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All posts by Stephen Timm: Editor

  • University, science council spinoffs climbs to 45 startups, finds survey

    The number of startups spun out of SA science councils and universities climbed from 29 to 45 between 2008 and 2014, following the implementation of a new IP law in 2009, a report released this week revealed. The SA National Survey of Intellectual Property (IP) and Technology Transfer at Publicly Funded Research Institutions, which was released yesterday by the Department of Science and Technology, noted that some progress had been made since the Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development (IPR) Act came into effect in 2009. The act aims to get publicly-funded research institutions such as universities and...

  • South Africa’s FSB to rule on crowdfunding by June 30

    South Africa's Financial Services Board (FSB) has set a date of 30 June by which it plans to rule on whether to craft specific rules or not for equity crowdfunding, an FSB spokesman said this week. This follows the completion of a research report by the FSB on crowdfunding. FSB internal communications coordinator Thandolwethu Masango told Ventureburn however that the report on the FSB’s research would not be made public. “The research was meant to assist the FSB to get insight into how other jurisdictions are supervising crowdfunding activities and which piece of legislation would be applicable in governing the said activities in...

  • IDC approves R17m deal to fund SA’s first 3D metal printer

    The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has concluded an agreement with an SA startup that plans to launch the country's first production-based 3D metal printer by June. The investment of R17-million in Metal Heart, approved last month, is the 11th deal concluded by the IDC's new industries unit, since the unit's launch in 2015. Six of the deals have been in new companies. "They moved quickly," says Gert Lombard, who says he and business partner Kim Gray initially met with the unit in November last year. The deal was approved two weeks ago. The investment is in the form of a term loan and a...

  • Exclusive: ‘Government won’t match private sector in R1.5bn SME fund’

    The SA government has no immediate plans to match the R1.5-billion that 48 large companies have committed to the SA SME Fund, National Treasury Director-General Lungisa Fuzile told Ventureburn today. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa pledged during the launch of the fund in May last year that the government would match any contribution made by the private sector. However Fuzile, who sits on the fund's board, said the government will instead look to improve coordination between the state and private sector, while stepping up its existing funding and business support to small businesses. "It is not clear from a fiscal point of view...

  • Finfind initiative to link SA lenders with entrepreneurs seeking finance

    SA banks and lenders may soon be able to use a finance-matching platform to source entrepreneurs looking for finance, if a new initiative piloted by SA fintech startup finfind proves successful. Launched in October 2015, finfind is piloting a number of new initiatives which will help entrepreneurs to get better access to finance in South Africa. Speaking to Ventureburn today, finfind CEO Darlene Menzies says these include an initiative which will allow banks and other lenders to source fundable entrepreneurs from the platform. Currently entrepreneurs that access the site can complete a questionnaire and be told whether they qualify for funding or...

  • SA startup get\Worth to disrupt online car market

    A Cape Town startup is looking to change the way customers buy and sell cars on the internet, by using machine learning and what it says is a unique payment model. The startup launched its platform last month after trading for six months to gain proof of concept. Get\Worth co-founder Mark Ridgway – a former CEO of TransUnion Receivables – says the company was able to conclude about R20-million in deals through the platform in March. The startup's model is different from other online car dealers such as CarZAR.co.za and WeBuyCars.co.za. 'We think this is almost first world. No one is providing a...

  • Close to fifth of Joburg, Cape Town startup founders are immigrants

    Almost one in five startup founders in Cape Town and Johannesburg are immigrants, reveals a new report. The 2017 Global Startup Ecosystem report, released by StartUp Genome last month, reveals that 18% of founders in Cape Town and 17% in Johannesburg are immigrants – slightly under the average of 19% for the 56 cities measured by the report. In comparison, just four percent of founders in Lagos, Nigeria are immigrants -- significantly below the 46% that are immigrant founders in Silicon Valley. Of the emerging market cities measured, Shanghai tops the list with 36% of startups founded by foreigners. Other notable cities...

  • SA procurement rule change will be a boost for startups

    Startups that do work for the government are in for a major boon with a new procurement rules coming into effect this week that will see 30% of state procurement directed to small enterprises, says Silicon Cape director Alexandra Fraser. Fraser says the revised Preferential Procurement Regulations, which were gazetted in January and came into effect on 1 April, would provide a "stepping stone" for small firms and startups that wish to do work for government. They make provision for government departments, municipalities and state agencies to ensure that those bidding for contracts of R30-million or more subcontract at least 30% of the value of...