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  • LaunchLab, Nedbank on hunt for next big thing in fintech, big data

    LaunchLab in partnership with Nedbank has launched a Fintech and Big Data Challenge which commenced on 16 August 2016 and will continue to 23 September with the final event take place on 20 October of this year. The challenge will seek to find innovative ideas that will alter the way consumers bank in Africa. LaunchLab along with Nedbank will search for new businesses that address new ways to use mobile technology in the sector, as well as new ways to incorporate gamification to better client engagement with products. The challenge will also focus on platforms related to money transfers and fundraising initiatives, such as crowdfunding...

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    CompareGuru set to simplify financial services for SA consumers

    Launches new site with advanced features and real-time services.  For most time-constrained South Africans, choosing between financial products and service providers is a laborious and challenging task. Despite the increasing access to all sorts of information online, it remains a complex and daunting process to sift through various product offerings, pricing structures, terms and conditions, etc. “This complexity is especially problematic when trying to choose between products and providers in the mobile, banking and insurance spheres, where contracts are often filled with jargon and consumers are understandably wary of hidden fees,” explains Ryan Marx, CEO of CompareGuru, a site which draws...

  • SA investors can apply for Tier 1 visa to live in UK

    The British Home Office has created a programme in order to encourage foreign investment, opening the door for SA entrepreneurs to move to the UK. According to Gary Kockott, the MD of Sable Group (a company dealing in foreign interests), the Tier 1 Entrepreneur Investment Programme may be a viable option for those wanting to sell off their assets in SA and immigrate to the UK. "This bespoke UK citizenship investment programme requires an investment of £200 000 in a UK business opportunity for an applicant and their family to receive residency and possibly citizenship if all the requirements are met," says Kockott,...

  • Moving the Mother City forward by creating opportunity for all [SPONSORED]

    Creating cities of opportunity for South Africans are shaped by fostering enabling environments and by inspiring innovation. Local and international speakers addressed these topics at the SA Innovation Summit 2016 lead-up event, the High Impact Series, which took place on Tuesday, 16 August 2016 at Workshop 17, V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Pictured from left to right is Thomas Wittig (CEO of WITTIGONIA, Switzerland), Abbas Jamie (Director of Innovation at Aurecon Africa), Aurelia Albert (Innovate Durban), Dr Morne Mostert (Director, Institute for Futures Research), Lance Greyling (Director of Trade and Investment, City of Cape Town) and Lesley Williams (Master...

  • What to expect when Seedstars World heads to Accra

    The next leg of Seedstars World will take place in the capital of Ghana, Accra, on Sunday 21 August 2016. The event, which will be hosted at Impact Hub Accra, will see ten startups pitch in front of a panel of esteemed judges such as Associate for Seedstars World Selam Kebede and Executive Secretary for African Entrepreneurs Hub, Mansa Ayisi-Okyere. Other judges include Director of EDEL Technology Consulting, Ethel Cofie; Investor relations for Ghana Angel Investors Network Leticia Browne and Director of GhanaThink Foundation, Ato Ulzen-Appiah. This leg of Seedstars World is possible due to the support of Impact Hub Accra and other...

  • Zoona raises $15-million in Series B funding round, 4Di Capital on-board

    African fintech startup Zoona has announced a series B funding round of US$15-million. The round concluded a week prior to the announcement and was led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of World Bank Group. Cape Town-based venture capital firm 4Di Capital is one of the investors, having injected an unspecified amount in Zoona. According to Justin Stanford, co-founder and managing director of 4Di, this is the first investment from the firm's new fund. Stanford holds a four-year non-executive position on Zoona's board. Series A investors Accion, consisting of Quona Capital, and Omidyar Network, doubled their investment for the Series B round, with the Lundin Foundation increasing...

  • Why chat apps are making it big in Asia

    Asia is home to WeChat, LINE, Kakao, and Viber – local solutions that are proving to the world how chat apps are the future of mobile. In Asia, these chat platforms give consumers access to dozens of critical services like peer-to-peer and online payments, transportation, financial services, sparking a wave of new chat- first application innovations and enabling customers without bank accounts or credit cards to participate in the digital economy. In the week the Japanese messaging app Line announced the year's biggest Tech IPO of over $1 Billion, we at Seedstars World break down what we can learn from...

  • Tech hubs in Africa have doubled in more than a year

    The amount of tech hubs in Africa has more than doubled in a year, according to a report by GSMA analyst Victor Du Boucher. The report found that there are now 314 active tech hubs operating on the continent of Africa. The majority of these hubs are found to be operating out of South Africa, with 58 hubs, while Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and Morocco followed with 28, 27, 23 and 21 hubs respectively. This is a large uptake from the previous year. Boucher expanded on the wider definition of 'tech hubs'. "For the purpose of our landscaping exercise we have been looking at all kinds...

  • Applications open for Johannesburg based Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship courses

    The Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (LORA) is looking for applications for its 2017 New Venture Creation programme in Johannesburg. The programme will prepare students for decision-making, risk-taking, storytelling, market, strategy, and other topics. Students will need to complete Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Business Finance, Operations Management, Marketing Management, Personal Branding, Digital Marketing, and Business Strategy and Leadership modules. The course is five months long, spanning January to July, and is a SETA accredited certificate. According to the LORA about page, the programme's teachers "don't teach what is in the textbook, we discuss what practically happens in the marketplace, the next bounce of the ball in...

  • Village Capital needs fintech startups for FinTech: Africa 2016 programme

    Training and investment company Village Capital is looking for entrepreneurs in Sub-Saharan Africa for its FinTech: Africa 2016 programme. The event aims to find startups who are not only in the fintech sector, but who will be able to increase the financial health of low-income populations. The event is to be hosted in conjunction with The MasterCard Foundation and the DOEN Foundation. When looking for startups for the event, Village Capital lists criteria such as using data and analytics to leverage credit and payments, increase efficiency in supply chains and distribution channels, and tools for working-capital loans and financial management loans. Once the programme has concluded,...

  • The female entrepreneurs rising from emerging markets

    In Silicon Valley, the conversation on increasing female entrepreneurs in technology and the number of women founders has dominated the tech airwaves. How do women outside of Silicon Valley fare? Last year, we had just 12% female-led companies pitching in our 54 local events and there are clear cultural barriers in many of the emerging markets we cover. Thanks to initiatives like Goldman Sachs 10 000 Women and reports articulating the business case for investing in women, the future is bright for an increasing number of female founders in the emerging markets who are surmounting the odds. Below are six...