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  • Fintech startup Agro Supply reaps top honours at Seedstars Kampala

    Ugandan mobile micro savings platform Agro Supply has been selected as the winner of this year's Seedstars Kampala pitch event. Agro Supply's platform enables smallholder farmers save money for agricultural inputs. The company beat 10 other startups that pitched at the event that was held in the Ugandan capital last Friday (24 August). The startup will next year represent Uganda at the global Seedstars Summit in Switzerland where it stands to win up to $1-million in equity investments. Agro Supply was founded in 2016 by CEO Ogwal Joseph, who is also a 2017 graduate of the Tony Elumelu Foundation programme. In addition to helping startups save for agricultural inputs, the...

  • Company Office

    Hurry, Bookmark Award entries close this Sunday!

    The annual IAB SA Bookmark Awards reward excellence in the digital advertising space and have, within less than a decade, entrenched its position as one of the most prestigious events on the South African digital marketing calendar. Awards are presented across eight categories that provide an inclusive overview of the best work performed in the local digital space, as determined by a team of expert local and international judges. Entries for next year’s event, to be held at the Turbine Hall in Newtown, Johannesburg, on March 3, 2016 close on November 15, 2015. “The categories were determined through extensive engagement with...

  • Local startups to benefit from AWS Cape Town expansion with expertise, services

    African startups are expected to benefit from Amazon Web Services' (AWS) expansion in Cape Town with more user groups, hands-on developer labs and expert advice on technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), voice technologies and edge computing. So, says AWS regional manager for sub-Saharan Africa Geoff Brown (pictured above), who was responding to a Ventureburn enquiry on what implications AWS's expansion in Cape Town will have on the city's and SA's tech startup ecosystem. It follows a Reuters report last month that the company planned to expand its presence in the city. African startup will get access to more user groups, developer labs and expertise with AWS Cape Town...

  • Google to reveal names of second cohort of Launchpad Accelerator Africa today

    Google set to announce the names today of the startups that will take part in the second cohort of its Launchpad Africa Accelerator. A PR representative for Google South Africa told Ventureburn last Monday (20 August) that the ceremony would be held at 11am SA time (10am Nigerian time) today in Lagos. Google opened applications for the second class of its Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme in June, adding 12 more African countries from which it would accept application from -- to the six that it took applications from in the first class. Applications for closed on 8 July (see this story). Google set to announce the names...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [27/08/2018]

    Tomorrow (28 August) the participants of the Rise Scalerator programme will share their journeys and how they hope to scale their startups at an event in Cape Town. If you're crazy about artificial intelligence, you'll want to attend Cape Town AI's next quarterly meeting on Thursday (30 August) which will focus on data quality. Those in Joburg looking to learn more about blockchain should attend Startup Grind Johannesburg's unique training session (heads-up -- early birds will get an opportunity to earn free coins). In East Africa? Then join Strathmore University deputy vice chancellor Vincent Ogutu on Thursday (30 August) an After Office Hours...

  • ‘In Libya the first thing you do as startup is to list all things that might go wrong’

    For Fattoum Nasser the first thing anyone does when starting a tech business in Libya is to list all the things that might go wrong -- from the internet connection constantly going down to your car being hijacked. Experts estimate that over 10 000 people have been killed since a civil war began in 2014, while the UN Human Rights Commission believes over 200 000 Libyans have been internally displaced. But somehow amidst all this chaos a generation of young tech entrepreneurs is forging ahead. Nasser (pictured above) -- who is from Sabha, a city located in the country's unstable south -- is one of these. Last year...

  • Village Capital taps 15 African tech hubs for VilCap Communities Africa initiative

    US-based venture capital firm Village Capital has announced the 15 incubators, accelerators and seed funds that it has selected for its VilCap Communities Africa programme. The initiative -- which aims to accelerate the flow of capital to early-stage companies in sub-Sahara Africa -- is supported by the Impact Programme (funded in turn by the UK Department for International Development). The 15 organisations (see below for the full list) were announced in a Village Capital blog post on Wednesday (22 August) and are set to participate in forums in Lagos and Nairobi before convening in Cape Town in November. The participants will learn and share best practices...

  • CiTi opens applications for Top Tech Tools for Women In Business programme

    The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) is calling on women founders and company heads to apply for the incubator's 10-week long Top Tech Tools for Women in Business programme. The free programme, which kicks off on 19 September at the Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn, is aimed at women founders and CEOs from the Western Cape between the ages of 25 and 50. CiTi entrepreneur development programme co-ordinator Nobuzwe Dolophini says the programme is designed to equip women with the knowledge, tools and "strategic mindset" to effectively integrate technology into their business. "We start from the basics of why and where you need a digital tool to improve...

  • Here’s what to expect at the 2018 SA Innovation Summit

    The SA Innovation Summit is set to take place between 12 and 14 September in Cape Town under theme Africa, our time has come! The summit will bring together corporates, government, academia, researchers, and entrepreneurs to unpack the biggest challenges on the continent, including the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) and how it matters to the African economy. Organisers expect that 1500 delegates will attend the three-day conference. Some 50 keynote speakers will be addressing the effect of technology and innovation in different industries and applications, including agritech, fintech, biotech, edutech, artificial intelligence (AI), big data and space and cities of the...

  • Kenyan fintech Lendable secures $450k grant from Dutch development bank FMO

    Nairobi-based fintech Lendable has secured a $450 000 convertible grant from Dutch development bank FMO. In a statement today (23 August) FMO said the grant will provide a "first loss" backstop that is expected to unlock an additional $4.5-million from commercial investors. The convertible grant is being provided by the Dutch government through its MASSIF fund -- which FMO manages. The fund aims to support small businesses, inclusive enterprises, women as well as youth entrepreneurs by financing local financial intermediaries and other institutions that contribute to development. Lendable was founded in 2014 and has offices in Nairobi and New York Lendable was founded...

  • State must close door on those that misuse VC tax incentive [Opinion]

    This week saw an outcry from South Africa's venture capital (VC) and private equity sector over amendments the National Treasury plans to make to the country's VC tax incentive, which falls under Section 12 of the Income Tax Act. The SA Venture Capital Association (Savca) told MPs in Parliament that should the National Treasury go ahead with them as they are at present, the amendments risked making the incentive unviable. The amendments contained in the 2018 Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (see the National Treasury's explanatory guide here) include a number of proposals intended to root out misuse of the incentive by investors. The incentive, which came into effect...