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  • Swiss medical company Roche to purchase Kapa Biosystems, bolster medical strength

    Today, Swiss-based medical-tech company Roche announced its acquisition of Kapa Biosystems -- a biotech startup based in Massachusetts, US with a development and manufacturing facility in Cape Town, South Africa. According to co-founder and chief scientific officer of Kapa Biosystems, Paul McEwa, "Joining Roche provides us access to their broad product portfolio, global reach and clinical expertise that will accelerate our strategy of offering comprehensive NGS workflow solutions to more laboratories around the world." The deal went through with an undisclosed purchase amount and is subject to customary closing conditions. Kapa Biosystems is a provider of genomic tools in the life science...

  • Q&A: How Kaymu is helping thousands of Nigerian SMEs move to the cloud

    Ecommerce is a big deal in Nigeria. Several SMEs are considering it as an option to reach bigger markets without expanding their office space. But the complexity of the technology behind running an efficient ecommerce platform, in addition to the high cost of marketing, make ecommerce a future pain for SMEs. But Kaymu, an online marketplace, makes it possible for SMEs to realise their ambitions. Over 40 000 SMEs in various parts of the country are already on the platform, and thousands are joining each week. I caught up with Evangeline Wiles, who's the MD of Kaymu Nigeria, recently at the...

  • Does your personality type fit that of an entrepreneur?

    According to a survey conducted by a California-based personality and career assessments company, Truity Psychometrics, found that extraverts are more likely to become entrepreneurs. The four main deciding factors of the survey included extraversion (E) vs. introversion (I); sensing (S) vs intuition (N); thinking (T) vs feeling (F); judging (J) vs perceiving (P), as well as a second set of basic questions, such as income, age, and gender. Out of the 25 759 respondents, only around half completed the survey. From that the numbers were whittled down to those over 18 and who had answered the salary question. This left the...

  • Accelerate Cape Town announces Ryan Ravens as CEO

    Ryan Ravens has been appointed as Accelerate Cape Town's (ACT) new CEO. Established in 2007, business leadership organisation ACT has become a prominent player in facilitating dialogue between government, corporate and higher education in the Western Cape and the greater South Africa. The organisation believes that Raven's strong background as manager and leader will help ACT further its vision of accelerating economic growth through innovation. Prior to accepting the role at Accelerate Cape Town, Ravens was the Group Executive: Strategic Partnerships at Blue IQ Investment Holdings (now known as Gauteng Growth and Development Agency) and then CEO of consulting company, TetraPlex. Well known...

  • Lessons learned on building a pan-African network of angel investors

    The following article is by David van Dijk who is part of the team behind African Business Angels Network (ABAN), a pan-African association that seeks to promote a culture of Angel investing across Africa. On 13 August, the second in a series of Angel Investor Bootcamps leading up to the ABAN Investor Summit at DEMO Africa was hosted in Nairobi, Kenya. The Bootcamps are organised by the African Business Angel Network (ABAN) in partnership with VC4Africa, Intercontinental Trust and the LIONS Africa Partnership. The Nairobi edition was hosted together with Viktoria Ventures and the iHub. Master-class by ‘European Angel Investor of the year’...

  • Micro-internship startup Mintor wins #PitchVinny pitching competition

    Micro-internship startup Mintor walked away as winner of the Silicon Cape pitching competition #PitchVinny. The event, which was held in Cape Town on Monday, saw three startups pitching to renowned South African angel investor and serial entrepreneur Vinny Lingham. Mintor co-founder Leànne Viviers described her startup as an online platform that connected students with internships or -- as she described it -- micro-internships. "Micro-internships enable businesses to access low-risk and affordable skills," Viviers told Lingham in front of an audience of a few dozen industry enthusiasts. "There’s a unique opportunity to address the skills gap," she added. To date, Mintor has facilitated a total of 10 "mintorships"....

  • 50 of South Africa’s top ecommerce sites

    South African ecommerce technology provider uAfrica has announced the top 50 ecommerce sites for the 2015 eCommerce Awards. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the top 50 sites were whittled down from 200 entrants, with the sites evaluated on aspects such as design, mobile functionality, checkout process, customer care and delivery, amongst others. The awards, now in their 10th year, aim to "recognise and reward those South African websites that have demonstrated excellence in their use of the Internet as a platform for commerce". Read more: uAfrica’s ecommerce awards celebrates 10th year anniversary “It is interesting to see...

  • Top 20 finalists announced in PwC Vision to Reality awards programme

    The top 20 finalists in PwC's Vision to Reality awards programme have been announced. The companies chosen have not only made a difference in Africa with sharing their vision but were able to create revenue growth in their industry. Each is a dynamic and emerging company, which have shown successful growth and are some of Africa's most outstanding tech companies. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Partner in charge of the Western Cape region, Danie Fölscher, reiterates this: These businesses’ ability to inspire others and ignite a business from the start-up phase to leader in industry is a significant achievement Read more: PwC Vision to Reality 2015 is looking for...

  • 8 tips for marketing your startup on a shoestring budget

    While success has many fathers, failure is considered as an orphan. Sailing your entrepreneurial stint to success has its own challenges. Most startups fail within their first two years of operation. Of those, 75% fail due to pre-mature scaling. This means that startup companies spend too much money on aspects such as marketing, hiring and so on before the business has secured further sources of financing. As an entrepreneur, I have seen many failures. At the same time I have managed to sail a couple of projects to the top, the toughest of which was Pakistani.pk. I have been able to...

  • SA comparison site Click n Compare sets up shop in Nigeria, Kenya

    South Africa-based comparison website Click n Compare has expanded to Nigeria and Kenya. This comes after achieving strong month-on-month growth of 40% in its home country. It's also expanding its advisory board with impressive additions from Nigeria-based iROKO and Ringier. Click n Compare is an online platform that lists various services, such as insurance, mobile, broadband and banking. Customers can easily navigate and compare different plans and prices that suit their specific needs. The co-founder and CEO of the company, Ryan Marx, added in a press release: Click n Compare's unique value proposition is the fact that we have positioned ourselves directly...