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All posts by Daniel Mpala

  • Here are the nine winners of the AfricArena innovation challenges

    The winners of the nine innovation challenges that took place over the two-day AfricArena conference in Cape Town have been announced. Startups shortlisted to pitch in the challenge finals duked it out in live pitch battles at the conference's Battle Arena, in front of different panels of expert judges and investors. Winning startups did not take home any prize money. Rather, AfricArena stated in a press release today that the winning startups have the chance to develop establish long-term relationships with corporates, and secure coveted partnerships. Winners also received a year-long subscription to due diligence dashboard YueDiligence. AfricArena innovation challenge winners will work with the respective challenge sponsors The...

  • Top private equity firms among over 100 investors to listen to AfricArena pitches

    Officials from international private equity investors such as AfricaInvest, Global Founders Capital and Breega Capital were among the over 100 investors that listened to pitches at the inaugural AfricArena startup investment conference held in Cape Town. AfricArena lead organiser Christophe Viarnaud said the three private equity companies, which together manage over a billion US dollars in investments, were among 67 local and foreign investors represented at the two-day event, which ended yesterday. They were among the over 450 delegates that attended the conference, which was organised by Silicon Cape and La French Tech was held at the Century City Conference Centre in the city. A further 54 international investors streamed the conference’s pitch battles online, said Viarnaud. The highlight of...

  • Partner with corporates to access EU trade bloc, ambassador advises startups

    Looking to scale-up in France or the EU, but worried about market access? Then you might want to consider partnering with a French corporate. That's the top tip French Ambassador to South Africa Christophe Farnaud told Ventureburn yesterday on the sidelines of the AfricArena tech conference yesterday. “If you get a partnership with Air France, Saint-Gobain or Leroy Merlin, any of the big French names then automatically you can get access to the market, it will make it easier,” said Farnaud (pictured above). Partnering with French corporates could help startups easily access French and EU markets He said in a bit to secure such partnerships, startups...

  • UK startup shines at 2017 AppsAfrica Innovation Awards with two prizes

    UK-based startup what3words that operates in Africa and has developed a unique geocoding address has clinched two awards at the 2017 AppsAfrica Innovation Awards held in Cape Town. The four-year old startup was one of nine winners announced last night at an awards ceremony held at the Shimmy Beach Club at the V&A Waterfront in the city. Now in its third year the awards aim to celebrate innovation in mobile and tech on the continent. The startup has developed a system that divides the world into 3m-by-3m grids, with each block assigned with a unique address of three words. The company took home the awards for best enterprise solution and as well...

  • French Ambassador hints at more AfricArena conferences for continent

    Couldn't make it to the AfricArena tech conference? The French Ambassador to South Africa Christophe Farnaud today hinted that there will be more AfricArena Conferences to come. Farnaud (pictured above) was speaking on the sidelines of the two-day AfricArena Conference which kicked off today at the Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town. The conference is set to showcase African startups and connect them to international investors. Over 400 delegates -- 30 of them international investors -- from 27 countries are expected to attend the conference. The organisers said about 80 startups will be at the conference with around 50 expected to pitch on...

  • Village Capital, PayPal launch African fintech investment readiness programme

    Global venture capital (VC) firm Village Capital has collaborated with US payment platform PayPal to launch a three-month investment readiness programme, Village Capital Fintech Africa 2018. The investment readiness programme will culminate in two early-stage African startups walking away with $50 000 in investment funding. Applications to the programme opened last week and will close on 24 November. Application is open to early-stage fintech entrepreneurs from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. Between 10 and 12 startups will be selected to join the Village Capital Fintech Africa 2018 programme Village Capital marketing manager Ben Wrobel stated in an email to Ventureburn that the VC...

  • Invest SA working with World Bank to improve ease of doing business – Davies

    The South African government's Invest SA is working with the World Bank to improve the ease of doing business in the country, says the Minister of Trade and Industry of Rob Davies. This follows the release on Tuesday of the World Bank’s Doing Business report which saw South Africa slide eight places to 82 position out of 190 countries. "Invest SA has formalised a relationship with the World Bank to address South Africa’s ranking in its annual Ease of Doing Business survey and overall investment climate issues over the medium to long term," he said, responding to emailed questions yesterday from Ventureburn. He said this was part of a...

  • These six tips will help you as an entrepreneur master the art of pitching

    You’ve secured that all important meeting with a potential investor, or perhaps you have received confirmation that you’ve been shortlisted to the final pitch event of that accelerator or incubator programme you applied to. Now, how do you craft the perfect winning pitch? "When it comes to a pitch, there is no quick fix!" says Louise Mitchell who helps entrepreneurs and others improve their pitching. "Crafting a pitch is an art that you’ll use throughout the life of your business – pitching to partners, then investors and customers," adds Mitchell, who has over 30 years-experience working in business-to-business communication. One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs...

  • Before FemBioBiz programme I didn’t know what pitching was – biotech winner

    When Keolebogile Motaung moved from being an academic to running her own business things were harder than she imagined. "I did not even understand what pitching was," said Motaung (pictured above, middle), who is the founder of Global Health Biotech. The startup, which she started in March, last year develops alternative treatment products for osteoarthritis, fracture healing, bone and cartilage regeneration. But following training and support Motaung received from the FemBioBiz Acceleration Programme, her startup has begun manufacturing 5000 units of product she plans to retail at R100 each. She has already received commitments from various clients who are interested in buying the product. The programme targets female...

  • New Economy Accelerator showcasing second cohort in Kuruman

    The New Economy Accelerator (NEA), an SA initiative aimed at boosting economic inclusion, is today showcasing its second cohort at an exhibition currently under away at the Mothisbistad Multi-purpose Centre in Kuruman, in the Northern Cape. The investor showcase aims to connect local entrepreneurs with potential investors and key stakeholders. The organisers hope the showcase will also connect NEA participants with supplier development programmes that will help the startups scale their enterprises and create jobs. The New Economy Accelerator has worked with 20 enterprises and its convener claims these have collectively created up to 200 jobs Founded in 2013, the NEA aims to accelerate high-impact enterprises...

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