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Startups

  • WAYN: how a social startup is cashing in on its jet-setting community

    Since its re-launch in 2006, WAYN has managed to become one of the few social startups to secure funding despite a recent downturn in social media investment. After changing its market strategy over the years, the ‘Pinterest for travelers’ has relaunched its site once again in February. WAYN (Where Are You Now?) claims to be the world’s largest travel and social network and tries to fuse commerce with social. WAYN has, and still is, showing interest in key emerging markets such as South Africa, India and Indonesia and is planning on localising the site in Brazil, China and Russia...

  • Gumtree duo enters South African job search market with Adzuna

    The guys behind popular classifieds network, Gumtree.com, is launching their job search engine, Adzuna, in South Africa today. Having gained traction in the UK through social job hunting tools, real time labour market data and of course search, the venture-backed job aggregator now aims to make a splash in South Africa. Adzuna reckons that are over 50 000 live job vacancies in South Africa that represent an estimated R16.9-billion of ‘Total Earning Opportunity’. The job search egnine collates the latest job ads in real-time from major job boards such as PNet, Career Junction, JobMail, JobSpace and Gumtree. Arguably the...

  • What’s behind the social startup decline?

    Fewer and fewer entrepreneurs are starting social startups. Why? Fizzling IPOs and disappointing return on investments mean that social is no longer the investor darling it once was. The facade has fallen. While some have warned against a coming social media bubble, it took volatile social startups like Groupon, Zynga and Facebook to make up-and-coming entrepreneurs think twice about starting a social-centric venture. Social has traditionally been about user numbers first, business model second. It's for this reason that analysts estimate Facebook stock to be at least 76% overvalued. As deal seekers turned on the online coupon business during the course...

  • 8 startup lessons from Pinky and the Brain

    In the world of startups, quick thinking is important and a willingness to keep learning should be a given. So are you pondering what I am pondering? I am fascinated by the television show Pinky and the Brain -- the complete lunacy of it. In every episode Brain hatches a new plan in his never-ending quest to take over the world, which ultimately ends in failure. More often than not this is due to Pinky's idiocy, the sheer impossibility of Brain's plan, Brain's own arrogance, or the fact that they are tiny mice trying to take over the world....

  • 9 videos to help you perfect your investor pitch

    Whether you're presenting to investors with a pitch deck, or jostling for a foot in the door by way of an elevator pitch, we've trawled the depths of YouTube to bring you some of the best presentation and pitching advice from brilliant companies and people. The videos we've collected will help you with structure and delivery, and if you find yourself inspired to get started on a killer presentation, be sure to take...

  • Microsoft, university, VC network team up to give SA startups a fighting chance

    A new partnership between Microsoft’s BizSpark initiative and Find-Make-Grow-Realise (FMGR), a startup investment programme offered by the University of Cape Town's Graduate School of Business and local VC network AngelHub, will give startups in Johannesburg technological support, business know-how, and access to potential investors and business networks. While BizSpark provides access to software development tools, connecting the member entrepreneurs with key industry players, and providing the marketing visibility which these high growth potential...

  • For the sake of future startups, WeChat has to stand up to the telcos

    China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is pressuring Tencent to subsidise telcos in China for supporting the huge data demands of the user base of its popular IM chat app WeChat. There are a total of 300-million WeChat users globally and 260-million residing in China. According to Chinese authorities, either Tencent or its users have to foot the bill. But Tencent president, Martin Lau, confirmed over the weekend that WeChat will remain free to users. Good news for users, at least for now. I find this whole subsidising the telcos fiasco ridiculous simply because users have actually paid...

  • Invasion: will international attention boost or badger African tech startups?

    As Africa keeps emitting positive economic signals, international investment will continue to rise. The question is, how will it affect Africa's tech startup scene? Will it boost the fledgling ecosystem, or cannibalise greenfield opportunities? There's a balance in the middle there somewhere, and it's worth exploring. For example, Futurex is the latest international security company to see opportunity in Africa. Based out of Texas USA, the 30-year old company specialises in encryption for secure transactions. Futurex will be represented in South Africa by Stanchion Payment Solutions. As Africa’s unbanked start to gain access to new payment channels, while connectivity...

  • Preparing your startup for an exit? Here are 7 things you should do

    You have a startup. Chances are you will raise some decent cash because your idea is that good. You know it's only a matter of time before you're ready to sell it off to the highest bidder. That's great. We are here to prepare you for that moment. Just because your company is great and the technology is amazing doesn't mean the big guns will come calling. Sometimes no matter how great the startup, it escapes the notice of the buyers. More often than not, you have to go find the buyers. The truth is, businesses are acquired if...

  • Need a good startup idea? Here are 5 ways to make it happen

    How did you find your startup idea? For those of us evolving in the start-up ecosystem, it is not uncommon to spend sleepless nights trying to find the right product idea that will find or create it’s own market in the so-called product-market fit. There are tons of literature and excellent books on that topic, such as Eric Ries’ Lean Startup or The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki. All offers valuable advices on starting and managing a startup from idea to the first million dollars revenue. However, finding your startup idea does not happen at night reading books, whatever practical...

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