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Innovation

  • ‘Ghana’s impressive track record helped it secure 2017 IPA competition’

    An impressive track record -- that's what helped Ghana to secure the hosting of this year's Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA), says the competition's director Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl. The event, run by the African Innovation Foundation, takes place in Accra, Ghana on 17 and 18 July. "Ghana's leadership have put innovation at the centre of the country's development agenda, and there is a clear commitment towards consolidating a thriving national innovation ecosystem. This is demonstrated by a commitment to dedicate one percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to innovation," Mujawamariya told Ventureburn yesterday. Singling out several innovation hubs in Ghana, she said the West African country is...

  • Q&A: Cape Town entrepreneur Lorraine Steyn laments shortage of women in tech

    Software development is a well-paying career and more women should be involved in the sector, laments Cape Town entrepreneur Lorraine Steyn. "I'm very sad about the falling number of women in software development, particularly. It is a well-paying career, requiring creative and analytical skills," says Steyn co-founded software development company Khanyisa Real Systems (KRS) in 1987. Steyn, KRS's CEO, will be in conversation with Guillaume de Smedt tomorrow at the next Startup Grind event, Women in Tech, in Cape Town at Workshop 17. Lorraine Steyn says she's sad about the falling number of women in tech Ventureburn caught up with Steyn to pick her brains on a...

  • Water Waste Management Challenge Workshop to tackle SA issues

    Ventureburn had the opportunity to attend the Stellenbosch Innovation District's (SID) Water Waste Management Challenge workshop held in partnership with Launchlab. The challenge, which is largely lead by Stellenbosch University's outgoing COO, professor Leopoldt van Huyssteen, aims to provide context for the current challenges facing SA regarding water and waste management. The workshop was chaired by various Launchlab representatives such as CEO Philip Marais, operations manager Brandon Paschal, and others. The panel of guests consisted of van Huyssteen, Julien Rumbelow of the Western Cape government, and Amahle Zakhele from Enkanini, an informal settlement currently facing water and waste management issues. "Our current water crisis can...

  • Is Microsoft Azure right for startups?

    Choosing the right technology for your tech startup or SMME can be a daunting task. There are a range of platforms and services out there and if you're not tech-orientated, it's going to be a difficult process. Software and hardware company Microsoft thinks it may have the solution with the Azure platform. Ventureburn had a chance to sit down with DPE Lead at Microsoft, Clifford de Wit, at the recent Microsoft Tech Summit event in Johannesburg, to talk about the company's Azure platform for startups and SMMEs. A shift in mentality De Wit started off by saying the company is seeing a...

  • Improving agriculture through Aerobotics

    South Africa's agricultural lands have always been one of the backbones of the economy. According to South Africa.info, the agricultural sector is roughly responsible for 8.5 million jobs both directly and indirectly. It's without a doubt one of the largest contributors to job creation. Which is why it's so important to have proper systems in place in the sector. Aerobotics, a drone company started in December 2014 by James Paterson and Benji Meltzer, focuses on agriculture in SA and has found a way to better the sector with innovative drone technology. Paterson was raised on a fruit farm where, at a young age, he...

  • Food for thought: UN launches accelerator for hunger

    Life is hard and can become unimaginably difficult if you're left weak and malnourished. World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics show that about 795 million people don't have enough food to lead a healthy life. Of those 795 million people, most of them live in developing countries. It is with these facts that the United Nations (UN) World Food Program (WFP) has launched the Innovation Accelerator which focuses on food relief, progressing towards ending hunger by 2030. The project, based in Munich, Germany, was started by Ertharin Cousin, who has over 25-years of national and international non-profit leadership experience. The WFP in collaboration with experts...

  • Businesses, entrepreneurs are making money from Pokemon Go

    You might think of Pokemon Go as a fun way to get outdoors, but did you know it's making money in a ton of unexpected ways? The most obvious way Pokemon Go is making money is in the in-app purchases department, allowing people to buy virtual items for real money. However, the developers are teaming up with some companies to create sponsored PokeStops/gyms, TechCrunch reported. But the game is actually making money for more than just its developers though. Businesses are seeing the benefits In a rather cool twist, stores and other businesses in close proximity to gyms and stops are seeing an...

  • 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...