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All posts by Matthew Alexander

  • Seedstars World announces final call for startups in Cape Town

    Following its announcement earlier this week of the 12 startups that will pitch at Seedstars World Johannesburg today, the major early-stage business competition heads to Cape Town early next month in search of top startups. Those startups looking to pitch at the event -- to be held at Workshop 17 on 8 June -- have until only this Sunday (28 May) to apply. To qualify to pitch startups need to be less than two-years old, have raised less than $500,000 in funding and have a working example of their product or service. Startups also need to have existing traction and the capacity for regional and...

  • Snapplify joins Ed21 forum to tackle inefficient education system

    The key to tackling the education sector as a startup is being able to move fast and adapt quickly to the changing needs of the sector says Snapplify growth director Tarryn-Anne Anderson. The digital publishing solutions startup has teamed up with the likes of Vastratech, Principal Software and D6 Technology to form the Ed21 forum. The forum forms part of an ongoing movement to assist schools in transforming into a digital space. "Snapplify decided to join the Ed21 forum because we believe in developing better, and more effective ways of promoting and providing digital education," said Anderson. "The other members of the forum are also...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [22/05/2017]

    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,...

  • African startups clinch €10k, trip to Canadian event at Innotribe challenge

    The Innotribe Startup Challenge in partnership with SWIFT’s African Regional Conference concluded yesterday in Abidjan, with three fintech companies walking away with cash prizes and more. The three winners are: Irofit Technologies -- which provides a mobile point of sale that helps small businesses process card payments in real time even during poor internet connections. Sokowatch -- with its SMS ordering system that provides a distribution channel for companies to reach smaller retailers. Vugapay -- which helps mobile-money merchants across Africa to get paid. Aside from claiming a cash prize of €10,000 each, the three winners have been invited to attend Sibos, SWIFT's global financial services conference,...

  • ‘SA should look to Israel as lesson in boosting entrepreneurial ecosystem’

    Israel's success as a startup nation can be attributed to the notion of "if you don’t have it, you either go without it or innovate, invent, and do better". So says Carel De Wet, the general manager of cloud service vendor iCloudius. He was talking at Salesforce's "What Western Cape’s Tech companies should learn from Tel Aviv’s Startup Nation" event, held at Workshop 17 in Cape Town today. "It’s not as if they have better technology than we do. It’s not that we don’t have the same resources or the skill... We just need to take it to the next level," says De...

  • 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,...