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  • 4 easy ways to use LinkedIn to grow your startup

    Most business people know startups have to overcome many challenges and defy the odds to succeed in the marketplace. One of the ways you can get a leg up on competitors is to make your business as visible as possible. Being involved with a startup business may mean you’re trying to get by on a shoestring budget, which could give you the impression becoming more visible is a nearly impossible task. Fortunately, growing your business and making it clear what you have to offer are both much simpler when using LinkedIn. 1. Get as Many Recommendations as Possible In the world...

  • Company Office

    Geeks Online SA to launch soon

    Brand new education startup Geeks Online SA (GOSA) based in Cape Town, South Africa, looks to bring an innovative solution in the education space. It’s an idea inspired by the self-proclaimed “Geek” himself, one of the co-founders. The company has been founded by two chief enthusiasts, Anele Geqiwe and Busisiwe Ngxande. What they lack in years of experience, the pair has vision and passion for education. The concept driving GOSA is very simple: it requires strong relationship between high school students and tertiary institutions. We aim to introduce and prepare Grade 10-12 students to academic competency standards expected in tertiary level. Of course there are so many solutions...

  • Ex-Kalahari.com CEO Gary Novitzkas on Juniva, the health ecommerce store

    Former CEO of Kalarhai.com, Gary Novitzkas, shows that niche ecommerce stores may still be the way to go for entrepreneurs. His store, Juniva, is based about the popularity of vitamins, supplements, and detoxing in contemporary society. In a press release sent to Ventureburn, Novitzkas says he felt there was a shortage of quality, unbiased information about vitamins. This lead to talks around a solution around this problem, which evolved into an ecommerce store. The usage of an online platform, as opposed to brick and mortar, allows for a far greater reach. Novitzkas previously held the position of Kalahari.com's CEO from December 2010...

  • Nigerian-founded social networking startup Tutlub is creating an online Muslim family

    These days, it’s really hard being a Muslim in Nigeria and elsewhere since no matter what you do, you have to answer questions on terrorism and your religion. This could be the reason why some Muslims are quiet on social media on this subject and other critical topics. The silence is so strong that many are beginning to assume that social media is haram (sin) in Islam. But Yusuf Hassan, founder and CEO of Tutlub disagrees. Hassan might just have found a way to create fruitful and open online dialogue. “Islamic scholars and Imams’ position on social media is that...

  • 10 defining moments that shaped SA’s startup ecosystem in 2015

    2015 was a year of grinding it out and building momentum... More and more investors, business accelerators and corporate venturers are embracing South African innovations. These are some of the defining moments that shaped the South African entrepreneurship ecosystem in 2015 that stood out for me: iKubu: Exit to Garmin GPS navigation giant Garmin acquired South African radar startup iKubu to make roads safer for cyclists... And they did! Time magazine has named the Garmin Varia as one of the Top 10 Gadgets of 2015. Corporates are insourcing innovation worldwide, and SA is ideally positioned for this trend. Garmin established a...

  • 11 big startup acquisitions in India and what they mean for entrepreneurs

    Observers of an emerging startup ecosystem look for exits as a sign of maturity. That is because exits in the form of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) or IPOs give VCs a return on their investment. They can then launch new funds to invest in fresh startups. It completes the cycle of venture capital. Indian tech IPOs are rare. So the approval given in September by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) to ecommerce firm Infibeam to raise INR 4,500 million (US$68 million) breaks new ground. Rivals Flipkart and Snapdeal will be watching what kind of reception the public...

  • Leadhome is the latest startup keen to change real estate in South Africa

    Real estate startup Leadhome thinks South African real estate is stagnant and believes it has what it takes to shake it up with a melange of traditional and innovative services. Launched late November, the company was founded by long-time friends Marcél du Toit (pictured left) and Harry Hattingh (pictured right). The pair met in 2001 when they were studying undergraduate degrees at the University of Stellenbosch and have been friends ever since. Du Toit was previously the vice president in Corporate Finance and M&A at Deutsche Bank, and Harry Hattingh was a founding member of In2Assets Gauteng. The initial idea came from Hattingh while...

  • 4 reasons startups should consider virtual offices

    In the virtual world of today, it is actually surprising that brick-and-mortar offices and stores still exist. With all of the modern technology that is available, it seems a real office could be ditched by just about every business, and choose a virtual office instead. Some business owners already have made the switch, while others are holding onto their real office or storefront for dear life. Like anything else, virtual offices do have downsides to them. However, given all of the benefit that they provide, you really should strongly consider whether the virtual office is something your business should switch...

  • Storage space is no longer a viable business model for file storage startups

    As one of the most competitive cloud micro-markets, file storage SaaS has grown considerably over the last few years. In 2015, venture capitalists recognised startups in this field as lucrative investments, so it’s unsurprising that the number of companies aiming to meet the demand for cheap storage space keeps growing. However, most of them are bound to fail mainly due to the inability to compete against giants such as Microsoft, Google and Dropbox. This is particularly the case with startups that based their business models on storage space offering, which has long stopped being a true differentiator. With Google’s...

  • Taking African innovation global: Q&A with Aaron Fu from Nairobi’s Nest

    "We're seeing a lot of innovation born in Africa, servicing the world," says Aaron Fu (pictured left), managing partner of the Hong Kong VC and incubation firm Nest Africa. But there's not enough, which is why the Hong Kong founded startup incubator in July this year launched its African chapter in Nairobi, Kenya. So far Nest has given South Africa's Creditable and Kenya's SuperFluid Labs the opportunity to learn from some of Hong Kong's top financial providers through its DBS Accelerator programme. One of these startups is already in the process of running a pilot with an Asian bank. The...

  • Nigeria’s top 5 startup moments of 2015

    Barring last-minute announcements, it is safe to say the curtains have been drawn on the 2015 startup year in Nigeria. Like previous years, the startup ecosystem in Africa’s powerhouse continues to record year-on-year growth and 2015 was not an exception as new products and startups were launched in the outgoing year. There were also several developments in the startup space that got everybody talking for an unusually long duration. At the outset of 2015, many industry watchers were not sure how the industry would play out considering the fact that it was an election year in Nigeria and the result...