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Venture capital

  • Exploding 7 myths about venture capital

    The venture capital investment industry is laden with myths and misconceptions, often causing entrepreneurs to lose faith in funding and enthusiasm for their business. Andrea Bohmert, chairperson of South Africa's Cape IT Initiative’s Board of Directors and director and co-managing partner of Hasso Plattner Ventures, helps demystify some of the more destructive fallacies. 1. There is no money The first common misconception is that there is no money to fund entrepreneurs. This idea exists largely because so many business plans are declined, and so few are accepted. The first thing that counts against an applicant is failing to take...

  • The lack of tech IPOs is holding back job expansion in US, says leading VC

    Robert Ackerman, a leading Silicon Valley venture capitalist and founder of Allegis Capital, says that tech IPOs will remain scarce and that this will curtail job creation in the US. A continued scarcity of tech IPOs means that the Obama Administration won't be able to count on Silicon Valley startups to help spark a job boom and help alleviate tough economic conditions for millions of unemployed. Mr. Ackerman says, "These days, tech startups have to rely on being acquired by a larger company once they reach a certain size because there isn't an IPO market to help them recapitalise and grow...

  • Startups: What VCs look for

    Venture capitalists and entrepreneurs often don't see eye-to-eye, and in South Africa in particular, there seems to be a very real gap in meeting the needs and expectations of both parties. While we know the path of the entrepreneur can be a frightfully fun but rocky one, at some stage venture capital becomes a real option to consider, and when you get to that stage, make sure you know exactly what we are looking for. As funders, we really look for four basic things and your pitch must answer the following: 1. What is the burning need you are taking away?...

  • New SA crowd-source fund hits R1-million

    Crowdfund is the South African tech industry’s latest step toward fostering a culture of angel investment for online start ups in South Africa, and it’s taken off at rocket pace. After launching in March of this year, the fund has banded together 229 investors to raise a total of R1-million in capital for budding online start ups. After less than thirty days since its inception, Crowdfund is already primed to spark new entrepreneurial life in South Africa. The investors enthusiasm about Crowdfund  illustrates a wide-spread recognition that South Africa has the potential to become major player in the global tech industry if...

  • Opening speech @ #SiliconCape

    Here is the text of the speech I gave at the opening of Silicon Cape in Camps Bay. I'm not alone in saying that this was an inspiring and well-supported event. Welcome everyone and thank you all for coming. A special welcome to the Western Cape Premier, Helen Zille, Dr Mamphela Ramphele and Mr Johann Rupert. It’s an absolute honour and it’s humbling to be speaking in front of such an important gathering...

  • Sequoia Capital on startups and the economic downturn

    This presentation from famous Silicon Valley Venture Capital firm, Sequoia Capital, is a must-see. It explains the effects of the economic downturn on venture capital and internet startups. The news obviously isn't good, as investors will shun typically risky online startups, unless they are entities that can turn faster, if not immediate, profits. There’s quite a bit of information on what went wrong in the economy, why the recovery is going to take...

  • Internet Solutions to create new VC fund for web innovation?

    It looks like Internet Solutions (IS) may be creating some kind of incubator or venture capital fund to encourage local web innovation and startups. The details are sketchy at this stage, but it in fact looks like the new initiative will launch as soon as this month, possibly middle of the month, with the launch of their website. I've been promised further clarity on the new venture in the coming weeks. I am...

  • Venture Capital: The lies people tell

    Got this from a presentation by David Murray of Cape Venture Partners, a Venture Capital fund which has invested in quite a few successful businesses. Was alerted by a comment about 10 seconds after I posted this (literally) that it was originally adapted from Guy Kawasaki, here and here. So duly credited. Top ten lies entrepreneurs tell 1. “Our market is $X billion” 2. “We won’t need a second round of financing” 3. “A large...

  • 15 Startup Commandments

    Found this a good read, especially in the context of creating Amatomu.com. Got it off a Facebook group. The commandments 1. Your idea isn't new. Pick an idea; at least 50 other people have thought of it. Get over your stunning brilliance and realize that execution matters more. 2. Stealth startups suck. You're not working on the Manhattan Project, Einstein. Get something out as quickly as possible and promote the hell out of it. 3. If...

  • Surviving the great dot.con

    As Google embraces the stock exchange, many dot.com kids are rubbing their hands with glee at what could signal a return of the good times. Matthew Buckland has been through dot.boom and dot.bomb and spent lots on expensive therapy to forget it all, but here he reminisces. (more…)