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Innovation

  • All you need is coffee: innovation in 72 hours

    Innovation isn’t a strategy; it’s a series of orchestrated tactics that solve defined problems, casting aside the status quo in favor of invention and improvement. The magic lies in finding the right idea to take forward. We’ve tried several approaches at my company, but the most effective is the one we use now. We call it “Innovation Sprinting.” What is innovation sprinting? We don’t want to waste time. Our objective is to move from a problem statement to a tangible, testable outcome as efficiently as possible, and we’ve aggressively condensed the time frame to help us achieve this outcome. Over a few...

  • 4 tips to release employee-driven innovation

    Increasingly, companies are recognising that innovation doesn’t only happen through investment in Research and Development. Businesses stand to gain a competitive advantage by involving people across the company in identifying and acting on innovation opportunities. One such example is British Airways who introduced an online suggestion box for employees to propose how the airline could further reduce emissions and fuel costs. One of the 200 ideas submitted was a suggestion to descale aircraft toilet pipes which led to the airline saving over R13 000 000 through weight reduction and improving the performance of inflight conveniences. This is just one of many...

  • This competition is giving R2.5m in seed-funding to innovators

    If you're working on an idea that you think will change the world, then you might want to have a look at the GAP Innovation Competitions. The competitions -- organised by the Gauteng Accelerator Programme and hosted by the Innovation Hub in Pretoria -- are looking for innovators, researchers and entrepreneurs that are working on novel ideas that will improve the efficiency of government service delivery, increase the competitiveness of the local economy and enhance the quality of life of ordinary citizens. Categories are in the ICT, Medical, Biosciences and Green economy. Winners of GAP 2016 will share over R2.5...

  • 10 African innovators you absolutely need to know about

    Africa is a continent full of incredibly innovative thinkers and the latest reminder of that fact comes courtesy of the the Innovation Prize for Africa. The competition, now in its fifth year, has announced the 10 finalists for the 2016 awards, set to be held in Gabarone, Botswana towards the end of June. The entrepreneurs in the top 10 work in a wide variety of fields but, broadly speaking, are concentrated in the agriculture, medicine and tech/clean energy spaces. “In the past five years, I’ve seen innovation grow from a mere buzzword to a sturdy path for...

  • CiTi to introduce travel tech hub to Cape Town’s startup ecosystem

    The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative, or CiTi, has announced that it will be launching a "travel tech innovation cluster" to promote growth in the travel technology sector. "We believe that Travel Technology has enormous transformative potential and that the creation of a TravelTech cluster to stimulate development and investment will benefit not only Cape Town but the entire country. We have already seen significant investment into this sector over the last few months and further structured acceleration could see that increase exponentially," explained CEO of CiTi Ian Merrington. "The purpose of our Innovation Clusters is to actively identify, support and...

  • A Day in the Life of: CiTi CEO Ian Merrington [Native Article]

    The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) is one of South Africa's oldest initiatives dedicated to boost local innovation. Founded in 1998, CiTi has established itself as one of the most renowned hubs for entrepreneurs in Africa by fostering through skills development and incubation services. At the helm of this initiative today is Ian Merrington, who brings with him a wealth of experience in advertising and consulting services. Before joining CiTi, he was Group Financial Director of BBDO SA, a director of Gloo Digital Design and later COO for iKineo, a leading Pan-African customer engagement firm. For the third edition of...

  • Gartner is on the hunt for aspiring innovators

    Technology research house Gartner has put out a call for aspiring innovators to take part in its Aspiring Innovators Programme, which will take place at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo Africa 2016. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the programme will highlight "interesting African startup technology companies who have something unique to offer enterprise organisations". The goal of this programme, Gartner says, is to both support the African startup technology scene, and provide delegates access to innovative local technology providers. Selected by Gartner research analysts, the startup companies will have the opportunity to describe what they are doing in...

  • African tech innovators: Our Uber moment is coming

    We all know that we face some unique challenges in Africa, driven by the lack of access to market and the relatively small skills pool to draw from. If we look at the four types of innovation (thanks to The Innovator's Dilemma for the foundation) they are: True Innovation: creating something new that has not been done before Incremental Innovation: improving something that exists Sector Innovation: taking bits of tech from other sectors to disrupt another sector Market Innovation: figuring out new ways to get to market and scale Most tech innovators focus on Sector Innovation, when in Africa our main barrier is Market...

  • All-female startup from Nigeria hauls in $40k for innovative legal service

    An all-female startup that seeks to give people easy access to legal services in Nigeria, called DIYlaw, recently bagged US$40 000. Organised by The Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law (HiiL), which promotes innovative solutions in the legal space, over 200 innovators applied for the Innovating Justice Award. DIYlaw emerged the winner of the SME Empowerment Innovation Challenge for East and West Africa during the Innovating Justice Forum at The Peace Palace, The Hague, Netherlands. Read more: SME Empowerment Challenge to support African innovations with up to $70k The Innovating Justice Awards is an annual award ceremony which takes place during the...

  • How entrepreneurs can utilise the ‘Sustainability Factor’

    The idea of making your business more "green" may seem rather intimidating and to some unnecessary. However, making the move toward a more sustainable business culture does more than merely reduce your company’s carbon footprint – it can actually help your business grow. That being said, making any sort of move towards sustainability is better than not making any, after all, what do you have to lose? Small steps that you can take toward making your business more "green" are easy on the environment and on the company budget, as most sustainability shifts will ultimately save you money. For this...