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Startup news

  • Here are the five startups set to pitch at tomorrow’s Seedstars Bissau event

    Seedstars World, one of the world’s largest startup competitions, has announced the five Bissau-Guinean startups that will pitch at tomorrow's Seedstars Bissau pitch event. Judges set to preside over the event include: Bruni Jawad, director general of investment promotion in the Government of Guinea Bissau, Seedstars World francophone Africa business development associate Fanny Dauchez, Orange Bissau director of marketing and communication Cheikh Tidiane Sarr, as well as UNDP chief technical adviser for local development Angela Abdula. The winner of the pitch event -- which takes place tomorrow (29 September) at the CEIBA Hotel -- will win an all-inclusive trip to attend the Seedstars Summit in...

  • African innovation scores wins at 2018 MIT Solve Global Challenge finals

    At least nine African-based startups and projects have been selected to join the 2018 MIT Solver class after scoring wins at last week's MIT Solve Global Challenge finals. In all, 33 Solver teams were selected at an event held in New York on Sunday (23 September). Each of the members of the Solver class will benefit from $10 000 in funding as well as mentorship and support from the Solve community. The class will over the next year collaborate with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Solve initiative on their solutions. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Solve initiative seeks to crowd-solve four global challenges — economic prosperity, health, learning, and sustainability — through open innovation. Nine African-based...

  • Zambian tech hub Bongo Hive announces Launch Accelerator’s eighth cohort

    Lusaka-based tech and innovation hub Bongo Hive has announced the nine startups that it selected to join the eighth cohort of its six-month long Launch Accelerator. The accelerator is aimed at startups that want to scale. The accelerator provides participants with co-working space, mentors and access to legal consultants as well as accountants. The nine startups selected have developed solutions that range from cleantech, real estate, media and edtech. Bongo Hive's Launch Accelerator is aimed at startups looking to gain traction to scale They are: tech company PayitApp, food and beverage startup Burger Queen, woman-focused and talent management agency Phat Media, healthtech Dawa, hair retailer Merci,...

  • SA startup Kandua announces partnership with French retailer Leroy Merlin

    Johannesburg-based artisan marketplace Kandua has announced that it has launched a partnership with French home improvement retailer Leroy Merlin to provide the retailer's customers with access to Kandua's contractors. Kandua's online platform connects home owners and building maintenance managers with rated and vetted artisans. The startup was founded in 2014 by Arjun Khoosal, Sayo Folawiyo and Lucas Du Toit. Kandua, formerly known as ID Work, first mentioned the partnership to Ventureburn in May (see this article) when Khoosal stated that the company had closed an agreement with the French company. Kandua connects home owners and building maintenance managers with rated and vetted artisans In an announcement...

  • Over 200 business heads attend Nedbank, Plug and Play’s The Disruption Agenda

    The Disruption Agenda -- a new platform initiated by SA bank Nedbank in partnership with Silicon Valley accelerator Plug and Play -- saw over 200 top business leaders and innovation thinkers attend a launch event held last week. The platform is aimed at connecting leading global and local innovation talent to leaders ready to implement disruptive technologies. Those startups that were showcased at last week's event were: Koniku, Sentiance, LifeQ, Wasteless, Trueface AI, Aerobotics, What3Words, Dispel, IoT.nxt and GotBot. The two-day event was structured into deal-flow sessions on the first day where 30 of Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking’s top clients engaged with 10 of the most innovative startups sourced with the help of Plug...

  • ADB fund pumps close to $2m into two Jobs for Youth in Africa initiatives

    African tech entrepreneurs -- as well as those in the agriculture and clothing sector -- have been given a boost, with the announcement that the African Development Bank (ADB) has invested close to $2-million in two initiatives. The development bank announced on Friday last week (21 September) that the investment will be made via the development bank's Fund for African Private Sector Assistance (FAPA). It will go to the development bank's Fashionomics Africa Digital Marketplace initiative an ecommerce platform for fashion and textiles entrepreneurs and the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Lab programmes (eLab) programme. The two programmes form part of the ADB's Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy --...

  • Entrepreneur who heads Innovation Prize for Africa jailed, event postponed

    Swiss Angolan entrepreneur Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais -- the founder of the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) -- has been jailed in Angola and the organisation's annual prize-giving event -- which was due to be held next month in Rwanda -- has been postponed. The (IPA) is an annual competition which honours leading entrepreneurs and innovators on the continent and is run by the African Innovation Foundation. A Bloomberg report on Monday said Angola’s state prosecutor arrested and jailed Bastos de Morais (pictured above) alongside Jose Filomeno dos Santos, the son of former Angolan president Jose Eduardo dos Santos, over the alleged illegal...

  • Seedstars World announces the 10 startups set to pitch at Seedstars Maputo

    Seedstars World, one of the world’s largest startup competitions, has announced the 10 Mozambican startups that will pitch at Seedstars Maputo on Friday (28 September). The 10 startups are set to pitch in front of a panel comprised of Standard Bank Mozambique head of investment banking Joao Guirengane, Savvy Venture Partners managing partner Thabo Ncalo, UX Information Technologies co-founder Borges Coelho, and Seedstars associate Maryam Mgonja. The winner of the pitch event will win an all-inclusive trip to attend the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland in April next year where they stand to win up to $1-million in equity investments. The 2018 edition of the Seedstars Maputo pitch event is...

  • Former Springleap founder Eran Eyal named as ‘co-CEO’ of Shopin

    SA entrepreneur and former Springleap founder Eran Eyal, who faces fraud charges in the US, is officially back as the head of US blockchain startup Shopin. Eyal (pictured above) was charged on 24 August by the New York Attorney General with allegedly stealing $600,000 from investors by fraudulently soliciting investors to purchase convertible notes through false representations of his company, Springleap. If convicted of the top count charged, he faces up to 15 years in prison. Following his arrest last month, Shopin named Jennifer Haggerty as interim head (see this story), suggesting that the company had removed Eyal from his position as CEO or that...

  • Cape Town startup RapidDeploy to move HQ to US after AT&T deal for 911 product

    Just over a month after announcing a deal with US telecoms giant AT&T to offer its platform to the US's 911 service, SA startup RapidDeploy is moving its headquarters to the US. RapidDeploy claims that its cloud-based technology platform, offers emergency first responders relevant and accurate information in real time on a critical situation. This reduces response times dramatically, in scenarios where every second is a matter of life or death. The platform is already deployed in over 35 agencies around the world, with the solution deployed as far afield as Fiji. To date, the platform has processed tens of thousands of emergency calls. CEO and co-founder Steven Raucher (pictured above, right) revealed the news...