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Startup news

  • Google announces Umbono winners

    Google’s startup incubator, Umbono, has officially launched with the announcement of its first set of winning teams. The pilot programme based in Cape Town, South Africa presented the teams in their new office space at an event on 1 November. The programme, a Google first worldwide, is being tested in Cape Town, South Africa which was chosen because Google believes the city is in “the process of positioning itself as a hub for innovation and technology”. Google's vice president of engineering, Nelson Mattos said that the Umbono project is part of Google's effort to grow its ecosystem in Africa. "We...

  • ‘Artists helping artists’ with Headliner.fm

    Queen once sang, "I want to break free". They might easily have been talking about recording artists breaking free from the shackles of the traditional music business model. Headliner.FM embraces this and wants to "spread the music", helping artists to connect with their fan base. Facebook and Twitter users are invited to the party to swap music recommendations based on personal choice and the option of raising awareness for one of the 110 000...

  • FeedbackRocket, a ‘360 degree’ employer feedback tool

    If buzzwords like "360 degree feedback" and "anonymised responses" rev your engine, then FeedbackRocket.com will fuel the fire inside of you. FeedbackRocket is anonymous employee-to-employer feedback technology, used simply and effectively to communicate issues to relevant managers at work. Or as Dr. Gavin Symanowitz, the founder of FeedbackRocket puts it, "It enables important work-place conversations that would never happen face-to-face. It opens up the lines of communication between managers and employees in a powerful new way". Launched in June 2011, this self-funded Johannesburg-based company was the sole concept of Symanowitz, qualified actuary and previous strategic head of a major South African...

  • Eight startups that promise to Ignite

    Tech4Africa, a prominent web and emerging technology conference, has announced the eight finalists for its "Samsung Ignite" startup initiative. The startups provide a diverse range of services, covering everything from real-time wine buying assistance to automised billing. Ignite aims to showcase and foster local technology development and is inspired by similar competitions at internationally renowned conferences like South by South West and TechCrunch Disrupt. The eight finalists will have the opportunity to...

  • Ziliot.com — making social B2B simple

    How often do you consider your business relationships in the social realm? Did you ever realise how powerful its influence can be in developing your company? Social startup Ziliot.com wants to harness the power of social networking, to "bridge the business trust and information gap between developed countries and developing countries". Memeburn spoke to Aniekan Okono, the 30 year-old Founder of Ziliot. Okono runs the company from Finland with his business partner, Tuan...

  • Moneysmart – a better way to manage your money

    Zulfiq Isaacs and Tobie van Zyl want to help you to understand your money better. Moneysmart, their startup, is a user-friendly financial management platform. Users aggregate their banking information into a single place, outlining budgets and setting goals. For those who were once scared of their finances, the enthusiastic founders reckon Moneysmart will put the control back into your hands and help you to "reach your financial dreams". I visited the Moneysmart offices in Gardens, Cape Town. Their workplace is akin to a renovated iStore, starkly white and divided into rows of gleaming laptops. From here, we travelled to...

  • Bozza: A mobile startup aimed at township mobihoods

    Bozza plans to add the phrase "mobihood" to our lexicon. The new startup, funded by Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa (HP Ventures) is a mobile social networking service aimed at township users. Its primary focus is to give a voice to the Pan-African market. HP Ventures is a €29-million (about US$40-million) venture capital fund based in South Africa. The intention of the fund, it claims, is to "invest in promising innovative technology companies,...

  • Kwiksta causes a stir in online education

    Kwiksta is an online education platform that aims to empower teachers to share their knowledge and earn money, while giving students the opportunity to learn from a global community of educators. The product is the brainchild of the Paddock brothers who created GetSmarter. The acronym "kwik" stands for "know what I know". A kwik is made up of multiple modules, and modules are in turn made up of multiple learning resources. Modules are completed by the students in a linear order, as set by the teacher. Courses, or "Kwiks" are broken out into two types: content only or interactive,...

  • Qooh.me: ‘A carnival fun ride of questions’

    Ever wanted to know something about your friends or someone you know but were too afraid to ask? Wish there was an app for that? There probably is, but there is a also a web-service. Enter Qooh.me, the apparent answer to your problem. Qooh.me is a "web application that allows you to ask your friends or people you find interesting open and anonymous questions in order to get to know them better," says creator, Vincent Mabuza. The service essentially takes users back to the rudimentary processes of anonymous, online interaction. It is a bit of a throwback to the days...

  • Idea Bounty: Turning crowdsourcing into cash

    How could you get paid to add to the crowdsourcing debate? It's simple, according to Daniel Neville, Brand Co-ordinator at Idea Bounty. Just do it. Idea Bounty is a global crowdsourcing platform connecting clients with thousands of creatives around the world in order to help "solve marketing and communications briefs and challenges", says the company. Clients pay for only the ideas they use and creatives receive a "bounty" for winning submissions. It's an idea clearly seeking to cash in on the crowdsourcing phenomenon, one that until now has been associated with profit in the popular imagination. Nic Ray and Rob...

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