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  • SeedStars World announces 4 SA competitions for 2016

    Global startup competition SeedStars World is expanding its search for South Africa's best startup in 2016. The entrepreneurial initiative, which specifically targets emerging markets ecosystems, today announced that it would be holding competitions in Cape Town, Soweto, Johannesburg, and Durban. After scouting the global winner from 2016, Giraffe, from South Africa, expectations will be high for the country this year. “With Giraffe as the global winner of our competition, we have proven that South Africa has world class entrepreneurial talent. This year is about casting our net even wider and giving the opportunity to the whole country to participate and...

  • Company Office

    Netflix: What do South Africans think?

    With the announcement of Netflix launching in South Africa a few months ago, it might have seemed like a belated Christmas gift from America. But has the novelty seemingly worn off quicker than one would expect? There are plenty of reasons why the excitement of Netflix in South Africa seems to have died down. For one, there are not many South Africans who are fortunate to enjoy the luxury of cable TV, never mind Netflix. There is also the added hurdle of using the streaming service with limited to no access to the Internet for many and data bundles that do...

  • Diversity in tech startups: time to check our privilege

    I was recently asked to speak on diversity in the South African tech space at Net Prophet, the popular technology and entrepreneurship conference. The talk addressed issues around race (mostly) and gender in the tech space. It asked how tech could solve some of the gender issues and race issues in the country and around the world. How are companies and the tech industry at large dealing with fact there aren’t enough women and people of colour in tech in South Africa and Africa at large? And how can we encourage entrepreneurship in those groups? It is such a...

  • $229k up for grabs in African StartUp Cup competition

    When the African StartUp Cup, currently underway in Ghana, wraps up today, three winning ventures will walk away with US$229 000 worth of prizes. The prizes consist of IBM Global Entrepreneur services, access to Microsoft technologies (AZURE cloud services, MSDN, Office, Bizspark & Visual Studio), Amazon’s Cloud Services, Rackspace StartUp Programme, dotco Internet free domains, and all-expense paid trips to RiseUp Summit in Egypt and 2016 World StartUp Cup in Washington, DC. Startups from Morocco, Algeria, Sudan, Uganda, and Ghana are competing for the prizes in a competition which forms part of the World StartUpCup. Alongside the competition, the programme...

  • New fund launched for startups in the app space

    If you're an aspiring app-builder, you may want to check this out. Technology accelerator mLab Southern Africa, in partnership with the Technology Innovation Agency, this week announced the launch of a fund aimed at assisting startups in the local mobile, sensor or wearable app startup space. That support will come in the shape of early stage grants of up to R500 000 being made available to early-stage startups. "This partnership fills a huge gap in the digital innovation value chain by bringing much needed early stage funding to mobile app start-ups and innovators who need funding to...

  • Ecommerce site stagnating? You might be making these common mistakes

    Most online merchants focus on listing as many products on their website rather than focusing on their website’s ranking on search engines. This is the prime mistake merchants make and it ends up costing more than using traditional methods. If you are contemplating on using an ecommerce website to market your products and services, there are a few SEO mistakes you should avoid. Lack of Product Descriptions No matter what you wish to offer on your website, content is always king. It is what contains the relevant keywords that search engine crawlers look for when ranking a website. The complete...

  • Book flights from anywhere with relaunched Travelstart app Flapp

    Ecommerce travel venture Travelstart has relaunched its flagship flight-booking app Flapp. It has been expanded beyond its initial Cape Town and Johannesburg flight paths. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, Flapp now offers flights anywhere in the world. Customers are able to book any domestic or international flight from the app. This includes airlines such as Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, and Delta Airlines. "Flapp is like having Travelstart in your pocket – we have invested considerable resources in distilling the form and function of our website into an app environment and with 50 000 downloads across iOS and Android devices so...

  • 20 big reasons why startups fail [infographic]

    Startups fail all the time. For the founders of these businesses, it can be heart-breaking. But if the right lessons are learned, it can also be a profoundly insightful experience. Of course, the best possible outcome is not to fail at all and build a successful, scalable business. And the best way to do that is to know what common pitfalls to avoid. Don't get us wrong, there's still room for failure in that model, but it's at least the right kind of failure. Forewarned is, after all, forearmed. The infographic below provides some useful insight around what you should...

  • Trading radio for ocean-cleaning drones: Richard Hardiman’s new adventure

    If you're a native Capetonian, you probably know Richard Hardiman as a radio DJ -- he was a host on commercial radio station KFM for the best part of 16 years. And if you're in the South African tech space, you might be familiar with his involvement in online radio station 2OceansVibe. But now the guy once known as "the party man" is on a mission to clean up the world's oceans and waterways using autonomous drones. For the past couple of years, Hardiman has headed up a startup called Ranmarine with the ultimate goal of building what are...

  • MoveThisStuff: the startup helping you find the right mover for your budget

    Moving, whether it's down the road or to the other side of the country, can be pretty damn stressful. Quite aside from the pain of leaving somewhere you may have come to regard as your home, there's the hassle of finding movers who'll treat your stuff with respect. One company trying to make the second of those things a little easier is MoveThisStuff. Headquartered in Johannesburg, the startup helps people find movers based on factors including how far they're moving, what kind of stuff they're looking to move, and what kind of movers they're looking for. Once they've put...

  • Student Hub to launch new elearning service for students

    Educational ecommerce platform for buying, selling, and renting textbooks, Student Hub is launching an elearning component. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, this new addition will allow students at institutions to access study support tools. The startup already facilities a range of students at educational institutions in South Africa and Africa, meaning the service will offer greater benifit to students. "The delivery of learning information at tertiary educational institutions and the ease of learning the content shouldn’t come at premium prices," says managing director and founder, Hertzy Kabeya. He goes on to say: "We do this by helping with learning support. And...