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Startup news

  • Meet the top 20 entrepreneurs at the Global Forum

    Recognizing entrepreneurs that are doing amazing work around the world is quite important and that's what the Global Forum on Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship is all about. This year's event is currently taking place in South Africa and touts itself as a "biennial flagship event convening the global innovation and entrepreneurship community to exchange know-how, establish partnerships and develop innovative approaches". It's hosted in partnership with the South African Department of Science...

  • Startups are gonna start: meet the Net Prophet 8

    As a startup journalist I am always looking for interesting startups to chat to. I want to write about them and tell you how they are going to save the world, or not. As part this year's Net Prophet event, an annual gathering of 2 000+ geeks and one of the bigger tech conferences on the South African calendar, the Silicon Cape Initiative decided to do give some startups a little press time. It's a pretty nifty idea: get a bunch of startups in a room with the media, let them pitch their ideas and hopefully get some exposure....

  • SleepOut raises $200 000 seed funding, launches online travel mag

    SleepOut - Kenya's leading online accommodation marketplace announced today that it has raised approximately US$200 000 in seed funding, intended to finance expansion across Africa and the Middle East. The site, which allows users to find, offer and book accommodation, launched its BETA site in June 2012. Leading the funding round for the Nairobi-based company was Africa Media Ventures Fund (AMVF) coming out of Amsterdam. Lot Carlier, Managing Partner at AMVF remarked, "We are truly excited to embark on this venture. As internet penetration and e-commerce increases on the continent a new consumer class is emerging and SleepOut is simply in...

  • Rocket Internet-backed Zalora lands 100-million big ones

    The Rocket Internet-backed Zalora startup recently secured US$100-million in funding through investors like Summit Partners, Investment AB Kinnevik, Verlinvest and the Tengelmann Group. Yes, that's right, US$100-million. This hefty investment marks one of the biggest startup investments in emerging South-East Asia. The massive confidence boost comes after the South-East Asian online fashion and beauty store managed to get its hands on US$26-million from German retail group, Tengelmann, a few months back. Zalora also received funding from JP Morgan last year. This means that whatever it's doing, it's working. The young, 2012-born e-tailer claims to be "Asia’s fastest-growing online fashion and beauty...

  • 88mph leverages BlackBox Connect to pull in serious and global entrepreneurs

    Seed accelerator 88mph isn't content just offering entrepreneurs funding and mentorship with its upcoming three-month acceleration programme in Nairobi. Now its sweetening the deal for startups who apply before 31 May with a chance to visit Silicon Valley for two weeks. One lucky startup will participate in the Blackbox Connect Summer 2013, a two-week "immersion" programme for founders based outside of the USA taking place from 15-26 July in Atherton, California. The programme is effectively an exchange: startups live and collaborate with other entrepreneurs from around the globe while based in the Atherton mansion. The two weeks will be chock full...

  • Launch48 Cape Town: 5 startups that could become real businesses?

    Can you come up with an idea, build a business and launch that business in 48 hours? That's what the folks at Launch48 try to do a monthly basis. Take a bunch of aspiring entrepreneurs, give them a space to work for 48 hours and see that they come up with. According to the initiative since its inception in 2009 "Launch48 has helped over 50 startups, with alumni going on to accelerators such as 500 Startups, Seedcamp, Springboard, and Oxygen Accelerator". "Launch48 is a valuable part of the startup eco-system and anyone interested in becoming an entrepreneur should look to...

  • PriceCheck takes top honours at BlackBerry awards

    PriceCheck has been awarded International App of the Year at BlackBerry Live, the annual international partner conference, in Orlando. The Naspers-owned price comparison app beat out more than 100 000 competitors to take the title. The awards (formerly the Wireless Achievement Awards), are reportedly intended to celebrate how BlackBerry technology helps to power innovation and brings ideas to life. “We are proud to have won this award after competing with so many great BlackBerry® 10 apps from around the world,” says PriceCheck GM, Andre de Wet. “This award proves that South Africa has world-class talent when it comes to mobile software...

  • Schoolboy startup incubator gets backing of Sage Pastel, Standard Bank

    This looks pretty cool. St Stithians Boys’ College, a top-end private school, has established a startup incubator programme for its pupils with the backing of accounting software company Sage Pastel and financial services giant Sanlam. The 10-week for Grade 10 Business Studies learners that will reportedly them formally register and operate real businesses, from the creation of business plans through funding, staffing, marketing and trading. The programme will be taught for four hours...

  • Dropifi becomes first African investment for Silicon Valley’s 500 Startups

    Dropifi, a smart widget that allows companies to better analyse incoming “contact us” messages, announced today that it has joined the sixth batch of companies to be taken up into the 500 Startups Accelerator Programme. As we noted last year, the team behind Dropifi are re-imagining one of the web’s oldest and most resolute elements, the “Contact us” form. The Dropifi solution consists of a website plug-in, optional QR code (for print-outs) and an...

  • GustPay wins South African leg of worldwide competition

    SeedStarsWorld is putting on the world's biggest startup competition. The event which touts itself as the an "exclusive worldwide competition", is held in 20 countries through 2013 to discover the best startups in emerging markets and regions with vibrant startup communities. The competition travels from country to country giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to gain a spot in the finals. The event format gives entrepreneur exactly six minutes to pitch their business idea in front of a jury made up of local and international judges. Winners are then chosen to compete in the global phase next year. The South African leg of...