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All posts by Stuart Thomas: Senior Reporter

Stuart Thomas: Senior Reporter
Stuart Thomas is a product of Rhodes University. Whilst completing his Bachelors in Journalism, Politics and English, he realised he was a bit of a geek, albeit one who isn't afraid of the sun. An honors in English at the same institution failed to curb this. An MA in South African Literature, only made it worse as it gave him even more hours to spend in front of a computer screen. He hopes to go viral one day.
  • 6 important things we learned from PwC’s emerging companies survey

    Multinational professional services network Price Waterhouse Cooper has released the results of its emerging companies survey. The survey, which forms part of a wider body of research, aimed to explore the challenges and opportunities facing emerging companies in South Africa in the current environment. The survey focused on "emerging companies" in all industries, progressing through the early/incubation and intermediate/acceleration phases of the business life cycle. It includes companies from early stage (those making less that R1-million in revenue per annum) to approximately R100-million revenue per annum and between one and ten years in age. The survey had 743 participants,...

  • PriceCheck, SnapScan team up to take ecommerce offline

    Online price comparison service PriceCheck has teamed up with mobile payments service SnapScan and ecommerce delivery outfit Pargo to bring ecommerce to those retail brochures that are the closest thing you get to actual post these days. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, shoppers will be able to browse for products from bricks and mortar retailers on PriceCheck’s mobile optimised catalogues before paying for their chosen products with SnapScan. While completing the SnapScan checkout process, instead of choosing a delivery address, shoppers will be prompted to select a Pargo collection point that is most convenient to them....

  • Alan Knott-Craig Jr gets into the ISP game

    Former Mxit CEO and current Project Isizwe head Alan Knott-Craig Jr has entered the internet service provider game. The serial entrepreneur today launched a new Wireless Internet Service Provider (WISP) aimed at bringing wireless broadband to homes and offices. The new venture, called HeroTel, is meant to consolidate the local WISP space (which currently has more than 200 providers) and provide a viable last-mile broadband alternative across the country. Right now the business' site is scant on information, saying only that it "partners with Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPS) around the country to help them become more profitable" and that...

  • 50 of South Africa’s top ecommerce sites

    South African ecommerce technology provider uAfrica has announced the top 50 ecommerce sites for the 2015 eCommerce Awards. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the top 50 sites were whittled down from 200 entrants, with the sites evaluated on aspects such as design, mobile functionality, checkout process, customer care and delivery, amongst others. The awards, now in their 10th year, aim to "recognise and reward those South African websites that have demonstrated excellence in their use of the Internet as a platform for commerce". Read more: uAfrica’s ecommerce awards celebrates 10th year anniversary “It is interesting to see...

  • Vinny Lingham, Llew Claasen make it easier for SA startups to give out equity

    As the recent Ventureburn Startup Survey revealed, South African startups have a real problem when it comes to retaining employees. To a large degree, that's because the salaries at startups simply aren't large enough. And while the norm in other markets is to give out equity, just eight percent of South African startups do so. In a bid to change that, industry veterans Vinny Lingham and Llew Claasen have launched the Newtown Employee Share Trust to manage Employee Share Ownership Programmes (ESOPs) for South African startups. Read more: Some private equity negotiating tips for women working for a startup ESOPs...

  • SpaceBox aims to get your stuff into storage in a few clicks

    If you've got a lot of stuff you don't want to get rid of and very little space, then hired storage can be a life-saver. But knowing exactly what you've got in storage, and finding it when you want it, can be a tortuous exercise. SpaceBox, a newly launched division of national space provider XtraSpace aims to change that. The on-demand storage service allows you to schedule free drop-off time online. From there, the SpaceBox team will deliver as many orange storage boxes as you need to your door. Once you've packed your stuff in the boxes, you can...

  • After the Dragons: how one big TV investment changed SA Florist [T4A]

    Ecommerce store, SA Florist may not have received the largest investment from Dragons' Den South Africa, but it was one of the more interesting stories. For one, all five of the Dragons came in on the deal, a rarity on the show. Founders Nicholas Wallander and Fraser Black were also made to sweat for it, going through one of the longest pitches in the show's global history. Prior to the show, the ecommerce site had quietly chugged along for a couple of years as a neat little money turner for its partners. It had one full-time employee and did about R1-million...

  • Nic Haralambous: entrepreneurship is an addiction and there’s no cure [T4A]

    Entrepreneurship is addictive and it's as difficult an addiction to get over as any other. That was the message from Nic Haralambous during his keynote at the Cape Town edition of Tech4Africa. Despite the best intentions of his parents, who wanted him to have a steady career, Haralambous told the audience that he could never imagine doing anything else other than running his own business. This despite the fact that his experiences have left him as bruised and battered as any harmful drug. The son of Cypriot immigrants, the former Motribe founder turned online men's outfitter has been running businesses in...

  • #BadSharkTankPitches: a goldmine for knowing what not to do as an entrepreneur

    If you're a super fan of the show Dragons' Den, you'll know that it's called Shark Tank in the US. You'll also know that, no matter what name the show goes by, it occasionally throws up some spectacularly bad pitches. Now, the shows producers obviously allow those people on for their entertainment value, but they also provide a valuable lesson in what not to do when pitching to potential investors. Thing is, that requires actually sitting down and watching episode after episode of the show. And if you're an entrepreneur, chances are you'd be better off spending that time...

  • Triggerfish officially launches search for Africa’s next big storyteller

    South African animation studio Tiggerfish, together with Disney and the Department of Trade and Industry, today announced the launch of Story Lab, a programme that aims to unearth South Africa's next big animated hit. Now 20 years old, Triggerfish is responsible for two of South Africa's biggest ever animated feature hits in the shape of Adventures in Zambezia and Khumba. The Cape Town-based studio is now looking to put out a feature film a year and Story Lab is a part of that strategy. The initiative, which is open to anyone who is 21 years and older and a...