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All posts by Matthew Alexander

  • Innoventures ends year on $1.6m high note

    SME developer and accelerator Innoventures has announced the launch of their US$1.6-million fund, named Innoventures Fund 1. Innoventures' CEO Hesham Wahby made the announcement alongside the launch of their workspace in Alexandria, dubbed IdeaSpace-Borg. The startup accelerator, in partnership with VC4A, has also awarded top startups during their Reactor competition where three startups from Africa won prizes up to €10 000. "The winning startups have our commitment towards providing them with investments either by networking with investors or directly from us," said acceleration programme manager at Innoventures, Nourhan Ghanem in a press release. Zerowaste Technologies, the winner of Innoventures Reactor, is an eco-friendly...

  • Ixesha invoicing system to take load off billing?

    Web-based timesheet and invoicing system, Ixesha aims to help freelancers and consultants take the load off when it comes to billing clients. Founder Sean Walsh acquired the intellectual property of Ixesha from a firm who wanted to upgrade their custom-built Microsoft Access system. Ixesha was entirely bootstrapped, with the developmental cost covered by the consulting firm for which it was developed for. "It was painful to use (the access system) and they wanted to move to something web-based, but after doing a good amount of research into what was currently available, they realised that the access system had a lot of...

  • Kasha comes out tops at Seedstars Rwanda

    Women's health startup, Kasha has won the Rwandan round of the Seedstars World competition and will go on to represent the nation in the finals. The final pitching competition will take place at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland. Here, they will compete with the other winners to win up to US$1-million in equity investment. The Rwandan winner, Kasha is a startup which delivers female health products through their accessible retail mobile platform. They took the crown for Best Startup due to their online and offline solution. "Kasha exists because women are the biggest business opportunity and the way women access health products today is an...

  • TEF Entrepreneurship Programme now accepting applications

    The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF) has announced that they will now be accepting their third round of applications from 1 January 2017. TEF is an entrepreneurship programme which aims to provide a long-term foundation using investments to empower young African entrepreneurs. The foundation is marking its 10-year anniversary with a US$100-million commitment to training and mentoring 10 000 African entrepreneurs. "I believe the seeds we are planting through the programme will transform Africa. Two years on, it is clear that we have found a key to unlocking Africa's potential for economic transformation," said TEF founder, Tony Elumelu in a press release. "As our entrepreneurs...

  • 2016 ABAN Investor Masterclass Series set to conclude

    The 2016 ABAN Investor Masterclass Series will see early-stage investors gathering in Cairo as well as Lagos next week to discuss and share best practices at Early Stage Investor Masterclasses. These masterclasses will conclude the 2016 ABAN Investor Masterclass Series which consisted of other bootcamps and classes all around the world. The Cairo Masterclasses will take place on 6 December 2016 at the Cairo Mariott Hotel Zamalek while the Lagos Masterclass will take place on 10 December at The Wheatbaker Lagos. Both events are organised by VC4A and Rising Tide Africa as well as the Lagos Angel Network. Speakers include the president of EBAN,...

  • Blue Label Telecoms announces new SME accelerator programme

    Telecoms company Blue Label Telecoms and Blue Pencil Management (Blue Pencil) have launched a business accelerator programme. The programme will grant SMEs access to necessary funding, networks, market opportunities and skills to help them become commercially successful. Blue Pencil helps small to medium-sized enterprises channel development, as well as investment and acceleration services. This, in conjunction with Blue Label's access to funding and infrastructure, will help boost participating businesses' growth. "Many small businesses struggle to take off and thrive after the incubation phase – by increasing their chances of success and through the right interventions we can help them to have a positive...

  • Who won big at EY SA World Entrepreneur Awards?

    The EY SA World Entrepreneur Awards has concluded its 2016 running, with Super Group's CEO, Peter Mountford, winning the award in the Master category. Broad-based supply chain management business, Super Group will go on to represent SA in Monte Carlo in June 2017 at the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards. Here, they will compete alongside more than 50 other entrepreneurs from around the world. During Mountford's time, he has turned the company around from a loss of R1.3-billion and within 18 months brought the company back to a profitable level. Ran Neu-Ner and Gil Oved, a group of co-CEOs and entrepreneurs of The Creative Counsel...

  • Zebra Cabs: taxi service gets R300m injection

    Minibus financing service, SA Taxi has secured a R300-million investment from Futuregrowth Asset Management, it announced this week. The funding will go toward financing the Zebra Cabs owner-driver scheme. SA Taxi acquired Zebra Cabs in 2015, with a view to expanding the service in the face of Uber's popularity. SA Taxi's capital markets director, Mark Herskovits explained that the company was looking for ways to leverage their business model. They decided that their metered-taxi business model was best-placed to scale effectively. "We will consider seeking additional funding sooner if required, but we first want to build scale in the key area of Johannesburg to achieve...

  • TenaCiTi, Dutch Consulate in startup training drive

    The TenaCiTi "people + potential programme", in partnership with the Dutch Consulate, provides growing businesses and their employees with adequate training to get them workplace ready. "The TenaCiTi programme is essentially trying to meet the needs of people development that are essential to small businesses and helping small businesses essentially to grow and flourish," said TenaCiTi's internship programme manager, Alexis Pillay, at a TenaCiTi event this week. "Often small businesses are able to get funding for their organisation. They're also able to get a lot of support when it comes to their ideas development but very often there is not a lot of...

  • Innotech Fellows step up to plate for CT pitching day

    The Innotech Fellows programme saw several entrepreneurs pitch their businesses at the Bandwidth Barn in Cape Town. The programme, which is a partnership between CiTi and the Telkom Future Makers Programme, forms part of the Innotech Fellows initiative. It aims to stimulate the growth of new businesses in software development, design, gaming, web and mobile application development. The programme selects top entrepreneurs to participate in a six-month developmental phase before the final pitching day at the Bandwidth Barn. "In terms of the comparison last year and this year, we've got a much stronger group so our recruitment, we did a lot more iteration in the first year of the Innotech...