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All posts by Graham van der Made: Editor

  • Sw7 partners with UKTI to take SA entrepreneurs to London

    South Africa-based tech accelerator Sw7 has partnered with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to put together a South African trade mission to London. The mission will be centered around the Innovate UK 2015 event taking place in November in London, England. The object of this trade mission is to help companies base themselves in or expand to the UK to address global markets. This trade mission will be a week-long endeavour. The first two days will be spent at the Innovate UK event. The remainder of this time will be spent talking to and connecting with investors, businesses, innovation hubs,...

  • Patrick Kayton on Cognician’s revamped self-coaching platform [Q&A]

    Cape Town, South Africa-based self-coaching platform Cognician recently launched a new version of their software, entitled C3, which helps users collect and organise their thoughts. The company has received local and international recognition in the Cape Town Activa Awards, Seedcamp Johannesburg, Seedcamp London, and being named one of Europe's top 11 startups at the TechCrunch Europas Awards. Cognician can be used to brainstorm ideas, plan essays, and outline events. Users may then collaborate with friends or co-workers on the ideas. This e-learning tool differentiates itself from the competition by incorporating a chat-like interface for users, designed to help stimulate thinking on the subject...

  • SiMODiSA survey identifies key challenges to SME development in South Africa

    The SiMODiSA Association recently conducted research on key challenges hindering SME development in South Africa. The survey is entitled Accelerating the Growth of SMEs in South Africa and aims to reveal the hindering factors affecting the growth of startups and the scaling of businesses in the country. The survey was compiled in partnership with the Impact Trust, and endorsed and supported by First National Bank (FNB), Omidyar Network Africa, and the South African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA). In a press release sent to Ventureburn, the MD of SiMODiSA, Matsi Modise, commented on what the survey details: The survey is...

  • GetSmarter, CiTi partner to offer top entrepreneurial students bursaries

    Online learning institution GetSmarter, in partnership with the University of Cape Town (UCT), has collaborated with The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) to help top entrepreneurial students further their studies. The top 20 students graduating out of CiTi and Barn Khayelitsha's business development programme will receive a bursary to one of 20 hand-picked business short courses, valued at over R200 000, sponsored by GetSmarter and UCT. This will allow the students to further their studies with UCT short course certificates through GetSmarter. The bursaries awarded to the top 20 students will be handed out in January 2016. In an exclusive press release...

  • Crowdsourcing location-tracking device Leash enters beta phase

    Local Bluetooth-tracking startup Leash is entering its beta product testing phase. The company has 1 000 units ready for rollout with an additional 15 000 being released after receiving adequate user feedback. Founded by Mark Allewell -- founder of numerous startups such as Tourism Radio -- he got the idea from 2014's Internet of Things expansion. According to Allewell, the Leash concept has already been proven internationally. Leash's functionality enables the users to keep track of the whereabouts of their possessions. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the device pairs with an Android or iOS device via low-powered Bluetooth and then...

  • Daddy’s Deals site boasts 400k subscribers, offers website space to advertisers

    South Africa's daily deals website Daddy's Deals now offers local brands the ability to advertise directly to its extensive audience of nearly half-a-million newsletter subscribers a week. At present, the offer is limited to only twelve companies per year, which means only one will be featured per month. The selected company will be provided with banners, buttons, and tabs on the Daddy's Deals website. These will appear on each and every page and will drive viewers to the main offer page of the company. In addition to the website exposure, offers will also be advertised through regular and special mailers to...

  • Wired Women Conference to uncover key issues surrounding women in tech

    The Wired Women Conference aims to cover women in technology and uncover the key issues surrounding them. The South African conference also seeks to provide a supportive and dynamic environment that puts attendees in touch with leading innovators, business leaders, and inspirational people. As noted in a press release, the Wired Women Conference has two main agendas: addressing gender equality divide in the tech space; encouraging women to take advantage of the opportunities that technology offers “It’s time for women in tech to co-opt male champions in order to grow a more balanced representation in this space” said Debby Edelstein, the CEO...

  • The Duke of York, President of Nigeria start African Entrepreneurship Programme

    The African Entrepreneurship Programme (AEP) has been created in partnership by the UK's Pitch@Palace and The Global African Investment Summit (TGAIS). This venture aims to further develop the African private sector while stimulating innovation and technology throughout the continent. Much like similar entrepreneurship programmes, AEP will allow businesses the opportunity to present and connect with potential investors. This will help open doors to them, which would normally be closed or difficult to open. A chosen top three entrepreneurs will present their business proposals to an audience of potential investors, mentors and CEOs at the Pitch@Palace event at Central Hell Westminster, London 1...

  • Cracking the nut: An indie game startup’s mission to balance passion and profit

    Starting your own video game startup is a tough nut to crack. Given South Africa's relatively small online community and few investors looking at games as a potential gold mine, the nut is even tougher. These obstacles however aren't stopping game developers from starting their own ventures, and finding creative ways to help keep them afloat. One of these companies is Stellenbosch-based Clockwork Acorn. Ventureburn sat down with one of the founders, Francois van Niekerk (pictured middle), to share the startup's journey so far. Clockwork Acorn was founded at the beginning of 2014 by friends Francois van Niekerk, Leon van Niekerk,...

  • Does your personality type fit that of an entrepreneur?

    According to a survey conducted by a California-based personality and career assessments company, Truity Psychometrics, found that extraverts are more likely to become entrepreneurs. The four main deciding factors of the survey included extraversion (E) vs. introversion (I); sensing (S) vs intuition (N); thinking (T) vs feeling (F); judging (J) vs perceiving (P), as well as a second set of basic questions, such as income, age, and gender. Out of the 25 759 respondents, only around half completed the survey. From that the numbers were whittled down to those over 18 and who had answered the salary question. This left the...