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Startups

  • PeaceTech Accelerator looking for more startups for its next cohorts

    PeaceTech Accelerator, a Washington DC based cloud innovation centre and scale-up programme devoted to peace technology, is looking for more participants for its next cohort starting on 8 September with the third planned for January next year. PeaceTech Accelerator was launched earlier this year by tech investment firm C5 Accelerate and PeaceTech Lab , a peace building non-profit, in collaboration with cloud computing service provider, Amazon Web Services, and has since graduated its first cohort. It runs eight week programmes for companies and non-profit organisations involved in the development of innovative technologies that promote peace and build stronger, safer societies. Dimitra Hatzudis, external relations coordinator at C5 Accelerate,...

  • ‘Percentage of women in tech sector has declined from 40% of professionals’

    The percentage of women in the local IT sector has declined from a level of 40% of professionals in the 1980s claims Cape Town entrepreneur Lorraine Steyn. A 2014 survey by the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) of 711 IT practitioners revealed that only 21% of ICT jobs are held by women. "If we're cutting out 50% of the population from those career opportunities, well I'm pissed off, I want to see the girls in there," said Steyn, speaking at a Startup Grind event at Workshop 17 in Cape Town last night. Steyn, the CEO of Khanyisa Real Systems (KRS), challenged businesses to be more flexible...

  • SA fintech startup Yoco announces it has hit 10 000 SMEs users milestone

    South African payments company Yoco today announced that it now has 10 000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) clients in South Africa using its point-of-sale payments platform to accept card payments. “This milestone is indicative of the significant demand for these kinds of services in the SME sector. Over 72% of Yoco merchants had never accepted cards before, a key metric for us at Yoco, as we look to be market makers, not just participants,” said Yoco CEO and co-founder, Katlego Maphai in a press release today. Maphai said the company is adding over 1 000 new SMEs to its base every...

  • These were 10 startups that competed in the SA finals of Seedstars World

    Last month saw a sold out Seedstars South Africa final at the Standard Bank Auditorium in Rosebank, Johannesburg -- with Cape Town startup EMGuidance clinching top spot. The startup, which solves a critical problem for medical professionals by aggregating medical content from regional experts in one app, beat off nine other startups. The company will now go on to represent South Africa at the Seedstars Global Summit in April next year, and will have an opportunity to compete for $500 000 in investment capital, participation in the Africa Regional Summit and a global network in over 80 countries around the world. Read more: Meet...

  • So what kind of entrepreneurship is South Africa really trying to promote?

    Backing high tech innovative entrepreneurship is the only way forward for our country, but requires commitment from the private sector and skills development “Entrepreneurship” is on everyone’s agenda. Primary schools are running entrepreneurship days, while companies run hackathons and challenges to find and support budding entrepreneurs. Summing up its key priorities, after the recent ANC National Policy Conference, the organisation’s treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize set as a priority, the development of “entrepreneurial skills” among all South Africans as a way of stimulating what it calls “radical economic development”. While this growing interest in entrepreneurship is very encouraging, we need to be cautious not...

  • XAfricaMart.com marketplace launches with a transaction fee of just 1.2%

    Online B2B marketplace XAfricaMart.com was launched yesterday in Johannesburg, with its CEO Stephen Oehley claiming that the marketplace has one of the lowest transaction fees in the market for suppliers. The marketplace which is aimed at small and growing businesses, will offer sellers and customers a secure payment platform that mitigates online trading risks and non-delivery. Sellers are charged a 1.2% sales success fee. This compares to Amazon which charges a fee of 3.9% for international transactions, eBay which charges a fee of 3.5% or 10% depending on the number of goods listed on the site and Alibaba which charges a 5% fee. XAfricaMart.com also seeks to network businesses up...

  • Seedstars, Enel seeking energy entrepreneurs for Africa Energy Prize

    Global startup competition Seedstars  in collaboration with Enel Group, a global power company, have announced the creation of the Africa Energy Prize. The competition, which is aimed at African startups, is looking for startups that focus on increasing energy access. The collaboration, which was announced on 7 July, will form part of the existing annual Seedstars World Competition.  Seedstars and Enel representatives will evaluate startups' business models and the Enel team will announce the top finalists in December at the RES4Africa event. The winner will be announced at the global Seedstars Summit in Switzerland in April next year, whereupon they will enter Seedstars' three-month growth...

  • Q&A: Cape Town entrepreneur Lorraine Steyn laments shortage of women in tech

    Software development is a well-paying career and more women should be involved in the sector, laments Cape Town entrepreneur Lorraine Steyn. "I'm very sad about the falling number of women in software development, particularly. It is a well-paying career, requiring creative and analytical skills," says Steyn co-founded software development company Khanyisa Real Systems (KRS) in 1987. Steyn, KRS's CEO, will be in conversation with Guillaume de Smedt tomorrow at the next Startup Grind event, Women in Tech, in Cape Town at Workshop 17. Lorraine Steyn says she's sad about the falling number of women in tech Ventureburn caught up with Steyn to pick her brains on a...

  • Five ways to save money on your tax filing

    The 2017 tax season opened for individuals on 1 July and taxpayers need to start gathering all the supporting documents needed to submit tax returns accurately and on time. If you own a startup or small business, nearly any purchase that helps generate income is tax deductible. While you need to be careful to ensure that these expenses are genuinely claimable, some of these are commonly overlooked and could save you money come tax time. Here are a few tax deductions that you shouldn’t forget, as well as some tips that could save you money in the long term. 1.Home free Many entrepreneurs...

  • Kenyan startup M-Shule gets investment from Engineers Without Borders

    Canadian seed-stage investor Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB) yesterday announced a cash investment worth $40 000 in Kenyan edtech startup M-Shule. M-Shule is an SMS and web-based learning management platform which makes use of artificial intelligence to design tailored learning experiences. It was designed to handle 144 million primary school students across Sub-Saharan Africa and was launched in January in Nairobi, Kenya by Claire Mongeau. In an email interview with Ventureburn, Mongeau said although they currently operate in Kenya, they intended to expand into East Africa by 2019 and throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia in subsequent years. "We are excited and thrilled to work...