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All posts by Matthew Alexander

Matthew Alexander
A grown man and avid gamer, anime enthusiast as well as an MMA practitioner, he’s a living symbol of Liquorice allsorts. His inquisitive nature is by far his greatest strength. If he doesn’t know something, he will soon enough. His passion for writing started at a very young age, so much so that he decided to pursue a career in any field which allowed him to write and to complete his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism. When not fighting, gaming or binge-watching Mr. Robot or Game of Thrones, he finds himself on his motorcycle exploring the country’s landscape.
  • Benin’s Sèmè City to become West Africa’s newest business hub

    The presidential office of Benin has launched an international call for all innovators earlier this week (28 June), to help in the development of Sèmè City. Sèmè City aims to become a unique hub for education, research and business incubation in West Africa and will be situated in the coastal city of Cotonou, Benin. One of the main attractions regarding Sèmè City would be its ability to generate and house educational establishments, and research and development centres which include a business incubator supporting up to 250 startups. "Sèmè City symbolises our determination to promote knowledge as a growth driver and position Benin at the...

  • EMGuidance is set to represent South Africa at the Seedstars World finals

    The South African leg of the Seedstars World competition came to a close this week with EMGuidance being chosen to represent SA in the finals in Switzerland next year. The finals saw all the SA satellite winners as well as the three wildcard draws come together to pitch for their chance to represent the country. "The quality of startups is validation of the abundance of talent in South Africa. 2017 being our third (running), we are seeing the impact Seedstars World has on the growth of the local ecosystem, as more founders are thinking global," said Vuyisa Qabaka, a partner at Entrepreneur...

  • Y Combinator school helped grow movie service 20% a week – Vibescout

    Attending Y Combinator's online Startup School has helped South African startup Vibescout to grow its movie aggregator 20% week-on-week, up 8 000 users since it's launch on the 19th of May. Jonathan Myburgh, co-founder of the South African events aggregator platform, announced on Monday that the startup had graduated from the 10-week programme, which commenced on 5 April. Myburgh was one of 2 820 applicants (of which 16 were from South Africa) who graduated from the programme. Over 13 000 entrepreneurs applied to be part of the programme. Key at the school are weekly Key Performance Indicator (KPI) meetings. One of the main projects to show a positive KPI...

  • Six African startups receive Microsoft’s Affordable Access Initiative seed grants

    Microsoft announced yesterday (26 June) that it will award seed grants of an undisclosed amount to six innovative African businesses. The seed grants are being awarded through the multinational tech company's Affordable Access Initiative (AAI) which aims to create academic and economic opportunities for startups to deliver internet and energy access to rural communities. "We're inspired by our grantees' passion to bring internet and energy access, and the economic benefits that flow from it to parts of the world that need it most," said Paul Garnett, the senior director of Microsoft's AAI, in an interview. Recipients will also receive hundreds of free training...

  • TLcom Capital raises $40m for TIDE Africa Fund to support entrepreneurs

    London-based VC TLcom Capital has announced it has committed $40-million to the Technology and Innovation for Developing Economics (TIDE) Africa Fund. The VC fund's announcement, made last Thursday, of the injection of funds will help TIDE focus exclusively on entrepreneurs and startups from Sub-Saharan Africa. The $40-million was raised with the help of the African Development Bank and the European Investment Bank, which both committed $10-million each. Among other investors involved in raising the capital was Silicon Valley based Bob King, the founder of the Stanford SEED Institute. The fund will provide both capital and business support to startups leveraging mobile in markets such as financial services,...

  • Nigerian startup Tizeti announces $2.1m Y Combinator funding round

    Tizeti, a Nigerian startup which develops solar powered WiFi towers with its Wifi.com.ng service, today announced it had secured $2.1-million in funding through US-based Y Combinator from several investors. "Today’s seed announcement allows us to grow aggressively in the Nigerian market, and we will continue to invest in building out our own solar-powered infrastructure, as well as refine and expand our consumer-focused product," said Kendall Ananyi, the CEO of Tizeti, in a press release. The round's investors include Western Technology Investment, Social Capital, Vy Capital, Picus Capital, Ace & Company, Lynett Capital Partners, Zeno Ventures. The round also consists of a handful of angel investors including Y Combinator’s Michael...

  • Three startups secure wildcard spot for Seedstars World South Africa event

    Global entrepreneurial competition Seedstars World announced the winners of the wildcard draw to compete at the Seedstars World South Africa regional final this Thursday (29 June) at the Standard Bank Auditorium. The three startups from the Western Cape, Gauteng and Johannesburg will go on to compete against those startups chosen at a Johannesburg pitching event on 26 May (EMG Technologies, GreenFingers Mobile, and mbora) and those selected at a Cape Town pitching event on 8 June (CommuScore, Empty Trips Pty Ltd, Muzi and Invoiceworx) for their chance to represent SA at the finals in Switzerland next year. The winning startup will compete against startups from 79 other countries for a chance at winning...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [26/06/2017]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or catch up on some of your skills? Well, you've come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we've rounded them up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list,...

  • Techpreneur Africa joins Abu Dhabi Global Market to promote fintech across Africa

    Social-entrepreneurial impact firm Techpreneur Africa has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an international finance centre. The MOU, signed earlier this week between the two parties, seeks to grow and support fintech initiatives in the Middle East and Africa. "The new partnership with Techpreneur Africa marks another achievement towards strengthening the connections between fintech communities and harnessing synergies in innovations and capabilities through global collaboration," said Richard Teng, the CEO of ADGM on Monday in a press release. ADGM's regulatory labs is a fintech sandbox which provides participants with a safe place to test their products and services, while...

  • MIT, Mastercard launch ‘Open Mic Africa’ entrepreneurial talent search programme

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation have launched an entrepreneurial talent search programme -- Open Mic Africa. The initiative will host events in three cities across Africa. Namely Lagos (26-27 July), Dakar (23-24 September) and Cape Town (27-28 September). The MIT Legatum Centre will also stop over in Accra, Ghana and Nairobi to establish better networks and increase its presence in those areas. Each event will host inspirational talks from other African entrepreneurs, workshops and venture pitch training as well as mentorship sessions. Each city will also host an open pitch...