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  • MEST invests $700k in seven startups that took part in 2018 cohort

    The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) has announced that it has invested $700 000 in seven startups that were formed from teams that took part in its 2018 cohort. The seven startups were selected following a pitch event that took place last month in Ghana. The seven, which are set to join MEST's incubators in Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya, each received $100 000 in equity investments. The startups join MEST Africa's portfolio of 36 companies. MEST's 10th cohort comprised 58 entrepreneurs hailing from Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, Ivory Coast and Zimbabwe. The entrepreneurs were then split into 17 teams. The seven startups...

  • Company Office

    Blurring of fintech, agritech holds significant potential impact for Africa

    The transformative power of fintech innovations has had far-reaching consequences on the financial services sector, disrupting traditional banking models and bringing about previously unimaginable changes in the way customers bank and pay. Technology is also transforming other industries, such as agriculture and health services. And because most industries have a financial element, the lines between the technology changes in fintech and other industries such as agritech are beginning to blur. This makes for even more exciting possibilities. “More and more we are seeing the convergence across sectors, and for emerging markets this systemic approach is a useful way to address the complexity,”...

  • South African applications for The Chivas Venture 2019 now open

    South Africa startups can now submit applications for the 2019 edition of  The Chivas Venture $1-million global innovation competition. Chivas Regal announced the launch of this year's edition on Monday (10 September). The innovation competition is aimed at innovative startups that are using business to solve social and environmental issues. The competition was first launched in 2014. Chiva's $1-million innovation competition is aimed at startups that blend profit and purpose In a statement on Monday (10 September), Chivas Regal South Africa marketing manager Radley Connor said the competition is an "amazing platform" for SA social entrepreneurs to attract investment and gain global exposure. "The competition...

  • Co-Creation Hub announces participants of inaugural FbStart Accelerator cohort

    Lagos-based Co-Creation Hub (CcHub), in partnership with Facebook, has announced the 15 teams of students and startups selected for the first FbStart Accelerator cohort currently underway at NG_Hub in Nigeria. The six-month accelerator, which kicked off with a bootcamp on 31 August, focuses on research and mentorship around deep tech solutions, namely in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), virtual reality (VR), the Internet of Things (IoT) and data science. In a series of tweets announcing the commencement of the cohort -- which is comprised of 10 student and five startup teams -- CcHub said the teams will receive up to $20 000 in...

  • Samsung mentoring 19 SA startups as part of employee volunteer programme

    Samsung SA has announced that it will mentor up to 19 South African startups at a bootcamp in Cape Town this week as part of its employee volunteer programme. The initiative is also part of Samsung's Global Startup Acceleration Programme which is being carried out in Indonesia, Malaysia, India and South Africa. In all the mentorship will benefit 80 selected startups from around the world. In addition, five of the 80 startups will be invited to visit Samsung's global headquarters in Seoul, South Korea. In a statement on Tuesday (11 September), Samsung SA director for the business innovation group and corporate affairs Hlubi Shivanda,...

  • What liability do company, startup directors face in cyberspace?

    Cyber risks are evolving on a near daily basis posing countless threats to companies, and accordingly, directors need to stay abreast of legal developments to protect themselves and their companies in their fiduciary duties. The outline of such duties, in broad terms, is contained in legislation, common law and in the King IV Report on Corporate Governance for South Africa. Furthermore, duties which may not have been relevant to a director ten years ago may now have become relevant due to the development of technology and the associated risks. The law South African law prescribes duties that directors of companies must abide when...

  • BREAKING: I am innocent of malicious allegations says Springleap’s Eran Eyal

    Just out of jail, SA entrepreneur Eran Eyal, who faces fraud charges in the US, has finally spoken. The former Springleap founder says he's "innocent of these malicious allegations and rumours". Eyal -- who was yesterday released from Rikers Island prison in New York after he appeared in a court in the city and posted bail -- today told Ventureburn via Facebook Messenger that he has "been through three weeks of hell" and that he would comment "soon on everything". His bail was set at a whopping $250 000. "Literally been through hell. Rikers Island is no picnic," he said. "Been sleeping next...

  • IBM South Africa, Tshimologong Precinct to hold acceleration bootcamp [Updated]

    IBM South Africa plans to next month run a six-week long acceleration bootcamp next month together with Joburg incubator Tshimologong Precinct. The bootcamp is being run as part of IBM's Equity Equivalence Investment Programme. Under the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) codes multinationals that are reluctant to give away ownership can provide the equivalent value in training black people or assisting black entrepreneurs. The Startup Accelerator bootcamp will take place from 8 October to 16 November and is designed to enable the development of growth-stage tech startups through a series of short, intensive and rigorous modules. Applications for the bootcamp close on 5 October. About 40 startups will be...

  • With Brexit looming, should startups still consider UK registration to go global?

    For decades now startups that registered in the UK stood the chance of reaching 500 million consumers across Europe. But with the uncertainty around Brexit, the UK's pending withdrawal from the EU, should African startups looking to scale globally consider moving their businesses to the UK? Dylan Thomas, the director for technology, entrepreneurship and advanced manufacturing in the UK's Department for International Trade told Ventureburn in a meeting on Monday (10 September) in Cape Town, that Brexit will change only the country's political and not its economic relationship with the EU. "From an economic point of view, certainly, the UK government's ambition is to have...

  • Fintech startups have two weeks to apply for Catapult: Inclusion Africa bootcamp

    African fintech startups have about two weeks left to apply for the Catapult: Inclusion Africa fintech bootcamp which will take place in Luxembourg in November. Applications for the 12 available spots on the programme will close on 25 September, while the bootcamp will take place between 5 and 9 November. The fully funded week-long bootcamp is an initiative of The Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT) in partnership with PwC and the government of Luxembourg. It is aimed at Africa fintech startups working to improve financial inclusion on the continent. Any startup -- late-stage or early-stage -- can apply. The Catapult: Inclusion Africa fintech bootcamp is...

  • BREAKING: Springleap’s Eran Eyal released from US prison, posts $250k bail

    SA entrepreneur Eran Eyal, who faces fraud charges in the US, was today released from prison after he appeared in a New York court and posted bail -- which was earlier today set at a whopping $250 000. The portal for New York City's Department of Correction confirmed his released and payment of bail today (see below screenshot). An earlier visit to the same portal by Ventureburn at 4pm SA time today revealed that the former Springleap founder had been in jail in the Rikers Island correctional facility (pictured above) since his arrest on 23 August. Former Springleap founder Eran Eyal was today released from prison after...