPay, Tradebuza and PowerCube -- forming the inaugural cohort. Otudeko (pictured above, third from right), who is also the head of sustainability and innovation for Honeywell Group, was responding to questions from Ventureburn, yesterday (4 December) four days after the accelerator concluded its inaugural four-month programme with a demo day in Lagos. The demo day, which was held at Itanna's Enterprise Factory...

  • Bitcoin price fluctuations won’t affect how we work says Luno country head

    The constant fluctuation in the price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies won't affect SA bitcoin exchange Luno and how it operates, says the company's SA country manager Marius Reitz. Reitz (pictured above) was speaking to Ventureburn last Thursday (29 November), a day after the price of Bitcoin jumped back by about 15% (over the previous day) to $4300. In the preceding week bitcoin declined by 35% in seven days, leading to the price of the digital currency being pegged at below $3500 in what CNBC reported as a 14-month low. Luno facilitates bitcoin storage and transactions through its bitcoin wallet service. "A 10%, 20%...

  • Entrepreneurship platform RiseUp to launch Egypt Startup Manifesto

    Cairo-based entrepreneurship platform RiseUp will tomorrow (4 December) launch the Egypt Startup Manifesto, which aims to outline solutions to the challenges faced by Egyptian entrepreneurs. The launch takes place a day before the organisation kicks off its sixth annual RiseUp Summit, which kicks off in the Egyptian capital on Friday (7 December) and runs until Wednesday next week (9 December). RiseUp's Startup Manifesto project head Aliaa Abdel Aziz told Ventureburn in an email last week that unfair government policies are among the key challenges that Egyptian entrepreneurs face. She said the manifesto, which is over a year in the making, has been put together by RiseUp in collaboration with other support organisations and aims to help...

  • Five Injini startups secure trials, partnership deals – incubator head

    At least five of the startups in Injini's second cohort have secured trials and partnerships with schools, corporates and government agencies since joining the edtech incubator's programme, Injini CEO and founder Jamie Martin has revealed. Martin was responding to Ventureburn questions earlier today (29 November) following the demo day the incubator held yesterday (28 November) at Amazon Web Services' offices in Cape Town to conclude its second cohort. The demo day saw the seven startups in Injini's second cohort -- namely Bluebic, eLimu, Langbot, Learning Factory, Lightbulb, Nahana Africa, ScholarX and SlateCube -- pitch to investors, companies and NGOs. The invite-only event was also...

  • Looking to spin-out your IP from a public institution? Here’s how Custos did it

    As any tech startup founder will tell you, raising funding from local venture capitalists is no easy feat. The task is made even harder for entrepreneurs who have developed intellectual property (IP) with the help of a university and now want to commercialise it. In accordance with the Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development Act 2008, all IP generated at public institutions remains under the ownership of these public institutions themselves. This makes it difficult for startups to take ownership of IP that they may have created with the help of a university. Yet Custos Media Technologies recently did just that -- and has become perhaps the first...

  • How French investors are helping grow Senegal’s tech startup ecosystem

    Senegal's tech startup scene may still be small, but a rise in venture capital (VC) investments -- led by French investors -- suggest that things are beginning to warm up in the West African country. Rodolphe Rosier -- a Frenchman who co-founded a Dakar and French based solar home system startup OniriQ two years ago with Mohamed Sarr and Michael Hernandez -- is optimistic. He says over the last two years the country's VC scene has been growing "rapidly". Rosier attributes the growth to the recent arrival of French VCs like Partech, Orange Digital Ventures and funds engaged in seed finance, like impact investment fund Teranga Capital. Indeed, last year Senegalese startups raised...