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Startups

  • Looking to sell that app or platform to Barclays Africa? Here’s what to consider

    Startups looking to sell their good ideas to a corporate need to ensure that they can argue a clear business case with a proven solution and a demonstrable market, says Shirley Gilbey, the head of Rise and Co-creation at Barclays Africa Group. "Every relationship should be transactional -- they (startups) have a solution that we want to offer our customers. There must be value for both sides in the collaboration," points out Gilbey. Think about the market and how you would scale across regions says Barclays Africa's Shirley Gilbey Ventureburn spoke to Gilbey about what startups should consider if they want to sell their innovative idea,...

  • Here are SA’s Inspiring Fifty women in technology for 2017

    Non-profit organisation Inspiring Fifty, an initiative of the Dutch Consulate General in Cape Town together with Inspiring Fifty Netherlands, has announced the names of its 50 inspiring women in technology in South Africa. It follows a call the Dutch Consulate General put out in April for nominations for those who can serve as role models to attract more female champions in the technology-related fields. At the close of applications at the end of June, the consulate general had received 252 nominations. Read more: Over 100 nominations received so far for inspiring SA women in tech initiative Project manager Chantal Louw said in a press release this week...

  • Silicon Cape head calls on local startups to include sexual harassment in HR policy

    Startups should include a sexual harassment policy in their human resources strategy, or as part of the letter of appointments for all staff including the founder whether female or male, says Silicon Cape managing director Ellen Fischat. "Sexual harassments policies start with human resources. Considering that startups often do not have structured human resources practices in place, it leaves room for unprofessional conduct and abuse of power towards women," said Fischat. "Anyone in a powerful position has no right to abuse a situation in exchange for sexual favours." The head of the Cape Town's tech organisation was commenting following the series of sexual harassment scandals that have rocked...

  • What software is eligible for a patent? Three examples explain what to look for

    Not all software is patent-eligible, so it’s important that you know what to look out for. In a previous article, I wrote about why your software startup needs a patent. Let's look at what kinds of software one can patent. Read more: 4 reasons why your startup needs a patent As patent-eligibility differs from one country to the next, this article generally covers US and European eligibility requirements. Taking an existing algorithm or method which is already known and applying it using a computer is not likely to be a patent-eligible invention, even if you are the first person to do so. The same would...

  • Tech sector in Cape Town needs more high-profile exits, state support – Winde

    The Western Cape's Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde says Cape Town needs more high-profile exits and better support from national and local government. Responding to questions from Ventureburn on what his office is doing to promote the city as a tech startup location, Winde said in addition to more high-profile exits, the city needs better governmental support via policy initiatives at national and local level. These he said include the introduction of entrepreneur visas, strategic funding support and the removal of intellectual property (IP) exchange controls (which the Reserve Bank is attending to). Read more: Reserve Bank is looking to further unblock ecosystem challenges –...

  • 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....

  • 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...

  • Q&A: Only 4% of girl learners keen to work in tech, enter sector says Naidoo

    The Standard Bank Incubator is working against the notion that women are not interested in careers in tech, says Jayashree Naidoo, head of the Standard Bank Incubator. Naidoo (pictured), who will be speaking at a Startup Grind event in Pretoria this evening, quoted a survey released in January by Ignitor which revealed that although 66% of high school girls were interested in careers in tech, only four percent managed to establish careers in the field. Ventureburn asked her a few questions around women in entrepreneurship, innovation and other issues in South Africa’s startup ecosystem. Ventureburn: You are a well known figure in SA when it comes to innovation and entrepreneurship, could you...

  • Black entrepreneurs must help turn dusty townships into ‘next Dubai’ says marketer

    Entrepreneur and marketer Lebogang Mokubela says South Africa's black entrepreneurs need to look at promising business opportunities in the township rather than in the suburbs. "Dubai was a desert before it became the hub it is today," says Mokubela (pictured above) speaking to Ventureburn today. He made the comments following the release today of the first of video in a four-part YouTube video series on growing entrepreneurship in townships. He singles out one particular property development initiated by a white entrepreneur in one township and questions why a black entrepreneur from the townships isn't doing something similar, rather than running the multitude of restaurants and...

  • New approach needed for SME finance that looks at data not outdated processes

    Small business growth is being hindered by a lack of access to finance as entrepreneurs struggle with antiquated bank assessments that rely too heavily on outdated manual processes and criteria. In the 2016 National Small Business Survey business owners revealed that lack of funding or insufficient cash flow was the number one obstacle holding back their growth. Of those surveyed, 25% had applied for some form of finance in the past 12 months, typically for growth, working capital, or equipment finance. Is this perhaps why in a recent study only one percent of SMEs that started with fewer than five employees were found to have...