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Startups

  • Click2Sure’s Daniel Guasco steps down as chairman of Silicon Cape

    SA entrepreneur and founder of insurance startup Click2Sure Daniel Guasco will next Thursday (31 August) hand over the reins as chairperson of Silicon Cape, to academic Sumarie Roodt. Guasco told Ventureburn today that he is stepping down as he no longer has the time to do the organisation justice as its chair, as he's having to dedicate more time on his startup. In an earlier press release Silicon Cape managing director Ellen Fischat said Guasco will continue as a director of Silicon Cape, to provide mentoring and guidance to the broader ecosystem. Guasco says he no longer has the time to do Silicon Cape justice as chair,...

  • Pitching to Woolworths? Not just about idea, but team behind it – online head

    Do you have an idea for an app or platform that you want to pitch to Woolworths? Getting the retailer's attention is not just about how strong your idea or solution is, but comes down to the potential of the person or the team that is involved, says the retailer's head of online Liz Hillock. In a Q&A below, Hillock responded to questions from Ventureburn on what to prepare yourself for as a tech entrepreneur looking to sell an innovative solution to Woolworths. It’s difficult for any corporate to invest in an idea that is untested. Consider getting a proof of concept...

  • TIA increases seed funding per applicant to R650 000 for innovative projects

    Looking to fund your innovative idea? The Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) has increased the amount in seed funding that entrepreneurs and innovators that develop innovative solutions can access - from R500 000 to R650 000 per project. TIA's head of technology stations and IATs, Vusi Skosana, yesterday confirmed the increase per application, following an emailed enquiry from Ventureburn. The seed fund, which the agency launched in 2013, has two streams - one that channels seed funding through technology transfer centres at universities and science centres to innovative projects and another that works with a number of small business support organisations in provinces to...

  • Wanna pitch to Vodacom? Don’t come with vague ideas, executive tells startups

    With Vodacom receiving between 20 and 30 pitches a month from startups, entrepreneurs can't afford to approach the cellular provider with ideas that are vague or poorly researched, says Fatima Hassim, the managing executive for SME at Vodacom Business. Hassim says startups with innovative ideas for apps or platforms should describe their solution in as much detail as possible and provide Vodacom with an estimation of the solution's market size and potential. "Make sure you have a short, concise summary at the top: you need to catch the reader's attention in the first five minutes," she says. Describe the solution in as much detail as possible, provide...

  • These are the three trends likely to drive healthtech, disruption in the future

    Innovation in health care is likely to be driven by three key trends in the future -- an increasing demand for accountable care, the consumerisation of health care and the digital delivery of health care. This makes the sector ripe for disruption, says South African neurosurgeon David Roytowski. Speaking at a seminar hosted by Bowmans and venture capital company Havaic at Bowman's offices in the city on Thursday, Roytowski, who is based at Tygerberg Hospital, said these three trends will likely influence the quality, cost and access to health care. He added that increasing focus on one of these elements will likely...

  • IBM programme opened my eyes to new possibilities, says tech entrepreneur

    Being part of IBM's enterprise development programme for the past year has "opened" his eyes to new growth possibilities, says Kuben Naicker, the founder of IT Aware. "It has pretty much opened our eyes on how to grow our product... to look for new subscribers," says Naicker, whose 17-year old IT firm conducts skills and job profile assessments on behalf of the country's Skills Education and Training Authorities (Setas). Naicker, who is due to exit the programme at the end of this month, has benefited from both training as well over R400 000 in software and hardware support. It includes a new server, access...

  • HealthTech app, platform builders face legal hurdles in SA, hear delegates

    HealthTech app and platform developers in South Africa are being held back by rules and regulations, which has seen at least one locally developed platform shift its focus to Kenya, delegates heard at a healthtech seminar held in Cape Town yesterday. The seminar was hosted by law firm Bowmans and venture capital company Havaic at Bowman’s offices in the city. Neurosurgeon David Roytowski, who is based at Tygerberg Hospital, noted that patients have become more willing than before to accept health-care advice via digital platforms rather than by way of face-to-face advice. But he pointed out that health-care legislation in South Africa remains a major...

  • Show your work, don’t just share ideas, Capitec innovation head tells startups

    Entrepreneurs should be ready to show their work and not just share their ideas, says Capitec bank's manager for innovation Francois Dempers. In an interview with Ventureburn, Dempers -- who oversees innovation in the bank's digital solutions division -- says tech entrepreneurs who want to sell their ideas for apps or platforms to the bank should remain open and honest about what their product can and cannot do. "Do not oversell your product or service and get straight to business. Leave your business guy at home and bring your techie instead. We prefer authentic experiences right from the start of a relationship," says Dempers. 'Capitec prefers authentic experiences...

  • Can employers legally deduct damages or losses caused by an employee?

    May an employer make deductions for damage or loss caused by employee? The basic answer is yes they can. But for such a deduction to be lawful an employer has to meet several requirements. If an employee has caused an employer harm due to the employee’s fault (for example an accident with a company car), the employer would in principle have a claim against the employee. It does not make practical sense to sue the employee. However, the employer may not simply go ahead and deduct the amount from the employee’s wages. 'A discussion with the employee that results in an acknowledgement of debt,...

  • Startups, have an app or web platform you want to sell to Old Mutual?

    Have an insuretech product? Startups should spend more time getting to know the challenges insurance companies face before approaching a corporate. So says Stanley Gabriel, head of innovation at Old Mutual Personal Finance. In addition startups should know their story and understand Old Mutual's constraints and limitations, while remaining flexible on how these can be addressed or overcome. "Don't engage on a proposed partnership unless your product or service is ready for testing -- this only leads to disappointment for all parties involved," says Gabriel. Startup shouldn't engage on a proposed partnership unless their product or service is ready for testing says Old Mutual innovation head Ventureburn spoke to...