• BURN MEDIA
    • Memeburn
      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

All posts by Stephen Timm: Editor

  • Task team’s investigation into $445m Kapa Biosystems deal drags on

    Months after setting up a task team to probe the $445-million sale of Kapa Biosystems, the Department of Science and Technology is still proceeding with investigations, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor's office said today. It follows the setting up of a task team last year by the department to investigate the deal in which the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) sold its 49% stake to US shareholders for $4.93-million. The company was subsequently sold to Roche for $445m on 30 November 2015 (an amount which is disclosed in the Swiss pharmaceutical company's 2015 annual report). Pandor's spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele said he was unable to comment...

  • Start-Up Nations SA helping spread best practices in SA, claims co-ordinator

    Three years after the launch of Start-Up Nations South Africa by the Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu in November 2014, Ventureburn has questioned what the role of the initiative -- which works mostly behind the scenes -- really is. The initiative is a partnership between the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), The Innovation Hub and the Wits Business School. Ventureburn spoke to IDC support specialist Mmodi Rambau-Nesengani, who has been tasked with co-ordinating the initiative. She says her desk is at work trying to connect local organisations with best practice programmes from other countries, while having initiated a local initiative that aims to foster...

  • How Pretoria guy made a million at 22 but still stays with parents

    A millionaire at 22. That's the story of Pretoria property entrepreneur Albert van Wyk, who last month launched a book detailing how he made his first million. But like all stories there's more to it than meets the eye. In his self-published book, A Millionaire at 22, Van Wyk -- who is now 24, still lives with his parents and uses a second-hand cellphone -- describes how as a 19-year-old fresh out of school he used the money he would've received from a bursary as a down payment to acquire property. A little help from dad Writes van Wyk: "After a long debate I made...

  • Startup Grind to host first event in Angola

    Angolan entrepreneurs will get access to regular entrepreneurship talks and information when global entrepreneurship meetup group Startup Grind kicks off its first event in Luanda next month. The event, which will be held on 5 July at the Belas conference centre in Luanda, will feature agribusiness specialist Marcia Gomes, who will talk on soil quality and the tech behind agriculture. Founder of entrepreneurship news site Acelera Angola and the head of Startup Grind Luanda Jose Carlos dos Santos told Ventureburn that he expects about 50 people to attend the first event. In November last year Santos helped organise the first official events Angola has held under the...

  • Grotech fund set to announce first three deals

    Grotech, a venture capital (VC) fund set up under the 12J VC tax incentive, is set to announce its first three investments, said fund manager Clive Butkow speaking to Ventureburn. Butkow (pictured above) said the three three deals are all in technology products developed by existing companies. These are: A tech app for a fast moving consumer goods company. A social-media influencer platform, which already has revenue of about R17-million and employs eight staff. The platform has a presence in the UK and looking to expand to other overseas markets. An existing business involved in booking activities in the travel sector. Butkow expected several jobs to be created...

  • SA SME Fund will commence with due diligence in July says CEO

    The R1.5-billion SA SME Fund will commence with initial fund screening due diligence from next month (July 2017), the fund's CEO Quinton Dicks said today. In April, Dicks told Ventureburn that he plans to finalise the recruitment of his initial five-member team by 1 June before making investments into approved funds. The fund will invest in funds which will then invest in high-growth small and medium-sized enterprises. In response to questions from Ventureburn on whether any funds had been disbursed, Dicks said the initial team members had all been appointed with the final appointment joining on 1 July 2017. "We have not committed to any funds...

  • Entrepreneur’s report to address why SA has yet to produce a unicorn

    South African startups have produced a string of successes of late. Yet something is lacking. In April Edtech startup GetSmarter announced it would sell to US-listed 2U for $103-million, while last year SA company Giraffe, beat out 54 finalists from around the globe in the Seedstars World entrepreneurship competition. So why asks Jason Levin, a former entrepreneur with 20 years experience building marketing agencies, have countries like Nigeria and Poland produced unicorns -- but not South Africa? Levin of Elevation Holdings, a business consulting and angel investment firm, will next Wednesday (14 June) launch his report "Unicorns, Gazelles & Leapfrogs: Fast-tracking the South African startup ecosystem" at the Gordon Institute of Business Science...

  • Joburg health platform Guidepost one of 20 new companies Endeavor to boost

    Two South African entrepreneurs are among 28 business owners from 15 countries that Endeavor, a global non-profit organisation that backs high-impact entrepreneurship, recently welcomed into its fold. Graham Rowe and Richard Johnson (pictured above, left and right, respectively), of Joburg-based company Sancreed, were selected by Endeavor along with 19 other companies from around the world at the 71st International Selection Panel held between May 15 and 17, 2017, in Canary Wharf, London (see the full list here). With their selection as Endeavor entrepreneurs the two will have access to a worldwide network of successful entrepreneurs, as well as mentoring and the chance to receive investment from Endeavor. Their...

  • Can 12J VC tax incentive create the jobs South Africa badly needs?

    Tim Strang wants to provide spaza shops and wholesalers with a better way to order stock, through an app. He's betting on creating hundreds of jobs for sales agents that deploy the app -- thanks to an investment under a venture capital (VC) tax incentive. His Durban-based company and app, Spazapp is one of a number of firms that venture capital companies (VCCs) have invested in under the incentive, which is administered by the SA Revenue Service (Sars) and falls under Section 12J of the Income Tax Act. It allows investors to get a tax rebate if they invest in a VCC that in...

  • Investors clamouring for 12J VC incentive following tax hike – fund managers

    The increase in the top marginal income tax rate to 45% for high earners is driving more South African investors to seek out the 12J venture capital (VC) incentive to offset their taxable income, say fund managers. Under the incentive, which is managed by the South African Revenue Service (Sars), investors that invest in venture capital companies (VCCs) that in turn invest in qualifying small enterprises, can write off the full investment made in any one year from their taxable income. In February in his Budget speech then Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced a new top tax rate of 45% for individuals earning...