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Startup news

  • Wits Campus Personal Navigator Challenge now open

    The Wits Campus Personal Navigator Challenge is now accepting applications for the first of an annual series of four challenges. It is lead by the Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) with sponsorship from the Carl and Emily Fuchs Foundation (CEFF). The Personal Navigator Challenge will focus on ways to help students with visual and physical disabilities move around their campuses. Those entering will also be assisted in transforming their idea into a viable startup. It will have approximately over 100 entrants benefitting from further training as well as the opportunity to participate in a weekend-long hackathon. The top 10 participants will receive a three-month membership in the Tshimologong...

  • Gambian Youth Empowerment project to tackle youth unemployment

    The European Union (EU), the International Trade Centre (ITC), and the Gambian government, have teamed up to launch an initiative to combat youth unemployment in Gambia. The Gambian Youth Empowerment project is a four-year initiative that benefits from €11-million from the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. The programme will aim to support the local Gambian economy by firstly enhancing the self-employment opportunities for youth through vocational training, as well as the creation of SMEs. Secondly, the programme will create and improve opportunities for employment within various sectors through value addition and internationalisation. The Gambian Youth Empowerment programme aims on providing youth with opportunities within...

  • University of Johannesburg to debut its own business incubator

    The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has announced a new incubator which will aim to empower its students and create thousands of youth-driven businesses within the tech sector. The programme was established in partnership with the Finnish University of Applied Science, Laurea. The university based in the Uusimaa region of Finland is known for boosting entrepreneurship among the youth through their EER entrepreneurial ecosystem programme. "We want to see our students and other young people start businesses valuable to the economy. We want them to create jobs and grow local economies rather than to be looking for employment," said UJ's VC, Ihron Rensburg. "Obviously...

  • SA sports scale-up achieves self-exit from VC

    A scale-up developer of ball tracking in sports, FlightScope, has bought itself out from its VC partner. In 2006, HBD Venture Capital, which is owned by Mark Shuttleworth and managed by VC firm Knife Capital, became a funding partner for the company. "We saw tremendous potential in applying world-class technology to bridge the gap between the passion and science of sports," said CEO of Knife Capital Eben van Heerden in a press release to Ventureburn. When Ventureburn asked a Knife Capital representative about the deal, they said the amount of the exit could not be disclosed, though they did receive a desired ROI. A clause...

  • BitPesa closes Series A round to value of $2.5-million

    On 30 January, payments platform, BitPesa announced the completion of a Series A round of funding to the value of US$2.5-million. The Series A funding round was led by the US-based Draper VC along with the participation from a new shareholder, Greycroft Partners. Other participants in the funding round consisted of existing investors, Digital Currency Group, Pantera Capital Management, BnkToTheFuture, FuturePerfectVC as well as Blockchain Capital and Zephyr Acorn. "We are delighted to welcome our new investors, all who have a deep knowledge of our region and an expertise in the payment sector," said CEO of Bitpesa, Elizabeth Rossiello, when speaking on the funding round...

  • The Innotribe Startup Challenge comes to Africa, applications open

    SWIFT's Innotribe Startup Challenge will be returning to African shores on 16 to 18 May. It will be held at the African Regional Conference (ARC), which will take place in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Innotribe will select 10 startups to take part in their programme. Along with the opportunity to showcase their innovative solutions and products during ARC, the startups will also receive coaching and mentoring prior to the event. Working together with VCs, industry experts, angel investors, and banking representatives, Innotribe will be relying on their proficiency to help select the startups. During the presentations, the audience will nominate three finalists, automatically...

  • 18 African startups to pitch at the Seedstars Global Summit

    Out of the hundreds of African startups that pitched for their spot at the Seedstars Global Summit, only 18 have made the cut. Partnering with VC4A to attract and monitor eligible startups across Africa, the 18 winners go on to pitch in front of an international crowd at the summit in April this year. "We couldn’t be more excited for these entrepreneurs and want this event to play a part in accelerating a pan-African innovation ecosystem and entrepreneurship community," Seedstars World stated in a press release. 18 African startups were selected to pitch at the Seedstars Global Summit The 18 startups, along with others...

  • Applications open for Global Entrepreneurship Network digital pitch competition

    The Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) has invited African entrepreneurs to enter their digital pitching competition. Those selected will be given an opportunity to pitch before potential investors and other entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs are encouraged to submit a three-minute video on the GEN SA Facebook page which shows off their innovative product or service. Their idea can either be in the operational phase or the prototype stage. Entries for the competition are currently open and will close on 5 February 2017. The submitted pitching videos will be open to a public vote before the final selection of entrepreneurs is made. Once the final five are...

  • Gutsy Green: SA startup to make cooking easy

    Having to decide what you're having for supper after a long day at work is an absolute pain. With the majority of people not being professional chefs, going through the hassle of choosing a nice restaurant and then gawking at the bill afterwards is an expensive endeavour. While the South African startup tech scene sees numerous fintech, edtech, and agritech companies launching each year, it's not often we see companies based around food. Popping up this month, Gutsy Green is a startup that's aiming to help SA families and couples cook pre-planned restaurant-style food. Ventureburn had a chance to speak to one...

  • SA contestants chosen for semifinals of Mozilla Equal Rating Innovation Challenge

    Two South Africans, Tim Human and Dr Carlos Rey-Moreno, have been chosen to represent the nation at the Mozilla Equal Rating Innovation Challenge semifinal. Founder of RLabs, Marlon Parker, commented on the emerging trends across the semifinalists as well as his role as a judge. "Not giving people access to information creates a socio-economic divide, not just a digital divide. Every person on the planet needs to have hope, which is what the internet is for," said Parker in a press release to Ventureburn."It gives you information, it gives you a choice, it gives you an option. This is why I wanted to...