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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.
  • Water Waste Management Challenge Workshop to tackle SA issues

    Ventureburn had the opportunity to attend the Stellenbosch Innovation District's (SID) Water Waste Management Challenge workshop held in partnership with Launchlab. The challenge, which is largely lead by Stellenbosch University's outgoing COO, professor Leopoldt van Huyssteen, aims to provide context for the current challenges facing SA regarding water and waste management. The workshop was chaired by various Launchlab representatives such as CEO Philip Marais, operations manager Brandon Paschal, and others. The panel of guests consisted of van Huyssteen, Julien Rumbelow of the Western Cape government, and Amahle Zakhele from Enkanini, an informal settlement currently facing water and waste management issues. "Our current water crisis can...

  • Visa launches its first African Innovation Bootcamp [update]

    Payments technology giant Visa has partnered with global accelerator and early-stage tech investor, Nest to launch its first Innovation Bootcamp in Africa. The bootcamp aims to empower early-stage startups within the fintech space and will conclude with a Demo Day scheduled for 27 March 2017. The bootcamp saw a pool of 122 applicants from 12 countries which include Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, South Africa and many others. From applicants, only 10 were selected to take part. "The finalists will get the opportunity to gain knowledge and insights from experts at Visa, as well as gain access to Visa API’s and tools, and Nest’s resources...

  • Tony Elumelu Foundation selects 1000 African entrepreneurs for programme

    The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), has announced the selection of 1000 African entrepreneurs to join the third cohort of the foundation's USD$100-million TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. According to TEF, the programme saw over 93 000 entrepreneurs from over 55 countries applying, which was double the amount of applicants in 2016 and four times the amount of applicants in 2015. The selected entrepreneurs will be trained and mentored over the next nine months to develop a solid business plan. Following their training, the cohort will be eligible to receive seed capital of up to US$10 000. The TEF will aim to facilitate the development of...

  • Fincluders Startup Challenge heads to Amman

    The very first SANAD Fincluders Startup Challenge to take place outside of Europe is headed toward Amman, Jordan to find innovative SMEs spreading financial inclusion in MENA. SANAD, an SME fund serving MENA, has modelled their challenge after the European Fund for South East Europe (EFSE) Fincluders which was held in Berlin last year. The Amman instalment of the challenge is scheduled for 3 to 4 May 2017 with a cash prize of up to USD$15 000 with SANAD securing the support of Oasis 500, a local fintech accelerator. SANAD's technical assistance facility are offering finalists a trip to Jordan as well as accommodation for the duration...

  • Innovate For Life announces three winning startups

    The Innovate For Life campaign held by AMREF Health Africa in partnership with Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Nailab has found three winning SMEs. The programme called for SMEs offering unique solutions to address the issue of maternal mortality and infant loss (in Africa and also across the globe). It received 117 applications which were narrowed down to just 15 -- these company founders then attended a two-day hackathon. It's from this hackathon these winners emerged: HelpMum -- A social SME that focuses on preventative measures, using mobile technology to reduce infant mortality. Chanjo Plus -- A mobile service which offers a platform for users to manage their vaccinations...

  • Events platform Eventerprise welcomes new investors for expansion

    Events platform, Eventerprise, which has an operational hub in Cape Town, has signed on three more international business leaders to their existing group of early-stage investors. This addition will aid in its plans for global expansion. "This shows that there’s a definite groundswell of support from the international events and business community for what we are trying to achieve, which is making the global events industry a more transparent and easier place to do business in," said the Eventerprise co-founder, Charlie Wright, in a press release. "It is especially gratifying to receive this level of endorsement from individuals with great insight into...

  • CiTi, FinTech Circle to launch ‘FinTech Academy Africa’ in SA

    The FinTech Academy Africa, a joint initiative by FinTech Circle and Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi), is set to launch in SA on 24 and 25 April, in Johannesburg. The academy is geared toward CEOs and the like who have a limited amount of time on their hands, but who still would like a deeper understanding of best practices in fintech. The two-day curriculum has been designed to deliver a comprehensive understanding of important areas surrounding fintech in a short amount of time. CEO of CiTi, Ian Merrington commented on the joint effort in a press release to Ventureburn. "Board directors and...

  • Venture Capital continues to grow in SA

    Interest in SA venture capital (VC) has seen steady growth. This growth in interest could translate into expanding opportunities for investors as well as entrepreneurs, according to the CEO of the Southern African Venture Capital (SAVCA) and Private Equity Association, Tanya van Lill, who commented on the Global Entrepreneurship Congress. "South Africa's venture capital (VC) ecosystem is evolving, with more fund managers entering the industry and growing investor interest in the asset class. This increased activity is generating positive spinoffs for local, innovative entrepreneurs seeking funding," said van Lille in a press release to Ventureburn. SAVCA recently launched their VC Survey, tracking...

  • Reel Gardening takes home Agripreneur of the Year Award

    South Africam gardening startup, Reel Gardening has taken home the prestigious Agripreneur of the Year Award at the Future Agro Challenge (FAC) held in Johannesburg. Founder of Reel Gardening, Claire Reid bested eight other competitors in a live pitching competition. Last year's winner, Nicolás Morelli commented on Reid's victory. "Winning the championship opened many doors for me and I look forward to seeing what Reid will achieve being propelled from this platform," in a press release to Ventureburn. As the winner of the competition, Reid will be receiving ongoing mentorship, partner possibilities, as well as the chance to expand her business into different markets. Reel...

  • Jamie Martin on Edtech and the EdTech Open Innovation Cluster

    Tech hub, CiTi recently launched the first EdTech Open Innovation Cluster and incubator in Africa. Ventureburn had the opportunity to sit down with the initiative's lead, Jamie Martin, to discuss his thoughts behind the accelerator as well as edtech in general. "I really believe that the developing world, in particular Africa, is firstly the place that edtech can make the most impact and is also the place where I think it's going to be the most innovative. Secondly, I think that particularly in SA there is a unique combination, I call it 'first world infrastructure, third world problems'." He further explained that data...