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  • Kenyan startup M-Shule gets investment from Engineers Without Borders

    Canadian seed-stage investor Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB) yesterday announced a cash investment worth $40 000 in Kenyan edtech startup M-Shule. M-Shule is an SMS and web-based learning management platform which makes use of artificial intelligence to design tailored learning experiences. It was designed to handle 144 million primary school students across Sub-Saharan Africa and was launched in January in Nairobi, Kenya by Claire Mongeau. In an email interview with Ventureburn, Mongeau said although they currently operate in Kenya, they intended to expand into East Africa by 2019 and throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia in subsequent years. "We are excited and thrilled to work...

  • Company Office

    How to find a strong mentor to guide you to business success

    Why every entrepreneur needs multiple mentors… While the challenges of being an entrepreneur have been well-documented, reports often fail to describe the feelings of self-doubt, loneliness and isolation that tend to plague aspiring entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey. No amount of angel funding, slick technology or strategic business consulting can really assuage the feelings of doubt that accompany starting a brave new enterprise. Yet this is where strong mentorship can play a critical role – and in fact can prove to be far more valuable than landing an investment deal or angel fund backing. Mentors can keep tired...

  • SA’s Rehive launches Shopify-type platform for fintech apps

    South African fintech startup Rehive -- which aims to become the Shopify for small companies to build their own fintech apps -- has launched a new platform and series of off-the-shelf products. Rehive's platform allows developers to build, launch and scale their own fintech applications without needing to build the core technology from scratch. Speaking to Ventureburn last week, the US registered startup's co-founder, SA-born Helghardt Avenant, (pictured above, right, with co-founder Michail Brynard) said the startup hosted two hackathon events in Cape Town last month, which attracted about 25 participants in all. The startup plans to continue hosting a hackathon a month for the rest of the...

  • HAVAÍC to undertake a R5m capital raise for SA company Digital Cabinet

    Cape Town venture capital (VC) company HAVAÍC today announced it would undertake a R5-million capital raise for local paperless cloud solutions company Digital Cabinet. The raise includes the conversion of the convertible loan, extended in July last year, into equity. In a press release HAVAÍC said the company had mandated the VC to undertake the capital raise, which is based on the company's estimated valuation having doubled in the intervening period. Read more: VC HAVAIC invests in expanding Digital Cabinet cloud solutions Speaking to Ventureburn, HAVAÍC executive director Grant Rock did not want to disclose Digital Cabinet's current valuation. However he was able to say that the VC firm...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [10/07/2017]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or catch up on some of your skills? Well, you've come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we've rounded up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or...

  • Meet EMGuidance, the SA finalist for Seedstars World competition

    A Cape Town startup that developed an app to help doctors to source more reliable information on treatment guidelines and medication dosages among other things, has been chosen to represent South Africa at the next Seedstars World competition. EMGuidance was selected last Thursday by Seedstars World from several startups that competed at the South Africa final held in Johannesburg. Read more: EMGuidance is set to represent South Africa at the Seedstars World finals The startup will now compete against more than 75 startups in Switzerland in April next year for the top prize of $500 000 and will also attend an African Seedstars event in Maputo in November. With the app, which EMGuidance launched...

  • South Africa is slipping behind on regulating bitcoin — Vinny Lingham

    Silicon Valley based SA entrepreneur Vinny Lingham says South Africa is falling behind when it comes to regulating bitcoin. “I think we’re definitely behind the times. I mean Japan has just removed taxes on bitcoin yesterday. Singapore’s regulating it more, Australia etc as well. All these countries in the world are being very progressive on cryptocurrencies and whatever else and South Africa hasn’t issued any guidance on it yet,” said Lingham, in a Skype call with Ventureburn yesterday. Lingham is the CEO of Civic which makes use of bitcoin and deploys cryptographic keys to allow for the secure storage of information on mobile phones or...

  • German accelerator opens global call for social ventures that empower women

    Berlin-based accelerator F-LANE has opened a call to social ventures from across the world that utilise technology to empower women. In a press release today, the accelerator, which was initiated by the Vodafone Institute, called on male and female entrepreneurs to apply online to the six-week accelerator programme at www.f-lane.com. The programme begins on 9 October in Berlin and applications are open until 24 July. The accelerator is collaborating with the Impact Hub Berlin and the Social Entrepreneurship Akademie to source innovative technology startups around the world that focus on women, provide an enterprising solution to a social problem and have the potential to make a wide impact. The programme mission is...

  • From smart bearings to group-buying app, meet Innovation Prize of Africa finalists

    A mobile app that helps rally women into buying groups and a smart bearing that can boost energy efficiency in Africa -- these are just two of the ideas from the 10 finalists that will attend the 2017 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) in Accra, Ghana in just over 10 days' time. The awards, which take place on 18 July and are hosted by the African Innovation Foundation (AIF), are now in their sixth year. The 10 finalists stand a chance to win a grand prize of $100 000, as well as a runner up prize of $25 000 and a special prize for social impact of $25 000. Read more: AIF reveals names of 10...

  • Three days left to apply for SA Innovation Summit’s pitching den, inventor’s garage

    Startups and small businesses with high-growth potential have until midnight on Sunday (9 July) to apply to pitch at the SA Innovation Summit's Pitching Den competition in September. A competition for inventors, also to be run at the summit, also closes this Sunday. In a press release on Monday, summit director Audrey Verhaeghe said the competitions are an important part of the summit, with finalists and winners exposed to a large number of investors. Judges will select 25 finalists by 24 July to take part in the Pitching Den, which is set for 6 and 7 September. The overall winners will be announced at an...

  • Q&A: Cape Town kitesurfer details what it takes to be a digital nomad

    With ever improving technology and a search for a better way to work, many South Africans are turning to the possibility of working remotely, as digital nomads. Cape Town born Justin Nothling, 26, is one such person. A survey last year by employee engagement firm TinyPulse of over 500 US employees who work remotely found they tend to be more satisfied and more productive than office-bound workers. Nothling today runs an online app school cloneable.io, develops apps (such as Zumalator) and is also working on a few projects involving bitcoin. He’s worked remotely for four years now in several countries and is currently in Montenegro, where...