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  • Engaging Africa’s next generation of business and technology leaders

    "Africa is on a path to greatness however we need talent to facilitate this growth. And I am not just talking about formal education, we need young leaders who can think on their feet and take bold decisions that will drive Africa forward." These are the words of Uche Ofodile, a senior business leader based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with extensive expertise in building businesses in emerging markets, from a recent interview on 'Forward Leadership' and her passion to see young African leaders at their very best. Her reference to “young leaders who can think on their...

  • 5 easy steps to a successful seed round

    Too often, entrepreneurs go into a meeting with a venture capital firm as if the result is already a fait accompli, assuming that the venture capitalist has all of the power. They could not be more wrong. While the investor may have already formed an initial opinion, their thoughts are by no means final. Your presentation will be the deciding factor. With this in mind, most entrepreneurs should be taking a much more proactive approach to raising their first successful seed round. If you are an entrepreneur and the most you know about seed round funding is from what you...

  • Seedstars World’s Marcello Schermer talks African Startup Revolution at TEDxVienna

    Marcello Schermer is the regional manager for Seedstars World in Africa, which has allowed him to witness the birth and growth of a number of startups. Recently, he gave a talk at TEDxVienna about the African Startup Revolution. In his talk, Schermer talks about iHub and it's influence on startup hubs, Rwanda the Switzerland of Africa, as well as a range of startups on the continent. If you want to know more about startups in Africa, watch the video below from someone who can easily be considered a wealth of startup information.

  • Q&A with Hannah Clifford, general manager of Nairobi Garage

    The Nairobi Garage is one of Africa's largest co-working spaces. Since its launch this time last year, the company has hosted a range of events and partnered with Hong Kong VC, Nest among other happenings. Ventureburn recently had a chance to talk to the general manager of Nairobi Garage, Hannah Clifford. We picked her brain on co-working spaces and the need to join them, as well as the role they play in the startup community. Ventureburn: What bare basic services should a co-working space offer? Hannah Clifford: Internet first and foremost. Security is important. Meeting rooms and areas to hang out - the point of...

  • AlphaCode attracts over 1000 members

    Fintech accelerator AlphaCode has reached over 1000 members in a single year. The Rand Merchant Investment (RMI) initiative has seen eight member-to-member deals and invested R9-million into 11 various black-owned businesses through their partnership with Bank of America Merrill Lynch. AlphaCode has also invested in Merchant Capital, which provides alternative working capital for SMEs in SA. "The Rand Merchant Group has a history of partnering extraordinary entrepreneurs who have built disruptive, successful businesses such as RMB, Discovery and OUTsurance," said senior investment executive at RMI, Dominique Collett. Companies that joined AlphaCode cover various sectors of industry. These range from lending, payments and financial literacy to blockchain...

  • 6 lessons startups can learn from the corporate world

    Many books and articles have been written on what corporates can learn from startups — how to build an agile culture, foster creativity in the team, and ship products quickly. However, the opposite is also true in many cases. There are areas that a startup can learn from a well run corporate. Implementing these lessons early on will help a startup immensely along its journey to be a large well-managed company. When I moved from a corporate life to the world of startups, what took me by surprise was the similarities between the two regardless of some fundamental differences. In the...

  • From garages to high rises: what to consider when moving into your first office

    While a startup can survive in a basement or garage for a few months, there eventually comes a time when you'll need to move into your first real office. When this time comes, will you know what you're doing? Moving into your first office isn't as simple as finding a building you like and leasing it out. There's a lot that goes into a real estate transaction – whether you're purchasing or renting – and you need to be prepared to deal with all of the issues. Specifically, you'll want to think about the following: 1. Location From a very practical perspective,...

  • Are Africa’s innovation hubs helping innovators realise their full potential?

    Much has changed in Africa since 2014 when oil-rich nations began to see their incomes slide and the global recovery began to falter. During these years of change, African governments redoubled their focus on economic diversity and innovation, which we know go hand-in-hand. Yet in the context of a region that continues to suffer from high levels of poverty, disparate infrastructure and young capital markets, Africa's entrepreneurs continue to face an uphill struggle. Africa needs to accelerate enterprise – it is a region that is set to become the youngest population on the planet, hungry for economic success; stymied...

  • Entrepreneurs: recruitment advice for startups

    Hiring skills for a young and inevitably small company is tough. In fact, many businesspeople say that when you hire your first employee, it is the start of a new era in your company. A lot rides on the first few hires being the sort of people that have both the ability and the mindset to take your business to the next level. The process of finding the right talent is a job in itself, and the consequences can be critical to the success of your business. So I'll focus on ways to minimise recruitment headaches, with the question: how...

  • 7 reasons why everyday communication with your team is important

    The modern office environment has changed a lot in recent years. The employees themselves are different than they were ten years ago. This means that all of the important things such as company culture, policies, values, norms, rules, operation methods etc. are also different. As a result of these changes, and many others, the importance of flawless communication within a business organisation has grown quite a lot. Especially today, when employees need to communicate both in person and via technology. It doesn’t matter if a company uses a simple project management tool. If employees don’t communicate well using it, its...

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