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Africa

  • Don’t rush to get backers, African Innovation Foundation head tells hubs

    Those running tech hubs in poor areas of Africa should not rush to get corporate and government sponsors, but should rather grow their hubs organically and produce success stories before getting outside partners, says entrepreneur Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais. Speaking on the sidelines of the 2017 Innovation Prize for Africa event in Accra, Ghana, Bastos de Morais, who is also the founder of the African Innovation Foundation, detailed his new project, an innovation hub in the Cazenga slum in Luanda, Angola. The 49-year-old Swiss entrepreneur founded Fabrica de Sabao, a former soap factory, in 2015. It includes a co-working space, a MakerSpace with equipment such as...

  • PeaceTech Accelerator looking for more startups for its next cohorts

    PeaceTech Accelerator, a Washington DC based cloud innovation centre and scale-up programme devoted to peace technology, is looking for more participants for its next cohort starting on 8 September with the third planned for January next year. PeaceTech Accelerator was launched earlier this year by tech investment firm C5 Accelerate and PeaceTech Lab , a peace building non-profit, in collaboration with cloud computing service provider, Amazon Web Services, and has since graduated its first cohort. It runs eight week programmes for companies and non-profit organisations involved in the development of innovative technologies that promote peace and build stronger, safer societies. Dimitra Hatzudis, external relations coordinator at C5 Accelerate,...

  • XAfricaMart.com marketplace launches with a transaction fee of just 1.2%

    Online B2B marketplace XAfricaMart.com was launched yesterday in Johannesburg, with its CEO Stephen Oehley claiming that the marketplace has one of the lowest transaction fees in the market for suppliers. The marketplace which is aimed at small and growing businesses, will offer sellers and customers a secure payment platform that mitigates online trading risks and non-delivery. Sellers are charged a 1.2% sales success fee. This compares to Amazon which charges a fee of 3.9% for international transactions, eBay which charges a fee of 3.5% or 10% depending on the number of goods listed on the site and Alibaba which charges a 5% fee. XAfricaMart.com also seeks to network businesses up...

  • Seedstars, Enel seeking energy entrepreneurs for Africa Energy Prize

    Global startup competition Seedstars  in collaboration with Enel Group, a global power company, have announced the creation of the Africa Energy Prize. The competition, which is aimed at African startups, is looking for startups that focus on increasing energy access. The collaboration, which was announced on 7 July, will form part of the existing annual Seedstars World Competition.  Seedstars and Enel representatives will evaluate startups' business models and the Enel team will announce the top finalists in December at the RES4Africa event. The winner will be announced at the global Seedstars Summit in Switzerland in April next year, whereupon they will enter Seedstars' three-month growth...

  • ‘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...

  • Kenyan startup M-Shule gets investment from Engineers Without Borders

    Canadian seed-stage investor Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB) yesterday announced a cash investment worth $40 000 in Kenyan edtech startup M-Shule. M-Shule is an SMS and web-based learning management platform which makes use of artificial intelligence to design tailored learning experiences. It was designed to handle 144 million primary school students across Sub-Saharan Africa and was launched in January in Nairobi, Kenya by Claire Mongeau. In an email interview with Ventureburn, Mongeau said although they currently operate in Kenya, they intended to expand into East Africa by 2019 and throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia in subsequent years. "We are excited and thrilled to work...

  • From smart bearings to group-buying app, meet Innovation Prize of Africa finalists

    A mobile app that helps rally women into buying groups and a smart bearing that can boost energy efficiency in Africa -- these are just two of the ideas from the 10 finalists that will attend the 2017 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) in Accra, Ghana in just over 10 days' time. The awards, which take place on 18 July and are hosted by the African Innovation Foundation (AIF), are now in their sixth year. The 10 finalists stand a chance to win a grand prize of $100 000, as well as a runner up prize of $25 000 and a special prize for social impact of $25 000. Read more: AIF reveals names of 10...

  • Q&A: Report details fintech’s explosion across African continent

    Africa has seen a boom in fintech in the last two years, with 301 startups now active in the sector on the continent, a report released earlier this month by Disrupt Africa reveals. Ventureburn asked Disrupt Africa co-founder Tom Jackson and co-author (along with Gabriella Mulligan) of Finnovating for Africa: Exploring the African Fintech Ecosystem Report 2017 to share some of his thoughts on where fintech is going in Africa. Ventureburn: What are some of the most surprising things you have uncovered in fintech in Africa in the last two and half years? Tom Jackson: There are plenty of things that obviously don’t surprise us, such as the fact...

  • TLcom Capital raises $40m for TIDE Africa Fund to support entrepreneurs

    London-based VC TLcom Capital has announced it has committed $40-million to the Technology and Innovation for Developing Economics (TIDE) Africa Fund. The VC fund's announcement, made last Thursday, of the injection of funds will help TIDE focus exclusively on entrepreneurs and startups from Sub-Saharan Africa. The $40-million was raised with the help of the African Development Bank and the European Investment Bank, which both committed $10-million each. Among other investors involved in raising the capital was Silicon Valley based Bob King, the founder of the Stanford SEED Institute. The fund will provide both capital and business support to startups leveraging mobile in markets such as financial services,...

  • Techpreneur Africa joins Abu Dhabi Global Market to promote fintech across Africa

    Social-entrepreneurial impact firm Techpreneur Africa has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an international finance centre. The MOU, signed earlier this week between the two parties, seeks to grow and support fintech initiatives in the Middle East and Africa. "The new partnership with Techpreneur Africa marks another achievement towards strengthening the connections between fintech communities and harnessing synergies in innovations and capabilities through global collaboration," said Richard Teng, the CEO of ADGM on Monday in a press release. ADGM's regulatory labs is a fintech sandbox which provides participants with a safe place to test their products and services, while...