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All posts by Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter
Jacques grew up in Stellenbosch, South Africa. He also studied International Relations (BA) at Stellenbosch University with an interest in innovation and initiatives and how they could contribute to the benefit of society. I have always been interested in both politics and development and started becoming more and more intrigued with how technological development could contribute to society. He loves arts and more specifically the art of writing. His interests in writing and journalism grew more over the last few years with a keen focus on current trends in technological innovation and social development. He is currently teaching English as a second language in South Korea and looking to further his interests and education in writing
  • 7 renewable energy startups trying to revolutionise the way Africa keeps its lights on

    Africa has a serious energy problem. This is ironic considering the abundance of natural resources available, from coal in South Africa to oil in Nigeria. It just so happens that both of these powerful economies rely on limited, environmentally-unfriendly resources, struggling to keep up with economic growth. This might start to change. Earlier this year, billionaire futurist Elon Musk geared the world's attention on the real potential of renewable energy with the introduction of the Tesla Powerwall -- the battery set to revolutionise the way people use electricity grids around the globe. Musk believes that the Powerwall could not only become...

  • These are the 11 startups from Cape Town to pitch at Seedstars World

    Renowned startup competition Seedstars World kicked off its African chapter in Maputo, Mozambique last month. Cinema booking site Moovi walked away with a ticket to Switzerland where it will stand a chance of winning up to US$1.5-million in investments. This week, it's up to South Africa's Cape Town to show the world what it's startups are made of. The 11 startup teams from Cape Town will pitch 30 June after which five will be invited to Johannesburg to compete against the top companies from Johannesburg at the grand final for South Africa 17 July. Regional manager for Africa Marcello Schermer says...

  • Tony Elumelu Foundation welcomes 1k entrepreneurs to Pan-African bootcamp

    What's being dubbed the largest ever gathering of emerging entrepreneurs on the continent, the Tony Elumelu Foundation's (TEF) two-day bootcamp session will host 1 000 selectees from the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme from 10 to 12 July in Ota, Nigeria. "We hope The Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme can catalyse and encourage other African business leaders to empower emerging entrepreneurs. If we all come together with requisite resources we can make a significant difference," said Tony Elumelu, the founder of the US$100-million Pan-African entrepreneurship initiative at a recent press conference. Selected out of a total 20 000 entrepreneurs from across the continent, the 1...

  • Ventureburn survey sheds light on SA’s tough, but pioneering startup industry

    Stuart Thomas, Matthew Buckland and Graham van der Made contributed to this article. Startup life isn't as glamorous as it’s sometimes made out to be, according to a new survey by Ventureburn. Employees and founders of startups are often paid below-market salaries, get close to zero benefits and are subject to high-pressure environments. Moreover, just 17% of startups are profitable, with only three percent of startups making it to the sought-after venture capital investment stages. But this begs the question: why is creating and working for startups an increasingly popular option? Although entrepreneurs will make it big if their startup succeeds,...

  • SA’s startup industry: all the stats and numbers you need to know [Infographic]

    The Ventureburn Startup Survey is packed with insights, from the shifting demographics of South Africa's startup landscape to a reaffirmation in the belief that funding is a major challenge for most entrepreneurs. The survey indicates a surge in black entrepreneurship and that just under half of all startups are created by founders in their 20s. The survey also confirms that the home of startups is the Silicon Cape, with just under 59% of all startups indicating they reside in the Western Cape. It's a lot to digest. That's why we've put together this infographic, which gives you an overview of...

  • Working for SA startups may be exciting, but often not that glamorous

    If startup life offers low-pay accompanied by a tough culture, why then do people still go work for them? The answer may be that, for some, the challenging and flexible work environment of a startup is more important, not to mention working with someone who's driven to become a pioneer in his industry. The Ventureburn Startup Survey, which aims to uncover the "true picture of the South African startup landscape", partnered with First National Bank (FNB), investment advisory firm Clifftop Colony and analytics company Qurio, to recently poll just under 200 tech startups. Each of the 200 startups were asked...

  • What do South Africa’s startup founders look like, and what drives them?

    South Africa's startups scene may be small compared to that of the US, yet the country has produced some amazing global success stories. Entrepreneurial superstars with South African ties such as Mark Shuttleworth and Elon Musk are often highly regarded for their pioneering spirit, but does that carry through to the rest of the South African startup space? What are the majority of the country's entrepreneurs driven by and what do they look like? The Ventureburn Startup Survey, which aims to uncover the "true picture of the South African startup landscape", partnered with First National Bank (FNB), investment advisory firm Clifftop...

  • Go big or go home: SA startups need to scale fast to survive

    South Africa's startups are ambitious. They have to be. A Ventureburn survey found that the majority want to dominate (41%) their target markets. When we also consider that most (75%) companies expect to run out of funds within the next 12 months, it adds weight to the notion that lean tech startups should scale fast to become sustainable. But for South Africa's startups, it's a matter of go big or go home. The Ventureburn Startup Survey, which aims to uncover the "true picture of the South African startup landscape", partnered with First National Bank (FNB), investment advisory firm Clifftop Colony and...

  • From lab to launch: the quest to build startup success in SA’s innovation capital

    Venture capitalist and founder of popular US seed fund Y Combinator Paul Graham once wrote that the recipe for startup "clusters" is having a great university near a town smart people like. Premier of the Western Cape Helen Zille believes this might just be the case for Stellenbosch in South Africa, which echoed the general tone of the evening at the reopening of business incubator LaunchLab last month. Situated about 50km outside of Cape Town in the country's Winelands, Stellenbosch is not only home to JSE-listed giants such as Mediclinic and Distell, but also transformative tech companies like the instant...

  • Upforit challenges, rewards South Africans to get fit

    Could you do ten days without sweets and chocolate? No? What if you get free coffee or have a couple of friends spotting you all the way? Upforit is a new online platform that hopes to get South Africans healthy and fit by introducing elements of motivation, prizes, health tips, product information and expert advice. Essentially, you sign up with your email address or cellphone number to do a lifestyle challenge, invite friends to join you, and get rewarded. It's as simple as that. The rewards consist of things like vouchers or customer loyalty points. Currently there are Vida e Cafe...