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Startup news

  • ‘Seedstars not just another pitching competition’ – Africa regional manager

    Seedstars is not just "another pitching competition" for startups, says the Swiss organisation's regional manager for Africa Claudia Makadristo. "We are at the core an investment company, so we have three focuses, to promote, to connect and actually to invest. But the main objective of what Seedstars wants to be and is, it’s an actual investment company," she stressed. Speaking to Ventureburn on the sidelines of the Seedstars Africa regional summit on Thurday (14 December) in Maputo, Mozambique, she said the pitching competition "serves as a vehicle and a platform to scout for these entrepreneurs in a more efficient and fast way". The event, which...

  • Alternative Circle co-founder resigns following sexual misconduct allegations

    Anthony Kariuki, co-founder of Kenyan fintech startup Alternative Circle, has resigned following allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace, the company's board announced today. "Anthony will no longer represent Alternative Circle in any capacity," the board said in a statement issued today. The board said there will be no further comment on the matter so as to protect the identity of the victim, who has chosen to remain anonymous. Said the company’s co-founder and CEO Kevin Mutiso: “Our policy on sexual harassment is clear and explicit; sexual harassment in any form is unacceptable, and it will not be tolerated, no matter the rank or status of...

  • Google drops $50 000 grant for Launchpad Accelerator for fifth cohort

    Google has dropped a $50 000 grant for each startup selected for its fifth Launchpad Accelerator, which starts next month, the programme's manager Josh Yellin revealed yesterday. The programme targets growth stage tech startups and 24 startups will embark on a bootcamp on 29 January 2018 (see the names here). Talking to Ventureburn in Warsaw, Poland during a graduation ceremony for the programme's four cohort (see the list of participants from the fourth cohort here), Yellen said the tech giant aims to reinvest the $50 000 per selected startup (totaling $1.2-million for the fifth cohort) back into the programme to cover the costs of startups attending conferences...

  • A primer on the South African artificial intelligence ecosystem

    Artificial intelligence -- intelligent computer systems capable of learning from data -- was one of the main trends in tech innovation this year. The tech is increasingly becoming ubiquitous across all industries from the automotive industry, fintech, social media, ecommerce to even entertainment. We are living in the age of big data, as increasingly more enterprises invest in AI and machine learning -- a branch of AI which is in its simplest definition is a form of data analysis -- startups are taking notice and disrupting whole industries by employing that tech. With that in mind, here's everything you need to know about the...

  • Sarebi opens call for 2018 Water Enteprise Development Programme

    The South African Renewable Energy Business Incubator (Sarebi) has launched a call for applications to its 2018 Think Water Enterprise Development Programme. The Atlantis-based incubator -- backed by the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) since 2012 -- aims to assist small businesses that operate in the water sector and are looking for manufacturing opportunities and business development skills. Programme participants will among other things get IT, accounting and human resources services. The application deadline for the programme is on 12 January. Sarebi communications and events officer Babalwa Dlangamandla said the incubator will only take submissions from enterprises based in the Western Cape and that there are spots...

  • Webber Wentzel launches incubation initiative, Webber Wentzel Ignite

    South African law firm Webber Wentzel has announced the launch of Webber Wentzel Ignite, a legal incubation programme aimed at high-potential startups and scale-ups. The law firm is looking for SA enterprises that have gained some market traction. Applications close on 15 January. In a press release yesterday (7 December) the law firm said the programme will provide support that includes legal services valued at up to R100 000, focused mentoring and support which will aim to arm startups with legal knowledge and skills relevant to startups. A panel of industry experts will consult for the programme and select the successful applicants to the incubator. Project lead Aalia Manie said...

  • Zoona lands two international accolades including Africa Best Employer Brand

    Fintech startup Zoona has had an "incredible" year, the company's marketing head Lelemba Phiri said this week. It follows two recent international accolades the startup received. The company won Africa Best Employer at the 2017 Employer Branding Awards, held earlier this week on Tuesday (5 December) in Le Meridien, Mauritius. In addition, the company's marketing head was also recognised as one of the top five most influential global marketing leaders at the World Marketing Congress, which took place between 24 and 25 November in Mumbai, India. In a press release Phiri said the company appreciated the accolades as they "fuel our fire to keep striving". "Through the...

  • German accelerator F-Lane opens call for third cohort, deadline in two weeks

    Berlin-based accelerator F-LANE -- which focuses on tech-startups that empower or are run by women -- has opened calls for applications to its third cohort. The accelerator's main backer, the Vodafone Institute, stated in a press release that applications to the F-LANE's third cohort -- set to kick off next year in March -- will close on 20 December. F-LANE's seven-week long programme aims to promote participation by women in technological development. The accelerator, which is run in partnership with Impact Hub Berlin and the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie, will select five startups from around the world that have innovative solutions to social problems. The selected startups...

  • SA born Clickatell honoured at 2017 Messaging and SMS World conference

    South African born Clickatell has been recognised as the best SMS / A2P (application to person) messaging provider in Africa at the 2017 Messaging and SMS World conference, held last month. The news was revealed today in a press release from Clickatell. The winners of the prize were selected by a team of independent judges from the detailed information submitted by dozens of entrants, along with testimonials from their customers. The company, which created the first Global SMS Messaging Gateway and is now one of the largest global mobile text messaging enablers, is today headquartered in Silicon Valley. It was founded in 2000 by South Africans Pieter de...

  • Co-working space Craft + Graft to link San Francisco, Cape Town creatives

    Cape Town is set to get a new co-working site, with the expected opening tomorrow of Craft + Graft, which claims to be the city's first co-working space with a twin site in San Francisco. The new co-working space, which will be based in Dunkley Square in Gardens, Cape Town, is set to officially open tomorrow evening, during the city's monthly First Thursday event during an art exhibition to showcase its community programme. Located at 2 Gordon Square, Craft + Graft offers 51 desks in a newly remodeled building, at a cost of R2100 per seat per month, with uncapped internet, shared kitchen, shower, and coffee service. Craft +...