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Startups

  • ‘Shortage of township startups with innovative, unique ideas’

    Too many township startups are pursuing "me-too ideas" over innovative ideas, says Innovation Hub CEO McLean Sibanda. Speaking to Ventureburn, Sibanda says the organisation, which is funded by the Gauteng provincial government, battles to find innovative entrepreneurs to back in the townships. "Most young people in townships don't have a degree, but the entrepreneurial flare is there and that's why we've decided to invest there," he said. The Innovation Hub is currently assisting 150 township startups through seven centres in its eKasiLabs programme. These include among others a startup involved in manufacturing environmentally-friendly paint, another making audio equipment, a business offering household cleaning services and an...

  • Telecommunications department to help 50 girl-learners to innovate

    The Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services is looking to train 50 girl-learners from the Eastern Cape on developing ICT innovations, Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams told MPs yesterday. In an address to Parliament yesterday during the presentation of the department's budget vote, Ndabeni-Abrahams said following the completion of the intervention the girl learners will then participate in a challenge to build their own innovation which will benefit their communities. The intervention was launched last month during International Girls in ICT Day. In addition South Africa's domain name authority .zadna will also train women-led small businesses on website development and domain-name registrations. The department would...

  • Google Launchpad Accelerator announces six African startup for fourth class

    Four Nigerian startups and one each from Kenya and South Africa will join 27 other startups at the 4th class of Google's Launchpad Accelerator. The announcement was made yesterday by Google on the Google Developers Blog. It's the first time Google has opened the accelerator to startups from Africa and Europe. Read more: JUMO first SA startup to be selected for Google Launchpad Accelerator The six from Africa startups, which were among 33 startups chosen by Google, will attend a two-week bootcamp at Google’s headquarters in California from 17 to 28 July, and get six months ongoing support and mentorship and $50,000 in funding. The 33 startups also include six from India; four from Brazil;...

  • JUMO first SA startup to be selected for Google Launchpad Accelerator

    South African fintech startup JUMO has become the first South African startup to be selected by Google for its Launchpad accelerator. The announcement was made yesterday by Google on the Google Developers Blog, with JUMO chosen alongside 32 other startups, including five others from Africa, to join the accelerator. As part of being selected onto the accelerator JUMO's leaders will embark upon a two-week bootcamp at Google's headquarters in California from 17 to 28 July, while the startup will get six months ongoing support and mentorship and $50,000 in funding. Speaking to Ventureburn from Myanmar, where he is investigating new business opportunities, JUMO founder and CEO Andrew Watkins-Ball said he was excited as...

  • Travelground founders launch booking service to target business travellers

    Over 500,000 South Africans travelled domestically for business last year. It's why the founders of the TravelGround Group, Marcel Van de Ghinste and Jonathan Womersley, have launched WorkTripper.co.za, South Africa’s first business-ready accommodation-booking platform. Built entirely for business travellers WorkTripper allows users to find the features and services that they need, such as flexible cancellations, negotiated rates and Wi-Fi, from over 12,000 establishments across the country. The new platform is the group’s third ecommerce venture in nine years and follows in the successful footsteps of TravelGround.com and LekkeSlaap.co.za. Together they attract an average of 750,000 unique users a month, with thousands of...

  • Seedstars selects 12 startups for Joburg pitching event this week

    Seedstars World, the global seed-stage startup competition for emerging markets, has announced 12 startups that have been selected for a pitching event to take place at Standard Bank Incubator in Johannesburg this Friday (26 May). This week's event is already sold out. The top startups will be advance to the grand finale and compete again for the title of most promising seed-stage startup of Seedstars World South Africa 2017. Seedstars World will travel to more than 80 countries this year to identify the best seed-stage entrepreneurs and provide them with an opportunity to win up to $1-million, with the main prize being a $500,000...

  • Despite teething problems support for small business ‘firmly on track’ says Zulu

    South Africa's small business minister Lindiwe Zulu says three years on since the formation of her department -- which was again criticised by opposition members yesterday for doing little to help the sector -- the government's support for the small business sector remains “firmly on track”. Delivering her department's budget vote in Parliament yesterday, Zulu said despite "teething problems" and a budget which is "far below" what is needed to boost the sector, the department had made a difference to small business support in the country. "Because of our collective and concerted efforts, the majority of our citizens now appreciate the value and contribution of small...

  • Architect of Kenya’s Silicon Savannah hits out at delays at Konza Techno City

    Progress on Kenya’s Konza Techno City, dubbed “Silicon Savannah”, has been too slow while insufficient budget has been allocated to complete the initiative, says Bitange Ndemo, the man who conceived Konza eight years ago. While construction started in November on the first building – an eight-storey unit to host techno city operations and house early investors and innovators -- Ndemo, (pictured above) associate professor at the University of Nairobi's Business School, is critical of delays. “It’s not very difficult to do it (set up a techno city) but from my own assessment they have taken too long,” says Ndemo, who is also a former ICT permanent...

  • Department to help co-operatives, startups to go digital says Zulu

    The Department of Small Business Development aims to help startups and co-operatives to adopt digital technology to grow, Small Business Minister Lindiwe Zulu told MPs today. Presenting the Department of Small Business Development's budget vote in Parliament today, Zulu said her department will help entrepreneurs to build the right digital capabilities. "The 4th Industrial Revolution, characterised by digitisation and automation, is gaining momentum. It will fundamentally change the way is which we live, work, transact and trade. "It thus stands to reason that the small business and co-operatives sector must future-proof their core business offerings and business models, in order to be part of a...

  • Do your commercial drone insurance policies have adequate cover?

    Incidents involving drones can be minor, slightly humorous, or have extremely dire consequences.  From a kiss-cam drone cutting off a piece of a person's nose or a drone spying through the president's bedroom window, to extreme cases such as an engineering drone flying into a crane operator who knocks down a portion of an under-construction building, or a drone dropping weapons or bombs into a prison or flying into the propeller of a 500-passenger airliner. The new drone regulations, which came into effect on 1 July 2015 and form part of the Civil Aviation Regulations, place an obligation on those with commercial drone...