• 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

  • Facebook to host one-day summit for young digital entrepreneurs in Joburg

    Facebook is partnering with the Department of Small Business Development and Livity Africa to host Youth Enterprise Day, a one-day summit that aims to celebrate and catalyse youth entrepreneurship in South Africa. In a press release Facebook said the event, to be hosted on June 24 at the Turbine Hall in Newtown, Johannesburg, will mix inspiration with learning by highlighting the stories of young South Africans who have built successful businesses using online tools. The summit will highlight the stories of some of South Africa’s most successful youth-run businesses, followed by a series of workshops hosted by Facebook and Livity Africa that will...

  • Entrepreneur’s report to address why SA has yet to produce a unicorn

    South African startups have produced a string of successes of late. Yet something is lacking. In April Edtech startup GetSmarter announced it would sell to US-listed 2U for $103-million, while last year SA company Giraffe, beat out 54 finalists from around the globe in the Seedstars World entrepreneurship competition. So why asks Jason Levin, a former entrepreneur with 20 years experience building marketing agencies, have countries like Nigeria and Poland produced unicorns -- but not South Africa? Levin of Elevation Holdings, a business consulting and angel investment firm, will next Wednesday (14 June) launch his report "Unicorns, Gazelles & Leapfrogs: Fast-tracking the South African startup ecosystem" at the Gordon Institute of Business Science...

  • Joburg health platform Guidepost one of 20 new companies Endeavor to boost

    Two South African entrepreneurs are among 28 business owners from 15 countries that Endeavor, a global non-profit organisation that backs high-impact entrepreneurship, recently welcomed into its fold. Graham Rowe and Richard Johnson (pictured above, left and right, respectively), of Joburg-based company Sancreed, were selected by Endeavor along with 19 other companies from around the world at the 71st International Selection Panel held between May 15 and 17, 2017, in Canary Wharf, London (see the full list here). With their selection as Endeavor entrepreneurs the two will have access to a worldwide network of successful entrepreneurs, as well as mentoring and the chance to receive investment from Endeavor. Their...

  • Can 12J VC tax incentive create the jobs South Africa badly needs?

    Tim Strang wants to provide spaza shops and wholesalers with a better way to order stock, through an app. He's betting on creating hundreds of jobs for sales agents that deploy the app -- thanks to an investment under a venture capital (VC) tax incentive. His Durban-based company and app, Spazapp is one of a number of firms that venture capital companies (VCCs) have invested in under the incentive, which is administered by the SA Revenue Service (Sars) and falls under Section 12J of the Income Tax Act. It allows investors to get a tax rebate if they invest in a VCC that in...

  • Innovation, tech transfer can help South Africa to address triple challenges

    The news in South Africa, and in many other countries, is currently filled with stories of power battles, conflict and corruption -- when we should rather be debating the triple challenge of alleviating poverty, reducing inequality and creating jobs. The future of South Africa, and much of the developing world, depends on the extent to which political and economic leaders are able to find ways of solving these three critical challenges. At the heart of any solution is finding ways to encourage economic growth. The growth rate of South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) has, over recent years, hovered stubbornly around one...

  • Investors clamouring for 12J VC incentive following tax hike – fund managers

    The increase in the top marginal income tax rate to 45% for high earners is driving more South African investors to seek out the 12J venture capital (VC) incentive to offset their taxable income, say fund managers. Under the incentive, which is managed by the South African Revenue Service (Sars), investors that invest in venture capital companies (VCCs) that in turn invest in qualifying small enterprises, can write off the full investment made in any one year from their taxable income. In February in his Budget speech then Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced a new top tax rate of 45% for individuals earning...

  • Foreign investment injection could propel South Africa’s VC ecosystem, 12J funds

    Ask any tech startup and they’ll tell you that raising venture capital (VC) in South Africa is not easy, that said, it’s a lot easier than it was seven years ago. Back then it was next to impossible to get VC funding. The local VC ecosystem is in its 10th year of building and while by US or Israel standards we may still be in our infancy. Yet for an industry that has had to entirely bootstrap itself we’ve done very well, but we still have a long way to go. The US and Israel ecosystem developments were both significantly bolstered...

  • Are these the 10 all-time biggest exit deals for SA startups? [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. Coming in the wake of edtech company GetSmarter's $123-million deal announced in May, we take a look at what could be the biggest exit deals for South African startups. Just about all of them are by startups based in Cape Town, with most having developed solutions in the financial services sector. Note: As acquisition values are not released for...

  • City of Cape Town considering 17 proposals from entrepreneurs to tackle water crisis

    As the City of Cape Town brought further water restrictions into effect on Wednesday (1 June), a city councillor has revealed that her office has so far received 17 enquiries and proposals from entrepreneurs looking to offer water-saving solutions to the city. In an emailed response on Friday to an enquiry from Ventureburn, Councillor Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for informal settlements, waste and water services and energy, said however that the city is not at liberty to share their personal information. "We are currently looking into all of these proposals," she added. Ventureburn understand however that one of the enquiries is from 25-year-old Grant Vanderwagen who...

  • Startups to take 1GIANTleap from idea to concept in 12 weeks with new programme

    Want to get help developing your new business idea? Startups have until this Monday (5 June) to apply to the 1GIANTleap programme which aims to help entrepreneurs to leap from idea to proven concept in just 12 weeks. The 12-week programme, an initiative of business support organisation Edge Growth, takes place from 8 June in Johannesburg. The programme, which was first run in 2014, begins with a selection process where entrepreneurs are tested on various qualities, business ideas, personal circumstances and their commitment to serving customers both online and offline. "One of the risks you run as an entrepreneur is to create something...