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All posts by Matthew Alexander

  • Platform aims to advance SA artisans

    Will Edgcumbe believes his new local artisanal e-commerce platform -- Advance -- is  as much a business, as it is "something of a cause". Yesterday marked the launch of Advance in the Western Cape and Kwazulu-Natal. The platform allows customers to order their favourite product from local artisans. Customers can then collect their products either at a store, market or at a preferred pickup point. In an interview with Ventureburn, Edgcumbe, the platform's co-founder, says customers can opt to pay securely via the app or website for their product. "Payment occurring on placing the order also protects our partner stores from the current situation many of them face,...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [15/05/2017]

    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,...

  • The Red Bull Amaphiko Academy gives wings to social entrepreneurs

    The Red Bull Amaphiko Academy "helped me realise the potential of my business and how it could become sustainable", previous academy participant Thabang Mabapa said. Mabapa runs Selokong Sa Dimelana, a biofuel production company that focuses on farming and using caster oil. Sixteen of the country's top social entrepreneurs hope to follow in Mabapa's footsteps with the next Amaphiko programme taking place from 19 to 28 May. The Amaphiko Academy is Red Bull's venture into finding and developing successful entrepreneurs within SA. During their time, the startups will undergo mentorship from top local and international entrepreneurs and other innovators. The programme will also put the...

  • ‘I was so desperate to change my situation’ — founder of Lady Bonin

    It was out of desperation that entrepreneur Jessica Bonin started her tea business -- to escape dead-end work in the film industry. Bonin, the founder of Lady Bonin, was speaking at yesterday's Startup Grind Cape Town, hosted at Workshop 17 in the city. The global Startup Grind community dedicated the month of May toward celebrating the success of female founders. "I was doing something that went against my very moral core. I didn’t have a business degree or anything like that, and I wanted to find a skill that would allow me to start my own business because that’s where I realised I...

  • Q&A: Lady Bonin founder shares her journey as a female entrepreneur

    With Startup Grind Cape Town set to take place tomorrow (11 May) in celebration of Female Founders Month, we spoke to Jessica Bonin, founder of Lady Bonin's artisanal tea. Bonin, who will speak tomorrow at the event hosted at Workshop 17, spoke to us about her success and struggles as a female entrepreneur, touching on how it was to run a food truck as well as venture into a seemingly niche market. Ventureburn: Tell us about how you got started with a food truck? Jessica Bonin: When I first started the business my greatest challenge was reinventing tea. People had no concept of good quality tea,...

  • Cape property startup creates storm with new model that outfoxes competition

    Cape startup Property Fox may have saved South Africans R5-million in estate-agent commissions since launching in April last year, but their disruptive online model is stirring up a storm in the local property market. The company only charges customers 1.5% in sales commission -- significantly lower than the 5% to 7.5% of the selling price that estate agents usually charge. What has irked some agents is that the company allows a buyer and seller can communicate on the positives and negatives of the property before a sale is concluded. "Traditional agents always say to you 'don't let the buyer meet the seller because there's so much...

  • Six Cape startups equipped with HR skills graduate from TenaCiti programme

    A Cape Town HR programme has helped six startups and their respective recruits to improve their human-resource management processes and up their level of professionalism. The second cohort of TenaCiTi , a skills programme run by the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) in partnership with #CoCreateSA, an initiative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, has just wrapped up. The cohort was launched in February. Read more: TenaCiTi to enhance junior recruits for small businesses William Hurst, a developer and partner of startup Zero Zero One says programmes such as TenaCiTi should almost be a "requirement" as it "smooths off so many rough edges". "Stuff that people...

  • Sweep South concludes Series-A round with Black Coffee for ‘seven-figure’ sum

    One of SA's biggest music icons DJ Black Coffee has invested in domestic hiring platform SweepSouth during its Series-A funding round. "We connected with him (Black Coffee) through one of our investors and he liked the business model, he liked the growth of the company, he liked what we were trying to accomplish in empowering women and empowering domestic (workers)," said Aisha Pandor in an interview with Ventureburn." The Series-A round was led by international retail solutions company Smollan and also include Draper Darker Flow, Identity Development Fund Managers and CRE venture capital. The startup will use current investments to grow throughout SA, continent While Pandor...

  • Startups score $35 000 in Fincluders Middle East, North Africa challenge

    Three startups have been awarded cash prizes totaling $35,000 at the Fincluders Startup Challenge Amman, organised by seed investment company Oasis 500 and Sanad, a Middle-East and North Africa fund. The competition saw 50 applicants from over 18 countries competing for the top positions and cash prizes. The Amman competition follows the first Fincluders challenge held in Berlin last year. The top position of the Fincluders challenge and a cash prize of $20,000 went to AgroCenta, a startup which provides an online trading hub for farmers and their customers using real-time payments leveraged by mobile-money technologies. In addition to the trading hub, the startup also provides an on-demand...

  • SA startups get ready: Seedstars World applications to open later this month

    Applications to global competition for emerging markets Seedstars World will open to SA startups again when the initiative returns to South Africa later this month. Seedstars World will hold events in Johannesburg on 26 May and in Cape Town on 8 June, with the top applicants to be invited to the finale hosted at the Standard Bank Auditorium in Johannesburg on 29 June. The SA leg of Seedstars World is being held in partnership with Standard Bank and other local partners such as Enel, Microsoft4Afrika, Orange, Merck, TRECC and Deloitte. Other local partners include Entrepreneur Traction, PayU, Seedspace, Simodisa and Startup Grind. To be eligible to apply for the...