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Startups

  • SA’s startup ecosystem offers a positive vision of country’s future [Opinion]

    South Africa’s startup ecosystem is robust and growing, but our entrepreneurs and investors need to develop a truly global mindset to take advantage of a globalising world. Two recent startup studies on the country’s entrepreneurial and investment sector, released just this month, backs up the hype with research and hard figures, pointing to a booming startup sector. A report from the Netherlands-based startup research company VC4A, notes that the South African startup ecosystem is one of the most “robust and developed on the continent”, with strengths that include significant consumer and business markets, sophisticated entrepreneurial talent, and a strong corporate sector. It...

  • Here’s what you need to know about Kenya’s tech startup ecosystem

    Are you a venture capitalist or an angel investor looking to invest in a company? Are you an entrepreneur looking for capital or other opportunities? Are you an aspiring startup owner looking for assistance? Well, you have come to the right place. Ventureburn presents the 2018 guide to Kenya’s startup scene. Things are hotting up in Kenya. Earlier this month, it was revealed that the Kenyan government had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) to host the 2020 edition of the NEF Global Gathering in Nairobi. During an event last month in Johannesburg, Alibaba Group founder and...

  • It’s time for tech female founders to embrace the African century [Opinion]

    We have transitioned from the African Renaissance narrative a few years ago to believing Africa is rising out of the ass heap of despair, to more recent chatter about lions on the move and scaling gazelles. We can keep creating slogans, be our own hype beasts or we can actually roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty as we clean up our own mess, grab this Industry 4.0 revolution by the lapel and turn this into the African Century, for real. Yes, the scabs from wounds inflicted by our colonisers and the architects of apartheid are a constant reminder...

  • What liability do company, startup directors face in cyberspace?

    Cyber risks are evolving on a near daily basis posing countless threats to companies, and accordingly, directors need to stay abreast of legal developments to protect themselves and their companies in their fiduciary duties. The outline of such duties, in broad terms, is contained in legislation, common law and in the King IV Report on Corporate Governance for South Africa. Furthermore, duties which may not have been relevant to a director ten years ago may now have become relevant due to the development of technology and the associated risks. The law South African law prescribes duties that directors of companies must abide when...

  • With Brexit looming, should startups still consider UK registration to go global?

    For decades now startups that registered in the UK stood the chance of reaching 500 million consumers across Europe. But with the uncertainty around Brexit, the UK's pending withdrawal from the EU, should African startups looking to scale globally consider moving their businesses to the UK? Dylan Thomas, the director for technology, entrepreneurship and advanced manufacturing in the UK's Department for International Trade told Ventureburn in a meeting on Monday (10 September) in Cape Town, that Brexit will change only the country's political and not its economic relationship with the EU. "From an economic point of view, certainly, the UK government's ambition is to have...

  • Indonesian unicorn shows Silicon Valley model can’t beat going local [Opinion]

    It is said that Jakartans spend 10 years of their life in traffic. The populous and fast growing Indonesian capital city is a sweaty, gridlocked cacophony of just about every type of vehicle you can think of. It’s a problem that has been noticed, and tackled, by the region’s tech entrepreneurs. To this end, two massive tech “unicorns” dominate the ride-hailing market there. Both companies, Go-Jek and the Singaporean Grab, are effectively the Ubers of that region. In fact, both companies have been so successful that they brought the worldwide ride-hailing leader Uber to its knees, forcing the San Francisco company to...

  • ‘In Libya the first thing you do as startup is to list all things that might go wrong’

    For Fattoum Nasser the first thing anyone does when starting a tech business in Libya is to list all the things that might go wrong -- from the internet connection constantly going down to your car being hijacked. Experts estimate that over 10 000 people have been killed since a civil war began in 2014, while the UN Human Rights Commission believes over 200 000 Libyans have been internally displaced. But somehow amidst all this chaos a generation of young tech entrepreneurs is forging ahead. Nasser (pictured above) -- who is from Sabha, a city located in the country's unstable south -- is one of these. Last year...

  • Should African startups looking to go global consider registering in the US? 

    An increasing number of African startups are incorporating their companies in the US -- to make it easier to scale globally, and in some instances to raise funding from international investors. One such startup is Ghanaian company Syncommerce. Founded in 2014 by CEO Christian Osei-Bonsu, Joel Funu, and Albert Fiati-Kumasenu, the startup's centralised dashboard allows online merchants to sell, track and manage inventory across multiple sales channels, simultaneously. From day one the company has drawn the bulk of its clients from the US. Currently the figure stands at 70% of its merchants. Syncommerce has been able to access markets in Canada, UK and the rest...

  • When you’re a mom running a growing tech startup it’s all about multitasking

    For tech entrepreneur Chantalle ten Napel Wilson being a mom and a business owner comes down to one thing -- a lot of multitasking. Wilson, the founder of online vehicle retailing platform Virtual Drive and a mother of two, recalls how she has often had to conclude business meetings inside her car with a client seated next to her, while rushing to pick up her children from school. But she says most of her clients who find themselves in her car finishing a meeting react only positively. “Most people have said that it’s incredible that you do this,” she says. Says Wilson: “As an investor once told...

  • Let’s do it for ourselves Africa and stop copying overseas tech trends [Opinion]

    I like comparing the startup scene in South Africa to where hip hop was in the country about 10 years ago. Artists trying to imitate what the Americans were doing -- fake American accents, no vernac in their songs and oversized clothes which failed dismally and did not connect with the audience. Fast-forward and now in the forefront with artists like Cassper Nyovest hip hop has become one of the most popular and lucrative genres. It is the biggest driver of urban youth culture purely because they “pivoted” and embraced their SA identity these artists are not only successful with their music but have...

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