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Startup news

  • Startups score $35 000 in Fincluders Middle East, North Africa challenge

    Three startups have been awarded cash prizes totaling $35,000 at the Fincluders Startup Challenge Amman, organised by seed investment company Oasis 500 and Sanad, a Middle-East and North Africa fund. The competition saw 50 applicants from over 18 countries competing for the top positions and cash prizes. The Amman competition follows the first Fincluders challenge held in Berlin last year. The top position of the Fincluders challenge and a cash prize of $20,000 went to AgroCenta, a startup which provides an online trading hub for farmers and their customers using real-time payments leveraged by mobile-money technologies. In addition to the trading hub, the startup also provides an on-demand...

  • SA startups get ready: Seedstars World applications to open later this month

    Applications to global competition for emerging markets Seedstars World will open to SA startups again when the initiative returns to South Africa later this month. Seedstars World will hold events in Johannesburg on 26 May and in Cape Town on 8 June, with the top applicants to be invited to the finale hosted at the Standard Bank Auditorium in Johannesburg on 29 June. The SA leg of Seedstars World is being held in partnership with Standard Bank and other local partners such as Enel, Microsoft4Afrika, Orange, Merck, TRECC and Deloitte. Other local partners include Entrepreneur Traction, PayU, Seedspace, Simodisa and Startup Grind. To be eligible to apply for the...

  • Zimbabwe government opens applications for $25-million tech fund

    Zimbabwe's telecoms regulator, Potraz, has launched a call for tech entrepreneurs and innovators to apply to a $25-million government tech fund. TechZim reported the launch on Wednesday, with Potraz managing the fund. The ICT Innovation Drive fund was announced last year by the Ministry of ICT, Portal and Courier Services. A statement issued by Portraz calls for "ICT innovators, startups or entrepreneurs with a brilliant innovation or solution" to apply to send their proposal for funding, together with financial projections and a budget for consideration to innovationdrive@potraz.gov.zw by 30 May. The statement did not say how many applicants Potraz intends to fund or what the maximum...

  • CCDI to back seven innovative Cape projects in second round of seed fund

    A hydrogen-powered drone that releases lab-bred insects to wipe out pests, a medical device which uses a novel method to treat glaucoma and an innovative method to manufacture oak extract for use in the manufacture of wine and spirits... These are just some of the seven biotech and agricultural projects that will each receive seed funding of up to R500 000 from the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI) in partnership with the Technology Innovation Agency's (TIA) seed fund and the Western Cape government’s Department of Economic Development. CCDI executive director Erica Elk said at the announcement that an investment committee made up of experts from various...

  • Reserve Bank is looking to further unblock ecosystem challenges – Winde

    The Reserve Bank is looking at further ways to unblock challenges that entrepreneurs face, Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde revealed today during the announcement of seven projects to receive seed funding from the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI). Speaking in Cape Town, he said he and officials from the Western Cape government, including Finance MEC Ivan Meyer, were asked by the Reserve Bank to present to the bank on happenings in the Western Cape ecosystem and economy. The presentation took place last month and Winde said that it was the first time that his office has been asked to present to the...

  • Women have more advantage over men, says top SA female entrepreneur

    Women in South Africa have more of an advantage over men when it comes to starting a business because of the large number of business support programmes available to them, says a top SA female entrepreneur. Finfind CEO Darlene Menzies has been selected along with five other women by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as the continent's top female entrepreneurs. "I think that we have a bit more of an advantage over men in this country in terms of starting a business from all the different accelerators and programmes," Menzies, whose web platform helps small businesses to source finance, told Ventureburn. Read more: Finfind initiative...

  • Chance meeting helped SA startup GetSmarter secure over $100m sale

    A chance meeting with US listed company 2U's CEO Chip Paucek in October last year set Cape Town based SA edtech startup GetSmarter on the road to being acquired by the US firm in a $103-million deal signed on Monday evening. Sam Paddock (pictured on right), who is the company's CEO, said he and his co-founder and brother Rob weren't looking to be acquired. "It became clear that joining forces would result in an organisation that could power the world's best digital education. This was too big an opportunity to pass on," he said. The deal, reported by Forbes magazine in an article yesterday includes an earn-out...

  • PiggyBank, Olivine Technology awarded $50,000 in funding from Village Capital

    Nigerian startup PiggyBank.ng and Kenyan startup Olivine Technology have each scored $50,000 in funding from investment firm Village Capital, following the conclusion of FinTech Africa 2017, a three-month investment readiness programme. The programme was organised in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation and the DOEN Foundation with support from VC4A. The two companies were a part of a cohort of seven peer companies. PiggyBank.ng allows Nigerians to save small sums of money through an automatic savings process by working directly with financial institutions, while Olivine Technology has created ASiM, a mobile app that serves as a point-of-sale and stock management solution that connects multiple distribution sites seamlessly with their respective...

  • Innotribe announces 10 startups chosen for Swift’s African Regional Conference

    Accelerator programme Innotribe has chosen 10 startups for the third edition of the Startup Challenge Africa, for secure financial messaging provider Swift's African Regional Conference which takes place in Abidjan, in the Ivory Coast, later this month. The 10 were selected after 100 judges evaluated close to 100 applications. Applications came from a number of African countries with SA, Nigeria and Kenya filling up most of the positions. "It is a pleasure for us to see the number of African startups applying to our programme growing year after year. Their calibre continues to impress, and there is no doubt they are going to play an...

  • Exclusive: Vinny Lingham to open Civic office in SA following IP rule changes

    Silicon Valley based SA entrepreneur Vinny Lingham says he plans to open an office in Cape Town to hire developers for his new startup Civic, following reforms to South Africa's Intellectual Property (IP) control regulations. "The Reserve Bank by listening to the community and making the changes (to the IP control rules) have opened it up to more foreign investments," Lingham said in a Skype call with Ventureburn from San Francisco on Friday last week. Lingham recently posted a link of Civic's Facebook account saying the startup is looking to hire in South Africa. It follows an announcement by then Minister of...