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Startup news

  • New incubator Tuksnovation to help commercialise IP at University of Pretoria

    South Africa’s challenges must not be seen as problems but as opportunities for young entrepreneurs, says Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) CEO Mandisa Tshikwatamba. “There are many other challenges that confront the country, which require technological and digital intervention, and in the process, create sustainable enterprises capable of helping the country to tackle our high unemployment rate,” Tshikwatamba said. Addressing the launch of the TuksNovation High-Tech Business Incubator at the University of Pretoria, she said for enterprises to stay relevant, they must set their innovation bar higher. Established in partnership with Seda and the University of Pretoria, TuksNovation is aimed at providing...

  • Luno looking to hire 40 new staff at Cape office amid tech investment boom in city

    Amid a tech boom in Cape Town, SA bitcoin exchange Luno has gone on a hiring spree. The startup is looking to fill 40 new positions for the company's Cape Town office (see here), currently advertised on LinkedIn. These include among others, positions for software engineers, business analysts, fraud analysts, data scientist and tax analyst. The startup is also looking to fill four positions in Johannesburg. Luno founder Marcus Swanepoel said the startup -- which is headquartered in London with teams based in several cities across the world -- is likely to hire another 50 to 100 people in South Africa over the next nine to 12 months. “Yes...

  • Jack Ma to attend Unctad, Alibaba Group event on digital economy in Joburg

    Jack Ma, the Alibaba Group founder and UN Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad) special advisor, is set to speak at an event on the digital economy next week Wednesday (8 August) in Johannesburg. The event -- titled Netrepreneurs: The Rise of Africa's Digital Lions -- is jointly organised by Alibaba Business School, Unctad and the Jack Ma Foundation. It will be held at the Linder Auditorium. Those looking to attend the event can register here, or catch the live stream from 1pm Central African Time. At the even Ma, who advises Unctad on youth entrepreneurship and small businesses, is expected to announce the launch of the Jack Ma Africa Netrepreneur...

  • Microsoft funds three African startups to boost rural internet access

    Tech giant Microsoft has, through its Airband Grant Fund, invested an undisclosed amount in three startups to provide internet access and cloud-enabled solutions to underserved African communities. The three startup are: Mesh Power and ColdHubs which hail from Rwanda and Nigeria, respectively, and Agsol -- which is registered in Hong Kong and Australia -- has operations in Kenya. The three were part of eight startups from the US, Africa and Asia that the company announced it had invested in yesterday. In a blog post on Wednesday (1 August), Microsoft head of technology and corporate responsibility Shelley McKinley said the eight startups are helping to...

  • Silicon Cape launches new membership model, strategy

    Cape Town based tech initiative Silicon Cape has launched its new strategic plan, as well as a new membership model. The organisation, which aims to support the Western Cape tech community, launched the new membership model and strategic plan at an event on Monday (30 July) in Cape Town. The new strategy aims to connect stakeholders, amplify stories of the continent's tech innovators, advocate on behalf of the ecosystem, build networks for student entrepreneurs and build connections with other hubs across the continent. Silicon Cape's new membership model offers different paid-for plans, which start at R500 Silicon Cape's new membership model offers different paid-for plans. These...

  • SA drone startup Aerobotics launches bid to take on US market

    SA aerial data-analytics startup Aerobotics has hired a US representative and plans to expand into the US market, with a team from the startup set to embark on a sales visit to the US tomorrow (3 August). It follows the announcement the Cape Town based startup made last month that it had closed a Series-A funding round led by local bank Nedbank for an undisclosed amount (see this earlier story). Aerobotics co-founder James Paterson -- who founded the startup in 2014 with Benji Meltzer -- revealed the developments at a sales demo yesterday at Boshkloof Wine Estate near Stellenbosch. The demo was aimed at presenting the product...

  • Andela’s VP global operations on why Kigali is strategic location for tech hub

    US software training organisation Andela is betting on East Africa as a strategic location from which to recruit and train software developers for top employers around the world. And the organisation's vice president for global operations -- Seni Sulyman -- believes the region has a supply of "amazing" tech talent and potential for growth. "Over the years, Kenya’s Silicon Savannah has had a tremendous impact on the region in terms of developing a strong tech scene that has seen a proliferation of talent and innovative startups," Sulyman told Ventureburn in an email last Wednesday (29 July). Andela's Kigali hub is set to open this December The effects of this...

  • Cape Town’s IT sector more than double that of Lagos, Nairobi combined – report

    A new report has found that the greater Cape Town area, including Stellenbosch, employs more than double the number of people that Lagos and Nairobi do combined -- with 450 to 550 entrepreneurial companies employing between 40 000 to 50 000 people in the city. In comparison, the Lagos and Nairobi tech sectors employs 9000 and 7000 people respectively -- while a promising three percent of Cape companies have reached scale (over 100 employees), comparable to Nairobi’s one percent and two percent in Lagos. The report, commissioned by the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi), Wesgro, and the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation -- with the...

  • AlphaCode calls on black-owned fintech startups to apply to programme

    Fintech incubator AlphaCode is on the hunt for black-owned fintech startups, as well as innovators with ideas that could change the face of financial services to apply to join its AlphaCode Incubate programme. The Joburg-based organisation provides incubation, accelerations and investment vehicle for financial services businesses. The first round of applications for the programme -- which seeks to identify and reward high potential, innovative entrepreneurs in order to boost the development of fintech and financial services in South Africa -- closes on 31 August. In a statement today (30 July), AlphaCode, which is backed by Rand Merchant Holdings (RMI) stated that it will invite 16...

  • Expat founders have it easier than locals says Danish founder of Rwandan startup

    Do expat tech founders that set up startups in Africa have it easier than their local counterparts when running their business? Expat and entrepreneur Olivia Zank, the co-founder of Rwandan factoring firm BeneFactors, believes they do. Zank, who is Danish and whose startup last week came out tops at the Seedstars Kigali pitching competition, believes its definitely easier in some ways, but harder in others. She started the company last year with Jani Moliis (who is Finnish) after working as a policy advisor to Rwanda's Minister of Trade and Industry in 2016 and 2017. "We have easier access to external funding and more exposure to lean startup methods....