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All posts by Staff Reporter

  • AIF announces 10 nominees of the 2018 Innovation Prize for Africa awards

    The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) has announced the 10 nominees for this year's $185 000 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) awards. Among others they include innovators who have designed -- a biodegradable seed tray for rice farming, a three-in-one urine-based test kit that examines vaginal infections, a membrane that essentially “shrink-wraps” faeces and a smart solar kiosk. In a statement yesterday (13 September), the AIF said it received more than 3000 applications from 52 African countries. The call for applications for this year's awards, now in their seventh year, was under the theme "African innovation: Investing in Inclusive Innovation Ecosystems". AIF chairman Walter Fust said...

  • Southern African VC sector invested over R1bn in 2017 reveals Savca report [Updated]

    Southern African venture capital (VC) funds invested over R1-billion in startups and early-stage companies last year. This, while the number of reported South African VC deals rose from 114 deals in 2016 to 159 last year -- the latest Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association's (Savca) Venture Capital Industry Survey has revealed. The report which was released yesterday (12 September) at the SA Innovation Summit in Cape Town, was carried out in collaboration with research partner Venture Solutions. The survey features data gathered from 57 fund managers as well as other industry investors. The Savca Venture Capital Industry Survey shows that the average deal...

  • MEST invests $700k in seven startups that took part in 2018 cohort

    The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) has announced that it has invested $700 000 in seven startups that were formed from teams that took part in its 2018 cohort. The seven startups were selected following a pitch event that took place last month in Ghana. The seven, which are set to join MEST's incubators in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, each received $100 000 in equity investments. The startups join MEST Africa's portfolio of 36 companies. MEST's 10th cohort comprised 58 entrepreneurs hailing from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe. The entrepreneurs were then split into 17 teams. The seven startups...

  • South African applications for The Chivas Venture 2019 now open

    South Africa startups can now submit applications for the 2019 edition of  The Chivas Venture $1-million global innovation competition. Chivas Regal announced the launch of this year's edition on Monday (10 September). The innovation competition is aimed at innovative startups that are using business to solve social and environmental issues. The competition was first launched in 2014. Chiva's $1-million innovation competition is aimed at startups that blend profit and purpose In a statement on Monday (10 September), Chivas Regal South Africa marketing manager Radley Connor said the competition is an "amazing platform" for SA social entrepreneurs to attract investment and gain global exposure. "The competition...

  • Co-Creation Hub announces participants of inaugural FbStart Accelerator cohort

    Lagos-based Co-Creation Hub (CcHub), in partnership with Facebook, has announced the 15 teams of students and startups selected for the first FbStart Accelerator cohort currently underway at NG_Hub in Nigeria. The six-month accelerator, which kicked off with a bootcamp on 31 August, focuses on research and mentorship around deep tech solutions, namely in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), the Internet of Things (IoT) and data science. In a series of tweets announcing the commencement of the cohort -- which is comprised of 10 student and five startup teams -- CcHub said the teams will receive up to $20 000 in...

  • Samsung mentoring 19 SA startups as part of employee volunteer programme

    Samsung SA has announced that it will mentor up to 19 South African startups at a bootcamp in Cape Town this week as part of its employee volunteer programme. The initiative is also part of Samsung's Global Startup Acceleration Programme which is being carried out in Indonesia, Malaysia, India and South Africa. In all the mentorship will benefit 80 selected startups from around the world. In addition, five of the 80 startups will be invited to visit Samsung's global headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. In a statement on Tuesday (11 September), Samsung SA director for the business innovation group and corporate affairs Hlubi Shivanda,...

  • IBM South Africa, Tshimologong Precinct to hold acceleration bootcamp [Updated]

    IBM South Africa plans to next month run a six-week long acceleration bootcamp next month together with Joburg incubator Tshimologong Precinct. The bootcamp is being run as part of IBM's Equity Equivalence Investment Programme. Under the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) codes multinationals that are reluctant to give away ownership can provide the equivalent value in training black people or assisting black entrepreneurs. The Startup Accelerator bootcamp will take place from 8 October to 16 November and is designed to enable the development of growth-stage tech startups through a series of short, intensive and rigorous modules. Applications for the bootcamp close on 5 October. About 40 startups will be...

  • Fintech startups have two weeks to apply for Catapult: Inclusion Africa bootcamp

    African fintech startups have about two weeks left to apply for the Catapult: Inclusion Africa fintech bootcamp which will take place in Luxembourg in November. Applications for the 12 available spots on the programme will close on 25 September, while the bootcamp will take place between 5 and 9 November. The fully funded week-long bootcamp is an initiative of The Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT) in partnership with PwC and the government of Luxembourg. It is aimed at Africa fintech startups working to improve financial inclusion on the continent. Any startup -- late-stage or early-stage -- can apply. The Catapult: Inclusion Africa fintech bootcamp is...

  • SA journalism network Hashtag Our Stories lands $150k from Snapchat

    SA mobile journalism network Hashtag Our Stories has netted $150 000 in funding from struggling social media Snapchat and a place in the US tech company's startup accelerator Yellow. The year-old Durban-founded network is run by former social media reporter at CNN, Yusuf Omar (pictured above) and his wife Sumaiya. Techcrunch reported yesterday that the network has been accepted into the accelerator's first class of nine companies. Hashtag Our Stories is the only non-US participant. Hashtag Our Stories has netted $150 000 in funding from Snapchat and a place in its three-month accelerator Yellow The US tech publication reported that apart from the funding the accelerator will offer business support...

  • SA legal startup Baobab named as Southern African winner of HiiL challenge

    SA legal startup Baobab has been named the Southern Africa winner of justice accelerator The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law's s (HiiL) annual Innovating Justice Challenge. The news was revealed yesterday in a press release by HiiL. The winner was decided at a special pitching event held last Tuesday (4 September) at Sandton Convention Centre, by a panel of expert judges from the fields of law and innovation. Baobab.law was founded by Khokela Daula and Guy Stern. The two are looking to remove barriers to entry for legal assistance by providing information DIY legal solutions in the form of video tutorials that can speed up...