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Startup news

  • Vehicle Energy Harvesting System inventor wins SA Chivas Venture IV

    Engineer and inventor Clement Mokoenene on Friday (9 February) won the South African leg of the Chivas Venture IV competition, walking away with R350 000. A judging panel consisting of Lucas Radebe, Unathi Msengana and Stafford Masie selected Mokoenene ahead of four other social entrepreneurs for his electricity generation solution, the Vehicle Energy Harvesting System (VEHS). The winner will now attend a week-long accelerator programme at Oxford University. Thereafter, in May, he will represent South Africa at the global finale of the Chivas Venture 2018 in Amsterdam, where he will compete against 28 other entrants for a share of US$1-million. Read more: Meet the five...

  • Here’s why Kenyan startup BitPesa bought Spanish remittance platform

    Nairobi-based fintech startup BitPesa has acquired a Spanish international money transfer service TransferZero. The blockchain payments platform made the announcement on its Twitter account last week Thursday (8 February), a day after BitPesa CEO Elizabeth Rossiello spoke about the acquisition in New York at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit: Crypto. The deal will see TransferZero -- which handles international remittances, payments and collections in more than 200 countries -- retain its name and continue to operate in Spain. Focus on building infrastructure across Europe and Africa Rossiello said setting up such infrastructure across Europe and Africa has "always been a focus of ours" and...

  • Silicon Cape: Ellen Fischat and Alexandra Fraser resign

    Ellen Fischat has stepped down as managing director of Silicon Cape, while another long standing member of the organisation's leadership team, director and board member Alexandra Fraser has also resigned. Fraser said the two resignations are unrelated. In a phone call earlier today, Fischat (pictured above) confirmed that she had resigned from the organisation on Monday (5 February). She said she had taken the decision to pursue "a few other opportunities" and that she would be staying in the local tech innovation space. Fischat joined the organisation in May last year, becoming Silicon Cape's first permanent managing director. Read more: New Silicon Cape head pledges to make sector’s...

  • Endeavor continues expansion in Sub-Saharan Africa as it launches in Nigeria

    Endeavor, a non-profit organisation that supports high-impact entrepreneurs around the world, has launched a new office in Lagos, Nigeria. The organisation announced the launch on Wednesday (7 February) in a statement on its website. Through a partnership with non-profit Omidyar Network, Endeavor Nigeria will aim to support entrepreneurs that have passed the initial startup phase and have potential to scale. The board of Endeavor's Nigeria office includes IBTC Bank founder Atedo Peterside (who will serve as chairman), and Chapel Hill Denham CEO and Nigeria Infrastructure Development Fund CIO Bolaji Balogun (who will be the office's vice-chairman). Eloho Omame will lead Endeavor Nigeria as...

  • Startupbootcamp to kick off global FastTrack World Tour in Cape Town

    Innovation accelerator Startupbootcamp Cape Town will kick off the 2018 Startupbootcamp (SBC) FastTrack World Tour in Cape Town on 19 February and has opened applications to join the event. The global accelerator conducts the annual tours as a way to scout for top-tier startups from around the world. During the informal events, SBC teams, mentors and sponsors meet early-stage companies interested in joining the accelerator's 2018 programme. The FastTrack world tour, comprised of 19 FastTracks, will be held between February and May. Startups that attend a FastTrack World Tour event have a 20% likelihood of getting invited to the final selection day The Cape Town...

  • Sanofi In Africa Challenges: Global pharma calls for African health solutions

    Global pharmaceutical company Sanofi is calling on African innovators within the medical and healthcare sectors to enter the Sanofi In Africa Challenges. The Sanofi in Africa Challenges -- of which there are three -- aim to identify, reward and support startups with innovative and adaptive solutions with the potential to disrupt Africa's health sector. The first focuses on solutions that can diagnose non-communicable diseases. The second challenge focuses on telemedicine solutions with mobile payment integration. While the third centers around multi-device and multi-channel solutions that can both educate and inform health professionals on non-communicable diseases. Applications to the Sanofi in Africa Challenges close on 15...

  • Here’s how 2 Kenyan startups raised a combined $3.2m in funding this week

    Update : Sky.Garden CEO and co-founder Daniel Maison told Ventureburn that the company intends to start its regional expansion by launching into Kampala, Uganda by next year. Maison said the company will use the capital it secured to develop its platform through enhanced artificial intelligence engines, integration with AdTech platforms as well as to scale Sky.Garden's sales and marketing efforts. Prior to the funding round, Sky.Garden received $100 000 in startup capital from Oslo-based The Katapult Accelerator. In the six month's since it launched, the startup has had over 10 000 orders placed on the platform. Maison said the company currently has over...

  • I’M IN Accelerator aiming for an all-women cohort before the end of the year

    I'M IN Accelerator has revealed that it intends to run an all-women cohort this year. The Johannesburg-based accelerator, launched last year by IDF Capital and aimed at high-growth black tech startups, is currently in the middle of its inaugural cohort, which is set to conclude the first phase of acceleration later this month. IDF Capital executive director Polo Leteka said yesterday that the all-female cohort is "the programme's biggest plan for 2018". "In our experience we have not seen a lot of females playing in this space because of the lack of targeted programmes to empower and grow them, amongst other reasons. We have...

  • Team behind water saving solution wins special prize at blockchain hackathon

    SudoTesla has been announced as one of the winners at the Unlock the Block blockchain Hackathon at an awards ceremony in Cape Town last week Thursday (1 February). The team developed a system which transfers water tokens via the Ethereum network to smart meters, compensating users for water they save. SudoTesla won a month-long residency at the Absa Rise facility at the Woodstock Exchange, where it is expected to further develop the project. The hackathon, which was hosted by Linum Labs and the African Institute of Financial Markets and Risk Management (AIFMRM), last week culminated in a Blockchain Symposium which was attended by...

  • Nigerian tech startup sector still up against challenges, say commentators

    A few years ago, when startup founders and tech stakeholders were asked what was still missing in Nigeria’s tech ecosystem, they often began by detailing the lack of funds and government support. But as direct and indirect foreign investments have rolled in and business competitions have become available in addition to numerous accelerator programmes, attention has shifted away from the difficulties of securing funding. Like this it has become difficult to get a consensus on what the tech industry still needs. Over the years players in the ecosystem have also begun to envision a tech sector that is not dictated, directed nor championed by the government. Instead, they’ve...