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Africa

  • 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...

  • Microsoft, CGHE launch AppFactory Academy in Ethiopia to boost local talent

    IT graduates and related computing discipline graduates at Ethiopia's Wollo University will be able to access a six-month internship, where they will work on real-world software development projects with senior software engineers. It follows the launch by the Center for Global Health Equity (CGHE), and Microsoft 4Afrika of a new AppFactory Academy in Ethiopia. In a press release to Ventureburn, Microsoft 4Afrika said on completion of the internship graduates will be able to design, implement and deploy cloud-enabled, mobile and IT solutions in various sectors. They will also be equipped with critical business skills helping them to secure jobs or create their own businesses. This is the...

  • Ecobank challenge finalists announced

    Ecobank has announced the finalists in the Ecobank Fintech Challenge, a competition for African technology startups launched in January. The list includes 20 innovators from across the continent who will join the Ecobank Fintech Fellowship programme. An innovation fair and awards ceremony will be held on 21 June at Ecobank's headquarters in Lomé, Togo to honour the 20 startups selected. The 20 will also get the chance to exhibit and pitch their products to a jury which will select the top innovator and two runners-up. In addition to joining Ecobank's fellowship programme, the top three innovators will win cash prizes worth $10,000, $7,000, and $5,000...

  • Google Launchpad Accelerator announces six African startup for fourth class

    Four Nigerian startups and one each from Kenya and South Africa will join 27 other startups at the 4th class of Google's Launchpad Accelerator. The announcement was made yesterday by Google on the Google Developers Blog. It's the first time Google has opened the accelerator to startups from Africa and Europe. Read more: JUMO first SA startup to be selected for Google Launchpad Accelerator The six from Africa startups, which were among 33 startups chosen by Google, will attend a two-week bootcamp at Google’s headquarters in California from 17 to 28 July, and get six months ongoing support and mentorship and $50,000 in funding. The 33 startups also include six from India; four from Brazil;...

  • Architect of Kenya’s Silicon Savannah hits out at delays at Konza Techno City

    Progress on Kenya’s Konza Techno City, dubbed “Silicon Savannah”, has been too slow while insufficient budget has been allocated to complete the initiative, says Bitange Ndemo, the man who conceived Konza eight years ago. While construction started in November on the first building – an eight-storey unit to host techno city operations and house early investors and innovators -- Ndemo, (pictured above) associate professor at the University of Nairobi's Business School, is critical of delays. “It’s not very difficult to do it (set up a techno city) but from my own assessment they have taken too long,” says Ndemo, who is also a former ICT permanent...

  • Nigerian accelerator opens applications for residencies to female entrepreneurs

    Applications are now open for the 2017 She Leads Africa (SLA) accelerator, a three-month programme designed to identify, support and fund the next generation of Nigeria’s brightest female entrepreneurs. SLA’s 2017 accelerator will take place in four locations across Nigeria - Abuja, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, and Kaduna. The 2017 accelerator will consist of week-long residencies in the four locations where entrepreneurs will receive training from the SLA team and business leaders and experts. During the residencies, entrepreneurs will be guided on business strategy, growth, marketing, finance and distribution. They will also receive a host of on and offline training as well as an opportunity...

  • Investors are a driving force in shaping Africa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem

    If we look at the startup landscape in Africa (and read the press) it is clear that fintech is one of the fastest growing sectors on the continent. The African Tech Startups Funding Report, released in January by Disrupt Africa found that in 2016, 29.6% of startup investment in the region went to fintech companies. Read more: Report: African tech startups receive funding boost in 2016 This $55-million sum is a clear indication that there is energy and ambition among entrepreneurs and innovators for fintech -- and significant appetite from investors. However, fintech is only part of the picture. The entrepreneurial base has rapidly grown...

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