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  • ‘Tanzania must introduce tax incentives, policy change to spur VC investment’

    Ahead of next month's launch of Tanzania's first angel investors network, a top venture capitalist has called for the government to make a number of changes to encourage venture capital (VC) investments in startups in the East African country. In an email to Ventureburn yesterday Salum Awadh, CEO of Tanzanian financial and investment advisory firm SSC Capital, called on the government to introduce tax incentives, relax part of the country's competition law and to enact changes to the Companies Act to allow for the setting up of limited partnerships to drive VC investments in the country. Awadh's comments come in the wake of the...

  • Company Office

    Callpay become first Level 1 Service Provider in Africa to achieve PCI DSS v3.2 compliance

    Callpay, a leading payment solutions provider, today announced that it has become the first Service Provider in Africa to achieve PCI DSS v3.2 compliance. The company recently underwent another rigorous audit by an independent Quality Security Assessor (QSA) to ensure that it meets the best practices and security controls needed to keep card data safe and secure from capture and transmit to processing. Callpay provides a unique range of innovative payment technologies, from its patent pending cloud call centre solutions, Bank Transfer Switch including its mPOS and mPAY Applications. Being a Level 1 PCI DSS compliant Service Provider ensure Callpay’s...

  • Kickstart Accelerator back for third edition with new programme structure

    Zurich-based accelerator programme Kickstart Accelerator has opened applications for the third edition of its programme, which this year will take on a new programme structure. The Swiss accelerator focuses on later-stage tech startups with solutions in deep technologies -- science and engineering driven tech like artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain -- as well as in areas like edtech, fintech and smart cities. The programme also aims to initiate successful partnerships and pilot projects between selected startups and Kickstart's partner companies and institutions. Kickstart co-lead Katka Letzing said in a statement today that the accelerator's first two programmes had resulted in 30 proof-of-concepts and collaborations. In...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [03/04/2018]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or brush up on some of your skills? Well, you’ve come to the right place. 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 next week’s, please let us know in the comments below or send us an email. Not all of the events are free and some will require booking in advance. Please click on the event names to find out...

  • Accelerating Women Entrepreneurs Prize: Feed the Future’s $50k hunt for agritech

    Feed the Future Partnering for Innovation, a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) programme, is calling for applications for the $50 000 Accelerating Women Entrepreneurs (AWE) Prize 2018. In a post on Twitter, Feed the Future said the prize -- which was launched last month -- will help women-led small businesses expand in smallholder markets. Up to two finalists of the Accelerating Women Entrepreneurs prize will be awaded technical assistance packages valued at $50 000. The prize's application deadline is 25 April. Applications are open to women in the sub-Saharan African countries that USAID operates in (listed here). To be considered for the...

  • GEM looking into questionable data says director

    Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) executive director Mike Herrington says he and his team are looking into the accuracy of various data in its annual global report. This, after the GEM team discovered that several of the 54 countries surveyed in the year's report - released in January - had seen significant changes in the rate of entrepreneurship for adults that the report tracks. In Malaysia the total early stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA) rate rose by a massive 16.9% from 2016 to 2017 – from 4.7% to 21.6%. The rate measures the number of adults between 18 and 64 involved in starting or...

  • Craig Wing’s six tips on launching new projects, dealing with setbacks

    Having founded two startups -- including a visual aid company Focal Point Engineering and cleantech firm Cleantech U -- and led several enterprise projects, serial entrepreneur Craig Wing is no stranger to setbacks. Wing's most recent project, Hackr House -- a Johannesburg "live-in" tech entrepreneur development programme failed to take off in February as scheduled -- and the founder is back at the drawing board, working on the project's next steps. Read more: Why Joburg’s HackR House stands empty a month after intended launch These are moments founders dread -- and perhaps define how good an entrepreneur you are -- when your startup...

  • Why Joburg’s HackR House stands empty a month after intended launch

    It began as an idea to get entrepreneurs to live and work together in one house. Now Johannesburg's HackR House -- which was set to launch last month -- stands empty, while founder Craig Wing ponders what to do next. Wing's idea stemmed from his experience working in Silicon Valley where he ran a cleantech startup and his belief that tech entrepreneurs need round-the clock support -- and that those that live (and work) together will have a higher probability of success. The "live-in" programme aimed to give participants business coaching and mentoring in addition to access to other support services. But after receiving only eight applications for the...

  • Global Startup Awards: Nominations for Southern Africa open 31 March

    Nominations for the inaugural Southern African Startup Awards -- the regional finals of the Global Startup Awards -- are set to officially open on Saturday (31 March). In a post on Facebook Monday (26 March), the Southern African circuit of the Global Startup Awards called for nominations of startups and entrepreneurs from any of the 15 Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. The Global Startup Awards, which have been held annually around the world since 2012 in Denmark, aim to select and recognise startups and entrepreneurs who have shown outstanding achievement in business and service to the community. The grand finale of the inaugural...

  • Competition offers £250 000 in prizes to stimulate off-grid cold chain technology

    The Global LEAP Off-Grid Cold Chain Challenge (OGCCC) – a competition to develop innovative and energy-efficient off-grid cold storage technology – launched yesterday in Nairobi, Kenya. In a press releases yesterday the UK Department for International Development’s (DfID) said the challenge -- which forms part of the department's Ideas to Impact programme -- will offer £250 000 in prizes for off-grid cold chain technologies deployed in select Sub-Saharan African countries. The goal of the competition is to stimulate innovation and investment in the sector and help to drive market development, bringing prices down for those who need it most. Innovation prizes of up to £50...

  • Craft brewer Drifter raises R1m in first day of equity crowdfunding campaign [Updated]

    Cape Town-based Drifter Brewing Company has raised over R1-million, hours after its equity crowdfunding campaign went live on equity crowdfunding platform Uprise.Africa. The craft brewer is looking to raise R3-million for 12.1875% equity over the next 59 days . At the time of publication Drifter had raised R1 013 000 from nine investors. The company is accepting investments from R1000 and above. In a phone call with Ventureburn, Uprise.Africa marketing officer Inge Prins said the campaign went live last night (27 March) at 7pm. "Their value proposition is clear to customers," Prins said, explaining why the campaign had taken off quickly. Drifter is aiming...

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