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All posts by Daniel Mpala

  • Over 500 girls trained in SA through Technovation programme

    Technovation, a global technology programme, has helped train over 10 000 girls in 78 countries, including over 500 from South Africa, since its launch seven years ago. The Technovation programme, which is run globally by non-profit organisation Iridescent was launched in South Africa in 2013, aims to teach young women to create mobile apps that solve challenges facing their communities through a 12-week online programme. As part of the course, participants receive crucial skills for tech entrepreneurship, including training in pitching, marketing, pitch decks and business plans. After receiving training the girls are assisted in building their own apps as part of the...

  • Q&A: Only 4% of girl learners keen to work in tech, enter sector says Naidoo

    The Standard Bank Incubator is working against the notion that women are not interested in careers in tech, says Jayashree Naidoo, head of the Standard Bank Incubator. Naidoo (pictured), who will be speaking at a Startup Grind event in Pretoria this evening, quoted a survey released in January by Ignitor which revealed that although 66% of high school girls were interested in careers in tech, only four percent managed to establish careers in the field. Ventureburn asked her a few questions around women in entrepreneurship, innovation and other issues in South Africa’s startup ecosystem. Ventureburn: You are a well known figure in SA when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship, could you...

  • Is seven days enough time for startups to be on YEI’s accelerator programme?

    Is seven days enough time for startups to network, learn and secure investment while on an international accelerator programme? This is the question South African business people that took part in a recent accelerator programme in France asked. With just under a week left before the deadline for this year’s Young Enterprise Initiative (YEI) Ventureburn looked at three startups that participated in YEI South Africa 2016 and how they benefited from the week-long programme. Read more: TIA-backed startups have two weeks left to apply for Young Enterprise Initiative This is the second year the programme will be running in South Africa. The initiative is run by the French Embassy...

  • SA should learn from Silicon Valley sexual harassment says SweepSouth founder

    South African startups and those that help entrepreneurs should learn from the sexual harrasment exposes that have rocked Silicon Valley recently, says SweepSouth founder Aisha Pandor. Speaking at a Heavy Chef Startup Nation event a Workshop 17 in Cape Town last night, Pandor (pictured above, right with Michael Deon the founder of Augmentors Game on the left and Fred Roed, the founder of Heavy Chef) said a three-month stint in 2015 working in Silicon Valley taught her a lot on entrepreneurship, including a few negative lessons. “We also learnt what not to do as a start-up,” she added. SA should use case of David McClure as lesson on sexual harassment stresses Aisha Pandor Read...

  • Startupbootcamp receives 518 applications for first Cape accelerator

    Startupbootcamp has received 518 applications for its inaugural Startupbootcamp accelerator programme in Cape Town. Benjamin Caine, scouting manager at Startupbootcamp Africa, said in an email that the organisation is in the process of selecting the final 10 teams from the 518 applications received. Caine did not say immediately when the 10 would be announced. The accelerator will be looking for tech startups operating in blockchain, connected devices, payment solutions, asset management, ecommerce, alternative financing, identity management, data and behavioural analytics, digital connectivity, enabling technologies and integrated supply chains. The three-month accelerator programme will begin in Cape Town on 4 September and will conclude with...

  • Q&A: Africa’s mobile money ecosystem and its opportunities for startups

    Ninety-nine percent of high school fees in the Ivory Coast (Côte d’Ivoire) in 2015-2016 were paid via mobile money, while M-KOPA and Fenix International have sold over 600 000 home solar power kits in East Africa via mobile phone as of April. These are just two interesting insights provided by Gerry Rasugu (pictured above), GSMA’s mobile money market engagement director for Africa and the Middle East. Rasugu spoke to Ventureburn following a report that the international mobile operator association released earlier this month. More innovation in mobile money is taking place in those markets with enabling regulatory frameworks Ventureburn: To what extent would you say the growth...

  • Looking to go global? Start-Up Chile opens applications for new cohort

    Startups looking to base themselves in Chile and benefit from funding and accelerator support have until 5 September to apply to join Start-Up Chile's latest cohort. Applications for the six-month acceleration programme's Generation 19 opened last week Tuesday. Early-stage entrepreneurs from around the world who will contribute to Chile’s startup ecosystem can apply. Start-Up Chile will announce the names of those selected for the next cohort on 1 December and the programme will start in February. Startups that are selected will get access to a $30 000 equity-free grant, receive a one year work visa, have up to 90% of programme costs covered by Start-Up Chile and benefit from a free...

  • SA, Ghanaian startup shortlisted for Swiss-based Kickstart Accelerator

    South African startup Libryo and Ghanaian startup Farmerline have been selected for Swiss-based Kickstart Accelerator’s second cohort of 30 startups which hail from around the world. The announcement was made by Kickstart Accelerator on Wednesday. Libryo, a legal platform which enables organisations to understand their legal obligations, and Farmerline, an information service for small-scale farmers in Africa, will take part in the 11-week programme in Zurich from 4 September to 17 November. The second cohort has been divided into four verticals, namely: fintech, smart cities and robotics and intelligent systems. Adel Raslan, who handles publics relations on behalf of Kickstart, told Ventureburn that 10% of the applications...

  • HeePD to launch coding academy for people living with disabilities

    People with disabilities in Cape Town will be able to access free training in coding, with the expected launch next month of a local coding academy. The Hub Employment Ecosystems for People with Disabilities (HeePD), a commercial enterprise started in February, is working with partners to launch CoD - Ability Academy for People with Disabilities at the Open Design Festival between 13 and 25 August. The academy for people with disabilities will offer training in HTML, Java and C+. HeePD founder Riad Masoet, who has multiple sclerosis, told Ventureburn that HeePD will partner with various coding partners to establish the academy. Masoet did not want to say yet...

  • Geekulcha VacWork encourages innovation in the Kalahari

    Geekulcha VacWork, a grassroots programme teaching high school pupils about ICT and startups, took place between 10 and 14 Juy in Mier, in the Northern Cape. Geekulcha co-founder and COO Tiyani Nghonyama told Ventureburn that the initiative, which was launched in 2014, aims to provide a platform for skills redistribution by university students to high school pupils. "There was a realisation that we need to monitor the transition from being a learner to university student to the job market," he said. Nghonyama said one of their main goals was to empower and elevate young female talent. 85% of the attendees at the Geekulcha VacWork Kalahari...