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All posts by Daniel Mpala

  • Solve real problems and never retire says Fundamo’s Hannes Van Rensburg

    When it comes to running a tech startup Hannes van Rensburg has seen and done it all. He even wrote a book called Cash in, Cash out, which documents the story behind Fundamo, the mobile payment platform which he sold to Visa in 2011 for $110-million. Van Rensburg (pictured right), who is also a trained nuclear physicist, gave some further insights on entrepreneurship at last week’s StartupGrind event held during the SA Innovation Summit at Cape Town Stadium. Here are his seven top insights: 1. Starting a business is not something to do likely, seriously, it can take a toll on you so do it...

  • Cryptocurrencies won’t see adoption like credit cards did – Hannes Van Rensburg

    It's a been a torrid week for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, following China's decision on Monday to ban all initial coin offerings. Now former South African entrepreneur Hannes van Rensburg has entered the fray by questioning the sustainability of cryptocurrencies for wider use by consumers. Van Rensburg in 2011 sold his payments platform Fundamo to Visa six years ago for $110-million. Speaking at a StartupGrind Cape Town event at the Cape Town Stadium last night, he said cryptocurrrencies that utilise the blockchain won't see the same kind of adoption as credit or debit cards because of the impracticalities of settling payments on the blockchain. “The way that cryptocurrency has...

  • I’M IN Accelerator finally under way, here are the startups in the first cohort

    After a short delay in finalising applications, IDF Capital's I’M IN Accelerator has kicked off with 10 startups having been selected, IDF Capital executive director Polo Leteka told Ventureburn. The programme aimed at building high growth black-owned tech startups. The three-month long programme kicked off this month and participants are currently undergoing a needs analysis and assistance in developing a growth strategy. I'M IN Accelerator will offer seed funding of between R150 000 and R160 000, in exchange participating startups will give up between 1.25% and 6% equity stake The programme includes two rounds of funding. In the first round participants will receive a minimum of R150 000 and each...

  • Female-only YHER Accelerator to offer participants two prizes of $20 000 each

    Australian accelerator Spark* has opened applications for YHER , a week-long Johannesburg-based acceleration programme aimed at female entrepreneurs in Africa which it aims to launch in November. The first cohort of 15 female founders of early-stage startups from across the continent will take participate in the accelerator programme which will take place between 11 and 17 November in Johannesburg. Two prizes, each of $25 000 Australian dollars ($20 000), will be awarded to participants during the programme. To qualify interested applicants must be running an early-stage startup and be developing solutions that improve the lives of women and girls living in poverty, and must have gained traction...

  • Here’s what you need to know before you apply to Propella’s incubator programme

    Are you running a tech startup in or near Port Elizabeth? Looking to get into an incubation programme? Here's what you need to know about the Propella's business incubator programme. Propella was launched in 2015 through a partnership by business support company Engeli Enterprise Development and Nelson Mandela University owned commercial company Innovolve in an effort to develop tech startups in Nelson Mandela Bay. Propella provides support for startups working in ICT, renewable energy, smart city solutions, energy efficiency and advanced manufacturing sectors Grant Minnie, the senior industrial advisor at Propella, told Ventureburn that startups interested in joining the accelerator need to be aware of the...

  • Google expands intake for new Launchpad Accelerator cohort to 10 African nations

    Google’s Launchpad Accelerator has opened applications for its next cohort -- and has added seven more African countries to the three countries it initially targeted when it first began including startups from the continent earlier this year. When the programme began targeting Africa in May it took applications only from startups based in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. In the new cohort startups from Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Morocco, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Uganda will also be eligible to apply. Read more: JUMO first SA startup to be selected for Google Launchpad Accelerator The announcement was made by the Launchpad Programme's global lead Roy Glasberg last week Thursday, 31 August. Launchpad is...

  • Six legal obligations to consider before joining Startupbootcamp Cape Town

    Startupbootcamp Cape Town’s acceleration programme kicks off this Monday (4 September). There is big money involved, with participants getting up to €450 000 in benefits from the programme in exchange for an eight percent equity stake. So what are the kind of legal nitty-gritties behind joining a global accelerator’s programme. Startupbootcamp Cape Town co-managing director Zachariah George together with Juliette Thirsk and Shelley Mackay-Davidson of Brevity Law explain the agreement to Ventureburn (the same agreement that all 10 participating startups last month signed with the accelerator). Read more: Startupbootcamp receives 518 applications for first Cape accelerator Here are six legal issues a participant on Startupbootcamp should consider before joining...

  • Want to join UCT’s incubator programme? Here’s what you need to consider

    Interested in joining the UCT Graduate School of Business MTN Solution Space’s Venture Incubation Programme? Startups should be prepared to fail many times and not give up, says Andrew Valentine one of the senior advisors at the incubator. Valentine (pictured), who is an entrepreneur-in-residence at the MTN Solution Space, says entrepreneurs who are keen to join the incubator should understand that running your own business is challenging and a full-time affair. Since the centre launched the programme last year it has held four cohorts in both its summer and winter schools and incubated a total of 20 startups overall, most of which have evolved into profitable businesses,...

  • The First 90 Days podcast will give raw account of startup growth claims founder

    Lauren Davies founder of virtual business incubator The Growth Academy believes there is need for transparency around the process of starting a startups and growing a business. Davies is partnering with US-based venture builder WotWot Ventures to run The First 90 Days podcast. Through the podcast the two plan to provide a raw account of their startup Upski's journey from idea to business in three months. Davies (pictured), who is involved in the Future Females platform launched earlier this month, told Ventureburn that the first episode of the podcast, Day 1, will go live next Wednesday (6 September). The series will feature content developed by her and Mark Berman, co-founder of...

  • Seven Southern African innovators to pitch for €20 000 HiiL Justice Accelerator

    Seven innovators from South Africa and Zimbabwe have been selected to take part in the regional semi-finals of The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) annual Innovating Justice Challenge set to take place at OPEN Maboneng in Johannesburg on 13 October. The seven, whose names were announced last Friday by HiiL, will get an opportunity to present their ideas to a panel made up of representatives from HiiL’s Boostcamp, legal and innovation experts. They were chosen from 80 applicants from Southern African region. In total 10 regions are taking part in the challenge. The seven include South African startups Lady Liberty, NuvaLaw, Comic Contracts and MoLLy...