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All posts by Graham van der Made: Editor

  • 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...

  • Top 20 finalists announced in PwC Vision to Reality awards programme

    The top 20 finalists in PwC's Vision to Reality awards programme have been announced. The companies chosen have not only made a difference in Africa with sharing their vision but were able to create revenue growth in their industry. Each is a dynamic and emerging company, which have shown successful growth and are some of Africa's most outstanding tech companies. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Partner in charge of the Western Cape region, Danie Fölscher, reiterates this: These businesses’ ability to inspire others and ignite a business from the start-up phase to leader in industry is a significant achievement Read more: PwC Vision to Reality 2015 is looking for...

  • 10 comic book characters who would make really awesome entrepreneurs

    Comic books have been around since before Superman first appeared in 1938's Action Comics #1. Throughout history, both characters and villains have taken on a variety of jobs, but seeing that tech startups are so trendy these days, we've decided to round up the ones who'd make the most interesting entrepreneurs. While we do have access to a pantheon collected over almost 80 years of characters, the list has been limited to only 10 entries. We've also excluded characters who are already billionaires, such as Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne, though some already have a bit of seed money. Bruce Banner...

  • Finalists announced for 2015 She Leads Africa pitch competition

    The She Leads Africa competition has announced its top six finalists for the 2015 Entrepreneur Showcase event. Taking place between 25 to 26 September in Lagos, Nigeria, the finalists will pitch to a panel of judges and compete for the grand prize. Apart from first place receiving US$10 000 in cash, direct access to investors, and international media exposure, second place will receive US$5 000 while third place will receive US$1 000. She Leads Africa will also invest between US$25 000 and US$50 000 in two of the top five businesses. This investment is meant to allow for further expansion for the...

  • Seedstars World competition heads to Abidjan for its next leg

    After its a successful round in Ghana, Seedstars World is heading towards Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. On 12 August, the competition looks to find the best startup in the country, which will go on to compete for a US$500 000 equity prize in Switzerland. Partnering with Microsoft, Google, and MEST, Seedstars World looks at fast-growing and pioneering startups in an effort to support regional businesses. "Seedstars World is a platform connecting investors to the next generation of startup entrepreneurs pulling the spotlight from Silicon Valley and Western Europe. We honestly think the best way to have an impact in emerging countries is...