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  • Work with startups or become redundant says Startupbootcamp InsurTech head

    If insurers don't embrace startups they could find themselves in trouble cautions Startupbootcamp InsurTech global managing director Sabine VanderLinden. VanderLinden (pictured above, centre) was speaking at a networking event held last night by Startupbootcamp InsurTech, following the Cape Town leg of the organisation's InsurTech FastTrack. She said some insurers fear that startups might disrupt their companies and make them redundant. She pointed out an example of startup companies that were opting to work with retailers and not insurers. “Startups with platform-based solutions may do that (make insurers redundant), some are ready to go to market. Some of these startups may decide to become insurers themselves, corporates are going to...

  • Company Office

    Case study: How Google Cloud Platform powers Nomanini’s payments platform

    Google has commended South African-based enterprise payments platform provider, Nomanini, for its role in modernising informal markets using Google products. Google’s Cloud Platform team visited Nomanini earlier this year to learn more about how the company uses Google Cloud Platform to build and support the Nomanini platform, which enables transactions services such as mobile phone airtime, electricity and insurance in the cash-based informal retail sector. Nomanini is driven by its mission to provide affordable access to payments for everyone, everywhere. The management of micro payments and distribution of prepaid vouchers in informal markets across Africa is expensive and presents logistical challenges....

  • You don’t need to be super wealthy high net individual to be an angel investor

    The outlook for the South African economy may be grim. The Reserve Bank forecasts that the economy will grow at just 0.5% this year. Yet the one thing that looks hot right now is the tech startup sector. While the number of investors taking advantage of a new tax incentive has picked up of late, a whole list of SA startups have recently been acquired by foreign companies, bringing healthy returns to investors. Read more: Investors clamouring for 12J VC incentive following tax hike – fund managers Read more: Are these the 10 all-time biggest exit deals for SA startups? And you don't...

  • Can employers legally deduct damages or losses caused by an employee?

    May an employer make deductions for damage or loss caused by employee? The basic answer is yes they can. But for such a deduction to be lawful an employer has to meet several requirements. If an employee has caused an employer harm due to the employee’s fault (for example an accident with a company car), the employer would in principle have a claim against the employee. It does not make practical sense to sue the employee. However, the employer may not simply go ahead and deduct the amount from the employee’s wages. 'A discussion with the employee that results in an acknowledgement of debt,...

  • SA bookings site Afristay aims to take on AirBnB following R7m funding injection

    One of the hardest things to get right when running an accommodation booking site is how to grow the number of listings of establishments, while maintaining quality-control and ensuring accurate real-time availability, to avoid double bookings, says Afristay CEO Rupert Bryant. Yet under Bryant (pictured above) the company -- formerly known as Accommodation Direct -- looks to be getting it right -- and now aims to take on better resourced booking platforms like AirBnB. Last week the company unveiled its new name Afristay. It follows funding of R7-million Bryant and his two fellow directors -- his brother Oliver and Ric Meulemans -- raised in April (22% of which was from...

  • XTC 2018 deadline extended to 31 August

    Tech entrepreneurship contest the Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) has announced an extension of the application deadline to 31 August. Tech startups interested in entering the fourth annual edition of the contest will have two more weeks to apply, the initial application date was set for Tuesday this week (15 August). In a press release, the organisers said the deadline had been extended because a record number of applications had been submitted. XTC now in its fourth annual year, will see the top ten entrepreneurs showcase their startups at CES Las Vegas The challenge is headed by entrepreneur Richard Branson and Consumer Technology Association...

  • How proposed changes in Copyright Amendment Bill will affect tech startups

    If you run or own a technology company you should sit up and take note of the proposed changes to the current South African Copyright Act, as proposed by the 2017 Copyright Amendment Bill. Copyright laws provide the legal vehicle for protecting and monetising your technology, particularly the rights in computer programs, applications, source code and the like. These rights arise automatically on creation -- you don't need to register the copyright in South Africa. Thus, if carefully managed, copyright can be an efficient and cost-effective tool to gain a competitive advantage, generate royalties and pursue infringers (for example someone who copies your...

  • Startups, have an app or web platform you want to sell to Old Mutual?

    Have an insuretech product? Startups should spend more time getting to know the challenges insurance companies face before approaching a corporate. So says Stanley Gabriel, head of innovation at Old Mutual Personal Finance. In addition startups should know their story and understand Old Mutual's constraints and limitations, while remaining flexible on how these can be addressed or overcome. "Don't engage on a proposed partnership unless your product or service is ready for testing -- this only leads to disappointment for all parties involved," says Gabriel. Startup shouldn't engage on a proposed partnership unless their product or service is ready for testing says Old Mutual innovation head Ventureburn spoke to...

  • Accelerator programme In2Korea launches second call for foreign startups

    The Korean government has launched yet another acceleration programme to lure foreign startups to the Asian country. The latest, In2Korea, aims to assist foreign startups relocate to Korea. The programme is run by Korea's National IT Industry Promotion Agency (NIPA), which last Thursday launched a second call for applications -- to all tech startups with a minimum viable product that are keen on developing their business in Korea. Only 30 spots are available. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until December. Startups selected won't need to give away equity and can get mentorship, office space in a startup campus in Pangyo near Gangnam and assistance obtaining a...

  • SA accelerator for black startups I’M IN tight-lipped on selection of first cohort [updated]

    I'M IN -- a new South African accelerator programme run by IDF Capital and aimed at black tech startups is preparing to get under way, but organisers remain tight-lipped on how many startups have been selected and on releasing the names of those selected. While Bernard Moshabane, the programme director at I’M IN Accelerator, said the programme opened a public call for applications earlier on in the year, he would not divulge any information about the programme. While a story earlier this month by local website SME South Africa mentions that three startups have been selected to join the programme’s first cohort, Moshabane did...

  • Want to run a Startup Grind chapter? New Cape director Sandras Phiri tells how

    Anyone, anywhere in the world can launch a Startup Grind chapter. But many close within months of launching. The key is to get your monthly event to become financially sustainable, says new Startup Grind Cape Town director Sandras Phiri. "The thing to consider is why are you doing it? If you're doing it just to make money, you're going to be super frustrated, you're going to quit… if you're doing it to help the community, to help entrepreneurs you're more likely to succeed," says Phiri, who takes over from current Cape Town chapter director Guillaume De Smedt next month. Zambian-born Phiri...