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Startups

  • 10 people in the SA tech startup sector you should follow in 2019

    The new year is here, 2019 is here. Why not get started by following and connecting with some key decision makers in the SA tech scene. Here are 10 people — from entrepreneur and investor Michael Jordaan to Matsi Modise, the head of startup advocacy body Simodisa — that you should follow to keep abreast on views and happenings in the SA tech startup ecosystem. Michael Jordaan (Entrepreneur and investor): The venture capitalist and former banker has invested in a number of startups and always has a wise word to say on tech innovation in South Africa. Earlier this year he announced plans to launch a new app-based Bank Zero. In...

  • What African startups should keep an eye out for in 2019

    The new year is upon us and it's time to get that diary marked up. Last year was quite packed with happenings. What then can we expect in 2019? Here then is a short list of what funds and initiatives are expected to launch in Africa in 2019. Jack Ma's Netpreneur Prize Alibaba founder Jack Ma's (pictured above with SA President Cyril Ramaphosa) $10-million Africa Netpreneur Prize kicks off in 2019 and Kenyan hub Nailab has been selected to run the programme. The programme will award $10-million to 100 African entrepreneurs over the next 10 years. In August last year Nailab founder Sam Gichuru said his hub was in the process...

  • Eight SA startups to look out for in 2019

    A number of tech startups hit the headlines this year. Ventureburn has picked eight that we think readers should follow closely in 2019. They include SA's soon-to-be first app-based bank, several fintech companies, a former Seedstars World competition winner and a data analytics startup that uses drones.  Here then are Ventureburn's eight SA startups to watch out for in 2019: Bank Zero has yet to launch and has already made the news several times this year. Venture capitalist and former FNB CEO Michael Jordaan’s new app-based plans to begin beta testing in the first quarter of 2019, before launching to the public in mid-2019,...

  • Reaching out, nice to e-meet you and other buzzwords startups must banish

    We've heard it all at Ventureburn this year. But frankly we're a little tired. It's been a long year, but before we go we would like to share with you 12 buzzwords that startups should banish from their emails and conversations. Go ahead and make it part of your New Year's resolution. Why be stuck on just a few over-used words or phrases when there are literally tens of thousands of words in the English language. The second edition of the (20-volume) Oxford English Dictionary contains entries for 171 476 words in current use, and 47 156 obsolete words. Steering away from cliche...

  • Eight SA tech entrepreneurs who made headlines in Ventureburn in 2018

    A local startup founder accused in the US of stealing $600 000 from investors by faking details of his startup, a mysterious angel investor and an entrepreneur who admits he "never saw it coming" when his tech company was hit by a financial mismanagement saga. These are just three of the eight SA tech entrepreneurs that made headlines in Ventureburn this year.  This year we've seen it all. Here then are the eight who made headlines. Eran Eyal, Springleap South African entrepreneur Eran Eyal, who currently lives in New York, was jailed for two weeks in August over fraud charges in the US. He has denied any wrong doing. Eyal...

  • How SA tech entrepreneurs plan to take time out this festive season

    Taking time out is vital if you want to run a successful business. Sometimes you need to stop to see the wood from the trees. Which is why Ventureburn has sampled a number of tech startup founders on the value of taking a break and how they plan to spend this festive season. Giraffe co-founder Anish Shivdasani says he plans to take a week off and spend time with family, it’s what he does every year. He says it's critical to take breaks. The Joburg-based startup runs a web platform that matches job seekers with job placements. Early this year the startup closed a second funding round (see this...

  • How to structure functions and operations across your international group

    You’re a South African and want to set up an offshore company -- but a business has so many functions. There's the finance department, the sales unit, the product development division and countless other functions. Which of these should you allocate to your planned overseas company? In this, my third article in this series aimed at clients who are building an international business structure (see the first here and second here), I will talk about allocating the functions and operations across each company in your group – bearing in mind that your goal is that of building value offshore. Start by identifying each...

  • Fintech Nala wins Seedstars Dar es Salaam, confirms Y-Combinator selection

    Tanzanian fintech Nala was yesterday selected as the winner of this year’s Seedstars Dar es Salaam, at a pitching event in Tanzania's capital. Nala is a mobile money application that works offline, allowing users to easily access multiple mobile money wallets faster. This, as Nala founder Benjamin Fernandes yesterday also confirmed to Ventureburn (following a tip off from an industry source) that the startup has been selected by the prestigious US seed accelerator Y-Combinator to take part in its 2019 batch. Fernandes declined to comment further, saying Y-Combinator had asked participants not to share publicly yet that they have been accepted. The accelerator usually makes seed investments in those startups that take part in...

  • Here’s how SA startups can legally create an offshore company

    If you're a South African setting up an offshore company needn't be a headache. In this, my second article on how to build international business structures (see the first here), I will explain what your international company structure looks like, from an SA perspective. An international group owned by South Africans will look different to a SA company based in South Africa. This is because South African’s have specific restrictions placed on them by exchange control. This article explains why the structure will look different, and how it can achieve the desired end result anyway. As a starting point, here is the typical startup company: Offshore firm...

  • How corporates are jumping to work with tech startups [Opinion]

    I’ll never forget a conversation I had with the CEO of a listed corporation about how his company could engage with the world of startups. His reply, from the far end of his long, glossy boardroom table, was that he didn’t want some “dagga-smoking Capetonian in slipslops” in his company. It was a joke of course, but he was sort-of-serious too. Corporates, who are watching the startup story unfold before their eyes, know that these agile, innovative little companies may be their future collaborators or competitors. Corporates also know that startups can be very useful to them. Large companies, because of their...

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