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All posts by Staff Reporter

  • Innovation awards finalists announced

    FNB Business in association with Endeavor South Africa has announced 12 startups shortlisted for the FNB Business Innovation Awards. The awards are aimed at businesses that are able to demonstrate real innovation that has the potential to change the way an industry operates both locally and internationally. The businesses must be founder-led, exhibit high-growth potential and have the capacity to create a substantial number of jobs. The 12 shortlisted startups are: ArcAqua – A cutting edge food security company with a global vision to eliminate all food wastage by using ozone technology. BrandsEye – An opinion mining company that uses search algorithms, crowd-sourcing and machine learning...

  • Travelground founders launch booking service to target business travellers

    Over 500,000 South Africans travelled domestically for business last year. It's why the founders of the TravelGround Group, Marcel Van de Ghinste and Jonathan Womersley, have launched WorkTripper.co.za, South Africa’s first business-ready accommodation-booking platform. Built entirely for business travellers WorkTripper allows users to find the features and services that they need, such as flexible cancellations, negotiated rates and Wi-Fi, from over 12,000 establishments across the country. The new platform is the group’s third ecommerce venture in nine years and follows in the successful footsteps of TravelGround.com and LekkeSlaap.co.za. Together they attract an average of 750,000 unique users a month, with thousands of...

  • Seedstars selects 12 startups for Joburg pitching event this week

    Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets, has announced 12 startups that have been selected for a pitching event to take place at Standard Bank Incubator in Johannesburg this Friday (26 May). This week's event is already sold out. The top startups will be advance to the grand finale and compete again for the title of most promising seed-stage startup of Seedstars World South Africa 2017. Seedstars World will travel to more than 80 countries this year to identify the best seed-stage entrepreneurs and provide them with an opportunity to win up to $1-million, with the main prize being a $500,000...

  • Silicon Cape, French Tech event to connect investors with African startups

    Silicon Cape and accelerator French Tech have joined forces to create AfricArena, a platform to connect investors from across the world with startups from Africa and beyond. The conference will take place on 6 and 7 November at the Century City Conference Centre and aims to attract 500 delegates, with a strong proportion being international visitors. It will host keynote speeches and panel discussions with top speakers from Europe and Africa, as well as pitch battles to win investment opportunities from committed angel investors, venture capital funds and private equity players. Several challenges ahead of the conferences will enable startups to win free access...

  • SA space agency, Airbus launch challenge to find new uses for satellite data

    The South African National Space Agency (Sansa) and Airbus Defence and Space has launched an open innovation challenge to entrepreneurs, universities and other interested parties seeking homegrown and novel uses for earth observation data obtained by satellites. In a press release to Ventureburn, The Innovation Hub -- which is running the challenge -- said shortlisted submissions will be able to access support from specialists at Airbus Defence and Space, and Sansa. Top submissions would also receive access to the Airbus Defence and Space facilities in order to identify future commercial opportunities. The offer will include a site visit to Airbus Defence and...

  • Despite teething problems support for small business ‘firmly on track’ says Zulu

    South Africa's small business minister Lindiwe Zulu says three years on since the formation of her department -- which was again criticised by opposition members yesterday for doing little to help the sector -- the government's support for the small business sector remains “firmly on track”. Delivering her department's budget vote in Parliament yesterday, Zulu said despite "teething problems" and a budget which is "far below" what is needed to boost the sector, the department had made a difference to small business support in the country. "Because of our collective and concerted efforts, the majority of our citizens now appreciate the value and contribution of small...

  • Department to help co-operatives, startups to go digital says Zulu

    The Department of Small Business Development aims to help startups and co-operatives to adopt digital technology to grow, Small Business Minister Lindiwe Zulu told MPs today. Presenting the Department of Small Business Development's budget vote in Parliament today, Zulu said her department will help entrepreneurs to build the right digital capabilities. "The 4th Industrial Revolution, characterised by digitisation and automation, is gaining momentum. It will fundamentally change the way is which we live, work, transact and trade. "It thus stands to reason that the small business and co-operatives sector must future-proof their core business offerings and business models, in order to be part of a...

  • Do your commercial drone insurance policies have adequate cover?

    Incidents involving drones can be minor, slightly humorous, or have extremely dire consequences.  From a kiss-cam drone cutting off a piece of a person's nose or a drone spying through the president's bedroom window, to extreme cases such as an engineering drone flying into a crane operator who knocks down a portion of an under-construction building, or a drone dropping weapons or bombs into a prison or flying into the propeller of a 500-passenger airliner. The new drone regulations, which came into effect on 1 July 2015 and form part of the Civil Aviation Regulations, place an obligation on those with commercial drone...

  • 87% of SMEs in SA prefer to work with tech-savvy accountants – report

    More than four in five SMEs prefer to work with accountants who understand technology, according to a survey of over 600 South African accountants and SME owners conducted by Xero, in partnership with World Wide Worx. Most accountants (88%) think that in-depth knowledge of technology and automation will be crucial to the success of the profession within the next three years. Professionals will need to upskill, and 80% of accountants acknowledge that they’ll need some kind of training in the next five years to adapt. Respondents identified mobile technologies (59%), automation (29%) and AI (22%) as some of the most exciting new innovations, although...

  • Department to look into setting up sovereign innovation fund – Pandor

    The Department of Science and Technology plans to this year develop a business case for the setting up of a sovereign innovation fund, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor said today in Cape Town. Delivering her budget vote address today in Parliament Pandor said her department would work together with the departments of trade and industry, as well as economic development and small business development and other interested parties on compiling the business case. She said the fund is a priority for public-private funding partnerships aimed at commercialising innovations from the public and the private sector. Pandor added that this year the Technology Innovation...