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Startups

  • Winning Cape Town startups to tackle water crisis with innovative solutions

    With the City of Cape Town seeking to introduce further water restrictions from 1 June, city authorities would do well to turn to entrepreneurs from four local startups who have designed innovative solutions. The four startups last night won a pitching challenge hosted by Stellenbosch University's LaunchLab to design solutions to tackle water and waste management. Their prize includes incubation and business support from the incubator. The four -- chosen from 11 participants -- are: Bridgiot: which has developed an internet-of-things solutions to provide instant notifications to users on their water usage. The startup is led by Jurie Envee. AlwaysOn founder Nico Pretorius is also involved in...

  • How South Africans can take more advantage of the growing gig economy

    If you haven't noticed, the worldwide workforce is shifting away from traditional nine-to- five roles and toward a flexible freelance economy. English-speaking nations such as the US and the UK are both producing and hiring independent workers at a rapid rate. About half of the UK's working population will be self-employed within the next five years, while one-third of the US workforce is made up of freelancers. But why is this good news for South Africans? Making the most of your business today means going far beyond your own backyard. As a result, non-native English speakers have the potential to work across...

  • ‘SA should look to Israel as lesson in boosting entrepreneurial ecosystem’

    Israel's success as a startup nation can be attributed to the notion of "if you don’t have it, you either go without it or innovate, invent, and do better". So says Carel De Wet, the general manager of cloud service vendor iCloudius. He was talking at Salesforce's "What Western Cape’s Tech companies should learn from Tel Aviv’s Startup Nation" event, held at Workshop 17 in Cape Town today. "It’s not as if they have better technology than we do. It’s not that we don’t have the same resources or the skill... We just need to take it to the next level," says De...

  • Platform aims to advance SA artisans

    Will Edgcumbe believes his new local artisanal e-commerce platform -- Advance -- is  as much a business, as it is "something of a cause". Yesterday marked the launch of Advance in the Western Cape and Kwazulu-Natal. The platform allows customers to order their favourite product from local artisans. Customers can then collect their products either at a store, market or at a preferred pickup point. In an interview with Ventureburn, Edgcumbe, the platform's co-founder, says customers can opt to pay securely via the app or website for their product. "Payment occurring on placing the order also protects our partner stores from the current situation many of them face,...

  • How over 70% of scale-ups fail and what entrepreneurs can do about it

    It’s a startup’s worst nightmare – having grown to over 100 employees everything suddenly slows. The bills start piling up but without growth you're unable to meet the higher costs that your bigger business is consuming. Everything you spent years building is about to come crumbling down. Jason Goldberg, founder of 10XE, has helped tens of entrepreneurs scale their business. Speaking at the Western Cape Funding Fair, held at the Cape Town Convention Centre on 10 May, Goldberg says while just the top one percent of startups end up scaling their business to a more sizeable firm, over 70% of these scale-ups end up stuck in...

  • Over 100 nominations received so far for inspiring SA women in tech initiative

    Since opening a call to nominations last month for its Inspiring Fifty South Africa initiative, the Kingdom of the Netherlands has received over a 100 nominations for “Inspiring South African Women” working in the different spheres of the technology and innovation sector. Inspiring Fifty is a Dutch based non-profit organisation that showcases inspiring female role models in the technology industry in the Netherlands, France, Europe and in Nordic countries. Each year the initiative honours the 50 most inspiring women in the technology sector with the aim of providing a platform that brings more visibility to the achievements of women in the innovation and technology...

  • Investors are a driving force in shaping Africa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem

    If we look at the startup landscape in Africa (and read the press) it is clear that fintech is one of the fastest growing sectors on the continent. The African Tech Startups Funding Report, released in January by Disrupt Africa found that in 2016, 29.6% of startup investment in the region went to fintech companies. Read more: Report: African tech startups receive funding boost in 2016 This $55-million sum is a clear indication that there is energy and ambition among entrepreneurs and innovators for fintech -- and significant appetite from investors. However, fintech is only part of the picture. The entrepreneurial base has rapidly grown...

  • Cape property startup creates storm with new model that outfoxes competition

    Cape startup Property Fox may have saved South Africans R5-million in estate-agent commissions since launching in April last year, but their disruptive online model is stirring up a storm in the local property market. The company only charges customers 1.5% in sales commission -- significantly lower than the 5% to 7.5% of the selling price that estate agents usually charge. What has irked some agents is that the company allows a buyer and seller can communicate on the positives and negatives of the property before a sale is concluded. "Traditional agents always say to you 'don't let the buyer meet the seller because there's so much...

  • Six Cape startups equipped with HR skills graduate from TenaCiti programme

    A Cape Town HR programme has helped six startups and their respective recruits to improve their human-resource management processes and up their level of professionalism. The second cohort of TenaCiTi , a skills programme run by the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) in partnership with #CoCreateSA, an initiative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, has just wrapped up. The cohort was launched in February. Read more: TenaCiTi to enhance junior recruits for small businesses William Hurst, a developer and partner of startup Zero Zero One says programmes such as TenaCiTi should almost be a "requirement" as it "smooths off so many rough edges". "Stuff that people...

  • Sweep South concludes Series-A round with Black Coffee for ‘seven-figure’ sum

    One of SA's biggest music icons DJ Black Coffee has invested in domestic hiring platform SweepSouth during its Series-A funding round. "We connected with him (Black Coffee) through one of our investors and he liked the business model, he liked the growth of the company, he liked what we were trying to accomplish in empowering women and empowering domestic (workers)," said Aisha Pandor in an interview with Ventureburn." The Series-A round was led by international retail solutions company Smollan and also include Draper Darker Flow, Identity Development Fund Managers and CRE venture capital. The startup will use current investments to grow throughout SA, continent While Pandor...