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  • Mastercard’s Start Path is searching for innovative startups

    Global payments company Mastercard is searching for new startups to join its Start Path Global 2017 Class. Applications for the programme close on 23 April. The programme is accepting startups from SA as well as across the world who are operating within the banking and payments sector. Eligible startups need to have raised significant seed funding or series A investments. Other criteria for eligible startups are: Startups must demonstrate advantage over competitors. Participants must target a sizeable market opportunity. Eligible startups must have established an experienced team. Mastercard's Start Path aims to provide innovative startups with much-needed support and investment "Fintech startups around the world...

  • Company Office

    Barclays accelerator announces latest participants in African programme

    Barclays Africa Group and Techstars today released the names of 10 financial-technology (fintech) companies selected to participate in the second Barclays Accelerator programme, powered by Techstars. The successful companies, all focused on providing fintech solutions in Africa, will participate in a 13-week growth acceleration programme at Barclays Africa’s Rise fintech innovation hub in Cape Town from mid-May. The 2017 programme participants are: Flexpay (Kenya), Howler (South Africa), Spatialedge (South Africa), Abe.ai (USA), The Sun Exchange (South Africa), Byte Money (South Africa), Avenews-GT (Israel), FOMO Travel (South Africa), Kapitalwise (USA) and eCOIDA (South Africa). Yasaman Hadjibashi, chief creation officer at Barclays Africa Group, said:...

  • The Foschini Group and startups: an unlikely combo

    Ventureburn and Splash conducted an interview with The Foschini Group's (TFG) CIO, Brent Curry, which revealed many insights into what TFG and startups are producing. It's also particularly important to note his insights as they might be a way for entrepreneurs to bring their product to a large market. To date, TFG has partnered with tech startups such as Wumdrop and Pargo which brought about TFG's Deliver 2 Me service while also allowing customers to choose a convenient collection point for their items. "We know that exceptional tech talent usually prefers working in the edgier startup space, rather than at a big corporate...

  • 4 reasons why your startup needs a patent

    It’s a scenario that has played out in many a boardroom around the world. An entrepreneur lands a sizeable investment but has not spent a single cent on protecting their intellectual property (IP). No matter what your exit strategy, or whether you even have one, the protection of IP and an appropriate IP strategy should be conscious, pro-active discussions that all startups have at a very early stage. One effective way of protecting new technology is by way of a patent. While not all technologies are patentable, the rumour that inventions that rely on software for their operation cannot be patented...

  • French South African Tech Labs now recruiting

    Having received a combined R10-million in investment since its launch last year, the French South African Tech Labs (FSAT Labs), in Cape Town, is seeking its first cohort of digital entrepreneurs. Applicants have until 15 April to apply. The FSAT Labs has served as an incubator and accelerator for both SA and French entrepreneurs, placing a strong emphasis on black entrepreneurs. FSAT Lab COO Alexia Vettier told Ventureburn that the French government is helping the FSAT Labs through the French embassy as well as the French tech network. "Indeed, Cape Town has become a French tech hub since 2016 thanks to Methys, a French private company, that...

  • IDC approves R17m deal to fund SA’s first 3D metal printer

    The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has concluded an agreement with an SA startup that plans to launch the country's first production-based 3D metal printer by June. The investment of R17-million in Metal Heart, approved last month, is the 11th deal concluded by the IDC's new industries unit, since the unit's launch in 2015. Six of the deals have been in new companies. "They moved quickly," says Gert Lombard, who says he and business partner Kim Gray initially met with the unit in November last year. The deal was approved two weeks ago. The investment is in the form of a term loan and a...

  • Entersekt wins Best Mobile Security Technology Award

    Security solution Entersekt has clinched the award for Best Mobile Security Technolgy for the second time at the 2017 Banker Africa Southern Africa Banking Awards. Entersekt uses an innovative push-based authentication solution along with digital certificate technology to protect customers from online fraud. The awards programme is open to all banks and financial institutions within SA and celebrates outstanding performance within the financial services industry. "We are particularly pleased to have been recognised for the work we do in the fintech space. As an innovator in push-based authentication and app security, it is important for our peers to acknowledge the evolution and relevance of our products and services," said Entersekt's...

  • Identifying and managing regulatory risks in fintech innovation [Sponsored]

    Facebook-owned WhatsApp's recent move into digital payments in India reinforces the view of many, that the biggest competition to existing legacy banks could well come from the so-called GAFA (Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple). It is undeniable that the pace of disruption to legacy banking and financial services models will continue to accelerate. In addition, the pressure from challenger banks and fintech disrupters will drive the speed and the timeline of exiting financial services business model evolution. This is unlikely to be a comfortable time for the incumbent players. Adding to the pressure and complexity for the executive team of...

  • Exclusive: ‘Government won’t match private sector in R1.5bn SME fund’

    The SA government has no immediate plans to match the R1.5-billion that 48 large companies have committed to the SA SME Fund, National Treasury Director-General Lungisa Fuzile told Ventureburn today. Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa pledged during the launch of the fund in May last year that the government would match any contribution made by the private sector. However Fuzile, who sits on the fund's board, said the government will instead look to improve coordination between the state and private sector, while stepping up its existing funding and business support to small businesses. "It is not clear from a fiscal point of view...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [10/04/2017]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or catch up on some of your skills? Well, you've come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we've rounded up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or...

  • RiseUp takes 6 startups to Silicon Valley

    Startup network, RiseUp took six startups to Silicon Valley from 4 April to 13 April. The programme exposes startups from the Middle East and Africa to the tech hub, allowing them to integrate with other startups, resulting in acceleration and growth. The programme is organised in partnership with Voyaj and TechWadi as well as the World Bank. "We cater an experience where startups have an opportunity to get exposed to new markets, connect with global industry leaders, network with investors, the global media, and most importantly gain know-how that will help them build better businesses," said RiseUp's founder, Con O’Donnell in a press release. RiseUp aims...