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  • Entrepreneurs, want a high-funded crowdsourced product? Make a board game

    Over the past decade or so, board games have been making a serious comeback in the mainstream. These aren't your typical Monopoly or Cluedo titles, which is now a cliche to say, but in-depth, strategic, and beautifully crafted products of enjoyment. Looking at the list of most-funded projects on crowd-funding website Kickstarter yields some interesting results. Sure, there's a range of electronics, video games, and even music, but in between those are board games. Those collections of cardboard and plastic tokens can net you a tidy funding amount. You many have an 'original idea' for one; maybe it'll be the next...

  • Internet Solutions launches startup package

    Pan African telecoms service provider Internet Solutions recently announced the launch of IGNITE, a suite of technology solutions specifically aimed at startups. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the IGNITE package allows smaller, up-and-coming companies access to ICT infrastructure which rivals that afforded by big business. This infrastructure, it says, includes fast, easy, and affordable access to internet, billing, employee management and communications services. With the right digital tools, we believe that SMEs can be just as efficient, connected and productive as corporates with large ICT budgets, if not more so,” says Tony Koutakis, Executive Head: IGNITE....

  • This app is bringing on-demand home repair to Cape Town

    There's not much you can't get on-demand these days: taxis, take-out, flowers and now -- thanks to freshly launched app -- home repairs. Called getTOD, the app aims to service homeowners looking for a quick, safe and reliable way to find repair serviceman, such as plumbers, electricians or locksmiths. A bid to become an Uber of the home repair space, getTOD claims to connect users with service providers who meet their particular need using location based tracking and supplier availability in real time. This, it says, removes the need to waste time searching the internet or a telephone directory...

  • Bob Skinstad to talk business at April StartupGrind

    StartupGrind, the global series of monthly entrepreneurial talks, has a penchant for finding speakers outside of the traditional startup space. The April edition of the Cape Town talk is no exception, with former Springbok captain and Supersport commentator Bobby Skinstad taking to the stage to chat about his own experiences as a tech entrepreneur. The fireside chat, which takes place on 11 April, will also cover what Skinstad has taken from the sports world into the business world as an executive director. Tickets for the event, at the Townhouse Hotel, are available online.

  • The importance of using the right formulae to keep your business on track

    Financial statements are often used to judge whether a business is performing well or not, however these numbers alone seldom tell the whole story. Entrepreneurs might be knowledgeable in their chosen field, but may lack the technical skills to fully analyse financial statements. It is therefore crucial to investigate other methods available for analysis of their business. Seeing the big picture While financial statements offer a good picture of past performance, they are not entirely suitable for predicting where the company might be in the future. Because they use historical data, they cannot accurately reflect sudden market changes or illustrate where...

  • Fundamo Diaries — Building real solutions for big clients [Part 2]

    The following article is the second in a series of extracts from South African entrepreneur Hannes Van Rensburg’s upcoming book, Cash In, Cash Out. The founder and CEO of the fintech company, Fundamo, recalls the events that have helped shape the world’s mobile banking industry as we know it as well as those leading up to the company’s exit to Visa for a whopping US$110-million. In this article, Van Rensburg details the events when Fundamo hauled in its first big blue-chip client — the biggest bank in Africa. This was arguably one of the biggest validations in the company’s history. The...

  • Sink or swim: keep your startup afloat in 5 ways

    Every entrepreneur’s dream is to launch a startup that breaks growth records and becomes an industry leader. Growth is the whole point, right? But like the old proverb goes, be careful what you wish for. Rapid growth comes with plenty of pitfalls, any one of which can ruin your business if you’re not prepared for it. Look past the Silicon Valley success stories, and you’ll see a valley floor strewn with shrunken shapes and dried bones of startups that grew too fast and collapsed under their own weight. You’ll see companies like Zirtual, which boomed for four years, and then crashed...

  • How can a startup ensure customer satisfaction in the long run?

    There is no denying the fact that technology rules the world today. But even with all the benefits of technology, there are a lot of people who have excellent ideas for startups and still fail. If you have a brilliant new idea for a startup and want to ensure it does not fail, the first thing you need to understand is that customer satisfaction is everything. There is nothing that can damage the growth of a business more than an unhappy customer. This is why you just have to create a brilliant experience for your customers. You want them to...

  • SAVCA: SA private equity a good bet in 2016

    Anyone looking for decent returns in the midst of a stagnating South African economy should consider the private equity space. That's the message being put forward by Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA). According to the association, the number of deals and exits seen in the South African startup space in 2015 is an indication of just how much potential there is for private equity investors. "The latest performance figures for the industry," says SAVCA CEO Erika van der Merwe, "confirm that investors into South African private equity funds continue to enjoy double-digit rand-based returns which...

  • Domestic cleaning startup SweepSouth sweeps in R10m

    Jacques Coetzee contributed to this article. Cape Town-based on-demand cleaning service SweepSouth has announced a new R10-million round of funding. This follows a thrilling 2015 which was filled with impressive company growth as well as recognition by one of Silicon Valley's most prestigious accelerators. The new round comes from First Rand Group and Jobs Fund's capitalised Vumela Fund, which is managed by FNB and Edge Growth, as well as Newton Partners, owned by Vinny Lingham and Llew Claasen. In October 2014, SweepSouth was the winning pitch at the SiMODiSA Startup SA conference. In April 2015, it went on to secure seed funding...