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All posts by Daniel Mpala

  • This is how this medtech startup founder raised $200 000 from competitions

    While many entrepreneurs are focused on raising funding from traditional sources such as banks, angel investors or from friends and family, Cameroonian entrepreneur Alain Nteff was able to raise up to $200 000 in equity-free funding in 18-months, simply by entering competitions. For Nteff it all started in 2014, a year after he and Conrad Dangu founded GiftedMom, a platform that tackles infant and maternal mortality through information sent to users via SMS or a smartphone app. After running a six-month pilot a friend of his told him about the Mastercard Foundation's Anzisha Price competition. He applied, together with over 300 other candidates from across Africa. "We were chosen...

  • Uprise.Africa opens Storied to investors in possible first for crowdfunding in SA

    Equity crowdfunding platform Uprise.Africa has opened what could be possibly South Africa's first live equity-crowdfunding campaign to investors, with the launch yesterday of Jacana Media's Storied SA initative. The campaign, which aims to fund the publication of more African literature was launched yesterday at 2pm and will run until 15 April, Uprise.Africa chief marketing officer Inge Prins told Ventureburn in a phone call today. The platform aims to raise R3-million over the next 88 days in return for 49% equity for investors. At the time of publication, the platform had raised just R6000 from two investors. Storied SA project manager Leabiloe Molapo said she was both "excited and...

  • Developing a blockchain app is not that difficult, says man behind hackathon

    Getting into blockchain app development is not as difficult as people make it out to be, as the resources to do so are available to everyone, says Andrew Tudhope, a lead architect and mentor at blockchain production studio Linum Labs. "Anybody with university education and with further education is more than capable of scaling skills up by looking for and using the resources," said Tudhope, speaking ahead of The Unlock the Block Blockchain Hackathon 2018 which is set to kick off next week Monday (22 January) in Cape Town. He believes the barrier to entering blockchain development for many is more "psychological than real". "People think it's hard to...

  • EasyEquities postpones launch of equity crowdfunding campaign by two weeks

    Investment platform EasyEquities has postponed the opening of the investment round of its first equity crowdfunding campaign of 10 Startupbootcamp Cape Town startups by two weeks. The round is supposed to have opened today (15 January), however the campaign's page now lists 1 February as the date the investment round will open (see the screen grab below, taken from the company's website today).Purple Group vice-president for business development Almero Oosthuizen (pictured above) said the company decided to delay the offering so that it could update the shareholder prospectus -- which lays out the terms of the investment. The initial prospectus, he said, made use of language...

  • Silicon Valley bound: Aerobotics team set to jet off to US for Launchpad Accelerator

    Four members of South African aerial data analytics platform Aerobotics are set to take part in the fifth class of Google's Launchpad Accelerator which kicks off in two week's time in Silicon Valley. The four -- CEO James Paterson, CTO Benji Meltzer, lead developer Nic Coles and COO Andrew Burdock -- are set to join the members of 23 other startups from around the world for the start of the fifth cohort of Google's Launchpad Accelerator at the Google Developers Launchpad Space in San Francisco. The 24 startups are expected to spend two weeks in San Francisco for an all expenses-paid training which...

  • Norwegian accelerator Pangea seeking African startups for Kenya programme

    Pangea Accelerator, an Oslo-based investment platform and accelerator programme, has opened applications to its recently launched accelerator in Nairobi, Kenya. Applications to the Pangea Accelerator Programme opened last week Friday (5 January) and will close on 19 February. A total of 40 startups will be selected to join the accelerator, which Pangea Accelerator co-founder and investor manager Chisom Udeze said is expected to kick off on 2 March. The accelerator was founded last year by Udeze a Nigerian, together with Dede Koesah (Ghana/Togo), Gilbert Kofi Adarkwah (Ghana), and Jonas Tesfu (Eritrea), with the aim of supporting impact-driven African early-stage startups operating in fintech, agribusiness,...

  • Uprise.Africa to launch first crowdfunding campaign this month says COO Schofield

    Equity crowdfunding platform Uprise.Africa is set to launch its first campaign later this month for a project aimed at funding the publication of more African literature, the platform's COO Patrick Schofield said yesterday. The platform aims to raise R3-million over a 90-day period for its Storied campaign. The Financial Services Board (FSB) has to date not publicly commented on the platform, and had not responded to questions from Ventureburn by time of publication. However, last year the regulator did respond to Uprise.Africa's attorneys, Dommisse, saying that the platform would not contravene the Collective Investment Schemes Act. Read more: SA equity crowdfunding site Uprise.Africa launches after response from FSB Schofield (pictured above)...

  • 15 conferences and summits you should consider attending in 2018

    Get your calendars out and diarise these key dates for the most important tech conferences and summits taking place in Africa in 2018. Africa Tech Summit Kigali This two-day summit will feature over 50 speakers from telcos, tech companies, banks, startups, digital ventures and regulators. Key themes to be discussed include connectivity, African mobility, the cloud and the Internet of Things, investing in African tech, future trends, payments, banking and fintech, mhealth, edtech, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics, and mcommerce. Date: 14 to 15 February Location: Marriott Kigali, Kigali, Rwanda Africa Energy Indaba Want to meet the top experts in the African energy sector? Why not attend the Africa Energy Indaba? With...

  • Ghanaian agritech startup AgroCenta eyes expansion with Nigeria pilot

    After a stellar 2017, Ghanaian agritech startup AgroCenta has set its sights on expanding to Nigeria this year. AgroCenta is built around online trading platform AgroTrade, which connects smallholder farmers to a larger structured market. Last year the startup was selected to represent Ghana at global pitching competition Seedstars World. The startup currently has about 10 000 smallholder farmers (all in Ghana) on its platform and plans to launch a pilot in the third quarter of this year. "Expansion into Nigeria in 2018 will focus on working with an initial 100 000 smallholder farmers, connecting them to about six large, medium and small scale off-takers to sell directly," says...

  • Here are 11 challenges and competitions SA entrepreneurs can enter in 2018

    Wanna kick start your new year? Why not enter an innovation challenge or competition? Besides being a chance to gain media exposure, it's also a great way to raise funding for your startup. In addition, startups also stand to benefit from incubation and even corporate partnerships with the respective challenge sponsors. With an increasing number of innovation challenges and competitions popping up, here are  a few you can look to applying to this year. Seedstars World: With up to $1-million in equity investment up for grabs, this Swiss global startup competition for emerging markets is definitely one you want to apply to. Chivas Ventures: Currently in its fourth year,...