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Startup news

  • Kickstart Accelerator back for third edition with new programme structure

    Zurich-based accelerator programme Kickstart Accelerator has opened applications for the third edition of its programme, which this year will take on a new programme structure. The Swiss accelerator focuses on later-stage tech startups with solutions in deep technologies -- science and engineering driven tech like artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain -- as well as in areas like edtech, fintech and smart cities. The programme also aims to initiate successful partnerships and pilot projects between selected startups and Kickstart's partner companies and institutions. Kickstart co-lead Katka Letzing said in a statement today that the accelerator's first two programmes had resulted in 30 proof-of-concepts and collaborations. In...

  • Why Joburg’s HackR House stands empty a month after intended launch

    It began as an idea to get entrepreneurs to live and work together in one house. Now Johannesburg's HackR House -- which was set to launch last month -- stands empty, while founder Craig Wing ponders what to do next. Wing's idea stemmed from his experience working in Silicon Valley where he ran a cleantech startup and his belief that tech entrepreneurs need round-the clock support -- and that those that live (and work) together will have a higher probability of success. The "live-in" programme aimed to give participants business coaching and mentoring in addition to access to other support services. But after receiving only eight applications for the...

  • Global Startup Awards: Nominations for Southern Africa open 31 March

    Nominations for the inaugural Southern African Startup Awards -- the regional finals of the Global Startup Awards -- are set to officially open on Saturday (31 March). In a post on Facebook Monday (26 March), the Southern African circuit of the Global Startup Awards called for nominations of startups and entrepreneurs from any of the 15 Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. The Global Startup Awards, which have been held annually around the world since 2012 in Denmark, aim to select and recognise startups and entrepreneurs who have shown outstanding achievement in business and service to the community. The grand finale of the inaugural...

  • Craft brewer Drifter raises R1m in first day of equity crowdfunding campaign [Updated]

    Cape Town-based Drifter Brewing Company has raised over R1-million, hours after its equity crowdfunding campaign went live on equity crowdfunding platform Uprise.Africa. The craft brewer is looking to raise R3-million for 12.1875% equity over the next 59 days . At the time of publication Drifter had raised R1 013 000 from nine investors. The company is accepting investments from R1000 and above. In a phone call with Ventureburn, Uprise.Africa marketing officer Inge Prins said the campaign went live last night (27 March) at 7pm. "Their value proposition is clear to customers," Prins said, explaining why the campaign had taken off quickly. Drifter is aiming...

  • SA startup Cape Networks to be acquired by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cape Networks, a software as a service and hardware startup based in Cape Town and San Francisco, is set to be acquired by IT giant Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) for a yet-to-be-disclosed price. In a statement late yesterday (27 March), HPE announced it had a definitive agreement to acquire Cape Networks, which uses Internet of Things (IoT) sensors to monitor and optimise Wi-Fi networks. The acquisition will see Cape Networks merge with Aruba, an HPE subsidiary which specialises in data networking solutions. The acquisition, set to conclude in the next couple of weeks, will see Cape Networks join HPE subsidiary Aruba Cape Networks co-founder David Wilson...

  • Injini winds up African tour a week before application deadline for second cohort

    With just under a week left until applications for Injini's second cohort close, the edtech incubator was expected to yesterday wind up a three-week African tour in Cape Town. The tour saw members of Injini's team hold events in Lagos, Accra, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Abidjan and Kampala. "We wanted to get a sense of the ecosystem around the continent," Injini co-founder Jamie Martin (pictured above, far right at the Lagos event during the tour) said in a phone call yesterday, speaking ahead of the tour's last event held in Cape Town. "There's a feeling on the continent that education is broken and we...

  • FemBioBiz Accelerator to partner with local organisations for second season

    FemBioBiz, a local biosciences accelerator aimed at women entrepreneurs, will partner with organisations in eight African countries in the roll out of its second season. The FemBioBiz programme -- an initiative of the BioFISA flagship initiative, a Nepad and the Finish government partnership -- aims to develop leadership, tech and business skills in female-owned businesses in the SADC region. The initiative also aims to support deal-making and businesses acceleration in biosciences. Applications for this year's programme opened this month and will close on 20 April. A regional final pitch event is set to be held between September and November, with the location and date yet to...

  • Reserve Bank changes to IP exchange have had no impact – venture capitalist

    While intellectual property (IP) attorneys say changes instituted a year ago by the Reserve Bank have helped speed up IP exchange control approvals, a leading local venture capitalist believes it is no easier than before to get IP transferred out of South Africa. “The SARB (SA Reserve Bank) continues to create blockages, such as randomly preventing local investors from investing overseas (as startups globalise for instance) due to arbitrary conditions. It’s still all the same,” 4Di Capital founder Justin Stanford told Ventureburn in an email last week. This, as last week Silicon Cape chairperson Sumarie Roodt told Ventureburn that she had not seen any difference...

  • Cape Town’s Dineplan launches booking app with network of 1000 restaurants

    Cape Town's Dineplan has gone from offering booking service software to restaurants, to a launching their own app -- that allows diners to search for available tables and instantly book at more than 1000 restaurants countrywide. The app, available on Android and iOS phones since last week, allows users to explore restaurants by availability, name and area or find nearby restaurants with available tables based on their current location to make effortless reservations at a tap of a button. Diners can peruse ratings, cuisines on offer, price range, open times and the attributes of each eatery to help them pick and book a...

  • SA to ‘highly benefit’ from Wala, Dala, FincomEco, BLCC partnership – Wala COO

    Samer Saab, co-founder and COO of blockchain financial platform Wala, says that South Africa will "highly benefit" from partnerships similar to its collaboration between the company, Dala, Block Commodities Limited (BLCC), and the Financial and Commodities Ecosystem (FinComEco). Announced last week, the strategic partnership will see commodity trader BLCC and FinComEco provide 100-million Dala token loans worth $10-million to 50 000 smallholder farmers -- first in Uganda, followed by Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and the Republic of Congo -- to purchase fertiliser. The FinComEco, BLCC collaboration agreement with Wala and Dala aims to provide $10-million in Dala tokens to 50 000...

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