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Startup news

  • StartupBus Africa gets 40 entrepreneurs to pitch in front of Richard Branson

    Today StartupBus Africa announced that it will be home to 15 international and 15 African entrepreneurs who have been chosen out of a total of 200 applicants (from 23 countries), and will be accompanied by 10 mentors while on the trip. After visiting tech hubs across Southern Africa, the entrepreneurs will present their final pitch in front of Richard Branson via a Google Hangout. The trip will take the startups from Harare to Cape Town stopping off at various popular hubs from 17 to 21 November. StartupBus was founded in 2005 and this is its first time in Africa. StartupBus Africa's...

  • GoMetro is VentureOut Challenge finalist, will pitch for $10k from infoDev

    South African mobile startup GoMetro has been selected as a Global Finalist in the VentureOut Challenge -- an initiative of infoDev, a global partnership programme within The World Bank Group. GoMetro's transit app, which provides contextual public transport information directly to commuters' mobile phones will compete against 12 other mobile apps from around the world, in front of a live audience and a panel of experts, in Chisinau, Moldova on 1 November. The VentureOut initiative was launched to help mobile entrepreneurs expand internationally, and received over 110 entries from around the world. GoMetro is the only South African in the...

  • Man versus machine: virtual real estate agent Property Switch bets on tech

    Selling your house in the 21st Century has come a long way. Days where your only options were to go with an agency or fly solo are long gone, and yet entrepreneurs are still finding room for innovation. Property Switch, is the latest in a new breed of startups locked on disrupting markets with the help of technological innovation. The startup, headquartered in Waterfall, Durban, is a virtual real estate agency -- for the most part. Property Switch's managing director, Graeme Tennant, and operations director, Jan Claasen, say their venture provides sellers with a full online estate agency service, while...

  • FindMyWay brings public transport info to SA commuters’ mobile phones

    In developing countries such as South Africa, public transport, despite being used by large portions of the population, often has a disconnect between important information, such as routes, times, delays et al, and it being readily available to commuters. Add to this problem the reach that mobile phones have in developing countries, and startups have the ingredients to create value through smart technological systems. One such startup, WhereIsMyTransport, has combined these ingredients and created a social transport information portal called FindMyWay, that delivers public transport information (including cost of trips) to commuters via their mobile phones -- all for free. Following...

  • Publishing startup Paperight claims two prestigious awards in one week

    Paperight, a Cape Town-based Shuttleworth Foundation-funded company, has picked up a couple of awards last week. It was named one of the most innovative companies in South Africa, while also winning first place at the international Contec Startup Showcase in Germany. In Germany, the Contec Startup Showcase saw Paperight beat five other international finalist competitors as it impressed the judges with its technological innovations and the social mission to greatly increase access to books in South Africa and other developing nations. “It’s been an extraordinary week, as well as an incredible and humbling vindication of our work,” said Paperight Founder...

  • Startup Knight: would you sell your idea for R100 000?

    If you're heading up a concept or startup stage venture, you might find Startup Knight worth your time. The Cape Town-based competition slash mini-accelerator, is prepared to buy your innovative, concept phase idea for R100 000. More mature or "startup phase" companies can walk away with an acceleration bundle: a R100 000 development contract and an additional and R100 000 marketing prize. The competition, run by software company Byte Orbit, is coming back for round two. The inaugural version of Startup Knight produced one winner, Easy2Map, a map applications startup, that went on to secure additional funding from Google for...

  • Canada looking to entice SA entrepreneurs with startup visa

    If for whatever reason, you're sick of the South African startup scene (maybe being able to see Table Mountain from your office window just doesn't do it for you any more), you might find this intriguing. Canada is actively recruiting foreign entrepreneurs with a startup visa programme. Introduced by the Canadian government, the programme is meant to assist qualified entrepreneurs interested in relocating to Canada. According Canadian Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, the visa is part of Canada's plans to show that it is open for business to the world’s start-up entrepreneurs. “Innovation and entrepreneurship are essential drivers of our economy....

  • Gyft raises $5m in Series A, investors include Ashton Kutcher’s VC fund

    Gyft, the digital gift card platform that enables consumers to buy, send, manage and redeem gift cards via their mobile devices, has announced today that it has raised additional capital from new investors. Those investors are A-Grade Investments, The Social+Capital Partnership, Karlin Ventures, Haas Portman and angel investor and CEO of Yammer, David O. Sacks. This comes in the wake of last year's seed round the company received from Google Ventures, Founder Collective and 500 Startups at TechCrunch Disrupt 2012. The Gyft platform leverages the existing gift card market by digitising existing "plastic gift cards" and digitised cards, giving...

  • Packed full of startups: StartupBus is headed to Africa for the first time

    Africa is finally getting its own StartupBus experience. StartupBus is a voluntarily run program by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. A group of entrepreneurs get on a bus and drive across a specific region, let the ideas flow and hopefully someone will come up with a viable business. Already a well established event in the United States and Europe, the event usually partners with big tech events to give the entrepreneurs an end point. The first StartupBus for the African continent will begin its tour on the 17 November in Zimbabwe and end its tour on 21 November in Cape Town, South...

  • Social travel network WAYN marks 22-million registered travellers

    When you are an online social network dedicated to travel in an economy that doesn't really support gallivanting around the world, milestones matter. For travel and lifestyle social network, WAYN, that milestone is 22-million registered users. The social network that boasts to be "the world’s largest travel and lifestyle social network", announced today that it reached new heights with membership now over 22-million people worldwide. The site currently sees around 5 000 new registered users daily with more than 21-million visitors in the last 60 days alone. WAYN: an acronym for Where Are You Now, describes itself as...

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