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All posts by Graham van der Made: Editor

  • AgriTech platform GreenFingers Mobile secures €70 000 investment

    AgriTech platform, GreenFingers Mobile (GFM) has announced equity seed investment from The Hivos Food & Lifestyle Fund, to the tune of €70 000 (+R960 000). The startup was established in 2015 as a partnership between SA business accelerator Impact Amplifier and mobile-first technology company, Mobenzi. It uses a Software-as-a-Service Android app to provide management and finance to over 5000 smallholder farmers across three African countries. "The GreenFingers solution is an important tool in enabling ethical supply chains, through the management of large, real-time data sets. We hope that GreenFingers can make it easier for large food companies to work with smallholder farmers, playing a...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [06/03/2017]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or scratch 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...

  • Geeks on a Plane looking for 10 startups to pitch in Cape Town

    Following last week's announcement that startup programme Geeks on a Plane is coming to Africa in March, 10 startups will also be able to pitch their startup at the Cape Town event. Each startup will only have five minutes to pitch their business. Those selected will receive mentorship and feedback from the 500 Startups team, which consists of startups, investors, and executives, as well as angel investors and other players part of the tour. The programme is looking for startups that are generating initial revenue, along with building scalable tech-enabled companies for local and international markets. Those in the seed and idea stages will...

  • Startups take note: an update on IP exchange control

    During the 2017 Budget Speech last week, the National Treasury announced that IP exchange control would be relaxed. While this is still an ongoing process, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has now implemented changes to the Currency and Exchanges Manual for Authorised Dealers (Exchange Control Manual). Speaking to ExCo member of Silicon Cape and IP & tech lawyer at law firm Webber Wentzel, Aalia Manie, once again, she says that "that Exchange Control approval is still a requirement for cross-border intellectual property (IP) transactions. But now some of the approvals can be obtained from Authorised Dealers and will not...

  • Geeks on a Plane startup tour coming to Africa in March

    Created by 500 Startups, the Geeks on a Plane (GOAP) startup programme is coming to Africa for the first time. The event consists of startups, investors, and executives who travel to different countries with the goal of exploring cross-border opportunities. Taking place from 30 March to 2 April, the tour will start in Lagos, Nigeria and end in Cape Town, South Africa. The event also looks to meet startups, 'geeks', and investors in the cities it visits, learn more about local tech trends, gain insight into the local markets, and business models. GOAP will visit the likes of CcHUB, the Enterprise Africa Summit,...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [27/02/2017]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or scratch 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...

  • You can fund this sarcastic board game about Silicon Valley on Kickstarter

    Have you ever wanted to be a venture capitalist, investing in startups as you see fit? If you fund Maybe Capital on Kickstarter, you'll be able to. A simplistic title, Maybe Capital has players venturing around the game board and picking up pitching cards. They will then pitch the idea on the cards to their friends in order to secure funding. "Money is an emerging trend. We all want it, and here in Silicon Valley it exists in huge landfill-sized piles. But how do we get more of it for ourselves? How do we capitalise on the 'moronifaction' of money?" says chief expert...

  • #Budget2017: big changes to come for startups with IPs [update]

    Intellectual property (IP) exchange control is a contentious issue in South Africa, especially when it comes to software development and technology businesses. In the 2017 Budget Review, the National Treasury announced that IP exchange control would be relaxed, which is good news for startups. Ventureburn had a chance to speak to Aalia Manie, an ExCo member of Silicon Cape and IP & tech lawyer at law firm Webber Wentzel, about the announcement and what it means for the SA startup industry. National Treasury has proposed relaxations to IP exchange control & loop structures. Our lobbying has paid off! @webberwentzel @SiliconCape — Aalia...

  • HAVAIC to advise Healthcent before investment round

    South African VC HAVAIC has announced it will advise Healthcent before its first capital raising initiative. Healthcent's app, Signapps, is a secure communication solution for the medical industry. It aims to allow the sharing of patient data via mobile phones while complying with patient confidentiality legislation. "Signapps has been trialled in South Africa’s public healthcare system and private sector health providers are now seeking to learn more about the product," says commercialisation director, Andrew Davies, in a press release. "Whilst the two sectors have different dynamics, both are responding favourably to the enhanced communication potential inherent in the product." According to the product and technology director, Michael...

  • The failed startup: a narrow-minded view [opinion]

    Recently, I published an article about 17 South African startups to watch out for 2017. The piece included a range of well-known companies that achieved some pretty amazing things in 2016, such as Zoona, OfferZen, and Rainfin. Among those included was micro-jobbing platform M4JAM, which had to be sold last year. Apparently, this has caused some consternation among a few readers. I think it's time to add in my two cents to this topic. What spurred me on to write this opinion piece was the culmination of two tweets by the same author (and without mentioning names in order to avoid...