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Startups

  • How to safeguard your intellectual property

    Intellectual Property (IP) is an intangible asset to an entrepreneur. When it comes to assuring investors they are placing their cash in an exclusive product or service that is legally protected, securing your IP is a must. Alex Fraser of Invenfin, an early-stage venture capital company says there are some things you need to know before you take your idea to investors. According to Fraser, not having proper IP ownership is by far the largest problem Invenfin sees when dealing with the thousands of entrepreneurs that pass through its doors. Fraser, who lectures on entrepreneurship and venture capital to students,...

  • 3 things to remember when trying to win over an investor

    The fact that there are thousands of books on investment strategy means there are an infinite number of different investor mindsets. No two are probably exactly the same, but every investor holds to some basic fundamentals, first and foremost: How will this make money? Having sat through meetings, spent time living with serial investors and enjoyed the insights from some whose picks have been nothing short of outstanding, the best starting point is to just relax. It’s not a process. Following a set of rules for a meeting is not the best option. Learn some of the tips and apply...

  • 7 advantages cloud computing holds for your business

    Cloud computing is gaining traction globally. The practice refers to data access and storage services that do not require end-user knowledge of the physical location and configuration of the system delivering a particular service. Trends in cloud computing indicate software may cease to become the tangible product we are used to buying in stores or through online shopping. Companies and individual users can access software that resides on their servers in the "cloud" or the "grid," enabling users to acquire that software and information from any device with internet access. There are seven clear reasons cloud computing is...

  • 5 ways startups can cash in on the emerging markets wave

    Africa is the final frontier. The subject rose quickly on CNBC after the Wall Street downturn. It has also been a major topic on the World Economic Forums on Africa's agenda since 2007. While consumers were buying less in established developed markets, finding new consumers meant taking advantage: Emerging markets have over three billion people startups can target. At the very least, most people have mobile phone access. At best, disposable income on average is on the rise like never before, according to McKinsey, a global management consulting company. So how do you take advantage? 5 ways start here: Be...

  • Toodu: Managing tasks while networking online

    Picture having your to do list completed for you, while networking at the same time with professionals who can help you sort it. It’s the dream behind Toodu, a site claiming no rival in its way of organizing task lists. Setting tasks is not new to the industry. Remember the Milk allows users to manage tasks, set dates, time, categories and geolocation, while popular app Google Tasks integrates with other Google services like Gmail, iGoogle and Google Calender. Toodu’s claims their difference lies in matching items on your to do list with people and businesses who can help you get...

  • Cognician: A thought is a terrible thing to waste

    The mind is the greatest tool available to man and thoughts and ideas are its most profound expression. One idea could change the entire human race if managed properly. However, a great idea is useless unless you do something with it, and modern society can make it very hard for us to map out our ideas. Enter Cognician, a software platform and an Adobe Air application designed to organise your thoughts and ideas and create a "user-friendly" guide for your thinking. On Wednesday the site launches a new tool called "The Decision Book", which aims to assist customers with...

  • Why startups move to Silicon Valley

    I'm constantly meeting companies that have moved part of their operations to San Francisco/Silicon Valley. Usually it is the CEO and/or the marketing and sales group that moves. Loic Le Meur, a serial entrepreneur, founder of Seesmic, did the same several years ago, moving to San Francisco from Paris. In a guest column in the UK Daily Telegraph newspaper, Le Meur explains why he moved: "In the Valley, the best companies, entrepreneurs and investors...

  • WeLove: ‘Because sometimes a Like just isn’t enough’

    We have become a society that likes to "Like" and share our preferences with everyone we know. Millions of people join all sorts of Facebook groups to show their support for causes or their own interests. But the sheer size of Facebook and the number of groups available can often result in information overload that we just end up ignoring. We need quicker, simpler, more instantaneous ways of sharing our “likes” and maybe our “dislikes”. "Sometimes a Like isn't enough” according to WeLove.net, a new niche location-based social media site, which also includes a set of mobile applications. WeLove.net is...

  • Prominent SA startup FireID hits the skids

    FireID, a Stellenbosch-based startup specialising in mobile authentication, will probably be forced to close its doors or dramatically downscale after news that its main investor has pulled its funding. The main source of funding was via the Luxembourg-based Reinet Fund S.C.A., run by billionaire Johann Rupert, who invested in the company through Cape Town VC 4DiCapital. The company employs just under 40 people. Justin Stanford, who runs 4DiCapital, told Memeburn on Wednesday night that Reinet's refusal to renew the funding "came as a surprise". "It's been an emotional day... We were confident of a renewal due to FireID's revenue," he said. Stanford...

  • Five red-hot Indian tech startups

    China’s enormous internet population has been getting quite a bit of press lately, but India is undoubtedly as much of an emerging world internet power. With more than 400-million internet users China’s online success stories, like QQ and Baidu, make even Facebook’s numbers look average. But India’s open economy, its high percentage of English speakers and its highly educated new caste of IT whizz kids make it a perfect breeding ground for tech entrepreneurs. Here are five of the most interesting startups to watch: Voicetap Founded: March 2009 Homebase: New Delhi Elevator pitch: Voicetap connects people in need of advice with genuine experts on every...

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