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All posts by Daniel Mpala

  • SA startup Akili Labs to exhibit affordable mobile lab at US tech conference

    Award-winning SA biotech startup Akili Labs has been selected to exhibit their mobile laboratory at the Collision Conference, one of the fastest growing tech conferences in the US. The conference takes place between 30 April and 3 May in New Orleans. The startup, based in Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, has developed an award-winning low-cost medical diagnosis mobile laboratory to help detect viral and bacterial infections. Last year the startup won R50 000 for the best prototype prize at the Department of Science and Technology's Innovation Bridge. In addition, the startup was awarded R500 000 seed funding after taking first place in the...

  • Kenyan startup M-Shule wins second place at Global Edtech Startup Awards

    Nairobi-based elearning platform M-Shule last night clinched the runner up spot at the 2017 Global Edtech Startup Awards (GESA) held in London. M-Shule was one of 15 finalists that took part in the final event which culminated in Japanese startup Arcterus taking top honours. Indian platform MentorMind won third place. M-Shule's platform makes use of artificial intelligence (AI) and SMS to deliver personalised, accessible education to primary school students across Africa. "We were honoured to win first runner-up in the GES Awards last night and promote African edtech to the world!" M-Shule CEO and founder Claire Mongeau said in an email. Mongeau said at the end of the awards, one of...

  • New Economy Accelerator to launch P2P learning platform in March

    The New Economy Accelerator (NEA), a Cape Town-based initiative that aims to accelerate high-impact enterprises, has announced plans to launch an online peer-to-peer learning platform to assist entrepreneurs running social enterprises. The platform is expected to launch in March. The accelerator is run by the African Transition To A New Economy forum (ATTANE) and also works with companies in East Africa and the rest of southern Africa. The accelerator's convener Mao Amis (pictured above) said the platform is a result of "key learnings" the accelerator has had from its two most recent cohorts in 2016 and 2017. "Over the last three years, we have learnt...

  • Four months on, what has become of the SA government’s startup fund?

    Four months after it was announced, the National Treasury and two government departments remain mum on a R1-billion startup fund. The fund was announced in October last year by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. Gigaba (pictured above, right) announced in his 2017 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement Speech in October that the Department of Small Business Development and Department of Science and Technology, together with support from the treasury's Government Technical Advisory Centre would set up a fund that "focuses specifically on startups". At the time Gigaba did not mention how much had been set aside for the fund. The following week while answering questions at the National Council...

  • Getting help from top businessman was key to first success – Vincent Manzini

    Local entrepreneur Vincent Manzini believes the mentorship he received from a leading local tech business owner was key to his first successful business, a sound hire company, which went on to generate R1-million in revenue. Manzini (pictured above, right), founder of Blank Kanvas and Ikapa Live, believes partnering with experienced IT entrepreneur, Silulo Ulutho Technologies founder Luvuyo Rani proved crucial to the success of a previous business of his -- Jump Start Entertainment, a business the two founded together. "He had walked the path, he gave me a lot of mentorship, a lot of guidance and just extracting from his failures and avoiding certain things and looking...

  • Want to bootstrap well? Know your market, consumer says Vincent Manzini

    Many entrepreneurs are held back by funding, but Ikapa Live and BlankKanvas founder Vincent Manzini believes bootstrapping your business can help you jump that hurdle -- if you do it right. "I've always bootstrapped the launch and growth of my companies," says Manzini (pictured above), who will be speaking tonight at this year's first Startup Grind Cape Town event at Workshop 17 at the V&A Waterfront. He believes the right way to go about bootstrapping is to understand your market. "With the correct product, positioning and timing you are bound to make money to fund your own expansion until you get to a point where you...

  • Could Airbuy have come up with a solution to card-not-present (CNP) fraud?

    South Africans are put off ecommerce because of "a negative perception of online transactions and online payments" because of the high amount of bank card fraud believes Njabulo Makhathini. He believes his Johannesburg-based startup Airbuy has come up with a solution to tackle this problem. "People just fear online transactions and online payments point blank," said Makhathini (pictured above left) who founded Airbuy in 2016 with Tshepang Kubo and Kabelo Twala. Makhathini who heads business development at the startup has a good reason to say so. Last year BusinessTech, quoting the South African Banking Risk Information Centre, reported that since 2010 South Africans have lost over...

  • Startups can now register to join SpliceWorks match-making platform

    Local networking platform SpliceWorks is now accepting registrations from tech startups looking to do business with corporates. This, after the platform concluded beta testing with 70 entrepreneurs in November last year. During the test phase, startups were able to request an invitation to join the site. The platform launched in September last year. SpliceWorks currently has around 150 tech entrepreneurs registered on its platform "There are around 150 entrepreneurs on the platform now," SpliceWorks CEO and founder Floris Buys told Ventureburn on Thursday (18 January) in an email. Read more: SpliceWorks platform goes live, aims to match tech startups with corporates In November last year, the first deal on the...

  • This is how this medtech startup founder raised $200 000 from competitions

    While many entrepreneurs are focused on raising funding from traditional sources such as banks, angel investors or from friends and family, Cameroonian entrepreneur Alain Nteff was able to raise up to $200 000 in equity-free funding in 18-months, simply by entering competitions. For Nteff it all started in 2014, a year after he and Conrad Dangu founded GiftedMom, a platform that tackles infant and maternal mortality through information sent to users via SMS or a smartphone app. After running a six-month pilot a friend of his told him about the Mastercard Foundation's Anzisha Price competition. He applied, together with over 300 other candidates from across Africa. "We were chosen...

  • Uprise.Africa opens Storied to investors in possible first for crowdfunding in SA

    Equity crowdfunding platform Uprise.Africa has opened what could be possibly South Africa's first live equity-crowdfunding campaign to investors, with the launch yesterday of Jacana Media's Storied SA initative. The campaign, which aims to fund the publication of more African literature was launched yesterday at 2pm and will run until 15 April, Uprise.Africa chief marketing officer Inge Prins told Ventureburn in a phone call today. The platform aims to raise R3-million over the next 88 days in return for 49% equity for investors. At the time of publication, the platform had raised just R6000 from two investors. Storied SA project manager Leabiloe Molapo said she was both "excited and...

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