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All posts by Daniel Mpala

  • 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,...

  • How tragedy inspired Medsaf co-founder to tackle Nigeria’s counterfeit drug crisis

    Counterfeit drugs are a grave problem in Nigeria. Vivian Nwakah, a co-founder of healthtech startup Medsaf, knows this too well. Four years ago a friend of hers died after taking fake malaria medication. The counterfeit drug crisis in the West African country came to a head this week with police carrying out raids on several street markets. On Monday, Nigeria's National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control called on Nigerians to assist the agency in its fight against counterfeit drugs by coming forward and reporting any forms of illegal drug production. "I felt that that could have been anybody, it could have been me," said Nwakah (pictured above), who lost...

  • Startups need more than just capital to grow says Seedstars’ Michael Weber

    What's an entrepreneurs biggest need? Most people will probably say it's access to finance. But Seedstars co-founder and global venture builder Michael Weber says what entrepreneurs need most is support, talent and training. Ventureburn caught up with the Seedstars co-founder at the Seedstars regional summit in Maputo, Mozambique last Thursday. In a wide ranging chat on Seedstars' approach to investment, he shared his thoughts on what he's learnt from Seedstars participants. "Money is just one thing to execute the plan, but it’s not how things are going to be made right," he says. He points out that startups that come through the programme are...

  • ‘Joburg 10XE accelerator helped me add 50 employees in nine months’

    Entrepreneur Michael Roberts has been able to grow his software company from 90 to 140 people in just nine months, thanks to the Johannesburg-based accelerator 10XE. "(The accelerator) teaches you to move beyond the typical entrepreneur mindset of working long hours for seven days a week," says Roberts, whose four-year old company Khonology has been on the 18-month programme for the last eight months. He says the accelerator -- which was launched in December last year by founding director of Edge Growth Jason Goldberg-- helped him put more efficient systems in place and impress upon him the need to hire more skilled and competent individuals. The biggest impact 10XE has...

  • Seedstars to expand network of hubs, with Joburg and Dar es Salaam next

    Swiss-based global entrepreneurship platform Seedstars will next year strengthen its focus on sourcing investment deals for startups and to expanding its network of co-working hubs for Seedstars alumni. Seedstars regional manager for Africa, Claudia Makadristo revealed the plans to Ventureburn at the Seedstar’s Africa regional summit which was held in Maputo, Mozambique on Thursday (14 December). Although the platform will continue with the pitching competition -- which Makadristo described as the gatekeeper of everything that happens at Seedstars -- the organisation plans to next year shift its focus to doing more investment deals and adding more Seedspaces. Read more: Seedspace in drive to buy up, partner with...

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