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Startups

  • 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...

  • Still stuck in school — NITDA’s awkward romance with Nigerian startups [opinion]

    When many Nigerian founders of startups are asked to list their major challenges, they often mention the lack of support from the Nigerian government. While this is a widely accepted position in the country’s startup ecosystem, government officials and politicians at all levels believe the industry is getting more than enough support from the government -- which set up the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). The agency has been tasked with developing the country’s ICT industry. How it perhaps started So how did it come about? The theory is that some years ago some international tech experts visited Nigeria's then president Olusegun Obasanjo at the...

  • Looking to sell that app or platform to Barclays Africa? Here’s what to consider

    Startups looking to sell their good ideas to a corporate need to ensure that they can argue a clear business case with a proven solution and a demonstrable market, says Shirley Gilbey, the head of Rise and Co-creation at Barclays Africa Group. "Every relationship should be transactional -- they (startups) have a solution that we want to offer our customers. There must be value for both sides in the collaboration," points out Gilbey. Think about the market and how you would scale across regions says Barclays Africa's Shirley Gilbey Ventureburn spoke to Gilbey about what startups should consider if they want to sell their innovative idea,...

  • Here are SA’s Inspiring Fifty women in technology for 2017

    Non-profit organisation Inspiring Fifty, an initiative of the Dutch Consulate General in Cape Town together with Inspiring Fifty Netherlands, has announced the names of its 50 inspiring women in technology in South Africa. It follows a call the Dutch Consulate General put out in April for nominations for those who can serve as role models to attract more female champions in the technology-related fields. At the close of applications at the end of June, the consulate general had received 252 nominations. Read more: Over 100 nominations received so far for inspiring SA women in tech initiative Project manager Chantal Louw said in a press release this week...

  • Silicon Cape head calls on local startups to include sexual harassment in HR policy

    Startups should include a sexual harassment policy in their human resources strategy, or as part of the letter of appointments for all staff including the founder whether female or male, says Silicon Cape managing director Ellen Fischat. "Sexual harassments policies start with human resources. Considering that startups often do not have structured human resources practices in place, it leaves room for unprofessional conduct and abuse of power towards women," said Fischat. "Anyone in a powerful position has no right to abuse a situation in exchange for sexual favours." The head of the Cape Town's tech organisation was commenting following the series of sexual harassment scandals that have rocked...

  • What software is eligible for a patent? Three examples explain what to look for

    Not all software is patent-eligible, so it’s important that you know what to look out for. In a previous article, I wrote about why your software startup needs a patent. Let's look at what kinds of software one can patent. Read more: 4 reasons why your startup needs a patent As patent-eligibility differs from one country to the next, this article generally covers US and European eligibility requirements. Taking an existing algorithm or method which is already known and applying it using a computer is not likely to be a patent-eligible invention, even if you are the first person to do so. The same would...

  • Tech sector in Cape Town needs more high-profile exits, state support – Winde

    The Western Cape's Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde says Cape Town needs more high-profile exits and better support from national and local government. Responding to questions from Ventureburn on what his office is doing to promote the city as a tech startup location, Winde said in addition to more high-profile exits, the city needs better governmental support via policy initiatives at national and local level. These he said include the introduction of entrepreneur visas, strategic funding support and the removal of intellectual property (IP) exchange controls (which the Reserve Bank is attending to). Read more: Reserve Bank is looking to further unblock ecosystem challenges –...

  • Dell ranks Johannesburg 28th out of 50 in support of women entrepreneurs

    Computer company Dell has ranked Johannesburg 28th out of 50 global cities in fostering high-potential women entrepreneurs, in its 2017 Women Entrepreneur Cities Index (WE Cities). The latest index, which was released last month, places Johannesburg ahead of cities such as Seoul, São Paulo, Kuala Lumpur, Barcelona, Tokyo and Dublin. However the South African city has slid from its position at 23rd in the 2016 study, which Dell said is reflective of tougher market conditions. Dell explained that the 2016 and 2017 studies differ in several ways, including the total number of cities, number of indicators and the weight of indicators based on new data sources....