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Entrepreneurship

  • An international perspective on SA startups [NetProphet]

    Angel investing came accidentally to UK-based Permjot Valia. As the sales and marketing director of Ernst & Young, he became involved in their entrepreneur programme, which in turn led to his new career of investing in startups. By his own admission, Valia’s success rate is a statistical anomaly: while an average of only 3% of investors successfully exit a startup via an IPO, the first company he invested in went public within just seven months. Visiting Cape Town this week to work with local entrepreneurs, Valia shared his experiences, garnered over the course of his 25 or so investments,...

  • 38 emerging South African tech entrepreneurs to watch [Part I]

    The technology space is particularly notable for the amount of entrepreneurial activity it attracts. The word "startup" has become almost synonymous with the tech and online space and there are thousands of entrepreneurs that run small and large companies that are carving out niches for themselves. The high amount of entrepreneurial activity in the tech sector may be explained by the fact that the costs of starting an online business are low. You don't need a factory or heavy-lifting equipment to start an online business, and the people found in the sector are highly skilled. Also, we all know about the...

  • Coming soon: A homegrown tech entrepreneurship guide

    All rising economies need a helping hand to achieve greatness. Economies that wish to thrive in today's fast-paced world of changing commerce and enterprising initiative need enterprising people. Entrepreneurship is a crucial part of any society on the rise, especially where technological infrastructure is lacking. The Entrepreneurship Guide website will go live on 12 May, in conjunction with the project launch at the Net Prophet conference in Cape Town. The South African entrepreneurial landscape is fast becoming a busy one. A sizeable number of South African entrepreneurs have graced the international stage with their ideas and flourishing success stories, though many...

  • Young Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and their unethical ways

    The film "The Social Network" has helped to make startups popular among young people the world over. It's just one factor inspiring new generations of entrepreneurs hoping to succeed through innovation and hard work. But are they learning ethical ways of doing business? The more we find out about Mark Zuckerberg and his behaviour during the early days of Facebook, the more he reveals a cavalier attitude to ethics. And other founders of successful startups also have shown questionable ethics. Take Mark Pincus, the CEO of Zynga, the social gaming company behind Farmville. His behaviour was documented by Mike Arrington in Techcrunch: Scamville:...

  • Reid Hoffman’s ten rules of entrepreneurship

    You may not have heard of Reid Hoffman, and if you were introduced to him you might be forgiven for underestimating him. With his scruffy jeans, his coke bottle glasses, and his excited giggle he may be mistaken for a common or garden nerd. But Hoffman is a key member of what is called - only partly in jest - the PayPal mafia. Hoffman was a founding board member at PayPal, and was...

  • 6 tips for startup success

    Rob Stokes is an entrepreneurial successes heading a multi-national agency, Quirk eMarketing. His company delivers marketing solutions for businesses and brands that seek to engage with connected audiences. Quirk has grown from a one man agency working out of Rob's home to an international business with headquarters in Cape Town, Johannesburg and London. In just under a decade there are now over 80 "quirkstars" across the 3 offices, with the main production...

  • Village Telco: Addressing the issue of rural connectivity

    In the words of African telecommunications expert Steve Song, Village Telco is "an easy-to-use, scalable, standards-based, wireless, local, do-it-yourself, telephone company toolkit". He’s just put out a new video making it very clear just how useful this system is. The team over at Blinktower has done an exceptional job of creating a short, concise and eminently understandable video of what Village Telco is. The Village Often, we get caught up in our high tech wizardry and get overly excited about the newest Android app or the best new web app built in African Megalopolis #5. And by “we”, I mean “I”, since...

  • 5 ways startups can cash in on the emerging markets wave

    Africa is the final frontier. The subject rose quickly on CNBC after the Wall Street downturn. It has also been a major topic on the World Economic Forums on Africa's agenda since 2007. While consumers were buying less in established developed markets, finding new consumers meant taking advantage: Emerging markets have over three billion people startups can target. At the very least, most people have mobile phone access. At best, disposable income on average is on the rise like never before, according to McKinsey, a global management consulting company. So how do you take advantage? 5 ways start here: Be...

  • 7 things you should know before launching your startup

    Startups are a tricky business to get right and it's clear why most fail. For Henk Kleynhans, knowing how to price his product correctly was the number one need when he launched Skyrove. At the time of launch, the internet junkie was committed to the idea that there must be a better and cheaper way for internet to be available everywhere. Today, Skyrove is South Africa’s largest independent Wi-Fi hotspot network with over 600 Wi-Fi hotspots in South Africa. Here are seven things he wished he knew before he launched his startup. 1. Think Local First. From day one...

  • 4 ways to still be effective during holiday leave

    Looking to log-off but stay connected this holiday season? Whether you’re going to be travelling locally or abroad, working from home, or having a "Staycation" we’ve got four ways for you to make your time out of the office seem as if you haven’t missed a beat. As much as we love to deny it, today’s generation of online professionals are workaholics. We wake up and check our emails over our morning coffee, we monitor our projects on our lunch break, we network after work, and we tweet our industry news while brushing our teeth. The concept of an eight-hour workday...

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