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All posts by Staff Reporter

  • SA startup Paperight wins prestigious innovation award at London Book Fair

    If you haven't heard of Paperight, the network of independent copy shops that print books, it's time to pay attention: the South African startup is capturing the imagination of the world's publishing industry. On the heels of being named one of the winners of the O’Reilly Tools of Change Startup Showcase held in New York City, the startup from Cape Town was awarded the Digital Minds Innovation Award at the London Book Fair -- one of the world’s most prestigious publishing events. The showcase held Sunday night at the Digital Minds Conference, a precursor event to the London Book Fair,...

  • Mentorship Marketplace: matching entrepreneurs with business experts

    African entrepreneurs are increasingly looking for mentorship. Locally, a study by the Silicon Cape initiative, revealed that access to business mentors was the second most sought after resource. Now, VC4Africa (Venture Capital for Africa), the African entrepreneurial hub, is launching the Mentorship Marketplace, a peer-to-peer marketplace where entrepreneurs can add "mentor requests" that are searchable and actionable by a pool of registered mentors. Entrepreneurs looking for advice on how to grow their business in Africa now have access to a group of dedicated mentors, while Africans living abroad can get directly involved with venture creation. Assisting promising entrepreneurs Having a...

  • Seed Engine selects first 6 startups, applications remain open

    Since we last checked in on Seed Engine, the accelerator has begun its first 13 week accelerator boot camp. Six teams of entrepreneurs have been selected from more than 300 applications. Each venture has been given R100 000 startup capital to convert their ideas into practical business plans ready to attract further investment at a demo day in May. Entrepreneurs hope to raise between R200 000 and R2-million. Marc Elias, CEO of Seed Engine says that the ventures selected are all tech focused, have international appeal as well as disruptive and scalable qualities. "There is tremendous energy in our Sandton based...

  • Corporates courting startups: entrepreneurship in the enterprise

    When we spoke to IBM last year, the world's largest IT company predicted a decrease in consumer-facing startups. New ventures, it said, will be increasingly targeting enterprise environments. It's no longer just enterprise heavy-weights such as Oracle, IBM, Accenture and SAP that can compete in corporate environments. Powerful, cost-effective cloud services and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies have opened up an industry ready for disruption -- slow-moving corporate environments offer opportunities for nimble startups, that can often tailor make solutions. Still, it remains harder to build solutions for the enterprise. Startups often end up working on larger, more complex problems with higher quality...

  • Zando threatens legal action against Ventureburn over Koser claim

    South African online retailer Zando has threatened legal action against Ventureburn, a subsidiary of Burn Media, via its attorneys Webber Wentzel, following an article that was published on the site last week. Zando's online fashion store made serious waves after arriving in South Africa in late 2011. Since then, it claims it has grown to become South Africa’s largest online fashion player and is providing serious competition to the likes of established ecommerce players such as Kalahari and Takealot. The company is a subsidiary of the German-based Rocket Internet, a startup incubator whose business model is to...

  • Is MiName about to turn telemarketing on its head?

    Check this out. Cold-calling is annoying right? You're always getting hassled and it often smacks of privacy invasion. Yet, it's someone's job to make those sales calls and companies often have great products, it's just that they're not getting through to the right people. Three South Africans who wanted to put an end to the exploitation of cold-calling, actuaries Gaurav Nair and Derrick Hyde, and an engineer Lawrence Joffe founded MiName. MiName allows consumers to request calls from companies that sell products and services they actually need. The incentive? Cash rewards. MiName says the experience allows personal details to be kept...

  • The Hope Factory: empowering women entrepreneurs

    According to Census 2011, 15% of South African households have female breadwinners, where a married woman is the head of the household. But as South Africa’s unemployment rate rises and it becomes increasingly harder to find permanent employment, Enterprise Development organisation, The Hope Factory, is finding that more and more women are looking to entrepreneurial endeavours to help them support their families. While the reasons for this are the same as for men, The Hope Factory points to a report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) that found women to “show marked differences from men in characteristics such as their...

  • Deal will see Habari Media advertising on 2go’s 10m strong chat network

    Instant messaging service, 2go is on a roll. Following the partnership announced with Nigerian music service iROKING recently, advertising house Habari Media today announced that it's adding 2go to its mobile advertising strategy. This partnership will allow Habari’s customers to target 2go's 10 million active users in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, of which 9 million are in Nigeria. While smartphone adoption in Africa is growing, 2go's support for 800 different types of feature phones allow Habari to reach a wider audience. Habari and 2go are reporting click-through rates of up to 15% on full-screen clickable Splash Ads and engagement...

  • Ogilvy & Mather acquires a majority share in SA mobile marketing company

    This is big. Marketing giant Ogilvy & Mather South Africa (O&M SA) today announced that it has acquired a majority share in SA mobile marketing company, Strike Media Proprietary Limited. O&M SA says that the move is a significant step forward in developing its South African mobile marketing capability. Strike Media (Strike) who's client list includes Acer, Nokia and McDonald's, has a service portfolio that includes customised mobile campaigns, payment services, business solutions...

  • Entrepreneurs Bootcamp launches with free online courses for entrepreneurs

    Entrepreneurs Bootcamp is a collection of nine free courses covering different aspects of entrepreneurship, designed by leading South African entrepreneurs. It's all kinds of brilliant and well worth a look. The project was designed for the Cape Town branch of the Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO) by online education company GetSmarter, with sponsorship from Van Schaik Publishers. The courses on offer include “Identifying opportunities”, “The legal environment”, “Effective marketing” and “Management and growth”. According to Sam Paddock, Managing Director at GetSmarter, “These 9 courses have been designed specifically for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs. We’ve recorded over 90 video interviews with some of...