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All posts by Graham van der Made: Editor

  • Social hackathon to create solutions around early childhood development

    With the help of technology experts, creatives, and early childhood development (ECD) practitioners, the ECD hackathon hopes to find solutions to problems encountered in this sector. Some of the challenges include limited access to nutrition, lack of parental involvement, training for practitioners, and safety considerations. Along with its partners, Innovation Edge, the Department of Psychology at Stellenbosch University, GovHack, Ogilvy, and Silicone Cape, the Bertha Centre will be hosting the event. Seven Cape Town-based ECD organisations have been asked to think about their key challenges and how technology may help to facilitate. The creativity and feasibility of each solution will...

  • Pivot East 2015 announces mobile startup semi-finalists

    Pivot East, an East African-based startups competition for tech companies, has announced its semi-finalists for this year’s competition. All entries were based on a number of criteria were allowed from a large number of African countries, the majority being from East Africa. Going on its fifth year, the competition originally focused on app developers, but has shifted focus as a startup pitching event. The aim of Pivot East is to help startups organise and refine their business model. It also looks to expose these companies to investors, corporate, research and development companies, and the general public. According to the Pivot...

  • Wootware’s Rory Magee on growing ecommerce success in oversaturated market

    Starting an ecommerce store in South Africa is a difficult undertaking; making it a success is a far more daunting challenge. Wootware is an online PC store that, despite a difficult and saturated market, has continued to thrive. Since its launch in 2009, the store has continued to grow during a recession and unstable market, which is no short feat. We sat down with Rory Magee (pictured above), the founder of Wootware, to find out a bit about the store's success and his take on the South African ecommerce market. Ventureburn: Tell us about Wootware? Rory Magee: We are an enthusiast-focused computer consumer...

  • Rental startup Ekaya gets ex-Naspers angel on board amid expansion

    Specialising in finding and renting properties in Cape Town, Ekaya started beta testing its website last year. In a press release today, the company announced three new big expansions, which they hope will help them in their crusade to fix a broken rental industry. Considering how much of a nightmare renting is, this can only be a good thing. Ekaya will now be expanding its area of coverage to the whole of the Western Cape and Gauteng. After primarily serving Cape Town, and thus refining their systems while only operating in one city, Ekaya looks to be taking the rest of...

  • Loyalty payments on the rise for SA ecommerce, according to survey

    PayU, a leading online payment provider in South Africa, has released some interesting data from a recent study about South African's online payment habits. The study reveals that more South African online shoppers are using loyalty payments. According to Mustpha Zaouini, CEO of PayU, credit cards are still the first choice for online payments, with loyalty and EFT options gaining steady growth. The EFT statistic is especially interesting considering consumers were hesitant to use credit card for online payments only a few years ago. An increase in loyalty points accumulation and spending could point to a rise in overall expenditure. Several...

  • Startup competition Seedstars World 2015 to kick-off in Mozambique

    Seedstars World is a global competition for startups, which aims to find smart startups that solve regional issues, or develop profitable products for global markets. The competition's third incarnation kicks-off this may and will be taking place 26 May in Maputo, Mozambique. The seven-month event will be taking place in 12 different countries around Africa, which are Mozambique, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Botswana. Once the regional winners have been selected, the final will take place in February 2016, in Switzerland. Contestants are competing for a US$1.5-million in equity investments and various other prizes. This final...

  • Ignitor wants to help create lean startups

    Many startups focus on obtaining funding as soon as possible instead of trying to make their idea work first. Ignitor, a Johannesburg-based company, is aimed at helping startups see this isn't always the correct path. More specifically, Ignitor is focused on helping entrepreneurs create a lean and break-even business. As a free course funded by sponsors, such as Standard Bank, Microsoft, and The Green Fund, Ignitor offers entrepreneurs -- what they call -- a new model in company development. The program consists of a 3-day boot camp, 12-weeks of coaching, 50 online video modules, and introductions to a local network...

  • 5 things to look at when entering ecommerce in SA

    Ecommerce in South Africa is new and exciting. Even though we have had an online market for over a decade, more and more people are finding opportunities within the digital space. With technology and mobile payment progressing the market is still new. There are niche stores, food stores, mass stores, and even retail stores looking at the online game. The cold hard truth about ecommerce is that it does not consist of installing a website, sitting back and watching the money roll in. That is a misconception and one that needs to be squashed. Starting your own store in cyberspace...

  • Lagos StartupWeek hopes to become ‘next big thing’ in Africa’s tech ecosystem

    Lagos is fast becoming a startup powerhouse in Africa. It’s not only the second fastest growing city in Africa, but the seventh internationally. In the past year the city launched car ordering service Uber, CcHub announced three new incubator companies, and a continent-wide logistics program from two of its largest ecommerce stores, among other things. The city will soon be host to Lagos StartupWeek, an event geared towards entrepreneurs and business owners not only in Lagos, but all over Africa. The week-long initiative expects to host one thousand participants from across Lagos, the greater region, the US, and the UK...

  • Raru director Waine Smith weighs in on South Africa’s ecommerce industry

    Since its launch last year, Raru has become a go-to name in the South African ecommerce market. Headed up by ex-founders of Take2, they have put their knowledge to use and grown the new store into one of the largest in South Africa. On Thursday, Ventureburn sat down with the director of Raru, Waine Smith. We spoke about Raru’s growth and success, his take (excuse the take puns) on the Takealot & Kalahari merger, and where the South African ecommerce industry in heading towards. Ventureburn: How much has Raru grown since its launch last year and has it met your expectations? Waine Smith: It’s...