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All posts by Daniel Mpala

  • Nigerian startups dominate lineup in edtech incubator Injini’s second cohort

    After receiving over 800 applications from 36 countries across Africa, Cape Town based edtech incubator Injini today (11 July) unveiled the eight startups that will make up its second cohort. The eight -- which hail from Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and Zimbabwe -- were selected from a pool of 8oo entries which was then whittled down to 15 finalists. Speaking on the sidelines of an event hosted at Amazon Web Services' office in Cape Town -- where the announcement was made -- Injini founder Jamie Martin (pictured above) said the incubator had been guided in its selection of the cohort by three criteria. Three...

  • US impact investor invests $250k in Ghanaian startup Redbird Health Tech

    US impact investor Gray Matters Capital has invested up "to $250 000" in Ghanaian medical diagnostics startup Redbird Health Tech. Gray Matters Capital announced the investment -- which was conducted through its GMC coLABS portfolio -- in a statement today (11 July). In a phone call with Ventureburn today (11 July) the startup's co-founder Andrew Quao said he could not disclose the details around how much had been invested, citing an agreement with Gray Matters Capital. He however said the investment "was in the range" of the $250 000 investment ticket sizes that the GMC coLABS usually invests in startups. Ghananian startup Redbird Health Tech...

  • Red Bull Basement programme to support innovators who solve social problems

    A new programme by energy drink company Red Bull aims to support five tech startups that seek to solve socially relevant problems within the urban, township and rural areas. The Red Bull Basement residency programme, launched last month, will be based in Johannesburg and run for two months. Participants will be provided with funding, mentorship and access to a maker space. "The main thing is to identify solutions that are able to solve socially relevant problems within the urban, township and rural areas through the use of technology while impacting their lives in a positive way," said Mixo Ngoveni, the programme's brand manager. In a...

  • EXCLUSIVE: Augmentors reveal launch date of AR, blockchain mobile game

    Michael Deon, the founder of Augmentors -- the world's first augmented reality (AR) mobile game backed by the bitcoin blockchain -- has announced that he plans next month to run an alpha launch of the game. The final version set to be launched in the fourth quarter of this year. Deon revealed this on Thursday last week (4 July) on the sidelines of a Startup Grind event in Cape Town. The company which initially pitched on Shark Tank, raised $1-million from an initial coin offering (ICO) which ran between January and February last year. After the August alpha launch, the final version of the Augmentors...

  • African universities increasingly working with ‘role players’ out of necessity [Q&A]

    Out of necessity, African academic institutions are increasingly more involved in collaboration efforts with other ecosystem role players, says Nelson Mandela University (NMU) Innovation Office acting director Leoné Nowell. Nowell (pictured above), believes universities should be urged to build and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with established tech incubators and clusters. This she says will help universities to develop a "more comprehensive pipeline while tackling specific issues, like regional upskilling, in a coordinated manner". She explains that the her office manages the university's Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) seed fund portfolio. In addition, the university is a shareholder in the Propella Business Incubator, an ICT and advanced manufacturing hub. Read more: Here’s what...

  • Moving money online? These tips will help you figure out which laws apply to you

    Fintech startups operate in one of the most heavily regulated sectors -- and for good reason. After all, they do handle people's money and personal details. Thomas Reisenberger, compliance and regulation attorney at Legalese, last month held a free workshop at Rise Cape Town where he shared some tips and insider information on what startups who move money online should look out for, which laws they are likely to trigger and steps they can take to protect themselves. Mapping out what you do, how you do it and who you do it for will help you to figure out which laws apply to you "If you ask these...

  • AFD to invest R14.5m in Tshimologong’s new Digital Content Hub

    In its first investment in digital innovation in South Africa, the French Development Agency (AFD) will next week sign a three-year €950 000 (R14.5-million) grant to fund Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct's new Digital Content Hub set to launch on 9 July. The Braamfontein-based Digital Content Hub is the result of an existing collaboration between Tshimologong and the the French Institute of South Africa's (IFAS) Digital Lab Africa initiative which seeks to support African startups involved in multimedia content. The launch, which will be attended by the French ambassador Christophe Farnaud, will see the AFD sign a three-year €950 000 (R14.5-million) grant that will enable Tshimologong to expand...

  • Kenyan supply platform Twiga Foods set to secure up to $7m from IFC, TLCom

    Kenyan mobile-based B2B distribution platform Twiga Foods is set to secure up to $7-million from the World Bank Group's International Finance Corporation (IFC) and venture capital firm TLCom Capital Partners. Kenyan newspaper Business Daily yesterday (1 July) reported that the IFC is set to invest $3-million, while TLCom will invest up to $4-million. Twiga Foods' platform connects vendors with producers of bananas, tomatoes, onions and potatoes. Twiga Foods B2B distribution platform connects farmers with urban retailers and vendors In a summary of investment information posted last month on IFC's website, the corporation disclosed that "in its capacity as implementing entity of the Private Sector Window of the Global Agriculture and Food...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [2/07/2018]

    Startup Grind Cape Town kicks off the month with its annual winter startup party and a fireside chat with Augmentors co-founder Micheal Deon on Wednesday (4 July). If you are looking to enter Google's Impact Challenge Kenya, then you'll want to attend one of the two info sessions in Mombasa and Machakos taking place this afternoon. Innovators in Nigeria will be happy to know that there are two Techstars Startup Weekend events taking place in the country this week in Edo State and Futo. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup events, competitions, networking sessions,...

  • UCT tech transfer unit has developed 21 startups, 125 active technologies [Q&A]

    Universities need to be creating new intellectual property (IP), as well as protect and mature it to facilitate industry adoption, says Dr Andrew Bailey senior manager of the University of Cape Town's technology transfer office (TTO), Research Contracts and Innovation (RC&I). Bailey (pictured above) adds that the role off academic institutions in Africa's tech ecosystem shouldn't stop there, he says universities should also be commercialising IP through the creation of spin-off companies or by licensing it to businesses. And that's what RC&I has been doing. "Currently we have 24 spin-off companies since 2004 (21 remain active) and have equity worth over an estimated...