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  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [24/07/2017]

    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...

  • Company Office

    Introducing the Compare Africa Group

    The Compare Africa Group, officially created earlier this year, includes CompareGuru, PriceCheck, and ShoppingFeeder. Funded, in part, by Silvertree Capital, the three CEOs are Ryan Marx (also CEO of CompareGuru), Kevin Tucker (also CEO of PriceCheck), and Andrew Lynch (also CEO of ShoppingFeeder). CompareGuru, originally known as Click n Compare, started as a marketplace for consumers to combine all their financial needs in November 2013. Operating from South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya, CompareGuru is based on The Guru (animated mascot), a financial services expert, readily available to provide tips and advice to users. “We have come a long way in the...

  • How to make a killing with online sports betting in South Africa

    The internet has made virtually everything easier, faster and more convenient in South Africa, and sports betting is no exception. In fact, many South African punters and operators alike are using online bookmaking sites to make a killing as you read these words. From a punter’s perspective, during the dark old days of South Africa they had little choice but to physically trek to their nearest TAB outlet to place their horse racing bets. Today, however, they can wager on horse racing and a variety of other local and international sports in Rands on their desktop computer, laptop, smart phone or...

  • SA, Ghanaian startup shortlisted for Swiss-based Kickstart Accelerator

    South African startup Libryo and Ghanaian startup Farmerline have been selected for Swiss-based Kickstart Accelerator’s second cohort of 30 startups which hail from around the world. The announcement was made by Kickstart Accelerator on Wednesday. Libryo, a legal platform which enables organisations to understand their legal obligations, and Farmerline, an information service for small-scale farmers in Africa, will take part in the 11-week programme in Zurich from 4 September to 17 November. The second cohort has been divided into four verticals, namely: fintech, smart cities and robotics and intelligent systems. Adel Raslan, who handles publics relations on behalf of Kickstart, told Ventureburn that 10% of the applications...

  • HeePD to launch coding academy for people living with disabilities

    People with disabilities in Cape Town will be able to access free training in coding, with the expected launch next month of a local coding academy. The Hub Employment Ecosystems for People with Disabilities (HeePD), a commercial enterprise started in February, is working with partners to launch CoD - Ability Academy for People with Disabilities at the Open Design Festival between 13 and 25 August. The academy for people with disabilities will offer training in HTML, Java and C+. HeePD founder Riad Masoet, who has multiple sclerosis, told Ventureburn that HeePD will partner with various coding partners to establish the academy. Masoet did not want to say yet...

  • Innovator taps over R220 000 in support from CSIR grassroots programme

    Nkosana Madi has been able to tap over R220 000 in training and support from a Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) programme that aims to help innovators from townships and rural areas. Madi (pictured above), who is from KwaThema near Springs in Gauteng, has developed a motorised bike, the Fla'va. He says the CSIR, through its Grassroots Innovators Programme, is helping to fund an auto-CAD and design-modelling course he is undertaking. Since July last year the CSIR has also provided him with an engineer to advise him on the kinds of tools he should use to manufacture the bike and has...

  • South Korea seeks to diversify its startup scene with its latest accelerator GAPS

    The South Korean government has opened applications for 30 foreign startups to join its new Global Accelerator Program for Startups (GAPS). The application deadline is 31 July. The 1o-month programme will run from this September to June next year and shortlisted startups will each get a grant of $26 000. Applicants will be assessed on how marketable and scalable their business models are as well as on their team’s makeup. Winning startups will also be provided with office space, equipment and material. The programme will also assist participants in getting startup visas and additional mentorship on how to run a business in Korea. GAPS is...

  • Geekulcha VacWork encourages innovation in the Kalahari

    Geekulcha VacWork, a grassroots programme teaching high school pupils about ICT and startups, took place between 10 and 14 Juy in Mier, in the Northern Cape. Geekulcha co-founder and COO Tiyani Nghonyama told Ventureburn that the initiative, which was launched in 2014, aims to provide a platform for skills redistribution by university students to high school pupils. "There was a realisation that we need to monitor the transition from being a learner to university student to the job market," he said. Nghonyama said one of their main goals was to empower and elevate young female talent. 85% of the attendees at the Geekulcha VacWork Kalahari...

  • Egyptian wins $100 000 Innovation Prize for Africa with smart magnetic bearings

    Egyptian Aly El-Shafei was last night awarded the Innovation Prize for Africa's grand prize of $100 000 for his innovative magnetic bearings which help increase energy generation. The competition is run by the African Innovation Foundation. Shafei (pictured above), whose prize was presented by the President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo at a ceremony at Movenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra, Ghana, said he plans to use the prize money to further develop his product which he patented in the US in 2010. Instead of the normal oil bearing, his patented innovation – SEMAJIB – includes a magnetic bearing embedded in the oil bearing, which will...

  • 12 days left to submit proposals for the Open Innovation Challenge

    The Swiss Embassy in South Africa, in collaboration with The National Research Foundation, the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and the University of Basel, are calling for proposals for the Open Innovation Challenge. The deadline for the challenge will be on  Monday 31 July 2017. Accepted submissions need to be feasible and must be at least in the proof of concept stage. The challenge brief states that the organisers are looking for entries in the following areas: waste disposal, water access, affordable environmentally friendly building materials, affordable renewable energy, sanitation and hygiene. Innovators behind the chosen submissions will get to participate in the Swiss-South...

  • Don’t rush to get backers, African Innovation Foundation head tells hubs

    Those running tech hubs in poor areas of Africa should not rush to get corporate and government sponsors, but should rather grow their hubs organically and produce success stories before getting outside partners, says entrepreneur Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais. Speaking on the sidelines of the 2017 Innovation Prize for Africa event in Accra, Ghana, Bastos de Morais, who is also the founder of the African Innovation Foundation, detailed his new project, an innovation hub in the Cazenga slum in Luanda, Angola. The 49-year-old Swiss entrepreneur founded Fabrica de Sabao, a former soap factory, in 2015. It includes a co-working space, a MakerSpace with equipment such as...