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Startups

  • 38 emerging South African tech entrepreneurs to watch [Part I]

    The technology space is particularly notable for the amount of entrepreneurial activity it attracts. The word "startup" has become almost synonymous with the tech and online space and there are thousands of entrepreneurs that run small and large companies that are carving out niches for themselves. The high amount of entrepreneurial activity in the tech sector may be explained by the fact that the costs of starting an online business are low. You don't need a factory or heavy-lifting equipment to start an online business, and the people found in the sector are highly skilled. Also, we all know about the...

  • Coming soon: A homegrown tech entrepreneurship guide

    All rising economies need a helping hand to achieve greatness. Economies that wish to thrive in today's fast-paced world of changing commerce and enterprising initiative need enterprising people. Entrepreneurship is a crucial part of any society on the rise, especially where technological infrastructure is lacking. The Entrepreneurship Guide website will go live on 12 May, in conjunction with the project launch at the Net Prophet conference in Cape Town. The South African entrepreneurial landscape is fast becoming a busy one. A sizeable number of South African entrepreneurs have graced the international stage with their ideas and flourishing success stories, though many...

  • Innovation journalism — Media coverage is important to startups

    Media coverage is very important for startups. It is how they gain respect in their community, it is how they can win investors, and it is invaluable in helping to recruit staff. Positive media coverage will also help gain users of their products and services, providing valuable marketing services that could cost tens of thousands of dollars. But the only reason media coverage of a startup and their product is valuable is that the media coverage is seen as a neutral third party -- it has no financial bias in its reporting. The only acceptable bias is a thirst for a great...

  • There are only nine Googles left in the world

    There's an interesting analysis of the advertising industry and Silicon Valley's growing bubble in new media by Rick Webb. In his analysis, Webb argues that Silicon Valley is heading for a cliff in funding too many startups to provide new media channels for advertisers. He writes that there seems to be a perception that there will be far more money in online advertising than there really is. "Brands don't actually want or need any more media channels. As far as they're concerned, the internet can stop now. We have enough channels. We were happy when we had like seven (TV, print, outdoor,...

  • Understanding Color a little better

    It's a shame that the US$41-million funding of Color Labs has dominated the news about Color, a radically different type of mobile app, because that's what's interesting. Color shares photos with everyone around you that has the app on their iPhone or Android device. There are no privacy settings and you don't need to "friend" or "follow" anyone -- it automatically creates an ad hoc social network within 50 yards of your location. It's a fascinating concept and it will be interesting to see just how much people want to connect with strangers, where often the only thing they have in...

  • 8 venture capital sources for your startup

    Raising funds in emerging markets may not be a walk in the park, but the process has become easier. Though some have complained the current economic environment is not favourable to startups, the current mindset is favourable to good ideas - no matter where they are. For startups with global vision based in emerging markets, here are eight sources of capital to consider. Venture Partners The US-based Venture Partners (USVP) has helped build great companies in the last three decades. Since its inception in 1981, USVP has invested more than US$2.7-billion in about 450 companies. After the investment the company’s...

  • Startups/apps all the rage in coffee shops and bars

    These days it's difficult to go anywhere without hearing about startups and their apps. That's natural in my job but when you start hearing "normal" people talking about apps all of a sudden then that's an interesting trend to watch. Some say it is a result of the movie based on Facebook's beginning, The Social Network. This is an interesting trend to watch because it is not limited to San Francisco and its Silicon Valley neighbourhood. You see a big interest in startups and innovation occurring in many countries. London, for example, has its Silicon Roundabout, an area of London marked by...

  • 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...