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Startup news

  • Swiss-SA innovation challenge records 110 submissions from SA applicants

    A Swiss-South African open social innovation challenge aiming to address health issues facing low-income South African urban settlements has received more than 120 proposals, with 110 of them coming from South Africa. The submissions are currently being evaluated and the 10 finalists will be announced at the Innovation Summit next month. Five Swiss applicants will be invited to join the 10 finalists at the summit and for other activities. Research Institute for Innovation and Sustainability (RIIS) media liaison Susan Botha told Ventureburn today that some of the South African proposals submitted included innovations in construction, alternative energy, water and sanitary hygiene. 25% of the proposals submitted to the innovation challenge came...

  • Female entrepreneurs platform aims to sign up 20 000 women in first year

    Future Females, a platform where women entrepreneurs can network and get support, aims to grow its user base to 20 000 female entrepreneurs in its first year, the platform's co-founder Lauren Davies told Ventureburn. The platform was launched last Thursday in Cape Town. Davies, who is also the founder of e-learning platform the Growth Academy, founded the platform with Cerina Bezuidenhout, who works for business support programme Techstars. The aim of the platform is to accelerate female entrepreneurship by sharing information on funding, grants and offering support to its members through awareness, education and direct funding. 'Aim is to help female entrepreneurs by sharing information on funding, grants...

  • Capitalise on personal networks, venture capitalist Andrea Böhmert tells women

    Andrea Böhmert, a partner at venture capital investment firm Knife Capital, believes women should be making better use of their networks to raise funding. “About 90% of funding is initiated via introductions from personal networks. A Savca study confirms this. So the question is, whether women are as networked as men and are they accessing the 'right' networks when it comes to funding. Böhmert questioned where the equivalent of the old boys club for women is. "Where are the well-networked women who could potentially make introductions? In my opinion, this is the first major hurdle that women have to deal with but the...

  • uYilo launches third round of seed fund to support electric car developers

    South African innovators looking to develop electric vehicle components, energy storage or charging solutions have until 31 August to apply to the Yilo Kick Start Fund to get up to R1-million to help fund research and development (R&D) costs. Hiten Parmar, director of the uYilo eMobility Technology Innovation Programme's (EMTIP) which administers the fund, said the funding is focused on applied research that will lead to the creation of products, process or services that can be commercialised. Applicants can apply for either up to R500 000 per project for individual projects or up to R1-million per project for collaborative projects involving multiple participants....

  • Startupbootcamp Cape Town’s FastTrack tours reach over 120 African startups

    Startupbootcamp Cape Town may have opted to be based at the tip of Africa, but the accelerator is "aggressively" scouting for companies all over continent. Philip Kiracofe (pictured), joint managing director at Startupbootcamp Cape Town, told Ventureburn that although the programme will operate from Cape Town it is very much a pan-African programme, having reached 120 African startups during the programme's various FastTrack tours held between May and last month. Through the FastTrack tours the organisation aims to actively source startups rather than merely waiting for people to apply. Kiracofe said the best attended FastTrack was in Kampala where the organisation got more than 45 applications. Three companies...

  • ‘SA corporates now more keen to back initiatives like Startupbootcamp’

    Corporates in South Africa are now more keen on sponsoring open innovation than they were some three years ago believes Startupbootcamp Cape Town founder and managing director Marc Wesselink. Dutch-born Wesselink (pictured right) spoke to Ventureburn ahead of the announcement in Cape Town on 8 August of the 10 startups that will be selected for Startupbootcamp Cape Town. Read more: Startupbootcamp receives 518 applications for first Cape accelerator Wesselink says corporates are now more keen to sponsor a programme like Startupbootcamp than they were three and half years ago when he had the initial idea to launch the accelerator in Africa. Startupbootcamp Cape Town has secured six sponsors...

  • Dell ranks Johannesburg 28th out of 50 in support of women entrepreneurs

    Computer company Dell has ranked Johannesburg 28th out of 50 global cities in fostering high-potential women entrepreneurs, in its 2017 Women Entrepreneur Cities Index (WE Cities). The latest index, which was released last month, places Johannesburg ahead of cities such as Seoul, São Paulo, Kuala Lumpur, Barcelona, Tokyo and Dublin. However the South African city has slid from its position at 23rd in the 2016 study, which Dell said is reflective of tougher market conditions. Dell explained that the 2016 and 2017 studies differ in several ways, including the total number of cities, number of indicators and the weight of indicators based on new data sources....

  • 18 SA tech firms to meet with Silicon Valley’s Indus Entrepreneurs Global

    Tech founders from 18 South African startups and companies are hoping to get some valuable networking done this morning as they rub shoulders with some top professionals from Silicon Valley in a meetup held in Cape Town by the Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Global. The event will be held at the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town's V&A Waterfront. In a press release, Vuyisa Qabaka of Entrepreneur Traction -- which is facilitating the meetup -- said the event has been fashioned as a one-day bootcamp by TiE. Local tech founders would be able to undergo one-on-one mentorship with global leaders, while panel discussions would be...

  • 10 digital nomads to jet into Cape Town to promote city as remote worker hotspot

    Ten digital nomads and startups from London will jet into Cape Town for a week in October, in an initiative aimed at promoting the African city as a digital nomad destination. The initiative – Swap London for Cape Town – is being sponsored by Wesgro, the Western Cape province’s investment agency and is run by Co Working Days. During their stay the 10 will attend the Digital Disruption Think Tank hosted by Wesgro and scheduled for 20 October. Co Working Days founder Simon Lewis told Ventureburn in an email that the 10 will spend seven days in the city. They are expected to arrive...

  • SA drone startup Aerobotics secures R8m in funding from 4Di, Savannah Fund

    Aerial data-analytics specialist Aerobotics has secured a joint R8-million seed-funding round from South African venture capital company 4Di Capital and the Savannah Fund in Kenya. In a press release today, Aerobotics co-founder James Paterson (pictured above, right with fellow co-founder Benji Meltzer) said the cash injection will be used to expand Aerobotics’ sales and marketing capabilities. Aerobotics has built a solid client base of farmers and agricultural consultants in South Africa and the rest of the continent, as well as in Australia and the UK and Patterson added that the startup is currently working on finalising a number of pilot projects with large agricultural, finance...