• BURN MEDIA
    • Memeburn
      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!

Startups

  • Startups must think twice about pivoting for corporates – MMI Holdings manager

    Startups that pitch to corporates should be wary about pivoting their business just to accommodate a corporate, if they risk losing focus on their initial values, cautions Carol Atkinson, the managing partner of Integration Exponential Ventures at MMI Holdings. This is one of Atkinson's key tips for startups looking to pitch their web platforms and apps to corporates such as MMI (which includes insurers Momentum). In her 17 years with MMI, Atkinson has been involved in diverse areas in the company -- from product design, to development and implementation. She previously headed up the group's SMME segment and has been working specifically in the disruptive innovation space...

  • Being strategic on cost cutting in a downturn can help startups to stand out

    In any downturn, operational expenses are the first thing that needs attention as businesses go into survival mode, however while curbing unnecessary expenditure is important, business owners need to balance this with tactics that enable them to grow and thrive on the upside. By being strategic and targeted on what you cut back and what you don’t, businesses can stand out from their competitors. A Harvard Business Review study on the impact of a downturn on businesses shows that those that use a combination of defensive and offensive strategies have a higher probability of survival. Finances and cutting expenses Many businesses go into crisis mode by...

  • Don’t tell Santam in pitch that you’re the first, unless you really are first

    So you have a great product you want to sell to a big corporate but sometimes you feel like you are number 1365 in the queue. How are you going to get that big company to notice you? When you talk to other startups you realise this is no easy process…. or is it? As Santam’s head of digital business, I’ve been working with startup companies for a number of years now. As a large insurance business, we recognise that innovation has become the only constant in a world where we’ve barely begun to comprehend the full implications of accelerated...

  • Solve real problems and never retire says Fundamo’s Hannes Van Rensburg

    When it comes to running a tech startup Hannes van Rensburg has seen and done it all. He even wrote a book called Cash in, Cash out, which documents the story behind Fundamo, the mobile payment platform which he sold to Visa in 2011 for $110-million. Van Rensburg (pictured right), who is also a trained nuclear physicist, gave some further insights on entrepreneurship at last week’s StartupGrind event held during the SA Innovation Summit at Cape Town Stadium. Here are his seven top insights: 1. Starting a business is not something to do likely, seriously, it can take a toll on you so do it...

  • Tech startups must spend more time on honing target market says MTN manager

    Tech entrepreneurs must spend more time developing a complete value proposition for the apps and web platforms that they pitch to corporates, says MTN's general manager of digital commercial management Mophethe Moletsane. "Unfortunately, most startups do the work on the solution, but are quick to rush to their demos without contextualising the market opportunity," says Moletsane. He says aligning the app, widget or platform to the strategic initiatives is everything for a big organisation. Unfortunately, most startups do the work on the solution, but are quick to rush to their demos without contextualising the market opportunity, says MTN manager Read more below on the advice he has for startups...

  • Tech startups crucial to Pick n Pay’s technology strategy says executive

    South Africa retail giant Pick n Pay has in the last year worked closely with "at least" 10 startups on various projects that have been delivered into the business, says the retailer's deputy CEO Richard van Rensburg. "Tech startups are crucial to Pick n Pay’s technology strategy," Van Rensburg told Ventureburn last week, in a set of emailed responses. He says over half of the retailer's spend on innovation is with startups. "We have recently completed re-platforming all our systems across the group , from in-store point-of-sale (systems) through logistics and distribution, buying, customer loyalty and finance. Our core business systems are up to date and...

  • Time is ripe for startups like Pineapple to disrupt insurance – Old Mutual manager

    Startups are set to disrupt the insurance business model fundamentally, says Stanley Gabriel, head of innovation at Old Mutual Personal Finance. Gabriel was responding to a question from Ventureburn on big trends he sees in the sector that startups should look out for. His comments follow the announcement last week by Johannesburg based insuretech startup Pineapple of a R5.2-million funding round from Lireas Holdings. "Overseas, Lemonade has disrupted the market, paying a claim in seconds, and locally Pineapple raised R5.2-million with their peer-to-peer insurance offering," Gabriel told Ventureburn. Read more: SA startup Pineapple secures R5.2m to take on short-term insurance market "I am excited about these developments and believe that...

  • 8 corporate managers that SA tech startups should meet [Digital All Stars]

    Digital All Stars is a series of articles which aims to celebrate the best of South African digital. The articles, which will appear on Memeburn and Ventureburn, recognise and celebrate South Africa’s best digital entrepreneurs, business people, advertisers, and media professionals among others. In this piece we take a look at eight managers of corporates that startups should meet if they're looking to pitch their app or web platform. Here are 8 corporate managers that SA tech startups with apps and web platforms should meet Follow the link beneath each for a more detailed interview with each corporate on what to look out for when looking...

  • With over a million downloads meet Cameroon’s file sharing service Feem

    Have you ever had issues with transferring files between devices? Then you might be happy to learn that there is a world-class file sharing solution that can solve your issue and it was built in Africa. In fact, it was built by Cameroonian entrepreneur Fritz Ekwoge and his team in Buea, Cameroon. It's called Feem. And it has over one million downloads from people all over the world. It was also covered by the renowned CIO magazine that covers tech. 'One of the features that makes Feem a great product is that you do not need an internet connection but only a...

  • Former Rocket Internet man tells how he cloned firms, from Cape Town to Bangkok

    Cape Town born Tauriq Brown always wanted to be an international businessman. He may claim to be an entrepreneur. But the 28-year-old former Rocket Internet employee is just one of the hundreds employed by massive venture-builder companies to clone and run companies for them. As a venture builder, Brown (pictured middle, above) has been involved in starting and running at least five ventures, on behalf of venture-builder companies Rocket Internet and Mountain Partners, which is headquartered in Switzerland. This has taken him to Nigeria, Vietnam and now to Thailand, where he is employed as managing director for 15-year old Thai lingerie company Kyra Mode. Yet he admits he still draws a...