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Startups

  • Health and welfare mobile service Impilo is powerful, free

    Impilo is a new mobile service that helps people easily locate health and wellbeing service providers in South Africa. It can also be used to give confidential feedback on the services received at public health and South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) service points. The service is free -- no airtime is required -- and as it is USSD based, it will work on any mobile phone. To use it, simply dial *130*448# and follow the menu prompts. Impilo is the only service of its kinds that has been zero-rated by almost all of the major mobile phone networks in...

  • Plans this weekend? No? You should probably check out Gigham

    Gigham popped up on our radar earlier this year when the guys behind it pitched their idea for a new type of online events portal at Google's startup incubation project, Umbono. People living in the Mother City and Jozi are not exactly left wanting for things to do, but it's not always that easy to find out what's going on. Some folks are particular about what they're looking for and others are more intrepid and would like to try something new. Gigham aims to cater for both groups with over 2000 events in total listed for both cities. When the...

  • No Picket Fence: a new hub for South African entrepreneurial knowledge

    I’ll admit that I was skeptical about No Picket Fence, essentially a Quora for South African entrepreneurs. Like the popular question and answer site by ex-Facebook CTO, Adam D'Angelo, No Picket Fence is a knowledge market, but niched to cater exclusively for South African entrepreneurs. With a lot of functionality overlap I wondered, “what’s the point?" I’ve been lurking around the site for months now and it’s clear my initial skepticism has no merit. There’s something special here. Founders Michael Bouchier and Michael Cowen are candid about their appreciation of Quora. The site’s engagement format and the community quality inspired...

  • Meet the top execs of the hottest US tech companies. Here’s what they earn

    Tim Cook is Silicon Valley's highest paid CEO, but you already knew that. What do other high profile execs earn? Personal finance and credit service comparison company, NerdWallet, created a tool that shows the compensation of the highest paid executive for each of the S&P 500 companies. We delved into the data for 2011 and ranked the highest earners for some of the more well known US tech companies. Perhaps, like us you are simply curious, but there are some interesting things to note. Compare Tim Cook's salary to that of Amazon.com's CEO, Jeff Bezos. Microsoft's highest paid employee? Nope, it's...

  • 8 ways to keep your startup’s employees happy

    Keeping employees can be difficult for any startup, but that’s especially true in emerging markets like China, where young people often expect to work jobs for a short time before moving on to the next one. So how can a startup keep its employees happy enough that they stick around? Sun Qingxin, the founder of travel website Daoyou Tianxi, recently wrote a blog post sharing his advice on how to keep startup employees. The full post is worth reading if you can read Chinese, but for those who can’t, here’s a summary of his eight main points: 1. Values are important....

  • Pashash: the online social network for offline shopping

    Pashash is a location-aware mobile app that lets you share the things you buy or like in brick-and-mortar retail stores. You can think of it as an online social network for offline shopping that allows you and your friends to express your tastes and discover great deals on items you fancy. Born out of Umbono, Google’s Cape Town based tech incubator, Pashash is shaping up to be a welcome weapon against showrooming. Showrooming Showrooming is a term used to describe the trend which sees people visiting a physical store to check out a product, only to purchase the product online. Brands are...

  • 3AL: at the intersection of social networking and eCommerce

    Among a slew of innocuous, copycat startups, 3AL, the Nigerian social networking and eCommerce amalgamate, is taking a road decidedly less traveled. You can think of 3AL as Facebook for businesses or Etsy -- if it went beyond arts and crafts. It connects businesses and creates a direct line between buyer and seller. It doesn't feel as if 3AL is trying to be a generalised social network aimed at subverting Facebook’s reign. In fact, when you first visit the site, your eyes are met with a big blue “Sign in with Facebook” button. That’s a smart move. One senses 3AL’s strength...

  • Kuza Mobile: Put your business online with nothing more than a feature phone

    Kuza is quite brilliant. Designed specifically with basic feature phones in mind, it allows its users to build a web profile to showcase and advertise their businesses. Advertising comes in the form of micro ads that Kuza members can create to advertise their products or services to other members in their area. To start, members have 100 Kuza Credits which allows for roughly five ads to be created, but credits can be boosted by completing certain tasks such as updating your profile or by uploading more than four photos. Kuza Credits can also be purchased by sending an SMS which...

  • Crowdsource rock star employees with Hiring Bounty, earn cash for referrals

    Launching today, South African startup Hiring Bounty, is set to shake up the recruitment industry by offering substantial rewards for referring a friend or acquintance for a job vacancy. Traditionally, job listing sites have offered employee referral programs as an afterthought, but with Hiring Bounty, employee referral is front and center. Hiring Bounty’s, MD Greg Schneider says that companies seeking to fill a position can source candidates faster and at a lower cost through crowdsourcing when compared to recruitment agents. Schneider says that Hiring Bounty plans to capitalise on the connections of people to make recruiters obsolete. By leveraging...

  • TrashCanKidz: socially conscious gaming with a big heart and giant ambitions

    Following in the footsteps of socially conscious toys and games such as Karito Kids and Xeko, TrashCanKidz is taking an everything but the kitchen sink approach with a unique game and retail product one-two punch that contributes 20% of its revenue to charity. The startup hailing from Mauritius is seeking funding via Kickstarter, hoping to raise US$100 000 to bring the project to life. The aforementioned game Xeko also took to Kickstarter for funding and succeeded in reaching its target of US$250 000 earlier this year. TrashCanKidz -- as a game -- is currently in closed online beta, with an...