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Startups

  • Innovation Summit: watch and learn at Ventureburn Pitching Den [Native Article]

    Pitching your business/startup to potential investors is a daunting task for almost any entrepreneur, but what better way to get pointers than by watching a high-stakes pitching process? We've teamed up with the SA Innovation Summit for the Ventureburn Pitching Den Competition, offering some attractive prizes to winning startups. The competition, taking place at the summit's Market on the Edge exhibition area, will see startups pitching their businesses to a panel of judges. The panel will judge the businesses using several criteria, including innovation, financial performance and strategic direction. What do the startups gain? So what kind of prizes are up for grabs then? Well, the overall winner gets...

  • Ten app: the bold attempt to digitise tithe, offerings in Nigeria

    In Nigeria, the first week in August is usually a very busy one particularly along the Lagos–Ibadan Expressway, otherwise known as "Jesus Highway." This is due to a large number of people -- usually millions -- attending the annual convention of some of the country's biggest churches with camps in the area. When prayers are said and sermons are preached, worshippers pay their tithe and offerings – two contributions that have allowed churches to continue to grow, expand and remain relevant at all levels.As sacred as tithe and offering are in Christianity, a new app As sacred as tithe and...

  • Uganda’s Outbox incubator shows phenomenal results in four years

    "The launchpad for new ideas" is how Ugandan incubator Outbox is labelled as it has shown significant growth over the past few years. Established in 2012, Outbox is one of the leading incubators in Uganda. It not only offers incubation and workshops on a variety of subjects, but also a co-working space. Outbox has tried out an programme for women, which proved successful. "Our mission is to provide the entrepreneurship, innovation and technology infrastructure that supports African entrepreneurs," says founder, Richard Zulu, in a press release to Ventureburn. In just four years, Outbox has housed 13 startups, raised over US$1-million in funding, and...

  • Pitch Day 237 selects 4 startups for second leg of Activation Bootcamp

    The second leg of  Pitch Day 237, organised by the African Centre for Technology, Innovation and Ventures Spaces (ActivSpaces) alongside Cameroon Angels Network (CAN), has come to an end. ActivSpaces is a tech hub which aims to progress the state of technology in Cameroon through an intense six-month incubator programme called the Activation Bootcamp. CAN is the first angel investor network within the country which seeks to invest in all sectors and industries who have an interest in technology. The event saw 12 startups pitch to startup investors for seed capital, eventually being whittled down to four: Kemi Store  - An online store that lets...

  • The Solaris initiative: locally sustainable biofuel for jets

    Human nature is to progress, to continually improve on existing structures. Project Solaris is an example of that nature. A joint initiative started by Sunchem SA and SkyNRG, it's already making progress in the world of biofuel. Two years ago, Sunchem SA and SkyNRG launched the project in Limpopo with the aim to roll it out on a wide scale and be the go-to for locally sustainable jet biofuel production. Today, they've achieved that goal. "The Solaris crop yields about 2.5 MT ton (sic) of oil per hectare. This is significantly more than traditional oil crops," said Solaris' Project Manager Samantha Hampton in...

  • Siyavula, the edtech startup enabling learners through feature phones [updated]

    Update: Facts and quotes have been amended. Our apologies to Mark Horner and Siyavula for the errors. Education has been preached about as the way to a better life, "get good grades, go to a good school, then off to a better university where you'll get a degree and make lots of money". In our country, it's especially hard to follow that path. According to the 2014 education statistics, 28.3% of learners who passed their matric exam only qualified for a Bachelor's programme, 31.3% qualified for a Diploma programme and 16.1% qualified for a Higher Certificate programme. These stats prove why more...

  • A startup wants to solve India’s farmer problems with data and tech

    My family has owned a farm for years and we’ve always made our money growing and selling vegetables, but things have been changing. To sustain ourselves, we now need to sell to people in cities – customers whose faces we’ve never seen and are only talked about by the men who arrive once a week in big trucks to sift through our vegetables and throw half of them away. Some give us reasons – the eggplants we grow aren’t worth anything because they’re not popular this year, or less lumpy potatoes have become the fad – how would we know...

  • Looking for startup office space? Coworking SA can help you

    The popularity of coworking spaces in SA has soared in recent years as they offer an alternative to working from home or an office block. For entrepreneurs, these facilities also mean affordable places to run their business from, and access to almost anything they need for operations. As Philip Joubert of OfferZen discovered, many of these places aren't comprehensive enough in their online listings. In December, both Philip and his brother, Malan, were sharing an apartment, which acted as the base of operations for OfferZen. The two were sleeping on the floor and needed to roll up their beds before staff...

  • Meet Asia’s first accelerator for AI startups, founded by a Techstars London director

    There's a new startup accelerator in Hong Kong called Zeroth.ai, and it's accepting applications from artificial intelligence startups throughout Asia. It's started by Tak Lo, who was a director at Techstars London. Techstars is one of the pioneers of the startup accelerator movement. The accelerator has on its team Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn and Jon Bradford, the former managing director of Techstars London. Zeroth will offer mentorship and US$20,000 in capital to startups for 6 percent equity. The first program will be run from November 7 this year to February 17, 2017. The accelerator is named after zero-based numbering, which is basically...

  • What we learnt from Snapscan at MTN’s app breakfast

    MTN Business's App of the Year awards is a pretty noteworthy event in the tech industry, featuring quite a few notable representatives. To encourage entries (and for networking), the company held a breakfast event, featuring a rather interesting speaker lineup. Representatives from CustomApp, Uber South Africa and Snapscan were on-hand to dish out some knowledge. But it was Snapscan's Rupert Sully, head of sales and business development, who got our attention. So what did we learn then? Snapscan wasn't a mobile service at first It's weird to think of the payment app as anything but a mobile service, but Sully said the service was...