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All posts by Staff Reporter

  • Exploding 7 myths about venture capital

    The venture capital investment industry is laden with myths and misconceptions, often causing entrepreneurs to lose faith in funding and enthusiasm for their business. Andrea Bohmert, chairperson of South Africa's Cape IT Initiative’s Board of Directors and director and co-managing partner of Hasso Plattner Ventures, helps demystify some of the more destructive fallacies. 1. There is no money The first common misconception is that there is no money to fund entrepreneurs. This idea exists largely because so many business plans are declined, and so few are accepted. The first thing that counts against an applicant is failing to take...

  • Smoke and mirrors at new start-up Smokoo.co.za

    A new start-up, Smokoo.co.za, has found a unique way of publicising their upcoming launch in South Africa. They're not telling anyone what they do. Instead, the company has begun marketing themselves with a competition where people have to guess what kind of company Smokoo is going to be. The person who comes closest, wins an iPad. The only clues on their homepage are their logo, an iPad and a clock that's counting down towards the launch date of 1 August 2010. They also have a Twitter account and a Facebook page where you can try and extract some more clues about what...

  • Mocality aims to be ‘largest’ mobile business directory in Africa

    If you’re in downtown Nairobi before the 4th of August, be sure to pop in to the Barber Q Hair Studio and get yourself a free head massage. The studio is on the 2nd Floor of El-Roi Plaza, close to the Odeon Cinema. This is just one example of the thousands of snippets of information that are at the heart of Mocality, a free-to-list, hyper-local mobile business directory in Nairobi, Kenya. Mocality offers a free business suite of tools to all listed businesses, such as the ability to upload customer mobile numbers into the Mocality platform, a free mobile website...

  • Saul Klein: Price of SA broadband an ‘absolute disgrace’

    One of South Africa’s most successful exports, web entrepreneur and venture capitalist Saul Klein, has labelled the cost of broadband in his home country “an absolute disgrace” and urged the members of The Silicon Cape to function as a pressure group in lobbying for cheaper broadband. Klein, who was born in Johannesburg and is married to a South African, currently manages a $2.5-billion venture capital fund, and is a “massive believer” in early stage venture capital. His CV reads like a greatest hits of the Internet over the last 10 years, from early work at Blogger, last.fm and Betfair then...

  • Jamiix: The Cape Flats startup that’s going global

    Jamiix, a brand new social-media aggregator that was developed on Cape Town’s notoriously under-resourced and impoverished Cape Flats is launching internationally with grand ambitions to become an integral part of the Web 2.0 landscape. The web and mobile-based tool is described as a “distribution and aggregation technology to engage with clients who are in need of support services”. It grew organically out of a desire for affordable communications in the area of social services, which is a chronic need on the Cape Flats. Developed over two years, it takes its name from “Jamii”, the Swahili word for social or community and...

  • New player enters SA online recruitment market

    A new South African online-recruitment portal, "developed out of frustration with existing recruitment methods", claims to have developed creative solutions for the difficult task of match-making between employers and employees. Sebenzi.co.za attempts to shake up the existing model, where the power is placed firmly in the hands of the recruitment agencies which have access to a database of CVs, and who frequently share the personal details of recruits without their knowledge or consent. The new players have set out on a mission to redress this imbalance, and after two years of research and development, the site was launched with...

  • Personera launches Facebook print calendars

    Whoever declared that print was dead may soon have to swallow their words. Personera, an online-to-offline media technology startup, launched its unique service to Facebook users around the world this week. The company is offering the world's first print calendar that is fully personalised with a user's Facebook friends' birthdays, upcoming events, and photos. The company says it is also first to launch under the banner of the Silicon Cape initiative, a...

  • Opening speech @ #SiliconCape

    Here is the text of the speech I gave at the opening of Silicon Cape in Camps Bay. I'm not alone in saying that this was an inspiring and well-supported event. Welcome everyone and thank you all for coming. A special welcome to the Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, Dr Mamphela Ramphele and Mr Johann Rupert. It’s an absolute honour and it’s humbling to be speaking in front of such an important gathering...

  • Online chess play scoops $1.25m in funding

    ChessCube has concluded a US$1.25m funding agreement with Venture Capital fund, InVenFin (Pty) Ltd. InVenFin, the VC-focused subsidiary of VenFin Limited, invests in intellectual property-based start-ups with global potential. This transaction brings ChessCube’s total funding to date to US$1.8m. ChessCube is an online chess site, which allows players of all skill levels to compete and learn chess, while socializing with others. With a potential market of over fifty million active chess players in...

  • Internet Solutions to create new VC fund for web innovation?

    It looks like Internet Solutions (IS) may be creating some kind of incubator or venture capital fund to encourage local web innovation and startups. The details are sketchy at this stage, but it in fact looks like the new initiative will launch as soon as this month, possibly middle of the month, with the launch of their website. I've been promised further clarity on the new venture in the coming weeks. I am...