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Startup news

  • South Korea launches another global accelerator

    South Korea has been making a concerted effort to attract global startups lately. Earlier this year, the country launched the K-Startup Grand Challenge, inviting 40 startups from around the world for acceleration in Seoul. The move sees startups being given office space at a purpose-built Startup Campus in Gangnam, free round-trip tickets to the country and US$4100 a month. Now, the country has launched another government-backed global accelerator, in the form of the Seoul Global Startup Center (GSC). "A unique perspective" In a press release sent to Ventureburn, Accelerate Korea said that diversity would help promote the free flow of ideas in the sector. "The Seoul...

  • The Guardian shines spotlight on Cape Town’s startup scene

    Cape Town's startup scene is gaining loads of attention, as the sector quickly makes a name for itself. Don't believe me? Then you should check out The Guardian's report, titled "How Cape Town's tech entrepreneurs are solving problems for small business". The article initially focuses on the Silicon Cape initiative, calling it "central to Cape Town's technology startup scene". "After starting my first company in Cape Town, I realised what a lonely place it was for founders. When I moved to Silicon Valley, I quickly discovered what an interconnected place it was and wanted to create the same type of environment back in...

  • The quest for startup friendly operator APIs in Africa’s emerging markets

    In a new report (PDF) released by the GSMA Association (GSMA), an organisation representing the interests of mobile operators worldwide, it is revealed that relationships between mobile operators and African mobile startups need to exist. Several startup founders, both on and off the record, complain about the reluctance of telecoms companies allowing their services to run in respective markets. Those being allowed to run on operator networks are apparently being over-charged as well. "On every ten naira made using my service, the operator takes seven naira leaving us with just three naira out of which we will still incur other expenses including royalties...

  • Shopstar announces new investment partners

    Online shopping platform Shopstar has announced its new investment partners, in the form of Nona Creative and Kamers. Financial details weren't revealed, but Shopstar said the deal would allow them to expand and develop their business. Developed in 2013, Shopstar allows businesses and individuals to quickly create their own online store, accessible via mobile devices or traditional computers. "Kamers have a wealth of experience in retail and in nurturing emerging brands to become successful and develop their potential. Nona Creative is one of the top digital product development studios in the country. By combining forces and signing them on, Shopstar is now able to expand,...

  • WDB Investment Holdings, Grovest aquire stakes in Seed Engine

    Seed Engine has announced that WDB Investment Holdings (WDB) and VC firm Grovest have acquired stakes of 30% and 27.5% respectively in the accelerator. Seed Engine includes entrepreneurial programme, Seed Academy. "We needed a strategic partner that would instantly allow us to scale up our efforts around entrepreneurship in SA, especially amongst women," writes CEO of WDB Faith Khanyile in a press release to Ventureburn. "Seed Engine was one of the first ICT accelerators in this country, and this dynamic for-profit social enterprise is now supporting the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem from startup through to supplier," she continues. Speaking on the acquisition, CEO of Seed Engine...

  • WeFarm names mobile architect Adam Neilson as CTO

    Adam Neilson will join peer-to-peer farming network WeFarm, as CTO, the company announced in a press release. Neilson has previously held positions at Probability, Sea Monster, Health Unlocked, and Rareburg. He had experience with mobile technology and building social platforms. "When I first heard about the work WeFarm has been doing impacting farmers' lives in such a positive way, I was bowled over. After digging a little deeper, I found more data than you can shake a stick at, a cutting-edge machine learning platform and I knew this was something I had to be a part of," explains Neilson. Read more: 8 mobile...

  • Landmark Barclays Africa accelerator programme concludes

    Ten companies have showed off their wares as part of the first ever Barclays Africa accelerator programme. The programme, hosted by the Barclays Rise innovation hub in Cape Town, saw the companies receive 13 weeks of mentorship, networking and development before their Demo Day, Absa said in a statement. The Barclays Accelerator is supported by Techstars and promises an "intensive startup programme" for innovative businesses in the fintech sector. The Demo Day saw over 400 people in the audience, including investors, industry/fintech experts as well as Absa and Barclays executives. "We are thrilled with the quality of the ventures. This first-ever cohort to...

  • Tradesman platform IDWork crowned Seedstars World SA winner [update]

    Update: added comment from Sayo Folawiyo The South African leg of the Seedstars World competition has finally come to a close, with IDWork crowned the overall SA winner. Held in Johannesburg on 30 June, the event consisted of ten startups -- from the Cape Town, Durban, and Soweto pitching events -- as well as the 'Wild Card,' IDWork. All of the contestants pitched in front of a panel of judges and an audience. IDWork will go on to represent SA in the SeedStars World finale in Switzerland in March 2017, where it will stand a chance of winning a US$500 000 equity prize. A Gauteng-based startup, IDWork is a...

  • 10 startups the New Economy Accelerator thinks are seriously investable

    The New Economy Accelerator, launched in 2015, has announced the graduation of its first cohort of entrepreneurs. The graduating startups, it says, are focused mainly on green and environmental technology and represent an investment opportunity of R22-million. The investor showcase is hosted at the inaugural ATTANE Forum taking place at the Innovation Hub in Pretoria from the 27th -28th of June 2016. The ATTANE Forum is a platform for championing Africa’s transition into a more inclusive and sustainable economy by bringing together thought leaders from business, government and civil society to collaborate towards driving Africa’s development agenda. The 10 startups are:...

  • #Brexit: Berlin to shoot past London as Euro startup capital?

    Britain's plans to leave the European Union (EU) will be good news for Germany's startup scene, a major German venture capital provider said. According to Christoph Gerlinger, CEO of Berlin Startups Group, Brexit will see London lagging further behind Berlin. "The Brexit is good news for the German startup scene. Only since 2015 was Berlin able to surpass London, the previously dominant hub of Europe, in the number of and overall volume of financial transactions from startups," Gerlinger explained in a statement. "This development will now accelerate and the distance between Berlin vs. London will increase. We expect a significant decrease in new...