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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.
  • NMMU announces inaugural Mandela Bay Entrepreneur Fellowship winner

    Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) on Thursday announced the first winner of its Mandela Bay Entrepreneur Fellowship. The winner, Martin Smuts, is a computer science graduate and head of fintech startup Avinci Consult. With the win, Smuts walks away with R100 000 for the growth of the company, which he co-founded with Henry Faul, a Computing Sciences third-year student at NMMU. The company has developed, amongst other things, a number of smart algorithms and systems that assist people to find appropriate investment vehicles, manage personal finances and calculate personal risk. According to Smuts, the fellowship money will be...

  • 12 African fintech startups to duke it out in Mauritius

    Innotribe has announced the 12 semi-finalists for the second edition of its Startup Challenge in Africa. Drawn from 89 entries, the startups represent the best up-and-coming fintech ventures from five countries across the continent. The startups, which will compete in Mauritius for a chance to attend Sibos, SWIFT’s annual global financial services conference, taking place from 26-29 September in Geneva. The Mauritius event, which is set to attract more than 500 delegates from 40 countries, is one of two regional SWIFT Startup Challenge events with the Latin American event taking place in Mexico City toward the end of June....

  • Trading radio for ocean-cleaning drones: Richard Hardiman’s new adventure

    If you're a native Capetonian, you probably know Richard Hardiman as a radio DJ -- he was a host on commercial radio station KFM for the best part of 16 years. And if you're in the South African tech space, you might be familiar with his involvement in online radio station 2OceansVibe. But now the guy once known as "the party man" is on a mission to clean up the world's oceans and waterways using autonomous drones. For the past couple of years, Hardiman has headed up a startup called Ranmarine with the ultimate goal of building what are...

  • MoveThisStuff: the startup helping you find the right mover for your budget

    Moving, whether it's down the road or to the other side of the country, can be pretty damn stressful. Quite aside from the pain of leaving somewhere you may have come to regard as your home, there's the hassle of finding movers who'll treat your stuff with respect. One company trying to make the second of those things a little easier is MoveThisStuff. Headquartered in Johannesburg, the startup helps people find movers based on factors including how far they're moving, what kind of stuff they're looking to move, and what kind of movers they're looking for. Once they've put...

  • African fintech startup goes past $1bn in transactions

    African fintech startup Zoona this week announced that, since going live in 2009, it has processed more than US$1-billion in transactions. Playing in the highly competitive mobile payments space, the service operates predominantly in Zambia and Malawi. Using a network of entrepreneur agents, the Zoona allows ubanked consumers access to money transfers, bill payments and other financial services. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the company’s entrepreneur agents serve more than one million customers every 60 day, across close to 1 500 locations. "Zoona was born from an idea in a text message," says Zoona CEo Mike Quinn....

  • New CT innovation cluster to punt tech in travel space

    The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative on Thursday announced the launch of its Traveltech Open Innovation Cluster, which aims to bring a new technological edge to the travel space. According to organisation head Ian Merrington, the cluster was inspired by the initiative's recent initiatives in the fintech space (it currently plays host to Barclays Africa's Rise accelerator in its Woodstock facility). In looking for a new vertical to focus on, they quickly hit on travel as an obvious one." "The role in tech and digital channels is massive," he said at a special launch event for the cluster....

  • LifeQ, Analog Devices to collaborate on non-invasive body monitoring

    Stellenbosch-based health tracking startup LifeQ is on a roll. Having launched globally in 2015 and with its technology included in the new range of TomTom activity-tracking watches, the company on Thursday announced a partnership with Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI), a US-based designer and manufacturer of semiconductor products and solutions. According to a press release sent to Ventuerburn, the partnership will allow the two companies to develop technology that will make it possible for non-invasive body monitoring devices to provide highly accurate physiological data that currently is only available through the use of expensive, invasive and hard-to-access equipment. They plan to do...

  • Should more SA pension funds invest in private equity?

    Pensions in are an incredibly sensitive subject. Earlier this year -- relatively minor -- retirement reforms in Southern African caused wide-spread panic. That was largely to do with people's ability to access their pension funds in the way they want. But if the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA) is to be believed, there's room for improvement in the way funds invest people's pensions too. According to the association, the allocation by pension funds in Southern Africa to private equity remains limited and few pension funds in South Africa have taken advantage of the increased allocations...

  • 25 Nigerian startups to pursue their ‘unreasonable’ ambition

    Unreasonable Labs, the international startup accelerator from the Unreasonable Institute, this week announced that it would be launching in Nigeria as it looks to prepare startups in that country for investment. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the five day accelerator will see 25 companies undergo five-day intensive training program preparing them to raise capital, replete with seasoned entrepreneurs and investors from across Nigeria serving as mentors. In a joint statement Unreasonable Labs Nigeria’s founding team Olufemi Omotayo, Tito Philips Jnr., and Michael Olorunninwo said: “For the first time in history, we have adopted a market economy. Our...

  • Seedstars World announces 20-country African tour

    Seedstars World, the global seed stage startup competition for emerging markets and fast-growing startup ecosystems, has announced an African tour that will see it travel through 20 countries looking for promising entrepreneurs. The African tour is part of a global effort, comprising bootcamps and pitching competitions in 65 countries around the globe. Alongside bootcamps, each country visited will host a pitching competition with prizes including the opportunity to compete at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland with the possibility of walking away with up to US$1-million in equity investment and additional prizes. This is the fourth time the organisation...