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All posts by Nur Bremmen: Staff reporter

Nur Bremmen: Staff reporter
Nur is an enigma with a passion for creating words. He recently entered a love affair with technology and chorizo sausages. He travels a lot -- you catch him, if you can, at a Silicon Cape event every now and again.
  • Convergance Partners, Nedbank Private Equity, IDC pump R500m into Comsol Fibre Connect

    Investment management firm Convergance Partners this week announced that it, along with Nedbank Private Equity and the IDC, have invested over R500 million in Comsol Fibre Connect. Billing itself as South Africa’s "first and only nationwide open access high-speed carrier grade data network", the network will reportedly connect enterprises in both major metros and small towns. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the key advantage of Comsol Fibre Connect is that customers are guaranteed connectivity of a high capacity, uncontended product, underpinned by a carrier grade service level agreement. The first elements of the network have reportedly...

  • 2015 was a record year for private equity investments in South Africa

    If you ask South African startup founders what their biggest bug-bear is, the majority will tell you it's attracting funding. But if this was ever really a problem, it's becoming obvious that it's increasingly less so. Case in point: local private equity funds reached R29.0 billion in 2015, the highest on record for the industry and up a significant 145% from R11.8 billion in 2014. That's according to the SAVCA 2016 Private Equity Industry Survey, the annual survey of private equity and venture capital activity in Southern Africa. The survey suggests that a substantial majority of the funds...

  • Seedstars, Angolan VC on the hunt for top startups

    With its South African leg wrapping up on Thursday, Seedstars World -- the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup scenes -- is set to return to Angola on 27 July. As is the case with all its regional competitions, the startups at the Luanda event will be competing for a place at the Seedstars World Summit, which takes place in Geneva, Switzerland. There, they will have the chance to pitch for a US$500 000 grand prize. Angola was previously represented by Jobartis, a jobs and learning platform. "Experiences such as participating at the Seedstars World event...

  • SA Innovation Summit announces competitions for entrepreneurs, investors

    The SA Innovation Summit, set to take place in Johannesburg in September, has opened up entries to two competitions: the Inventors Garage and the SA Innovation Legends Pitching Den competitions. The pitching den is open to high-growth start-ups, established companies and large corporates who are driving innovation on the African continent. “The Pitching Den was designed to recognise companies whose innovative tech-enabled solutions have the potential to make a significant positive impact on the growth of the continent,” says Dr Verhaeghe. The overall winners will be announced at an Award Ceremony and stand a chance to win...

  • 10 startups the New Economy Accelerator thinks are seriously investable

    The New Economy Accelerator, launched in 2015, has announced the graduation of its first cohort of entrepreneurs. The graduating startups, it says, are focused mainly on green and environmental technology and represent an investment opportunity of R22-million. The investor showcase is hosted at the inaugural ATTANE Forum taking place at the Innovation Hub in Pretoria from the 27th -28th of June 2016. The ATTANE Forum is a platform for championing Africa’s transition into a more inclusive and sustainable economy by bringing together thought leaders from business, government and civil society to collaborate towards driving Africa’s development agenda. The 10 startups are:...

  • LaunchLab picks up BioTech company AzarGen

    Go to most startup incubators and accelerators around South Africa and you'll see a fair few good businesses, but chances are few of them are actively pushing the bounds of science. It's pretty exciting then when you see someone doing something a little different. One such startup, AzarGen, has just joined the LaunchLab in Stellenbosch and it looks pretty damn cool. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, AzarGen is a biotechnology company focused on developing human therapeutic proteins using advanced genetic engineering and synthetic biology techniques in plants. Started by four PhD students at Stellenbosch University’s Institute...

  • This conference wants to connect South Africa’s JAVA coders

    If JAVA is your game, you might want to check this one out. Set to take place on 21 and 22 July in Johannesburg, The I Code Java 2016 Conference is a bid to train and connect Java developers to each other and open up new opportunities in the tech industry. Now in its second year, the conference cites JAVA's popularity as a coding language -- close to 90% of Fortune 500 companies use it -- as a major reason for its existence. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the conference is a mix of practical applications...

  • New mentorship programme aims to empower disabled entrepreneurs

    There's not a whole lot of tech in this one, but we thought it was worth sharing anyway. South African entrepreneurial organisation The Hope Factory has launched a programme aimed specifically at empowering disabled entrepreneurs. The programme, which will be based in KwaZulu-Natal, is meant to help the physically disabled develop personal and business skills to grow and improve their businesses. The 10 entrepreneurs selected for it come from a variety of different fields. "As a Business Mentor, walking hand-in-hand with an entrepreneur on their journey to success and prosperity, through the highest high’s and low’s and ever...

  • iKhokha merchants can now get cash advances

    Mobile app and card-reader startup iKhokha on Monday announced that merchants using its devices and platforms can now get cash advances to help grow their businesses. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the new feature is designed to assist small business owners who can't access capital through more traditional means. "We have always wanted to help solve the real challenges which face South African entrepreneurs and we know from working closely with them that their number one issue is access to capital," says iKhokha managing director, Matt Putman. "The majority of our merchants do not qualify for a formal...

  • AfricaWorking: corporates announce plan to give 250k youth entrepreneurship, employability skills

    A number of companies, including Barclays Africa; Emerging World; FranklinCovey; Knod; Microsoft; Safal Group; and Syngenta, this week came together to announce AfricaWorking -- an initiative which aims to provide some 250 000 youth across the continent with entrepreneurial and employability skills. Starting in Kenya and South Africa, the initiative aims to work across the continent by 2020. "Most large corporations are looking at youth skills development in one form or another, because it’s crucial to their business," says Lutz Ziob, Dean of the Microsoft 4Afrika Academy. "The idea behind AfricaWorking is to bring these corporations together, align our efforts,...