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  • Want to run a Startup Grind chapter? New Cape director Sandras Phiri tells how

    Anyone, anywhere in the world can launch a Startup Grind chapter. But many close within months of launching. The key is to get your monthly event to become financially sustainable, says new Startup Grind Cape Town director Sandras Phiri. "The thing to consider is why are you doing it? If you're doing it just to make money, you're going to be super frustrated, you're going to quit… if you're doing it to help the community, to help entrepreneurs you're more likely to succeed," says Phiri, who takes over from current Cape Town chapter director Guillaume De Smedt next month. Zambian-born Phiri...

  • Company Office

    Designing for emerging markets, the challenges businesses face in Africa

    Emerging markets are full of opportunity for the clever entrepreneur. Across Africa, Asia and South America are countries with millions of underserved consumers. These people may be living on very little, but their basic needs are similar to those of wealthier people in more developed countries. In their paper, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, C.K Prahalad and Stuart L. Hart explain that “low-income markets present a prodigious opportunity for the world’s wealthiest companies to seek their fortunes and bring prosperity to the poor.” This opportunity exists for any company, whether it’s wealthy or not. Designing for emerging markets,...

  • One week left to apply for World Food Progamme Innovation Accelerator

    Social enterprise startups from around the world with innovative solutions to takcle world hunger have until midnight (central European time) on 21 August to apply to join the World Food Programme (WFP) Innovation Accelerator in Munich, Germany. Those that this miss the deadline will however have their applications considered for future rounds of the programme. The accelerator is looking for solution-driven startups and submissions will be judged on how applicants are able to solve the problems they purport to focus on. Applicants from past cohorts have submitted applications such as satellite based asset monitoring systems, ecommerce platforms and eLearning. WFP Innovation Accelerator consultant Alex Sloan told...

  • Zero-equity Swedish accelerator, THINK, calls for international applications

    THINK, a Swedish-based zero-equity accelerator, has opened a call for applications from early-stage tech startups from around the world. Applications close on 27 August. Those startups that are selected to join the three-month global accelerator will benefit from the accelerator's international network of mentors, access to investors, free office space in Helsingborg (near Malmö) tailored coaching and access to $300 000 worth of services from companies including IBM, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Hubspot among others. THINK has two tracks that startups can choose to apply for. THINK Accelerate is aimed at early-stage tech startups with a focus on software as a service (SAAS), platform...

  • Second season of Santam’s Safety Ideas campaign seeks smart security solutions

    Do you have a workable concept or idea on vehicle, business and home safety? Entries for the second Santam Safety Ideas campaign are now open until 29 September. The initiative, which generated over 15o entries in its first season last year, is run by insurance company Santam, Stellenboch-based incubator Launchlab and innovation company Innovus. The campaign aims to encourage SA innovators to develop innovative safety and security solutions. Low-cost security solutions startup Jonga clinched R150 000 in incubation support last week after winning the first season of the campaign. Read more: Cape Town-based security startup Jonga wins Santam Safety Ideas campaign In all 15 to 20 finalists will be selected...

  • Seedstars World launches call in Lagos in search of Nigeria’s next top startups

    Global seed-stage startup competition Seedstars World today launched a call for applications to search for Nigeria’s next top seed-stage startups. With the support of sponsors Orange, Merck, Enel and the local host Seedspace Lagos, Seedstars World will be holding a dynamic pitch event on 25 August in Lagos, Seedstars World said in a press release today. Seedstars World is travelling to more than 75 countries this year to identify the best seed-stage entrepreneurs and provide them with an opportunity to win up to $500 000 and network with investors and mentors from around the world. Previous participants have raised over $61-million collectively, providing employment to more than...

  • Still stuck in school — NITDA’s awkward romance with Nigerian startups [opinion]

    When many Nigerian founders of startups are asked to list their major challenges, they often mention the lack of support from the Nigerian government. While this is a widely accepted position in the country’s startup ecosystem, government officials and politicians at all levels believe the industry is getting more than enough support from the government -- which set up the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). The agency has been tasked with developing the country’s ICT industry. How it perhaps started So how did it come about? The theory is that some years ago some international tech experts visited Nigeria's then president Olusegun Obasanjo at the...

  • Cape Town-based security startup Jonga wins Santam Safety Ideas campaign

    Cape Town startup Jonga, which has designed an affordable app for home security, has come out tops in the Santam Safety Ideas campaign. Jonga will get a R150 000 to cover the costs of incubation. The announcement was made on Thursday last week. The startup was founded by Ntandoyenkosi Shezi and Ntsako Mgiba (pictured) in 2015 with the aim of making home security more accessible to all. Mgiba told Ventureburn that he came up with the idea for the startup after getting burgled. The Jonga security system retails for R800 a unit, costs R70-a-month Jonga’s low-cost security system consists of a motion detector that is installed at...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [14/08/2017]

    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...

  • International investment in get\Worth lifts funding in Cape startup to R18.5m

    Barely six months after it launched a web platform looking to disrupt online car sales, Cape Town auto industry startup get\Worth has announced an international investment that has increased its total committed funding to R18.5-million. Get\Worth co-founder Jamie Surkont said in a press release issued today that the investor was attracted by the startup's "unique product" that solves many of the challenges when selling a car. However Surkont did not wish to disclose the details of the investment in the press release. When contacted by Ventureburn he responded by email saying that R18.5-million, is the amount committed so far in total to the business since...

  • Over a year on, key reforms for SA’s R&D tax incentive still not implemented

    More than a year on the Department of Science and Technology has yet to decide on whether to offer a refundable tax credit for the research and development (R&D) tax incentive. The introduction of a refundable tax credit was one of several recommendations made by a task team in a report in June last year to make a R&D tax incentive, which has been in existence since 2006, more attractive to small businesses and startups. Unlike a non-refundable tax credit, a refundable tax credit is able to reduce a company's tax balance beyond zero, making it significantly favourable for small firms. The...