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  • Working for SA startups may be exciting, but often not that glamorous

    If startup life offers low-pay accompanied by a tough culture, why then do people still go work for them? The answer may be that, for some, the challenging and flexible work environment of a startup is more important, not to mention working with someone who's driven to become a pioneer in his industry. The Ventureburn Startup Survey, which aims to uncover the "true picture of the South African startup landscape", partnered with First National Bank (FNB), investment advisory firm Clifftop Colony and analytics company Qurio, to recently poll just under 200 tech startups. Each of the 200 startups were asked...

  • What do South Africa’s startup founders look like, and what drives them?

    South Africa's startups scene may be small compared to that of the US, yet the country has produced some amazing global success stories. Entrepreneurial superstars with South African ties such as Mark Shuttleworth and Elon Musk are often highly regarded for their pioneering spirit, but does that carry through to the rest of the South African startup space? What are the majority of the country's entrepreneurs driven by and what do they look like? The Ventureburn Startup Survey, which aims to uncover the "true picture of the South African startup landscape", partnered with First National Bank (FNB), investment advisory firm Clifftop...

  • Go big or go home: SA startups need to scale fast to survive

    South Africa's startups are ambitious. They have to be. A Ventureburn survey found that the majority want to dominate (41%) their target markets. When we also consider that most (75%) companies expect to run out of funds within the next 12 months, it adds weight to the notion that lean tech startups should scale fast to become sustainable. But for South Africa's startups, it's a matter of go big or go home. The Ventureburn Startup Survey, which aims to uncover the "true picture of the South African startup landscape", partnered with First National Bank (FNB), investment advisory firm Clifftop Colony and...

  • Innovate much? SA Innovation Summit competitions might be just for you

    The SA Innovation Summit is back this year, showcasing some of the country's most exciting talents and ideas in Cape Town. While the eighth event of its kind will host a range of speakers and exhibit the latest innovations from across different industries, it's also inviting inventors, entrepreneurs and companies to pitch their ideas and businesses. There will be two competitions at the SA Innovation Summit this year: The PwC Pitching Den and The Inventors’ Garage. There are two categories for the PwC Pitching Den catering for startups as well as emerging companies with tech-enabled solutions. Startups have a chance to...

  • Rwanda’s Think adds 4 new startups to its accelerated incubator

    Think, a Rwandan-based startup accelerator, has recently added four new startups to its new programme. Taking place over the course of three months, entrants in Think Accelerated will be part of a high-intensity offering. The programme hopes to be faster and more immersive than its standard six-month course. Having launched in 2014, Think, based in Kigali, Rwanda, aims to incubate tech startups with digital solutions that can scale across Africa. The decision to add a three-month fast-track offering, while still continuing the core six-month version, allows entrepreneurs to return to their home markets after the intense session. Entrants will receive financing, strategic...

  • From lab to launch: the quest to build startup success in SA’s innovation capital

    Venture capitalist and founder of popular US seed fund Y Combinator Paul Graham once wrote that the recipe for startup "clusters" is having a great university near a town smart people like. Premier of the Western Cape Helen Zille believes this might just be the case for Stellenbosch in South Africa, which echoed the general tone of the evening at the reopening of business incubator LaunchLab last month. Situated about 50km outside of Cape Town in the country's Winelands, Stellenbosch is not only home to JSE-listed giants such as Mediclinic and Distell, but also transformative tech companies like the instant...

  • 5 things small business should know to get started with Google Adwords

    About 10 years ago, if your business wasn’t listed in the Yellow Pages or a business directory, you were losing out on a lot of new business; especially if your competitors were listed. The Yellow Pages is a simple concept: the advertiser pays for an ad to be listed in a certain category and the consumer, when looking for a service, looks it up in the Yellow Pages and finds all the options in one place. They then have to choose a service provider based on the content of the ad, how it looks and what they offer. More...

  • Running a lean startup? Here are 9 free tools that could help

    Some entrepreneurs don't have a choice when launching a lean or bootstrapped startup. They may struggle to find financing, but wish to still proceed with their business plan. Whatever the business, outfitting a company can be an expensive undertaking. Office tools can consist of applications, finance, website, and other items -- all of which will help you focus on working on your business model. These nine free online tools can help you achieve a slimmer startup and reduce initial costs. Some of them may require financial input once your usage expands, but most still give away a substantial amount of functionality. Office...

  • Upforit challenges, rewards South Africans to get fit

    Could you do ten days without sweets and chocolate? No? What if you get free coffee or have a couple of friends spotting you all the way? Upforit is a new online platform that hopes to get South Africans healthy and fit by introducing elements of motivation, prizes, health tips, product information and expert advice. Essentially, you sign up with your email address or cellphone number to do a lifestyle challenge, invite friends to join you, and get rewarded. It's as simple as that. The rewards consist of things like vouchers or customer loyalty points. Currently there are Vida e Cafe...

  • PoS terminal startup Nomanini, TranSol partner to expand to Ghana

    Nomanini, a South African-based Point of Sale (PoS) service provider, has partnered up with Transactions Solutions Ghana Limited (TranSol) to substantially scale the number of its cloud-based PoS terminals in Ghana. The TranSol partnership signals Nomanini’s first scaled project commitment in West Africa, with Kuda Mushambi, the COO of Nomanini, revealing the company’s hope to use this opportunity to further Nomanini’s involvement in the Western African region. The South African-based Nomanini is responsible for an innovative and "highly scalable" cloud-based mobile PoS terminal. It has until this point been plying its trade in six countries (Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa...