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Entrepreneurship

  • 6 tips from SA startup pros on raising funding

    Funding your startup is one of, if not the most crucial part of creating the company. While bootstrapping may be ideal for a number of entrepreneurs, it isn't always possible, meaning they will need to raise money from VCs or Angels in order to get things off the ground. Like anything related to humans, it's possible for entrepreneurs to jepordise their chances of actually raising funding. At the recent Techstars-4-A-Day event, which was held at the Rise hub in Cape Town, Alexandra 'Alex' Fraser (Silicon Cape) and one of the founders of Yoco, Carl Wazen, gave the audience some tips...

  • Jumo’s Johan Bosini: 8 rules on growing a startup [update]

    "Fintech isn't about tech at all. It's about data." These words were spoken by Johan Bosini at the recent Techstars-4-A-Day event, which was held at the Rise hub in Cape Town. Bosini is no stranger to the startup scene and is currently involved with VC firm Quona Capital, as well as Switch2 Cover and Taking a Break. He's most well known for his role in fintech startup Jumo as the managing director of digital financial services. Before digging into his eight points, Bosini gave a small anecdote about Jumo in its infancy (which initially started out as another company called AFB). "Jumo was an 'accident'," he said (having...

  • Silicon Valley is no longer the biggest startup game say these investors

    Tech has stolen the market cap crown from the oil tycoons. This change is perfectly natural according to a panel of regional experts last month at Innovation Weekend in Tokyo, but the Silicon Valley kingdom is also teetering on being overthrown. "The day of America as the single IT leader is over," writes founding partner Takeshi Ebihara of Rebright Partners on his blog. Citing PricewaterhouseCoopers’ MoneyTree report, Takeshi emphasises that the amount of funding for startups in China grew eightfold in just two years to US$37 billion in 2015. That’s less than US$59 billion in the same period for the US....

  • 3 interesting things we learned from David Campey, Roger Norton

    Ventureburn had the opportunity to attend the first Startup Grind Cape Town event of 2017, which featured David Campey and Roger Norton. The pair are co-founders of Lean Iterator, which is an organisation that supports startups. We sifted through everything and found the three most interesting points from the pair. What is a startup? The master of ceremonies, Guillaume De Smedt, asked the pair how to define a startup. Norton started off by quoting serial entrepreneur Steve Blank: "A startup is a temporary organisation used to search for a repeatable and scalable business model." Campey summarised this by saying that it "can be building tech...

  • What’s the secret to getting your startup funded? Timing

    Everyone who has ever come up with a business idea knows the pain of trying to accumulate funding. There are a few straightforward ways to get this startup capital; if you happen to have a wealthy relative or have free cash of your own lying around, you'll have a straight shot to getting the capital you need. Otherwise, you'll need to pitch your idea to potential investors -- and that means convincing them your idea is worth their time, money, and effort. Dedicated investors will only part with their money if they think it's going to bring something back to...

  • Lulalend CEO on fairer finance opportunities for small businesses

    As we’ve mentioned before, SMEs are the lifeblood of the South African economy – providing for over 60% of employment across the country. But it’s not easy being a small business and trying to grow when there are constant hurdles that you have to navigate around. According to a recent report commissioned by The Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) one of the many challenges, and probably the biggest of all, is access to finances and credit. The struggle has always been that traditional lenders are risk averse and the reality is that small businesses are a high risk. Because of their...

  • Is market research a lost art for entrepreneurs?

    In decades past, entrepreneurs didn't have nearly as much access to data and information. Yet, that didn't seem to stop them from doing market research. They would pore over whatever information they had and tirelessly seek out more. The roles seem to be reversed today. There's more information circulating around the internet than ever before, yet it seems like fewer entrepreneurs are taking the time to determine market viability prior to launching startups. Market research matters Launching and growing a successful business can ultimately be simplified down to two key components. First, you need a valuable product or service that satisfies a...

  • The startup dead zone and how to avoid it

    The 'dead zone'... This is the purgatory where startups are either cleansed of their inability to serve the needs of their respective markets or they, like most startups, die a painful death. This is a familiar and very dangerous place to be in because it could literally make or break your venture. Based purely on my limited experience in the startup realm, the dead zone can be defined as any prolonged period of time where your early-stage startup makes money but experiences little to no growth. What makes this zone exceptionally dangerous for startups is that you get fooled into...

  • 4 factors to consider before signing with an accelerator

    If you were starting a business 20 years ago, you'd typically spend most of your time running around town searching for customers, investors, and mentors. In a single day, you might only have time for one meeting with a customer and another with an investor. If you were lucky, you could squeeze in a meeting with a mentor. Carving out time to work on your actual product generally meant sacrificing sleep. In the mid-2000s, accelerators such as Y Combinator and Techstars changed the startup world. Instead of founders having to go out to visit mentors, investors, and customers, accelerators made it possible for these...

  • I launched 5 startups in 2016. Here’s why, how, and what I learned

    This year I launched five startups from nowhere. Here, I’ll tell you how it happened; how I ended up venture building before I knew what a venture builder was, how I manage to get through two lawsuits in the space of six months, and how I raised US$7 million without telling investors what they were investing in. How I began Towards the end of 2014, the Malaysian property market was looking as dead as a dodo, (not good for my property development company), so I started looking for something to keep myself busy. My last tech venture had been back in 2010...