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Startups

  • Tree planting social startup wins Enterprise Elevator pitch event

    The South African tech startup scene is burning up right now. At every corner there is a new startup competition attempting to pave the way for young entrepreneurs. Greenpop came out tops during the Enterprise Elevator pitch event yesterday. The event was part of an initiative that supports South African "entrepreneurs in the startup or early stage of their development to prepare for and secure an investment partner". Greenpop was one of six startups that pitched in front of a panel of judges, which included entrepreneurs and business people. "We received an overwhelming amount of entries for the pitch event...

  • 14 of India’s hottest mobile startups

    India is taking its place as a growing technology powerhouse, with a number of mobile startups looking to make a name for themselves. During this year's MobiSparks conference, the organizers showcased 14 of the country's hottest examples. This growing startup space in India is recognised by global Venture Capital firm, Sequoia Capital whose India head noted the 2013 will be critical for India as majority of the mobile startups in the world will come from the country. "In the next 12-18 months we will see major global mobile startups emerging from India. Mobile remittances are big in India. Interesting problems waiting...

  • Entrepreneur diaries: trying to get funds can be a distraction

    Editor’s Note: Nicholas Haralambous was the co-founder of mobile social network builder Motribe, which was recently acquired by Mxit for an undisclosed sum. The company was started two years ago with Vincent Maher and was invested in by local venture capital company 4Di Capital. He also recently started an environmentally friendly online sock shop. This is the second post in the series: "things I learned building a mobile startup in Africa". There are few things that you should focus on when building a company. Things like customer growth, product development and revenue growth. Early on in the life of a business,...

  • Paul Graham: the best startup ideas come from solving problems

    I recently read a great piece by Paul Graham that talked about getting startup ideas. In the well thought out essay about entrepreneurship and the various ways startup ideas have come to some of the world's biggest innovators, Graham finds a central concept at their core: problem solving. Graham is one of the founders of the widely popular YCombinator, a startup incubator that has funded more than 450 startups, including Dropbox, Airbnb, Stripe, and Reddit in the last seven years. As an investor Graham knows a thing or two about startups and good ideas. He reckons that startup ideas shouldn't...

  • Quicket: ticketing service claims lowest commission charges in industry

    We love Quicket, the ticketing service that allows you to sell tickets for your event and promote it online. Create an event page, promote it through social channels, and collect payment for tickets online. To round things off the solution also offers venue access control through rentable ticket barcode scanners. It does all this while charging a seriously low commission of 4.9% which it claims to be the lowest in the industry. According to a recent study conducted by World Wide Worx, commissioned by Google South Africa, the country's internet economy makes up R59-billion or 2% of South...

  • Entrepreneur diaries: lessons I learnt from building a mobile startup in Africa

    Editor's Note: Nicholas Haralambous was the co-founder of mobile social network builder Motribe, which was recently acquired by Mxit for an undisclosed sum. The company was started two years ago with Vincent Maher and was invested in by local venture capital company 4Di Capital. He also just started an environmentally friendly online sock shop. I have learned a lot in the past two years. Many of the lessons haven’t really even sunk in yet but I thought that I should start off by writing a list of things I’d learned while building my mobile company in South Africa. This list...

  • Your internet startup: Why it’s OK to clone a business

    "Creativity is just connecting things," said Steve Jobs in 1996 Wired interview. According to Mark Twain, all ideas are second-hand. Maria Popova, editor of Brain Pickings, and MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow, writes that creativity is a "combinatorial force", referring to the belief that ideas are products of collaboration. Her thoughts are echoed in Twain's writings, which dismisses the existence of the solitary creative genius: "the kernel, the soul — let us go further and say the substance, the bulk, the actual and valuable material of all human utterances — is plagiarism". Like LEGO creations, ideas are made up of pre-existing...

  • The lean startup and the connected economy: trends to watch out for

    The rate of change is ever increasing. Consumers are adopting new technology faster than ever before and their behaviour and expectations are changing. As Per Sundin from Universal Music Sweden puts it, ‘Things have never moved this fast, and will never move this slowly again’. Businesses have to respond. And there are two trends emerging that will help companies do just that – the lean startup movement and the connected economy. Up until now the response has been a slow and measured one with businesses adopting a cautious approach to innovation trying to get things ‘as near to perfect as...

  • Lessons to learn from 5 promising (and failed) Chinese startups

    They say you learn more from failure than you do from success. And that appears to be the theory behind a new blog post from Sinobeat Capital managing partner and Fortune China columnist Ding Chenling. In his very long post in Chinese, Ding lays out the stories of 17 Chinese startups that ultimately failed, and breaks down the lessons learned. The whole thing is a bit too long for our purposes, but here are...

  • 8 questions you should ask yourself before pitching your startup

    So you've had the next big idea, or your startup's been going along quietly for a little while. Now you're ready to take it out into the big bad world. If you find yourself asking "Umm...what next?" you're not alone. If you're in an emerging market like South Africa, knowing what to do next is getting easier, but it's still not as easy as it might be in a more traditional market. Sure there are a growing number of angel investors, venture capitalists, incubators and accelerators, but if you want to get their interest you really have to stand...