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Startup news

  • Over 500 girls trained in SA through Technovation programme

    Technovation, a global technology programme, has helped train over 10 000 girls in 78 countries, including over 500 from South Africa, since its launch seven years ago. The Technovation programme, which is run globally by non-profit organisation Iridescent was launched in South Africa in 2013, aims to teach young women to create mobile apps that solve challenges facing their communities through a 12-week online programme. As part of the course, participants receive crucial skills for tech entrepreneurship, including training in pitching, marketing, pitch decks and business plans. After receiving training the girls are assisted in building their own apps as part of the...

  • Is seven days enough time for startups to be on YEI’s accelerator programme?

    Is seven days enough time for startups to network, learn and secure investment while on an international accelerator programme? This is the question South African business people that took part in a recent accelerator programme in France asked. With just under a week left before the deadline for this year’s Young Enterprise Initiative (YEI) Ventureburn looked at three startups that participated in YEI South Africa 2016 and how they benefited from the week-long programme. Read more: TIA-backed startups have two weeks left to apply for Young Enterprise Initiative This is the second year the programme will be running in South Africa. The initiative is run by the French Embassy...

  • More than 30 sign-ups to Uprise.Africa SA’s first equity crowdfunding site

    Over 30 investees and investors have signed up to Uprise.Africa, South Africa’s first equity crowdfunding platform, since its landing page went live on Friday, the platform’s founder Patrick Schofield said today. A soft launch for the platform took place at a panel discussion held by Moneyweb. Schofield, who is also the founder of donations based crowdfunding site ThundaFund.com, told Ventureburn today that the platform is looking to go live in October with six deals. However, he added that this was dependent on the Financial Services Board (FSB) approving the platform’s current structure. The idea is that deals on the platform would first be approved...

  • SA should learn from Silicon Valley sexual harassment says SweepSouth founder

    South African startups and those that help entrepreneurs should learn from the sexual harrasment exposes that have rocked Silicon Valley recently, says SweepSouth founder Aisha Pandor. Speaking at a Heavy Chef Startup Nation event a Workshop 17 in Cape Town last night, Pandor (pictured above, right with Michael Deon the founder of Augmentors Game on the left and Fred Roed, the founder of Heavy Chef) said a three-month stint in 2015 working in Silicon Valley taught her a lot on entrepreneurship, including a few negative lessons. “We also learnt what not to do as a start-up,” she added. SA should use case of David McClure as lesson on sexual harassment stresses Aisha Pandor Read...

  • Google Launchpad to provide over $3m to more than 60 African startups – CEO

    Google will provide more than $3-million in equity-free funding, mentorship, working space and access to expert advisers to more than 60 African startups over three years, the company's CEO Sundar Pichai said in Lagos, Nigeria yesterday. Pichai said the initiative will be based on Google's global Launchpad Accelerator programme. He added that intensive three-month programmes, held twice per year, will run out of a new Google Launchpad Space in Lagos — the first time the programme will be located outside of the US. In addition he announced that Google's charitable arm, Google.org, is committing $20-million over the next five years to non-profits that are working...

  • Startupbootcamp receives 518 applications for first Cape accelerator

    Startupbootcamp has received 518 applications for its inaugural Startupbootcamp accelerator programme in Cape Town. Benjamin Caine, scouting manager at Startupbootcamp Africa, said in an email that the organisation is in the process of selecting the final 10 teams from the 518 applications received. Caine did not say immediately when the 10 would be announced. The accelerator will be looking for tech startups operating in blockchain, connected devices, payment solutions, asset management, ecommerce, alternative financing, identity management, data and behavioural analytics, digital connectivity, enabling technologies and integrated supply chains. The three-month accelerator programme will begin in Cape Town on 4 September and will conclude with...

  • Fewer than one in five SA entrepreneurs applied for finance in last year – survey

    Ask any business owner what their top need is and they'll say -- "finance". Yet fewer than one in five entrepreneurs applied for finance from banks or other funding institutions in the last year, a survey released today revealed. The survey, carried out by Seed Academy -- a division of ICT accelerator Seed Engine -- sampled 1 200 entrepreneurs. In a press release, Seed Engine CEO Donna Rachelson, said that only 18% of the surveyed entrepreneurs have in the last year attempted to get funding from banks or funding institutions like the Industrial Development Corporation or the Department of Trade and Industry. “Some entrepreneurs indicated that they simply don’t know where...

  • Just 26% of business loans by SA banks go to SMEs reveals OECD survey

    Just 26% of business lending by banks in South Africa go to startups and SMEs, which is lower than in a number of other rich and emerging economies, a survey released by the OECD yesterday revealed. The finding is one of a number presented by the OECD, which said the country needed to boost entrepreneurship -- which is low compared to other emerging economies -- if it is to create more jobs. While South Africa's level of SME loans as a percentage of business lending by banks is similar to that of Colombia (26%) and higher than the US (22.1%), UK (22.5%) or Chile...

  • Looking to go global? Start-Up Chile opens applications for new cohort

    Startups looking to base themselves in Chile and benefit from funding and accelerator support have until 5 September to apply to join Start-Up Chile's latest cohort. Applications for the six-month acceleration programme's Generation 19 opened last week Tuesday. Early-stage entrepreneurs from around the world who will contribute to Chile’s startup ecosystem can apply. Start-Up Chile will announce the names of those selected for the next cohort on 1 December and the programme will start in February. Startups that are selected will get access to a $30 000 equity-free grant, receive a one year work visa, have up to 90% of programme costs covered by Start-Up Chile and benefit from a free...

  • Two years on tax exemption for grants to small businesses fails to take off

    More than two years after it came into effect, a tax exemption for entities approved by the SA Revenue Services (Sars) that provide grant funding to small businesses has failed to take off. The tax exemption has been in effect since March 2015, yet only a single entity has applied for and received approval from Sars commissioner Tom Moyane (pictured above, left with Finance minister Malusi Gigaba) to operate as a small business funding entity. Under Section 10 (1) (cQ) of the Income Tax Act such entities that provide small businesses, including startups, with grants have since March 2015 been exempt from paying tax. The provision was included in the...