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Startup news

  • LaunchCapeTown: Cape Town Entrepreneurial Competition — Day 1

    Memeburn was in the house for day one of the Cape Town Entrepreneurial Competition (CTEC), part of LaunchCapeTown, the event that brings together startups, entrepreneurs, and digital tastemakers. The morning started off with an opening address by Belinda Walker from the City of Cape Town. In her spirited talk, ten teams waiting to deliver their opening pitches listened intently as Walker stressed the the importance of entrepreneurship in job creation. She called Cape Town “a city of contrasts” and highlighted the 28% unemployment rate -- 40% if you include those who are not actively pursuing work. In order to avoid what...

  • Meet the ten finalists for the Cape Town Entrepreneurial Competition

    Last night, at LaunchCapeTown's TechBash opening ceremony, the ten finalists for the Cape Town Entrepreneurial Competition (CTEC) were announced. LaunchCapeTown is a five day event that brings together startups, entrepreneurs, and digital tastemakers. Five finalists were announced for two groups. The "idea stage" group -- businesses that are not trading yet -- and the "growth stage" group -- businesses that have been trading for less than two years or that have been trading for more than two years, with a new product or service or that need capital for expansion. The first round of the competition kicked off today and saw...

  • All aboard the StartupBus: The pressure cooker startup incubator on wheels

    Bottle the following ingredients: the electric buzz of a Red Bull fueled hackerspace, the interpersonal caterwauling of a reality show and pressure, loads of pressure. Now, let it loose on a bus travelling at 60 miles an hour and you get StartupBus. StartupBus has been around for over two years now and it continues to bring together intrepid tech entrepreneurs, designers and developers who present ideas and develop working prototypes while in transit. Buses carrying these enterprising tech geeks meander towards a final destination, at which time a judging ceremony is held, recognising the best prototype. This all happens in...

  • AngelHub uncorks a heady bottle of Real Time Wine

    Last month, Memeburn got the scoop on AngelHub’s latest investment, Real Time Wine, the no bullshit 140-character social wine review site. Real Time Wine recently disclosed some more information about the deal. AngelHub’s investment in Real Time Wine is the angel investment group’s second paid out deal in six months and it concludes Real Time Wine’s first round of successful fundraising. Real Time Wine secured private angel funding from angel investors such as Michael Jordaan, owner of Bartinney Wines and Mike Ratcliffe, managing director at Warwick Wine Estate. As AngelHub offer expertise, networks and mentorship in addition to...

  • MIH launches new online shop creator on WordPress

    This has the potential to be big. It’s a new eCommerce tool that allows users to “create an online shop in minutes”. The new service, called QikCommerce, is a joint venture between MIH -- the investment arm of US$18-billion emerging markets internet giant Naspers -- and a small WordPress theme building company Obox. Obox has also been credited with building official themes for Posterous. It’s fairly natural then that QikCommerce should run off a WordPress platform, although the team behind it claims it has been “tweaked and manipulated to present a customer experience that is unlike any...

  • Attention entrepreneurs, diarise this: LaunchCapeTown

    If you’re an entrepreneur looking to network, polish your elevator pitch, hone your product or simply learn from big names in the tech industry, diarise LaunchCapeTown, the five day event that starts on 23 March in Cape Town, South Africa and brings together startups, entrepreneurs, and digital tastemakers. The event includes the Cape Town Entrepreneurial Competition (CTEC), as well as startup-related speakers, get-togethers, mentoring sessions and keynotes from big name speakers such as Nimeshh Patel, COO of AOL Europe. Attendees will be able to mix with "trailblazers", media representatives, as well as digital creatives from the interactive industry. The competition...

  • Fabhunter: The new visual bookmarking startup with big dreams

    Tastemakers. Trendsetters. Fashionistas. Fabhunter aims to become a nexus where these fashion aficionados collide. Launched in January of this year, Fabhunter is a new “social fashion discovery engine” that relies on user generated content to facilitate fashion discovery and trend forecasting. As a collective, Fabhunter aims to become a harbinger for fashion trends, but also a platform where individuals can become tastemakers by showcasing their fashion sense and intuition about trends through visual bookmarking. Fabhunter is self-funded and was founded by Werner Geyser who previously served as the business development manager at World of Avatar, the South African VC-incubator hybrid that...

  • ZunguZ wants to turn Facebook into a bank

    Facebook’s great for a lot of things. Keeping up to date with friends, promoting your brand, and organising your social diary are just some of the things you can do on the world’s social network. But what if you need to pay someone you know on Facebook? Surely you’d have to at least have their banking or PayPal details right? That might have been true in the past, but a company called...

  • Yola boss Vinny Lingham steps down to launch new startup

    Well-known Silicon Valley-based South African web entrepreneur Vinny Lingham has resigned as the CEO of Yola, the internet startup he founded about five years ago, to launch a new venture. The new venture -- Gyft -- promises "to change the way you think about gift cards". It plans to launch in May this year and is offering an early sign up for members. There is no indication of who is backing the venture (but Memeburn will find this out soon). Yola says that Lingham will retain his board seat and shares at the company and will "continue to provide vision and...

  • How Dollar Shave Club used its viral video to attract investors

    Dollar Shave Club’s debut video is cool. Scratch that. It is damn cool. It might even have convinced a few people to buy the product. Here’s the thing; it’s also been attracting investors. In fact, it was doing so long before it was convincing us to stop giving most of the money we spend on razors to Roger Federer. According to Mashable, CEO Michael Dubin -- who’s also the star of the video --...