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Entrepreneurship

  • Endeavour South Africa accelerator celebrates success rate at JSE

    The Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE), in association with Endeavor South Africa, recently showcased the success rate of its early-stage, black-owned businesses -- some of which have doubled their number of employees over two years. Endeavor is an initiative which supports over 1 000 High-Impact Entrepreneurs from nearly 700 companies across the 23 markets where it operates. Over the last 10 years, it has identified and supported more than 60 high-growth entrepreneurs. It's also developed the Excelerator programme, which works with black-owned businesses. Selected founders for the Endeavor Excelerator Programme in 2012 gained access to a business road map, an advisory board,...

  • Cape Town rising: the natural ground for tech entrepreneurs?

    A decade ago, no one in South Africa knew what the terms angel and tech startups meant. People were progressively adjusting to a new democracy led by the awe-inspiring Nelson Mandela. The government’s focus was on breaking down the barriers of racism and apartheid, not investing in risky ventures. But some individuals, like Justin Stanford and Vinny Lingham, anticipated the tech wave. We spoke to Stanford, 31, who explained to us how this dynamic duo set up the entrepreneurial ecosystem in South Africa. A self-made man, Stanford dropped out of high school to come to Cape Town and become an Internet...

  • How to make the most of startup life (even if your manager sucks)

    Managers. We all have to deal with some version of them. Even the companies claiming they have a flat organisation structure. There’s always someone you report to. There’s always someone who, if you’re lucky, you look up to. And if you’re not, well, that’s an entirely different story altogether. I didn’t always work at a startup. My first job was at a big corporation and the development team at my location consisted of 100 odd people, divided into teams that reported to a team lead (TL) and TL's that reported to a project lead (PL) and PLs that reported to...

  • From coupons to furniture removal: first annual #Hack.Jozi Challenge winners announced

    The #Hack.Jozi Challenge recently announced the winner of its R1-million reward. Developed by the City of Johannesburg and Wits University, the event was aimed at developing digital solutions to everyday problems. First place was awarded to MoWallet, a startup focused around coupons and vouchers, and spearheaded by Desmond Mongwe, took the prize of R1-million. Lazy Lizard's Teachinator and MoveThisStuff both took runner-up places, which consisted of a R350 000 prize each. The top ten teams also received a subscription to IBM's Bluemix for a year. The City of Johannesburg pledged R5-million towards the #Hack.Jozi Challenge project and prizes. The judging panel...

  • 8 examples of why university is the perfect time to found a startup

    There's no perfect time to startup a business and you'll always be able to find excuses not to. But when you're a student, you have a lot fewer excuses than many older people do. You're unlikely to have kids for instance, or a home and car to pay off. You also have immediate access to a wealth pool of incredible minds, a potentially lucrative market base and, depending on the course you're pursuing, a heck of a lot more free time on your hands than anyone in the working world. And let's not forget that both Google and Facebook...

  • AgriProtein: the company using flies, our waste to keep the planet from eating itself

    The fly makes the world go round. While many find these critters repulsive, they actually play a very important role in how we get our food we eat. For starters, by eating decaying materials, the fly helps speed up the nutrient cycling which helps generate richer soil for plants and vegetables. It's also a protein food for some animals -- a lot of which, people eat. As much as we might hate it, it's actually nature's filthy little farmer. The problem with nature is that it is slow. Way too slow for our overpopulated, capital-driven world of today. But if AgriProtein...

  • 5 questions you really need to ask about startup growth

    Mobile startup expert Olga Steidi gives an insightful list of the right questions to ask and the ways to implement growth in your startup Travelling across four Southeast Asian countries (Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand) in the last month, I met early-stage CEOs to talk about the way they see internationalisation and growth for their startups. From incubators and company builders to stand-alone startups, every one of them puts growth in the spotlight and understands how critical it is to focus on numbers. Unfortunately, many of them ask (mainly themselves) the wrong questions when it comes to growth. To help founders...

  • 10 student startup myths busted

    There are many myths floating around the student startup ecosystem which can hinder the progress of some great ideas. Here we destroy some of them .... Startup myth 1: Someone is going to steal your idea if you tell people about it You probably could not even pay your top competitor to execute your idea - they have plenty of their own. So get out there and talk and test and validate. Execution is the key, not idea generation. Startup myth 2: You are not an entrepreneur if you are not disrupting an industry or "making a dent" in the...

  • 5 key steps to getting your startup ready for funding

    It’s the age of the startup. Technology is enabling us to solve more problems at a greater speed than ever before. Solutions to big enough problems often have commercial value -- leading to new enterprises being founded. New companies are formed and funded faster than ever before. Gaining access to the lifeblood of seed capital is critical for any high growth startup. You need to be fast to market with enough resources to develop your product, gain traction and unlock value. But a strong team, good infrastructure and market access all create a burn that cannot be bootstrapped for long. So you...

  • From YDE to Uber Flavour: Paul Simon’s journey as an ‘accidental entrepreneur’

    There is no better place for a South African to spend a cold Thursday evening than sitting at Townhouse Lodge listening in on an entrepreneur flooded fireside chat hosted by Giullaume De Wet at Startup Grind Cape Town. This month the man in the spotlight was none other than Mr YDE, or as he would prefer to be called today, Mr Uber Flavour, Mr &Threads or just Paul Simon really -- a man worthy of a standing ovation. Simon is not your, traditional entrepreneur (if there is such a thing). His story is one about a series of uncalculated decisions that...