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All posts by Daniel Mpala

  • More needs to be done on educating startups on raising finance – Finfind CEO

    Not enough is being done to educate startups on the art of securing capital and funding. So says Darlene Menzies, founder and CEO of finance matching platform Finfind. Speaking to Ventureburn, Menzies said although public and private sector initiatives and incubators provide entrepreneurs with some assistance, these initiatives don't provide sufficient training startups on how to secure capital and funding. “Few of these, if any specifically focus on teaching tech startups the art of securing venture capital. Even when this is touched on, for instance at startup pitching competitions when consulting sessions are offered prior to pitching to provide guidance, these are rarely conducted by...

  • Swiss-SA innovation challenge records 110 submissions from SA applicants

    A Swiss-South African open social innovation challenge aiming to address health issues facing low-income South African urban settlements has received more than 120 proposals, with 110 of them coming from South Africa. The submissions are currently being evaluated and the 10 finalists will be announced at the Innovation Summit next month. Five Swiss applicants will be invited to join the 10 finalists at the summit and for other activities. Research Institute for Innovation and Sustainability (RIIS) media liaison Susan Botha told Ventureburn today that some of the South African proposals submitted included innovations in construction, alternative energy, water and sanitary hygiene. 25% of the proposals submitted to the innovation challenge came...

  • Female entrepreneurs platform aims to sign up 20 000 women in first year

    Future Females, a platform where women entrepreneurs can network and get support, aims to grow its user base to 20 000 female entrepreneurs in its first year, the platform's co-founder Lauren Davies told Ventureburn. The platform was launched last Thursday in Cape Town. Davies, who is also the founder of e-learning platform the Growth Academy, founded the platform with Cerina Bezuidenhout, who works for business support programme Techstars. The aim of the platform is to accelerate female entrepreneurship by sharing information on funding, grants and offering support to its members through awareness, education and direct funding. 'Aim is to help female entrepreneurs by sharing information on funding, grants...

  • Capitalise on personal networks, venture capitalist Andrea Böhmert tells women

    Andrea Böhmert, a partner at venture capital investment firm Knife Capital, believes women should be making better use of their networks to raise funding. “About 90% of funding is initiated via introductions from personal networks. A Savca study confirms this. So the question is, whether women are as networked as men and are they accessing the 'right' networks when it comes to funding. Böhmert questioned where the equivalent of the old boys club for women is. "Where are the well-networked women who could potentially make introductions? In my opinion, this is the first major hurdle that women have to deal with but the...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [07/08/2017]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or catch up on some of your skills? Well, you've come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we've rounded up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or...

  • Startupbootcamp Cape Town’s FastTrack tours reach over 120 African startups

    Startupbootcamp Cape Town may have opted to be based at the tip of Africa, but the accelerator is "aggressively" scouting for companies all over continent. Philip Kiracofe (pictured), joint managing director at Startupbootcamp Cape Town, told Ventureburn that although the programme will operate from Cape Town it is very much a pan-African programme, having reached 120 African startups during the programme's various FastTrack tours held between May and last month. Through the FastTrack tours the organisation aims to actively source startups rather than merely waiting for people to apply. Kiracofe said the best attended FastTrack was in Kampala where the organisation got more than 45 applications. Three companies...

  • ‘SA corporates now more keen to back initiatives like Startupbootcamp’

    Corporates in South Africa are now more keen on sponsoring open innovation than they were some three years ago believes Startupbootcamp Cape Town founder and managing director Marc Wesselink. Dutch-born Wesselink (pictured right) spoke to Ventureburn ahead of the announcement in Cape Town on 8 August of the 10 startups that will be selected for Startupbootcamp Cape Town. Read more: Startupbootcamp receives 518 applications for first Cape accelerator Wesselink says corporates are now more keen to sponsor a programme like Startupbootcamp than they were three and half years ago when he had the initial idea to launch the accelerator in Africa. Startupbootcamp Cape Town has secured six sponsors...

  • 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...