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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
  • SweepSouth becomes first SA startup to join Silicon Valley’s 500 Startups programme

    South African on-demand domestic cleaning startup SweepSouth has secured a spot in the renowned Silicon Valley-based accelerator programme, 500 Startups. Not only has SweepSouth been awarded US$125 000 in seed funding and acceptance into the four-month mentorship programme, it's also South Africa's only startup to have been accepted by the global accelerator. 500 Startups is lead by entrepreneur and angel investor Dave McClure (pictured above with SweepSouth co-founder Alen Ribic) and has invested in over 1 000 companies within the last five years. The VC aims to become the largest in the world and is backing startups from over 50 countries. Some prominent...

  • Chivas Regal awards SA fire detection startup Lumkani $75k

    South African fire detection startup, Lumkani has been awarded US$75 000 at Chivas Regal's global The Venture competition. The Scottish whiskey brand awarded a total of US$1-million to five social enterprises that pitched in San Francisco this week. Chile's food distributor Algramo walked away with the largest share of US$300 000. Representing Uruguay at The Venture, livestock-tracking startup Chipsafer and Japan's field-monitoring SenSprout each won US$150 000. As with Lumkani, Diseclar from Columbia received US$75 000 for turning waste into furniture. "This is a big win for us, we can start rolling out bigger parts of our business model which require more capital, test...

  • Do accelerators really work? This new study aims to find out

    With challenging application processes, high-profile mentors and exciting prizes up for grabs, accelerators are usually the bee's knees in the startup world. But do they really work? If so, what types of programmes have the highest impact on entrepreneurial success? A new comprehensive study aims to find out just that. Officially announced at the sixth annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kenya, the so-called Global Accelerator Learning Initiative (GALI) seeks to collect data on more than 10 000 accelerator firms globally. The study hopes to gather enough statistical data and market insight to better inform accelerator decision-making. The argument goes that although there...

  • Ampion, Merck accelerator to foster health-tech startups in Africa

    Pan-African entrepreneurial initiative Ampion has teamed up with German pharmaceutical Merck to launch a health-tech accelerator in Nairobi, Kenya. The new health-tech accelerator is designed to offer startups customised support from Merck’s Innovation Center in Germany, along with operational and scaling mentorship and the potential to secure pilots with "key global players". Read more: Ampion Venture Bus: an NGO’s mission to drive impactful innovation in Africa In a press statement, Merck project manager Alexander Hoffmann explained the value of technology in these fast-growing markets: "For us at Merck, the support of healthcare technology on the continent is important not just in terms of...

  • Cisco Capital introduces low rate financing programme for SA SMEs

    Financing solutions provider Cisco Capital recently launched its Easylease Low Rate Financing programme in South Africa, which it says is in line with the multinational IT giant's commitment to help SMEs access new-generation technologies. Through a series of monthly repayments, the Easylease programme seeks to help small businesses finance their networking solutions, manage cash flows and take advantage of new Cisco technologies. It also offers a 12-month interest-free repayment option. Read more: 5 important trends that show Africa’s venture scene is on the rise "Through Easylease, we enable customers to acquire their desired Cisco solution so that they may enjoy the benefits...

  • African Angel bootcamps to mobilise early-stage investors

    By partnering with a range of prominent industry influencers, the African Business Angel Network hopes to mobilise early-stage investors this year. The initiative is running a series of Angel Investor Bootcamps to be held in some of Africa's most buzzing cities -- Lagos, Nairobi and Cape Town. In run-up to one of the continent's largest pan-African startup pitch events, DEMO Africa, the bootcamps will consist of a master-class, expert sessions, the presentation of research material and in-depth case studies. The events are organised by the US State Department, VC4Africa, Intercontinental Trust and the LIONS Africa Partnership. Lagos, Nigeria -- 31 July The master-class will be conducted...

  • Meet NicheStreem: SA’s curated streaming service for music lovers

    Just two blocks up the road from where she pitched her latest startup at a Seedstars World event, sits the headquarters of NicheStreem -- entrepreneur Catherine Lückhoff's music- streaming play. Launched in March this year, NicheStreem has developed a technology that enables it to provide unique, curated music streams for specific markets around the globe and looks set to make waves in the global online music industry, one niche community at a time. The idea that "niche doesn't necessarily equal small" resonates strongly with the startup's business philosophy. Its first product app is a proof-of-concept called Liedjie, which will focus solely on...

  • Bitcoin startup BitX raises $4m from Naspers

    Emerging market bitcoin exchange startup BitX has just raised a nice fat US$4-million in Series A from PayU -- a subsidiary of media and internet powerhouse Naspers. Existing investor Barry Silbert’s Digital Currency Group also participated in the round. The fresh capital comes after the startup secured over US$800 000 from a group of international investors late last year. Founded by Marcus Swanepoel, Francois Paul, Carel van Wyk, Pieter Heyns and Timothy Stranex, BitX launched in 2013 with a mission to spread the adoption of digital currency in emerging markets. It's currently headquartered in Singapore with additional offices in Jakarta and...

  • Machine learning startup DataProphet hones in on profitable call centre industry

    Machine learning is a complicated subject. First experimented with by computer scientist Arthur Samuel back in 1956, the American eventually managed to build a program that could beat him at a game of checkers. As badass as that was, it doesn’t really compare to the advancements we’ve witnessed over the past few years. Today, tech like Google’s self-driving cars and Microsoft’s near real-time voice translation are frequently making the headlines on tech sites. A rebranded form of artificial intelligence, these intelligent pattern recognition algorithms could revolutionise the way we work in practically every industry. Yet there are still very few formal education institutions that cater for...

  • Seedstars World crowns mobile employment service Giraffe SA’s top startup

    Johannesburg-based employment company Giraffe has just bagged itself a ticket to Geneva, Switzerland where it will take a shot at the US$500 000 equity prize in 2016. The achievement comes after Giraffe was crowned the top South African startup by Seedstars World 2015 -- a global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets. The winning startup is behind a mobile platform that helps connect employees with employers across the country. Two months after it launched in January this year, the startup has connected 10 000 jobseekers with over 1 000 employers. Speaking to Shafin Anwarsha who's Giraffe's co-founder, he explains that the recognition...