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  • AIF announces 10 nominees of the 2018 Innovation Prize for Africa awards

    The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) has announced the 10 nominees for this year's $185 000 Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) awards. Among others they include innovators who have designed -- a biodegradable seed tray for rice farming, a three-in-one urine-based test kit that examines vaginal infections, a membrane that essentially “shrink-wraps” faeces and a smart solar kiosk. In a statement yesterday (13 September), the AIF said it received more than 3000 applications from 52 African countries. The call for applications for this year's awards, now in their seventh year, was under the theme "African innovation: Investing in Inclusive Innovation Ecosystems". AIF chairman Walter Fust said...

  • Company Office

    The impact of big data on the logistics sector

    Businesses both large and small are drawing on the information available from "big data" to help streamline and improve what they do. Data collected by smart phones, sensors and other sources play an increasingly important role in helping products and services to evolve and to help companies gain a competitive advantage. With this in mind, here we explore the impact of big data on the logistics sector. Electronic on board recorders Electronic on-board recorders (EOBR) are now commonplace in the logistics sector and capture a range of data as a vehicle is in operation. Driver hours and maintenance information are examples of the type...

  • Southern African VC sector invested over R1bn in 2017 reveals Savca report [Updated]

    Southern African venture capital (VC) funds invested over R1-billion in startups and early-stage companies last year. This, while the number of reported South African VC deals rose from 114 deals in 2016 to 159 last year -- the latest Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association's (Savca) Venture Capital Industry Survey has revealed. The report which was released yesterday (12 September) at the SA Innovation Summit in Cape Town, was carried out in collaboration with research partner Venture Solutions. The survey features data gathered from 57 fund managers as well as other industry investors. The Savca Venture Capital Industry Survey shows that the average deal...

  • MEST invests $700k in seven startups that took part in 2018 cohort

    The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) has announced that it has invested $700 000 in seven startups that were formed from teams that took part in its 2018 cohort. The seven startups were selected following a pitch event that took place last month in Ghana. The seven, which are set to join MEST's incubators in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, each received $100 000 in equity investments. The startups join MEST Africa's portfolio of 36 companies. MEST's 10th cohort comprised 58 entrepreneurs hailing from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe. The entrepreneurs were then split into 17 teams. The seven startups...

  • South African applications for The Chivas Venture 2019 now open

    South Africa startups can now submit applications for the 2019 edition of  The Chivas Venture $1-million global innovation competition. Chivas Regal announced the launch of this year's edition on Monday (10 September). The innovation competition is aimed at innovative startups that are using business to solve social and environmental issues. The competition was first launched in 2014. Chiva's $1-million innovation competition is aimed at startups that blend profit and purpose In a statement on Monday (10 September), Chivas Regal South Africa marketing manager Radley Connor said the competition is an "amazing platform" for SA social entrepreneurs to attract investment and gain global exposure. "The competition...

  • Co-Creation Hub announces participants of inaugural FbStart Accelerator cohort

    Lagos-based Co-Creation Hub (CcHub), in partnership with Facebook, has announced the 15 teams of students and startups selected for the first FbStart Accelerator cohort currently underway at NG_Hub in Nigeria. The six-month accelerator, which kicked off with a bootcamp on 31 August, focuses on research and mentorship around deep tech solutions, namely in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), the Internet of Things (IoT) and data science. In a series of tweets announcing the commencement of the cohort -- which is comprised of 10 student and five startup teams -- CcHub said the teams will receive up to $20 000 in...

  • Samsung mentoring 19 SA startups as part of employee volunteer programme

    Samsung SA has announced that it will mentor up to 19 South African startups at a bootcamp in Cape Town this week as part of its employee volunteer programme. The initiative is also part of Samsung's Global Startup Acceleration Programme which is being carried out in Indonesia, Malaysia, India and South Africa. In all the mentorship will benefit 80 selected startups from around the world. In addition, five of the 80 startups will be invited to visit Samsung's global headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. In a statement on Tuesday (11 September), Samsung SA director for the business innovation group and corporate affairs Hlubi Shivanda,...

  • What liability do company, startup directors face in cyberspace?

    Cyber risks are evolving on a near daily basis posing countless threats to companies, and accordingly, directors need to stay abreast of legal developments to protect themselves and their companies in their fiduciary duties. The outline of such duties, in broad terms, is contained in legislation, common law and in the King IV Report on Corporate Governance for South Africa. Furthermore, duties which may not have been relevant to a director ten years ago may now have become relevant due to the development of technology and the associated risks. The law South African law prescribes duties that directors of companies must abide when...

  • BREAKING: I am innocent of malicious allegations says Springleap’s Eran Eyal

    Just out of jail, SA entrepreneur Eran Eyal, who faces fraud charges in the US, has finally spoken. The former Springleap founder says he's "innocent of these malicious allegations and rumours". Eyal -- who was yesterday released from Rikers Island prison in New York after he appeared in a court in the city and posted bail -- today told Ventureburn via Facebook Messenger that he has "been through three weeks of hell" and that he would comment "soon on everything". His bail was set at a whopping $250 000. "Literally been through hell. Rikers Island is no picnic," he said. "Been sleeping next...

  • IBM South Africa, Tshimologong Precinct to hold acceleration bootcamp [Updated]

    IBM South Africa plans to next month run a six-week long acceleration bootcamp next month together with Joburg incubator Tshimologong Precinct. The bootcamp is being run as part of IBM's Equity Equivalence Investment Programme. Under the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) codes multinationals that are reluctant to give away ownership can provide the equivalent value in training black people or assisting black entrepreneurs. The Startup Accelerator bootcamp will take place from 8 October to 16 November and is designed to enable the development of growth-stage tech startups through a series of short, intensive and rigorous modules. Applications for the bootcamp close on 5 October. About 40 startups will be...

  • With Brexit looming, should startups still consider UK registration to go global?

    For decades now startups that registered in the UK stood the chance of reaching 500 million consumers across Europe. But with the uncertainty around Brexit, the UK's pending withdrawal from the EU, should African startups looking to scale globally consider moving their businesses to the UK? Dylan Thomas, the director for technology, entrepreneurship and advanced manufacturing in the UK's Department for International Trade told Ventureburn in a meeting on Monday (10 September) in Cape Town, that Brexit will change only the country's political and not its economic relationship with the EU. "From an economic point of view, certainly, the UK government's ambition is to have...