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Innovation

  • 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...

  • Innovating Africa means practical solutions to unique challenges

    Innovation is one of the most important contributors to economic growth in any market. Innovators create wealth, attract investment and provide job opportunities. They also create new supply chains and boost exports. This is a universal reality. However, the reasons why individuals become innovators (and the subsequent output), depends upon the context. A desire to become rich by becoming the next Apple might motivate the majority, but here in sub-Saharan Africa, there are often other, more nuanced reasons for inventing new products and services. Africa has a context of its own. Many African nations are growing in a post-colonial and/or...

  • 12 African innovators you need to know about

    The UK's Royal Academy of Engineering has announced the 12 finalists for its 2015/2016 Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation. The finalists are responsible for innovations across a wide variety of fields including systems to stop electricity theft, food supplements made from caterpillars, and mobile technologies which guide parents through pregnancy and connect heart patients to cardiologists. The Africa Prize, now in its second year, is the continent’s largest prize dedicated to engineering innovation. It covers all engineering disciplines from mechanical, civil and computing to agricultural, biomedical, oil and gas, mining and electronics. The twelve entrepreneurs are affiliated with African...

  • Innovation and insurance: why a centuries old business is still ripe for innovation [Sponsored]

    Insurance, defined by Wikipedia as the equitable transfer of the risk of a loss, from one entity to another in exchange for money, has a long history. Chinese and Babylonian traders practiced forms of insurance as far back as the third and second millennia BC, respectively, but insurance as we know it really dates back to the Great Fire on London in 1666. Despite that long history though, it's also an industry ripe for disruption, with technology playing an increasingly important role across the industry. Health-tracking, smart data analysis, and app-based rewards are all part of the contemporary insurance...

  • Philips, The Innovation Hub announce finalists in healthcare innovation competition

    Five finalists have been selected for the Philips Africa and The Innovation Hub's first partnered competition, the Innovation Fellows Competition. The competition aims to find the next big innovation idea that will help revolutionise the South African health care industry as well as address relevant challenges in healthcare. The five finalists -- who will be awarded R12 000 each -- were chosen out of 61 entries received by the competition. They will also receive mentoring and guidance on putting together a winning business pitch and plan for the final. Senior Vice President and CEO of Philips Africa, JJ Van Dongen, says new innovation...

  • Why deep dives into SA’s townships could change fintech innovation

    The marked increase in activity around the disruption of digital currency and fintech in South Africa is partly due to two factors: firstly, large banking is waking up to the fact that more nimble and versatile finance platforms will soon start eating into their bottom line, and secondly, the very real needs experienced by the man on the street are driving developers to find clever and innovative fintech solutions to meet those needs. Fintech and Big Banking The reality is that large legacy banks are simply not the right place for innovation. Taking risks, breaking things, inventing things, and thinking outside...