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Startups

  • Startups should tackle real problems, not ‘stupid stuff’ says Michael Jordaan

    South African venture capitalist Michael Jordaan says South African startups should focus on helping solve some of the country's many social and economic problems, rather than develop the "stupid, stupid stuff" that entrepreneurs often pitch him. Speaking last night at an event hosted by the Creative Leadership Collective and held at the Naspers building in Cape Town, the former FNB head said more startups should seek to solve "real problems". The collective is a members-based organisation that aims to facilitate greater innovation capabilities within large corporates. "The wonderful thing about South Africa are these problems you have, because they are all opportunities," said Jordaan. "Instead the stuff I...

  • Startup culture one of the most powerful things one can have – Michael Jordaan

    Startup culture is one of the most powerful things any society can have says SA venture capitalist Michael Jordaan, who adds startups can help solve many of South Africa's challenges. "I hate to say it but the Americans get so many things wrong -- including their president, including gun control and so on -- but what they did get right is how they view startups, how they view failure that that's a good thing and you can learn from that and start over, how corporates will sometimes buy small startups to sometimes get the talent inhouse," says Jordaan. Presenting a talk last...

  • 7 South African healthtech startups to watch in 2018 [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. An increasing demand for accountable care and the digital delivery of health care is driving more startups to develop innovative health care solutions. With the launch of new call for startups on 3 April by accelerator Digital Health Cape Town (see the story here), Ventureburn takes a look at seven promising South African healthtech startups to keep an eye on. Recomed Fresh off a R4.5-million...

  • Was SA startup TechnoVera overlooked for Gauteng pharmacy ATM? [Opinion]

    On 15 March 2018, the Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) in South Africa unveiled what they called a "historic ATM pharmacy". The first ATM pharmacy machine was deployed and launched in the Alexandra township of Johannesburg, at the Alexandra Plaza Shopping Centre. Also known as the "Pharmacy Dispensing Unit (PDU)", GDoH went on to state that the PDU is "the first of its kind on the African continent and will reduce congestion in public healthcare facilities". How the PDU works is like a typical cash ATM, but for medication. It allows patients to insert their unique "ATM" cards to start the...

  • Lagos is perfect backdrop for startups says Google Launchpad Accelerator man

    Lagos, Nigeria provides "the perfect backdrop" for tech startups on Google's Launchpad Accelerator Africa to build, collaborate and accelerate. So, says Folagbade Olatunji-David, the tech company's head of startup success and services for Launchpad Accelerator Africa. Google's first class of 12 startups for its three-month Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme kicked off on Monday last week (19 March). Olatunji-David said Nigeria's thriving startup ecosystem and the country's formidable economy -- one of the largest in Africa -- are what has attracted Google to hosting its first Launchpad Accelerator Africa there. The country has about 90 million internet users, according to the Nigerian Communications Commission, the highest on the...

  • Yoco had month of capital left in bank before we closed deal – Katlego Maphai

    SA fintech startup Yoco was living on the edge in the two years it took to conclude the company's first funding round, says co-founder and CEO Katlego Maphai. In a tell-all session at FuckUp Nights Cape Town -- held in Cape Town on Tuesday evening (20 March) and hosted by Aspiring Black Leaders and Cape Town Office -- Maphai detailed the struggle he and his three co-founders faced before they were able to clinch the startup's first round of funding. The deal, which involved an undisclosed amount in a round led by US-based Quona Capital and Netherlands-based Velocity Capital, was announced in March last year. Read more: Yoco concludes...

  • Q&A: Zuma relative, business consultant now heads Startup Grind Pretoria

    A 34-year-old businessman and business consultant who counts former president Jacob Zuma as his great uncle, now runs Startup Grind Pretoria. Startup Grind is a global movement which hosts regular talks with entrepreneurs. Pretoria is one of 13 cities in South Africa that have chapters. "The question about JZ is one I get just about daily," says Monde Zuma (pictured above with mLab Southern Africa CEO Derrick Kotze), who adds that he is accustomed to call the former president "grandfather". He took over from Guillaume De Smedt in November, when De Smidt (who also ran the Cape Town chapters for some years) moved...

  • How wiGroup founder switched gears to build growth company around people

    Even before a recent shared dinner, wiGroup founder Bevan Ducasse has sought to follow entrepreneur Richard Branson's advice on creating a company where staff can thrive. Ducasse recently met with the Virgin founder in the Cape Winelands town of Franchoek, before later inking a deal which saw the Virgin Group make an undisclosed investment in the Cape Town based mobile software firm. The deal was announced yesterday by wiGroup. Read more: SA fintech wiGroup secures funding from Virgin, Smollan to boost global expansion "He (Branson) took a liking to the company and the technology we're building," said Ducasse. "I was fortunate to have dinner with him," he says. Branson,...

  • Challenges women entrepreneurs face are more visible says ImpactHER founder

    The challenges women entrepreneurs in Africa face when accessing finance -- though not unique to women -- are often more visible in women-led businesses believes Efe Ukala, an investment lawyer and founder of non-profit ImpactHER. These says she says include financial management and putting in place good governance. "Based on my observation while advising on investors transactions arising out of east, west and southern Africa, I believe that these issues are common in most African countries, although cloaked in slightly different colours," says Ukala (pictured above). Her organisation ImpactHER -- which Ukala launched last year -- aims to train African female entrepreneurs scale their businesses and...

  • Here’s how to save your company from looming CIPC deregistration

    The headache of waking up one day only to find out your company does not exist is one that can be easily avoided. Many small business owners might not be aware that the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) -- formerly known as Cipro -- issued a notice on 12 December 2017, via their website stating that certain companies that had failed to submit annual returns to CIPC as is required by the Companies Act would face deregistration next Friday (2 February 2018). This applies all entities registered with the CIPC be they private, external,  incorporated or public companies as well as non-profit...

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