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Startup news

  • BeSpecular CEO wins Innovator Recognition Award from MTN

    The CEO of tech startup BeSpecular, Stephanie Cowper has been awarded the Innovator Recognition Award at the inaugural MTN Women In ICT Awards "Partnering for Change" awards. According to the MTN website, the "category recognises women that have introduced new methods, ideas, or products that are contributing in one way or the other to the delivery of a bold, new, digital world." The BeSpecular app works by allowing volunteers with sight to help the visually impaired. Users can take a photo of an object or situation, upload it, and have it identified by those who are able to assist. Since the app's launch on both iOS...

  • Domestly adds AppsAfrica Award to its trophy cabinet

    Cape Town-based startup Domestly has this week won the Best Disruptive Innovation Award at the AppsAfrica Awards 2016. This comes after the company won the overall MTN Business App of the Year accolade in August 2016, and an expansion into Gauteng a month later. The Awards, which took place in Cape Town Monday night and recognises entries from over 25 countries, "celebrate the enormous growth in mobile, technology and entrepreneurship in Africa". Speaking in a press release, Domestly noted that these small wins are enabling the company to grow across the country. "It is achievements and recognition like this that have allowed us...

  • Seedstars World heads back to Rwanda

    Global pitching competition, Seedstars World heads back to Rwanda for the next leg of their competition on 6 December 2016 and will take place at Rwanda Online's headquarters. Travelling to more than 65 countries, the pitching event aims to find the best startup to represent their respective countries at the final pitching event in Switzerland in 2017. Selected finalists pitching in Switzerland stand a chance to win up to US$1-million in equity as well as the opportunity to network with industry professionals and mentors from around the world. Eligible companies to pitch at Seedstars Kigali need to be less than two-years old and...

  • OfferZen passes recruitment milestone

    Online recruiting marketplace, OfferZen has helped more than 250 SA companies recruit top software developers through their platform. The recruitment platform has recently passed its recruiting milestone, having averaged 40% compound growth each month since its launch. According to OfferZen, they're now placing one developer into a permanent position every day. Software developers seeking a new job create a profile on the platform, which is followed by an advisory process on the hiring process of companies on OfferZen. The job seeker, with help from OfferZen, negotiates their salary and prepares for an interview to best understand how to market and sell themselves. To ensure that...

  • Zoona wins Social Entrepreneurship prize

    Mobile payments company, Zoona has been awarded the Social Entrepreneurship award at the Africa Awards for Entrepreneurship (AAE). The event was hosted by the African Leadership Network in Mauritius. The Social Entrepreneurship award is given to organisations addressing social problems in Africa, and who have a revenue between US$150 000 and US$2.5-million. It was accepted by brothers and co-founders Brett and Brad Magrath. "We are honoured to have been recognised among organisations that are such a force for positive change on the African continent," says Brad Magrath in a press release to Ventureburn. Zoona has recently raised US$15-million in funding, while passing other milestones too "We strive to take...

  • These are African Entrepreneurship Award finalists

    The African Entrepreneurship Awards have selected their 37 finalists to take part in their Presidential Round which takes place on 2 December 2016 with winners being announced three days later. The finalists will be converging on Morocco where they will be presenting their innovative businesses and ideas. Here, they will also be fielding questions in a private pitching session from those on the Presidential jury. Some of the jury members include the chairman and president of BMCE Bank of Africa, Othman Benjelloun and retired chairman of Accenture in greater China, Gong Li. The jury is also comprised of founder and executive director of Golden Baobab,...

  • Solar startup d.light secures $22.5m in funding

    Solar power manufacturer d.light has secured US$22.5-million in funding to help grow its PayGo business globally. d.light has raised US$15-million in Series D equity from multiple companies such as KawiSafi Ventures Fund, Energy Access Ventures, the Omidyar Network and NewQuest Capital Partners. They've also raised US$2.5-million in debt funding through SunFinder. "Energy Access Ventures works closely with companies bringing reliable energy access to rural and peri-urban areas, and d.light is the perfect addition to our portfolio," said managing partners of Energy Access Ventures, Dr Michael H. Gera in a press release, who will also be joining d.light's board. "This is our largest...

  • KCB announces its new job creation programme

    The Kenyan Commercial Bank (KCB) of South Sudan has launched a KShs50-billion job creation programme. This programme is intended to help aspiring and youthful Kenyan entrepreneurs within the informal sector to help ease the country's employment concerns. The programme, titled 2JIAJIRI, is expected to benefit at least 500 000 entrepreneurs within five years, creating direct and indirect jobs for more than 2.5-million people according to KCB. "We have worked out a comprehensive youth empowerment programme informed by our belief that the youth hold the greatest sway in the pace and trajectory that the East African economy will take into the future," said KCB...

  • Bua to represent Botswana at Seedstars World

    Rating app Bua, named the best startup at Seedstars World Gaborone, will go on to represent Botswanan at the global summit in Switzerland in 2017. Here, they'll compete with more than 60 startups for up to US$1-million in equity. The event took place at the University of Botswana where 10 startups competed for the coveted spot in the Swiss final. Of the startups that pitched, six were pre-selected and four were wildcards given to entrepreneurs that attended the Udugu Entrepreneurship Week. Bua is a private rating app which allows you to rate your service privately based on whether or not it...

  • Innovation challenge: Johnson & Johnson opens entries

    Healthcare brand, Johnson & Johnson has recently opened up entries to their new Africa Innovation Challenge. The challenge will aim to support and develop the continent's entrepreneurs as well as continue to develop consumer health solutions. It will also serve as the company's latest approach to advancing healthcare and global innovation. "Through the Africa Innovation Challenge, we have the opportunity to support the continent's top entrepreneurs through mentorship and other resources, and by working together with local talent, to bring forward new solutions to local healthcare challenges," said MD of Johnson & Johnson, Paul Stoffels in a press release to Ventureburn. "With its...