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Startup news

  • Debate rages over whether VC investors biased towards expat-founded startups

    Concern is brewing over the large number of venture capital (VC) deals in East Africa involving expat founders -- with both local and foreign entrepreneurs in the region weighing in in recent months over whether venture capitalists have a clear bias towards investing in tech startups that count foreigners among their founders. In all four of the five VC deals Ventureburn has reported on in East Africa so far this year have involved startups founded by expats -- with the latest being Sokowatch's $2-million deal involving 4Dx Ventures (the founders are pictured above -- see the story here). Earlier this year, Kenyan tech site...

  • Nedbank, Plug and Play to host The Disruption Agenda in Joburg

    SA bank Nedbank is partnering with Silicon Valley accelerator Plug and Play to bring 10 international startups to an event in South Africa next month to connect with major companies and business leaders. In an announcement yesterday, Nedbank said the event, The Disruption Agenda will be held in Johannesburg. The 10 companies are all graduates of the Plug and Play accelerator platform and were identified as relevant disruptors to solving cross-sector business challenges at a corporate level within the local market. Mika Stanvliet, a PR representative for Plug and Play and Nedbank, said she could not divulge the names of the 10 startups without getting their pre-approval first. While The Disruption Agenda will be a...

  • Egyptian fintechs score with sandbox after AUC Venture Lab, Temenos deal

    Fintech startups in Egypt will be able to test their new products and services in a sandbox, following an announcement today that university accelerator AUC Venture Lab will collaborate with banking software company Temenos. The deal was announced in a press release today by Geneva-based Temenos and AUC Venture Lab, which is located at The American University in Cairo . Among other things, the agreement will see Temenos provide a sandbox service to the startups that utilise the accelerator. Over the past five years the AUC Venture Lab has accelerated 115 startups. The sandbox is a non-production cloud-based version of the Temenos T24 core banking system. It will enable startups to...

  • Three tech startups tapped for inaugural Savca Industry Awards

    Three SA tech startups -- fintech i-Pay, on demand cleaning platform SweepSouth, and meal delivery site Ucook -- are among nine companies that have been shortlisted for the inaugura Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (Savca) Industry Awards. The nominees were announced today (10 August) in a press release by Savca, in partnership with banking and asset managing group Investec. The awards, which recognise portfolio companies that have thrived from private equity and venture capital investment in the region, will take place on 8 November. The shortlisted companies range from startups to large companies, and represent various sizes of private equity and venture capital investments. To be nominated for the Savca Industry...

  • Startup Guide calls on those in Cape Town to be part of new guide

    Startup Guide, a publishing company, has launched a call for entrepreneurs and those that are part of the Cape Town entrepreneurship ecosystem to nominate themselves to be featured in Startup Guide Cape Town. Nominations close on 20 August. The call was launched earlier this week. Startup Guide, which was founded in 2014 by Danish entrepreneur Sissel Hansen, calls it the "first-ever entrepreneurial handbook dedicated to Cape Town’s startup scene". The guide will be sponsored by SAP Next-Gen. Startup Guide produces guidebooks and tools to help entrepreneurs navigate and connect with different startup scenes across the globe. Thus far it has produced guides for 18 different cities in Europe and the Middle...

  • Skynamo’s Sam Clarke selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur

    Sam Clarke, the CEO of Stellenbosch based field sales management software company Skynamo is the latest South African to be selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur. Clarke was part of 17 entrepreneurs leading 11 companies from seven countries that were selected by Endeavor at their latest International Selection Panel (ISP), held in Detroit in the US from last Monday to Wednesday (30 July to 1 August). In a press release earlier this week, Clarke said being selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur had been a "profoundly rewarding experience" for him and his team. “The journey started 16 months ago when we failed to get through the local Endeavor selection process...

  • Jack Ma challenges Africans to seize opportunities, announces $10m prize

    Jack Ma, the Alibaba Group founder and UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) special envoy, today challenged African entrepreneurs to seize the opportunities presented to them. Ma, who is on his second trip to Africa, was speaking at a special event organised by the Alibaba Business School, Unctad and the Jack Ma Foundation where he announced a new $10-million prize to support African entrepreneurs (see more here). Ma described African entrepreneurs as being "first class" and said although the continent has plenty of problems, it is also "full of opportunities". He called on innovators to look at challenges like lack of infrastructure and poor logistics...

  • Here’s all you need to know about Jack Ma’s Africa Netpreneur Prize

    Alibaba Group founder and executive chairman Jack Ma today (8 August) announced the launch of the Africa Netpreneur Prize which he said was "just the beginning, and a test". Here's all you need to know about it. The prize will support and support and fund African entrepreneurs who are working to address Africa’s most important challenges and further its digital economy through local entrepreneurship. He detailed the prize at a special event held today in Johannesburg and organised by the Alibaba Business School, Unctad and the Jack Ma Foundation. Read more: Jack Ma challenges Africans to seize opportunities, announces $10m prize The prize -- which will focus on...

  • URGENT: Jack Ma speech to be streamed live from 1pm Central African Time

    Want to hear entrepreneur Jack Ma speak? Here's your chance to hear the Alibaba Group founder speak -- today. Ma is due to address an event that takes place today in Joburg. His speech at the event -- Netpreneurs: The Rise of Africa’s Digital Lions -- will be streamed live on YouTube from 1pm Cenral African Time. The four-hour event, which is an initiative of the Alibaba Business School, Unctad and the Jack Ma Foundation, will be held at the Linder Auditorium located at Wits Parktown Education Campus. Yesterday (7 August), Unctad announced in a post on its Facebook page that the event will be streamed here. Jack Ma will launch a prize and...

  • Here are the finalists of $100k Zambezi Prize for Innovation in Financial Inclusion

    The Massachusetts Institute of Technology's (MIT) Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship together with the Mastercard Foundation has announced the 10 African startups selected as finalists for this year's edition of the Zambezi Prize for Innovation In Financial Inclusion. The aim of the competition, which was established in 2015, to discover early-stage African fintech startups that are involved in promoting and championing innovation in financial inclusion on the continent. In all a collective $200 000 will be handed out in prize money. In a statement today (8 August) announcing the selected startups, MIT Legatum Centre executive director Georgina Campbell Flatter said the finalists represent some of the world’s "most innovative change...