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  • SA companies take on Agritech Expo in Zambia

    The Agritech Expo, which takes place on 27 to 29 April in Zambia, has seen a strong South African interest in Zambia's agricultural sector. The expo is owned by the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) and returns to Chisamba for the fourth time this year. "Zambia is an exciting market to explore, not just for South African suppliers to the agriculture sector, but also for South African farmers," said the commercial director for the Agritech Expo, Liam Beckett in a press release to Ventureburn. The SA companies which are involved in the expo in an exhibition or a sponsorship role include AGRICO, Gallagher,...

  • Company Office

    AlphaCode head calls on SA to become a fintech centre of excellence

    Dominique Collet, senior investment executive at Rand Merchant Investment Holdings and head of AlphaCode has called on the South African fintech scene to become "a centre of excellence". "Now that the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has established a fintech programme to track and analyse developments, South Africa has all that is required to become a fintech centre of excellence," says Collett (pictured above). She believes the country has "an advanced banking and financial services system with a sound regulatory regime". "We have extremely competent regulators, top entrepreneurial talent and innovative businesses that are attracting considerable local and global investments. The missing puzzle piece...

  • SingularityU announces 2017 ‘chapters’ in Cape Town, Johannesburg

    Hosting an intimate event last night at Cape Town's Workshop 17, Singularity University (SU) announced more granular news of its upcoming Cape Town and Johannesburg chapters. Better known as SingularityU, the Silicon Valley-based think tank and startup incubator began life in 2009, and is partnered by companies like Google, NASA and Deloitte. The University has previously graced South African shores with competitions geared towards the country's inventors and entrepreneurs, but the opening of its two new chapters is its latest venture. According to SU's Cape Town chapter figurehead Michael Fichardt, SingularityU "is a place where the world's brightest minds convene to...

  • Brandchat: Message your favourite brands through WeChat & more

    A new SA startup, called Brandchat, allows businesses to interact with their customers through multiple messaging platforms such as Facebook, WeChat, Telegram and Kik. "We want to make it as simple and natural to get in touch with a business as it is to get in touch with friends. Starting a chat is quicker than downloading an app, more immediate and cheaper than making a phone call, and simpler than figuring out a complex website," said Brandchat director, Pete Matthaei in a press release to Ventureburn. Brandchat has developed a "unified dashboard" which allows businesses to create and manage a bot, giving them...

  • Startups take note: an update on IP exchange control

    During the 2017 Budget Speech last week, the National Treasury announced that IP exchange control would be relaxed. While this is still an ongoing process, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has now implemented changes to the Currency and Exchanges Manual for Authorised Dealers (Exchange Control Manual). Speaking to ExCo member of Silicon Cape and IP & tech lawyer at law firm Webber Wentzel, Aalia Manie, once again, she says that "that Exchange Control approval is still a requirement for cross-border intellectual property (IP) transactions. But now some of the approvals can be obtained from Authorised Dealers and will not...

  • Google’s Launchpad Accelerator now accepting African startups

    Tech giant, Google has announced that its Launchpad Accelerator is accepting applications from African countries for the very first time. Startups from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa are eligible to apply. The six-month programme will help entrepreneurs by means of mentorship, training and, equity-free support. The programme will also consist of a two-week all-expenses-paid training workshop at the Google headquarters in Silicon Valley. Accepted entrepreneurs will also receive access to various Google engineers, mentors, as well as resources. The participants will also receive various marketing opportunities through Google and credits for Google products. Some startups who apply will be asked to participate in a one-hour...

  • Yoco concludes Series-A funding round, plans international expansion

    SA payments provider Yoco has recently concluded a Series-A funding round of an undisclosed amount led by two foreign investors namely US-based Quona Capital and Netherlands-based Velocity Capital. The new influx of capital will help Yoco expand its reach nationally as well as increase its product offering. It'll also be used to lay the groundwork for its international expansion in 2018. "In addition to being a milestone and validation for Yoco, this round is a vote of confidence in South Africa’s growing fintech and startup ecosystem," said Yoco CEO and co-founder Katlego Maphai in a press release to Ventureburn. "Raising smart capital from...

  • IoT.nxt prepares for global expansion

    SA innovator, IoT.nxt has secured R100-million from its investor and funding partner, Talent Holdings. This significant cash injection has helped IoT.nxt expand into their new office in London. Their new space serves as their European base of operations as they continue to scale into more markets. "We are using the momentum that we have built up in South Africa with industrial applications that we are implementing in various sectors like the mining, ports, and health care industries, facilities management, automotive retail, smart buildings and food processing," said IoT.nxt CEO, Nico Steyn in a press release to Ventureburn. "Our traction in South Africa...

  • FOMO Travel joins the Singer Group

    SA's first 'lay-by' travel startup, FOMO has recently announced a partnership with the Singer Group's Embassy Travel through one of their partner groups, Amazing Holidays. Amazing Holidays is the leisure division of Embassy Travel and is the Singer Group's online travel agency. Embassy Travel is also the founding shareholder of XL Travel, one of SA's largest travel consortiums. This gives FOMO Travel access to major buying power, translating into competitive rates, it was claimed in a press release to Ventureburn. "This is a very exciting era for both Amazing Holidays and FOMO Travel. The Singer Group has been on a growth...

  • Geeks on a Plane startup tour coming to Africa in March

    Created by 500 Startups, the Geeks on a Plane (GOAP) startup programme is coming to Africa for the first time. The event consists of startups, investors, and executives who travel to different countries with the goal of exploring cross-border opportunities. Taking place from 30 March to 2 April, the tour will start in Lagos, Nigeria and end in Cape Town, South Africa. The event also looks to meet startups, 'geeks', and investors in the cities it visits, learn more about local tech trends, gain insight into the local markets, and business models. GOAP will visit the likes of CcHUB, the Enterprise Africa Summit,...

  • Global Student Entrepreneur Awards to support young entrepreneurs

    The Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA), a global initiative of the Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO) is aiming to support young local entrepreneurs. "The GSEA awards allow us to identify and help nurture the aspiring entrepreneurs of tomorrow," said member of the EO, Ross Drake in a press release to Ventureburn. "South Africa is in need of entrepreneurial talent, people who can identify gaps and provide solutions thereby contributing to growing and improving our economy. "We are committed to helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses and believe the students who are just starting out need as much support as they can get," Drake continued. Recently the...

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