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All posts by Daniel Mpala

  • AfricArena Tech Conference to be ‘one-stop shop’ for startups and investors

    A "one-stop shop" for deal making. That's what AfricArena Tech Conference lead organiser Christophe Viarnaud claims the two-day conference set for 6 and 7 November at the Century City Conference Centre, Cape Town will achieve. Addressing a press conference held on Wednesday at Invest SA's Cape Town office, Viarnaud said the conference -- an initiative of La French Tech and Silicon Cape -- aims to facilitate investment deals between investors and tech entrepreneurs. AfricArena Tech Conference will be held in Cape Town at the Century City Convention Centre between 6 and 7 November Viarnaud attributes African startups struggle to raise funding to "a lack of interface, a...

  • To create next Elon Musk continent needs more seed funding says AfricArena head

    If Africa is to produce the next Elon Musk and get more such entrepreneurs to stay on the continent, far more money needs to be pumped into the continent's tech ecosystem, the head of AfricArena Tech Conference Christophe Viarnaud said yesterday. Speaking at a panel discussion held at the Cape Town office of Invest SA, South Africa's investment agency, Viarnaud (pictured far right), said Africa may have over a billion people and thousands of tech entrepreneurs but it only attracts one percent of the seed funding worldwide. "Clearly, that’s a massive problem," he added. The panel discussion was hosted by Wesgro in partnership with Silicon Cape and the French Consulate ahead of...

  • State, private sector must partner to ride out Fourth Industrial Revolution – Zulu

    "The only way to ride the wave of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is through partnership," Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said today at the announcement of a partnership between the state and a Cape Town incubator. The official announcement of Cape Town hardware technology incubator Savant's partnership with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) follows an already two-year partnership between the two entities. The announcement was made at the incubator's offices in District Six, Cape Town. Zulu said the SEDA Technology Programme is one of her department's flagship programmes. She added that there was still a need to upscale support given by the government. She said that her department has chosen to...

  • How losing R2m in a deal, liquidation saw Antoinette Prophy start local accelerator

    A common African proverb says a strong bull is seen by its scars, not by the lack of them. The same can be said of experienced entrepreneurs. Battle hardened serial entrepreneur and 88 Business Collective founder Antoinette Prophy has the scars to show for it. She's grown an ad agency from the lounge of her mother's house to a company employing 60 employees with a footprint in East Africa. She's been at the losing end of a deal -- and lost R2-million, and she's gone through a nightmare no entrepreneur wants to face, liquidation of their first business. Her woman-focused business accelerator 88 Business...

  • Q&A: Wala CEO on tackling financial exclusion in emerging markets

    Imagine life without access to crucial financial services, the convenience of having a bank account, the means to save towards a goal or put away money for a rainy day, or even the ability to send money to loved ones quickly and securely in emergencies. This is a reality for billions of people living in developing and under-developed regions around the world. Enter Wala, a Cape Town-based fintech startup on a mission to tackle financial exclusion using blockchain. Over the next five years, the company aims to provide zero-fee financial services to 3.5 billion unbanked consumers in emerging markets through its Wala Financial Platform. Wala...

  • Hi5, from side-project to servicing 1700 companies across five countries

    Hi5, a cloud-based platform that allows employees to rate each other, was initially a side-project that Gary Willmott started in 2015 after he noticed the complexity of HR in small businesses. Two years later, Hi5 services around 4500 users from over 1700 companies in Australia, New Zealand, UK, the USA and South Africa. The Hi5 app is available on Android and iOS. It currently has two pricing plans: Hi5 Basic which is free and Hi5 Business, which is $7 per person monthly. Willmott did not wish to divulge how much revenue the startup has generated since launch. Hi5 allows people to grow within...

  • Edtech incubator Injini launches, unveils the eight tech startups in its first cohort

    Injini, a Cape Town-based edtech incubator, officially launched last night (10 October) and unveiled the eight startups that have been selected to join its first cohort. Eight startups from Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, South Sudan and Tanzania pitched at the event, held in Cape Town. The eight startups are Accelerated, Early Bird, M-Shule, Mtabe, Syafunda, Uthini, Yo' Books and Zelda. Speaking at the launch, Injini co-founder Jamie Martin lamented the state of education in South Africa and on the continent. Martin said 30-million children across Africa were out of school, with half of them never having attended school. "The fierce urgency of that demographic...

  • This is how Entersekt secured Endeavor Catalyst funding

    Authentication and mobile security solutions company Entersekt made history this week by  becoming the first South African startup to raise funding from the global investment firm. Entersekt, which was founded in 2008 and now services clients operating in 45 countries, intends to use the investment to drive further international expansion and to fund research and development. No further details of the investment were provided by Endeavor. Endeavor Catalyst is the co-investment fund of global non-profit Endeavor. Endeavor Catalyst was launched in 2012 to invest in Endeavor Entrepreneur-led companies.  Endeavor Catalyst exclusively invests in Endeavor Entrepreneur-led companies Although Endeavor South Africa opened its offices...

  • A look at #cocreate2ACCELERATE 2017: deals, partnerships and pilot projects

    The 2017 edition of #cocreate2ACCELERATE 2017 came to an end in September. Dutch Consulate representative Romy van Baarsen describes the programme as being a "movement to drive real business and impact". “Most of the programme was on the go and involved meetings, connections and customer interactions," she added. Launched in 2016, #cocreate2ACCELERATE is an initiative of the kingdom of the Netherlands. It aims to foster enterprise by matching Dutch and South African tech startups in the belief that, by doing so, the startups can co-create solutions to local challenges. #cocreate2ACCELERATE 2017 focused on agritech, bluetech, edtech, fintech and healthtech In addition, the programme also aims to facilitate a...

  • Q&A: HackR House founder on why he invested entire savings on project

    How passionate are you about your business? How far would you go to create a minimum viable product (MVP)? Would you, say, invest all of your personal savings? Meet Craig Wing (pictured), a South African who has done exactly just that. Wing is the founder of HackR House, an initiative that aims to support tech entrepreneurs. Applications to its beta-pilot phase closed yesterday (2 October) while applications for its second round will close on 16 October. The full programme is scheduled to launch in February next year. Wing believes that entrepreneurs need round-the-clock support. He came up with the concept around HackR...