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News

  • Three MENA developers win Facebook’s Bots for Messenger Developer Challenge

    Facebook has announced the three winners of its Facebook's Bots for Messenger Developer Challenge, launched earlier this year. The social media company made the announcement on Monday. The selected winners, from the Middle East and North Africa, have competed against startups from across 64 countries and have each won $20 000 and three months of mentorship from Facebook. The challenge was launched on 15 February. "It's been nearly five months since we first invited submissions for the 2017 Bots for Messenger Challenge and we’re excited to share the winners," said Emeka Afigbo, Facebook’s Head of Platform Partnerships for the Middle East and Africa in...

  • Singularity University’s international summit heading to Africa for first time

    Singularity University (SU) is finally coming to Johannesburg. The Silicon Valley think tank is expected to host its first international conference, SingularityU Summit, in the city on 23 and 24 August. The summit will be held in collaboration with Standard Bank and other partners including MTN, SAP and Deloitte. "Singularity University is proud to be working with Standard Bank and Mann Made Media to host this first-ever SingularityU South Africa Summit, and to connect with Africa’s leaders and organisations shaping the future," said associate founder and CEO of SU Rob Nail in a press release. The summit aims to address innovative technologies and entrepreneurs in the sectors of...

  • SA animation studio scoops three awards for Revolting Rhymes film

    Cape Town based film company Triggerfish Animation Studios is celebrating. The producers of Adventures in Zambezia and Khumba scored a hat-trick this weekend with their new film Revolting Rhymes -- an adaptation of Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake’s classic book. The company won Best Storytelling at the Shanghai International Film and TV Festival in China, then Best Animation at the World Banff Media Festival in Canada, and finished off with the Cristal for Best TV Production at Annecy in France, the world’s premier animation festival. “With South Africa officially in recession, it’s more important than ever that our economy finds new avenues for growth,” said Triggerfish Animation CEO...

  • Orange launches African-focused investment programme

    Telecoms company Orange has announced the launch of a new programme dedicated to helping African entrepreneurs achieve their goals. The Orange Digital Ventures Africa programme will serve as Orange's investment vehicle and is committing €50-million to invest in startups which will account for half of the direct investments made by the flagship programme. The other half will be devoted to "indirect investments through specialised funding". A team will be set up in Dakar in September for the Ventures programme to be able to assist applicants. Pierre Louette, deputy CEO of Orange and Chairman of Orange Digital Ventures commented on the new initiative in a press...

  • AfriLabs welcomes 11 new hubs to its Pan-African network

    AfriLabs, a network of over 50 technology innovation hubs on the continent, has announced the addition of 11 new incubators and accelerators. In an announcement last week AfriLabs head secretariat Anna Ekeledo said the organisation is constantly looking to partner with tech hubs and other stakeholders of technology-related businesses to develop better-enabling policies, access to the right tools, environment and finance to scale in Africa. A key aim of AfriLabs, which was set up in 2011, is to create an ecosystem of major hubs to support the development of startups across the African continent. The 11 new hubs joining the AfriLabs network are: nHub (Nigeria) -- According...

  • Young Investors Programme readies students for work in financial services

    The University of the Western Cape (UWC) School of Business and Finance (SBF) has launched an initiative to ready business-minded students for a career in financial services. The university launched the Young Investors Programme (YIP) was launched on 5 May after a group of UWC B.Com Honours Finance students approached the SBF after experiencing problems adapting to the workplace. Keagan Martin, one of the students behind the initiative and a UWC BCom Finance Honours 2016 graduate, said after going for job interviews he and fellow students discovered that their level of industry knowledge was not quite as advanced as they had wanted it to be and so came up with the...

  • Former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene appointed as chairman of Arise

    African investment company Arise today announced the appointment of former South African finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, to its supervisory board. Nene will assume the position of chairman as from Thursday (1 June). “We are excited to have someone of Mr Nene’s calibre on our board, and are grateful that he chose to accept the appointment”, said Arise CEO Deepak Malik in a media release posted on the company's website today. Arise was launched in February and focuses on the banking sector. Read more: Investment company Arise launches to accelerate banking “Mr Nene’s extensive financial experience and background in the public and private investment sector...

  • Snapplify joins Ed21 forum to tackle inefficient education system

    The key to tackling the education sector as a startup is being able to move fast and adapt quickly to the changing needs of the sector says Snapplify growth director Tarryn-Anne Anderson. The digital publishing solutions startup has teamed up with the likes of Vastratech, Principal Software and D6 Technology to form the Ed21 forum. The forum forms part of an ongoing movement to assist schools in transforming into a digital space. "Snapplify decided to join the Ed21 forum because we believe in developing better, and more effective ways of promoting and providing digital education," said Anderson. "The other members of the forum are also...

  • Do your commercial drone insurance policies have adequate cover?

    Incidents involving drones can be minor, slightly humorous, or have extremely dire consequences.  From a kiss-cam drone cutting off a piece of a person's nose or a drone spying through the president's bedroom window, to extreme cases such as an engineering drone flying into a crane operator who knocks down a portion of an under-construction building, or a drone dropping weapons or bombs into a prison or flying into the propeller of a 500-passenger airliner. The new drone regulations, which came into effect on 1 July 2015 and form part of the Civil Aviation Regulations, place an obligation on those with commercial drone...

  • ‘SA should look to Israel as lesson in boosting entrepreneurial ecosystem’

    Israel's success as a startup nation can be attributed to the notion of "if you don’t have it, you either go without it or innovate, invent, and do better". So says Carel De Wet, the general manager of cloud service vendor iCloudius. He was talking at Salesforce's "What Western Cape’s Tech companies should learn from Tel Aviv’s Startup Nation" event, held at Workshop 17 in Cape Town today. "It’s not as if they have better technology than we do. It’s not that we don’t have the same resources or the skill... We just need to take it to the next level," says De...