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Entrepreneurship

  • University, science council spinoffs climbs to 45 startups, finds survey

    The number of startups spun out of SA science councils and universities climbed from 29 to 45 between 2008 and 2014, following the implementation of a new IP law in 2009, a report released this week revealed. The SA National Survey of Intellectual Property (IP) and Technology Transfer at Publicly Funded Research Institutions, which was released yesterday by the Department of Science and Technology, noted that some progress had been made since the Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research and Development (IPR) Act came into effect in 2009. The act aims to get publicly-funded research institutions such as universities and...

  • IDC approves R17m deal to fund SA’s first 3D metal printer

    The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has concluded an agreement with an SA startup that plans to launch the country's first production-based 3D metal printer by June. The investment of R17-million in Metal Heart, approved last month, is the 11th deal concluded by the IDC's new industries unit, since the unit's launch in 2015. Six of the deals have been in new companies. "They moved quickly," says Gert Lombard, who says he and business partner Kim Gray initially met with the unit in November last year. The deal was approved two weeks ago. The investment is in the form of a term loan and a...

  • Exclusive: ‘Government won’t match private sector in R1.5bn SME fund’

    The SA government has no immediate plans to match the R1.5-billion that 48 large companies have committed to the SA SME Fund, National Treasury Director-General Lungisa Fuzile told Ventureburn today. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa pledged during the launch of the fund in May last year that the government would match any contribution made by the private sector. However Fuzile, who sits on the fund's board, said the government will instead look to improve coordination between the state and private sector, while stepping up its existing funding and business support to small businesses. "It is not clear from a fiscal point of view...

  • Finfind initiative to link SA lenders with entrepreneurs seeking finance

    SA banks and lenders may soon be able to use a finance-matching platform to source entrepreneurs looking for finance, if a new initiative piloted by SA fintech startup finfind proves successful. Launched in October 2015, finfind is piloting a number of new initiatives which will help entrepreneurs to get better access to finance in South Africa. Speaking to Ventureburn today, finfind CEO Darlene Menzies says these include an initiative which will allow banks and other lenders to source fundable entrepreneurs from the platform. Currently entrepreneurs that access the site can complete a questionnaire and be told whether they qualify for funding or...

  • Nestlé SA to bring more business to entrepreneurs

    Nutrition company Nestlé SA and the Department of Small Business Development have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that'll see the creation of more than 600 jobs. The MOU serves as Nestlé SA's commitment to sourcing and developing micro-distributors who are primarily located in rural SA and townships. The partnership between Nestlé SA and the Department of Small Business Development will see a recruitment of 200 microdistributors from 2017 to 2020. The distributors would then be required to recruit at least three permanent staff, this, in turn, will create over 600 jobs. The signing of the MOU took place at the annual Proudly South African Summit...

  • Close to fifth of Joburg, Cape Town startup founders are immigrants

    Almost one in five startup founders in Cape Town and Johannesburg are immigrants, reveals a new report. The 2017 Global Startup Ecosystem report, released by StartUp Genome last month, reveals that 18% of founders in Cape Town and 17% in Johannesburg are immigrants – slightly under the average of 19% for the 56 cities measured by the report. In comparison, just four percent of founders in Lagos, Nigeria are immigrants -- significantly below the 46% that are immigrant founders in Silicon Valley. Of the emerging market cities measured, Shanghai tops the list with 36% of startups founded by foreigners. Other notable cities...

  • 6 effective ways to fund your startup

    Whether you’re launching the next big thing in fintech or a rival to Uber, your startup is going to require some cash injection. It’s not always easy securing funding for your company, no matter how great the idea. Thankfully, there are quite a few avenues to explore. Entrepreneurs should be thinking of how to fund their venture from the get-go. This allows them to not only have realistic expectations of what is needed but gauge interest in the product as well. Besides bootstrapping, which isn’t always feasible, especially in South Africa, there are quite a few avenues when it comes to...

  • African startup future: infrastructure and access

    Last week, I wrote about the future of the African startup. I tried to answer what our future in the tech startup space entailed, I am not sure there is a solid answer to that question. Something that does need to be discussed, however, is the infrastructure and access problem that we are still battling to solve. The ‘West’ has this romanticised view of Africa, the dark continent, the continent on the rise, the home of the next billion users. For those of us that live here, it is a completely different view, we see the daily struggle for basic...

  • Design thinking vs the lean startup: which one should you use?

    When it comes to creating a startup, two methodologies for products and customers have become prominent: design thinking and the lean startup. Question is, which one should entrepreneurs adopt for their company? In an article sent to Ventureburn by the MTN Solution Space, the organisation breaks down the methodologies in order for startup founders to figure out which version is best. "Both approaches take an idea to product in the fastest way possible, but the key difference is where the product appears in the innovation cycle," writes the director of the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design Thinking at the University of Cape Town, Richard...

  • 4 reasons your startup won’t get financing

    Startups face numerous challenges when it comes to getting financing. Firstly, many banks lend money on the basis of the 4C's of Credit. These are Capital (assets linked to your business), Collateral, Capacity (a track record showing the business earned sufficient income to cover its loan repayments) and Character (usually a good credit rating). Since it is difficult for startups to have all of these C's, it is, therefore, difficult for startups to get loans from banks. Secondly there many non-bank financing sources for startups, such as the 3F's, angel investors, venture capital firms, government institutions or even Development Finance Institutions...

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