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Startups

  • Rocket Internet to Spur incident, five of Ventureburn’s interesting reads of 2017

    It was a busy year again for Ventureburn -- with Bitcoin going crazy, Google opening an Africa accelerator, entrepreneurs coming forth with bizarre solutions to Cape Town's drought and Spur founder Allen Ambor telling how he didn't take nonsense from no one. Here then are five of Ventureburn's more interesting reads of 2017: Former Rocket Internet man tells how he cloned firms, from Cape Town to Bangkok (30 August): Cape Town born Tauriq Brown always wanted to be an international businessman. He may claim to be an entrepreneur. But the 28-year-old former Rocket Internet employee is just one of the hundreds employed by massive venture-builder companies to clone and...

  • Here are 12 SA tech entrepreneurs who made headlines in Ventureburn in 2017

    From selling their startup for over a billion rand, to turning air into water -- here are 12 South African entrepreneurs who made headlines in Ventureburn in 2017. Sam and Rob Paddock (Getsmarter founders): It was a chance encounter with US listed company 2u's CEO Chip Paucek in October last year that set Cape Town based SA edtech startup GetSmarter on the road to being acquired by the US firm in a $103-million deal which was finally concluded in October this year. The deal is one of the biggest acquisitions of an SA tech startups (see the list of the top 10 reported exits), and included an earn-out provision of...

  • A look at 2017: the year that was for South Africa’s tech startup ecosystem

    This year saw one of the biggest acquisitions of a South African startup - with the over $100-million GetSmarter deal. A chance meeting with 2U CEO Chip Paucek in October last year set the Cape Town based edtech startup on the road to being acquired by the US firm in a $103-million deal signed in May, but only concluded in October. But 2017 was also a year in which two new major acceleration programmes launched on the continent. Global accelerator Startupbootcamp launched a three-month programme in Cape Town in September -- the organisation's first such initiative in Africa. The inaugural programme helped bridge the gap between corporates and startups, with the initiative's first...

  • How tragedy inspired Medsaf co-founder to tackle Nigeria’s counterfeit drug crisis

    Counterfeit drugs are a grave problem in Nigeria. Vivian Nwakah, a co-founder of healthtech startup Medsaf, knows this too well. Four years ago a friend of hers died after taking fake malaria medication. The counterfeit drug crisis in the West African country came to a head this week with police carrying out raids on several street markets. On Monday, Nigeria's National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control called on Nigerians to assist the agency in its fight against counterfeit drugs by coming forward and reporting any forms of illegal drug production. "I felt that that could have been anybody, it could have been me," said Nwakah (pictured above), who lost...

  • Watch these guys — here are the SA startups to look out for in 2018

    Tech startups that focus on solving problems using data analysis top Ventureburn's list for the 12 South African tech firms to watch in 2018 - be they transport, agriculture, transport, or finance. Fintech, will continue to be the hottest sector -- with half the startups on the list hailing from the sector. The list also includes two startups using cryptocurrency as part of their solution. Aerobotics is definitely a startup to watch. This Cape Town based aerial data analytics platform provides analytics for drone users (mainly in the agricultural sector). In November Google revealed that the startup was one of 24 selected to join the fifth...

  • It’s been a tough year in SA, so is it wise to cut that promised staff bonus?

    The year is rushing to an end and many South Africans are looking forward to a well-deserved break. It has been a difficult year for most companies with the unprecedented negative economic and political climate. Companies are battling to be profitable. It is also a time of year where many employees have an expectation of receiving some reward in the form of an annual bonus. A bonus is different from a 13th cheque, as the payment of annual bonuses is not guaranteed. The employer can decide whether he wants or is able to reward his employees by paying a bonus. If...

  • Time to re-imagine education, training to prepare for Fourth Industrial Revolution

    “If you are left behind in the digital era, you will never catch up.” These were the thoughts shared by Telkom CEO Sipho Maseko at the much-hyped BCX Disrupt Summit held in Johannesburg earlier this month. The summit brought together thought-leaders from a range of disciplines presenting on some of the hottest topics associated with disruptive innovation. While there were some contrarian views (such as, is this really the 4th industrial revolution?), one thread running more-or-less consistently through the discussions was grappling with South Africa and Africa’s readiness for this innovation age. As Maseko grimly pointed out, while Africa had been left behind in...

  • XL Africa — aiming high to create continent’s next growth startups

    During one week each November, thousands of events and competitions in over 160 countries supported by a network of more than 15 000 partner organisations celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week, which runs until Sunday (19 November). The World Bank Group is joining this global celebration through an innovative post-acceleration programme, XL Africa -- a pan-African initiative for growth startups seeking Series A funding, between $250 000 and $1.5-million. Over 900 of the most promising startups across Africa applied to participate in this programme, of which 20 were selected by an independent panel of experts. Read more: Startups aim to secure $1.5m as World Bank’s XL Africa...

  • Here are the 23 countries where you can register a business in under five days

    Do you have an internet startup and want to open in a hurry? This year's Doing Business report, released earlier this week lists 23 countries where it's possible to open a business in less than a day. New Zealand tops the list again -- it takes just one day to open a business there. Next up are Canada and the small former Soviet republic, Georgia -- where it takes just two days to open a business. Jamaica may be famed for its laid back lifestyle, but not when it comes to registering a business -- the country does it in just...

  • These six tips will help you as an entrepreneur master the art of pitching

    You’ve secured that all important meeting with a potential investor, or perhaps you have received confirmation that you’ve been shortlisted to the final pitch event of that accelerator or incubator programme you applied to. Now, how do you craft the perfect winning pitch? "When it comes to a pitch, there is no quick fix!" says Louise Mitchell who helps entrepreneurs and others improve their pitching. "Crafting a pitch is an art that you’ll use throughout the life of your business – pitching to partners, then investors and customers," adds Mitchell, who has over 30 years-experience working in business-to-business communication. One of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs...

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