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  • Swiss-SA innovation challenge records 110 submissions from SA applicants

    A Swiss-South African open social innovation challenge aiming to address health issues facing low-income South African urban settlements has received more than 120 proposals, with 110 of them coming from South Africa. The submissions are currently being evaluated and the 10 finalists will be announced at the Innovation Summit next month. Five Swiss applicants will be invited to join the 10 finalists at the summit and for other activities. Research Institute for Innovation and Sustainability (RIIS) media liaison Susan Botha told Ventureburn today that some of the South African proposals submitted included innovations in construction, alternative energy, water and sanitary hygiene. 25% of the proposals submitted to the innovation challenge came...

  • Company Office

    Callpay, MyGate announce telephonic payments collaboration

    MyGate, one of Africa’s largest and fastest growing gateways, and Callpay, an innovative provider of secure payment solutions have collaborated to provide a payment solution that offers secure, telephonic payments in South Africa. Through this exciting collaboration, companies that require contact centre agents to accept card can now process these transactions through MyGate to the bank. Card payments are processed in a PCI compliant manner through their contact centre agents without the agent hearing or seeing any sensitive card data. At the point of payment, the agent simply delivers a virtual terminal directly to the customer’s mobile device. It can...

  • Female entrepreneurs platform aims to sign up 20 000 women in first year

    Future Females, a platform where women entrepreneurs can network and get support, aims to grow its user base to 20 000 female entrepreneurs in its first year, the platform's co-founder Lauren Davies told Ventureburn. The platform was launched last Thursday in Cape Town. Davies, who is also the founder of e-learning platform the Growth Academy, founded the platform with Cerina Bezuidenhout, who works for business support programme Techstars. The aim of the platform is to accelerate female entrepreneurship by sharing information on funding, grants and offering support to its members through awareness, education and direct funding. 'Aim is to help female entrepreneurs by sharing information on funding, grants...

  • Capitalise on personal networks, venture capitalist Andrea Böhmert tells women

    Andrea Böhmert, a partner at venture capital investment firm Knife Capital, believes women should be making better use of their networks to raise funding. “About 90% of funding is initiated via introductions from personal networks. A Savca study confirms this. So the question is, whether women are as networked as men and are they accessing the 'right' networks when it comes to funding. Böhmert questioned where the equivalent of the old boys club for women is. "Where are the well-networked women who could potentially make introductions? In my opinion, this is the first major hurdle that women have to deal with but the...

  • uYilo launches third round of seed fund to support electric car developers

    South African innovators looking to develop electric vehicle components, energy storage or charging solutions have until 31 August to apply to the Yilo Kick Start Fund to get up to R1-million to help fund research and development (R&D) costs. Hiten Parmar, director of the uYilo eMobility Technology Innovation Programme's (EMTIP) which administers the fund, said the funding is focused on applied research that will lead to the creation of products, process or services that can be commercialised. Applicants can apply for either up to R500 000 per project for individual projects or up to R1-million per project for collaborative projects involving multiple participants....

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [07/08/2017]

    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...

  • Startupbootcamp Cape Town’s FastTrack tours reach over 120 African startups

    Startupbootcamp Cape Town may have opted to be based at the tip of Africa, but the accelerator is "aggressively" scouting for companies all over continent. Philip Kiracofe (pictured), joint managing director at Startupbootcamp Cape Town, told Ventureburn that although the programme will operate from Cape Town it is very much a pan-African programme, having reached 120 African startups during the programme's various FastTrack tours held between May and last month. Through the FastTrack tours the organisation aims to actively source startups rather than merely waiting for people to apply. Kiracofe said the best attended FastTrack was in Kampala where the organisation got more than 45 applications. Three companies...

  • What software is eligible for a patent? Three examples explain what to look for

    Not all software is patent-eligible, so it’s important that you know what to look out for. In a previous article, I wrote about why your software startup needs a patent. Let's look at what kinds of software one can patent. Read more: 4 reasons why your startup needs a patent As patent-eligibility differs from one country to the next, this article generally covers US and European eligibility requirements. Taking an existing algorithm or method which is already known and applying it using a computer is not likely to be a patent-eligible invention, even if you are the first person to do so. The same would...

  • Tech sector in Cape Town needs more high-profile exits, state support – Winde

    The Western Cape's Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde says Cape Town needs more high-profile exits and better support from national and local government. Responding to questions from Ventureburn on what his office is doing to promote the city as a tech startup location, Winde said in addition to more high-profile exits, the city needs better governmental support via policy initiatives at national and local level. These he said include the introduction of entrepreneur visas, strategic funding support and the removal of intellectual property (IP) exchange controls (which the Reserve Bank is attending to). Read more: Reserve Bank is looking to further unblock ecosystem challenges –...

  • ‘SA corporates now more keen to back initiatives like Startupbootcamp’

    Corporates in South Africa are now more keen on sponsoring open innovation than they were some three years ago believes Startupbootcamp Cape Town founder and managing director Marc Wesselink. Dutch-born Wesselink (pictured right) spoke to Ventureburn ahead of the announcement in Cape Town on 8 August of the 10 startups that will be selected for Startupbootcamp Cape Town. Read more: Startupbootcamp receives 518 applications for first Cape accelerator Wesselink says corporates are now more keen to sponsor a programme like Startupbootcamp than they were three and half years ago when he had the initial idea to launch the accelerator in Africa. Startupbootcamp Cape Town has secured six sponsors...

  • 4Di Capital funding was ‘less than R10m’ confirms SA IoT startup Sensor Networks

    Cape based Internet of Things (IoT) platform Sensor Networks has secured funding from South African venture capital (VC) fund 4Di Capital. Sensor Networks founder Mark Allewell (pictured above with his team, fourth from left) announced the deal yesterday. It's the second investment 4Di Capital has this week made public. Read more: SA drone startup Aerobotics secures R8m in funding from 4Di, Savannah Fund  While Allewell declined to say how much funding his two-year old startup has tapped, when pushed by Ventureburn to reveal more details he confirmed that it was "less than R10-million", which included a minority stake in the company by 4Di...