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Africa

  • 10 finalists emerge for Seedstars World Lagos challenge

    Global startup competition Seedstars World has revealed 10 Nigerian startups that will pitch their hearts out later in Lagos this week. The winner of the Nigerian event will be invited to Switzerland where it will represent the country in the final round February 2016. The ultimate wining startup will win up to US$500 000 in equity investment. With a focus on emerging markets, the Seedstars World challenge is taking place in 50 countries this year. Past participants have raised and estimated total of US$20-million and created more than 360 jobs. Marcello Schermer, the regional manager for Africa at Seedstars World, adds that...

  • Ampion, Merck accelerator to foster health-tech startups in Africa

    Pan-African entrepreneurial initiative Ampion has teamed up with German pharmaceutical Merck to launch a health-tech accelerator in Nairobi, Kenya. The new health-tech accelerator is designed to offer startups customised support from Merck’s Innovation Center in Germany, along with operational and scaling mentorship and the potential to secure pilots with "key global players". Read more: Ampion Venture Bus: an NGO’s mission to drive impactful innovation in Africa In a press statement, Merck project manager Alexander Hoffmann explained the value of technology in these fast-growing markets: "For us at Merck, the support of healthcare technology on the continent is important not just in terms of...

  • Cisco Capital introduces low rate financing programme for SA SMEs

    Financing solutions provider Cisco Capital recently launched its Easylease Low Rate Financing programme in South Africa, which it says is in line with the multinational IT giant's commitment to help SMEs access new-generation technologies. Through a series of monthly repayments, the Easylease programme seeks to help small businesses finance their networking solutions, manage cash flows and take advantage of new Cisco technologies. It also offers a 12-month interest-free repayment option. Read more: 5 important trends that show Africa’s venture scene is on the rise "Through Easylease, we enable customers to acquire their desired Cisco solution so that they may enjoy the benefits...

  • Inside Nigeria’s bustling startup world — where the real ‘hustlers’ live

    Earlier this week, Ventureburn unveiled DEMO Africa’s top 30 startups for 2015. While attention is being given to Ivory Coast whose startup scene is making its debut this year on the DEMO Africa stage, the fact that no one was surprised to see Nigeria having more startups than any other country this year, just like last year, is giving credence to the notion that the startup ecosystem in Nigeria is booming. And it’s not just because of Nigeria’s large population. Below are a few of key characteristics I've picked up over the years, defining the West African country's as one of...

  • Pivot East 2015 crowns 5 best mobile startups in East Africa

    Going on its fifth year, regional pitching competition and conference Pivot East 2015 has revealed the top mobile startups of East Africa this week. Ranging from mobile categories in entertainment to enterprise, four of the winning companies hail from Kenya and one from Rwanda. Apart from the recognition, the five winners will receive a 12 months free service of up to 10 000 Kenyan Shillings per month in Angani credits, while all the other finalists will receive a three-month free service for up to 5 000 Kenyan Shillings per month in Angani credits. As listed in the announcement, below are the winning...

  • African Angel bootcamps to mobilise early-stage investors

    By partnering with a range of prominent industry influencers, the African Business Angel Network hopes to mobilise early-stage investors this year. The initiative is running a series of Angel Investor Bootcamps to be held in some of Africa's most buzzing cities -- Lagos, Nairobi and Cape Town. In run-up to one of the continent's largest pan-African startup pitch events, DEMO Africa, the bootcamps will consist of a master-class, expert sessions, the presentation of research material and in-depth case studies. The events are organised by the US State Department, VC4Africa, Intercontinental Trust and the LIONS Africa Partnership. Lagos, Nigeria -- 31 July The master-class will be conducted...

  • How important is Kenya in Africa’s growing startup scene?

    With US President Barack Obama expected to open the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kenya on Saturday, the East African country has seen a lot of attention of late. In a media briefing on Tuesday Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta said about 1 400 delegates are expected at the summit, which runs until Sunday. Much of Kenya's fame has come from mobile money platform M-Pesa (developed in the UK), which has allowed any one, including those in rural areas, to send and receive payments by cellphone. Added to this, a number of accelerators and incubators have cropped up in recent years in Nairobi (the...

  • Nigerian VC fund 440 announces Deal Weekend Lagos

    This August, Nigeria-focused venture capital fund 440 will host a 24-hour event called Deal Weekend Lagos where startups will compete to receive equity investment of between US$100 000 and US$250 000. The event has so far confirmed the following investors: Kresten Buch of 88mph, Chika Nwobi of L5Lab, Elo Umeh of Twinpine Mobile and Bastian Gotter of iRoko. Buch, who's also the co-Founder of 440, explains that the initiative generally looks to support small teams that lack experience and the network necessary to quickly grow their businesses. He adds: "The selected startups will be at the frontier of the evolving mobile/web industry...

  • These are DEMO Africa’s top 30 startups for 2015

    From entertainment marketplace Bozza Media in South Africa to Nigeria's elearning company Flippy Campus, DEMO Africa has just revealed its top selected 30 tech startups to pitch in September 2015. The pan-African startup competition launched in 2012 on a mission to showcase the continent's talent while providing opportunities for both investors and tech entrepreneurs. Hailing from all over the continent, finalists is said to have gone through a rigorous screening processes with the final vetting and adjudication done by a pan-African panel of judges comprised of entrepreneurs, VCs and academia. Read more: Say hello to DEMO Africa’s top 40 tech startups of...

  • Seedstars World crowns mobile employment service Giraffe SA’s top startup

    Johannesburg-based employment company Giraffe has just bagged itself a ticket to Geneva, Switzerland where it will take a shot at the US$500 000 equity prize in 2016. The achievement comes after Giraffe was crowned the top South African startup by Seedstars World 2015 -- a global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets. The winning startup is behind a mobile platform that helps connect employees with employers across the country. Two months after it launched in January this year, the startup has connected 10 000 jobseekers with over 1 000 employers. Speaking to Shafin Anwarsha who's Giraffe's co-founder, he explains that the recognition...