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  • These are the nine Senegalese startups set to pitch at Seedstars Dakar

    Seedstars World, a leading startup competition for emerging markets, has announced the nine Senegalese startups that will pitch later this week at this year’s Seedstars Dakar pitch event. The pitch event, which will be held on Friday (7 September), will see nine of Senegal’s best seed-stage startups compete to represent the country at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland. In addition, the winning startup will be in the running for $1-million in equity investments. A jury panel comprised of Brightmore Capital managing partner Ndeye Thiaw, Byfilling CEO Diallo Mohamed, Jumia Travel Senegal CEO Mamadou Marème Diop, Kinaya Lab founder Laïssa Mouen, and Seedstars East Africa associate Fany Dauchez will select the winners. Seedstars World...

  • Company Office

    Tremendous innovation in sophisticated fintech payments in South Africa

    In 2016 $5.5-billion of venture capital investment went into payments startups. This represented 22% of global fintech investment activity. In South Africa, payments still dominate the fintech landscape. At AlphaCode, a club for fintech entrepreneurs, we are seeing a tremendous amount of innovation in payments as SA consumers seek new ways to transact. Due to SA’s sophisticated banking infrastructure, we possess strong skills in this sector and many AlphaCode entrepreneurs are finding better and more efficient ways to transact. Here below are some of the really innovative startups operating in the payments space that fulfil specific customer needs. Including the informal economy Due to...

  • Three African startups make it into Katapult Accelerator’s third cohort

    Oslo-based Katapult Accelerator has selected three African startups from Kenya, Egypt and Tunisia to join its third cohort, comprised of 12 startups from around the world. The three are Kenyan banking solution FinAccess, Egyptian edtech PraxiLabs and Tunisian tech talent accelerator Think.iT. In a statement last week Katapult Accelerator managing partner and co-founder Haakon Brunell (pictured above, left) said the 12 startups had been selected from among 1500 companies from 107 countries. The three African startups, along with the rest of the cohort, will each receive a $150 000 equity investment from the Katapult Accelerator Fund Brunnel explained that the accelerator provides participants with "an environment...

  • AfricArena signs up AFD subsidiary Proparco as strategic partner, sponsor

    Tech startup conference AfricArena has signed up Proparco -- a development finance institution partly owned by the French Development Agency (AFD) -- as a strategic partner and sponsor. In a statement announcing the partnership last week, Proparco regional head for Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean Siby Diabira said the institution's interest in the African startup ecosystem "reached a new level" this year with the creation of a division committed to investing in innovative, impactful and scalable startups alongside investments in venture capital (VC) funds. AfricArena 2018 is set to take place on 15 and 16 November in Cape Town "We believe that...

  • Cape Town set to host first SA Digital Health Conference this October

    The first South African Digital Health Conference is set to take place next month in Cape Town. The conference -- which is in an initiative of the UCT's Faculty of Health Sciences and Digital Health -- will take place on 2 October at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) and will focus on opportunities and challenges in digital health. Confirmed speakers include Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) acting executive for innovation enabling support Sarusha Pillay, Iyeza Express founder and co-director of Iyeza Health Sizwe Nzima, Hello Doctor founder Dr Michael Mol, hearX CEO Nic Klopper, and RecoMed CEO Sheraan Amod. The inaugural South African Digital Health Conference is...

  • Springleap’s Eran Eyal did not seem like scammer to me – DocuSign founder [Updated]

    UPDATE: Ventureburn had earlier incorrectly reported that Shopin had not yet released a statement in response to Eran Eyal's fraud charges, when it had indeed done so -- on 28 August (see here), announcing that Jennifer Haggerty has been appointed interim CEO.  DocuSign founder Tom Gonser says he's "shocked" that the SA entrepreneur whose $42.5-million Shopin initial coin offering (ICO) he was an adviser to is now facing fraud charges in the US. But Gonser says nothing on the recent ICO seems untoward. The former Springleap founder Eran Eyal (pictured above) was charged with fraud last month relating to allegations that he misrepresented his...

  • SA startup Wala wins $100k Zambezi Prize for Innovation in Financial Inclusion

    SA fintech Wala has clinched the $100 000 grand prize in the 2018 Zambezi Prize for Innovation in Financial Inclusion. The prize is run by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Legatum Centre for Development and Entrepreneurship and the Mastercard Foundation. The announcement was made last week Wednesday (29 August) during the Open Mic Africa Summit in Nairobi, Kenya. Wala pipped runners-up Kenyan startup Tulaa and Nigerian waste recycling and social benefit enterprise RecyclePoints, who each won $30 000. In addition, as the Zambezi Prize winner, Wala also won the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC) Africa Prize in the Financial Inclusion category. The startup will now join three other winners...

  • Kenya to host 2020 Next Einstein Forum Global Gathering in Nairobi

    The Kenyan government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) to host the 2020 edition of the NEF Global Gathering in Nairobi. Commenting in a statement on Saturday (1 September), Kenya's Cabinet secretary for Education Amina Mohamed said the Kenyan government recognises that Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (Stem) are the key drivers of international growth. "We are therefore focused on nurturing a young crop of innovators, engineers and scientists who will drive our industrialisation agenda forward," said Mohamed (pictured above, right). 'We expect 2500 delegates for the 2020 edition in Kenya,' - Thierry Zomahoun, Aims president...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [03/09/2018]

    If you run a tech startup, you will likely be aware of how information security has become an important aspect of everyday life. On Wednesday (5 September) information security experts will share insights on the kind of attacks that you and your startup could be exposed to and what measures you should take to protect your business. Curious about commercial drones? Startup Grind Cape Town will on Wednesday host Duran de Villiers the founder of commercial drone manufacturer Alti UAS. Tomorrow (4 September), Shakes Mosilili, Reza Mia, and Tabz Qadir will during the Leaderex conference discuss the hacks for a successful crowdfunding initial public...

  • ‘Three decades of microfinance key to social investing – Finca Ventures head

    Finca International's 30-year experience in microfinance has given newly launched impact investor Finca Ventures a good grasp on what it takes to scale social enterprises, says the new entity's managing director Ami Dalal. The comments by Dalal (pictured above) follow the organisation's announcement last week that it had launched the Finca Ventures impact investment platform. Finca International is the majority shareholder of Finca Impact Finance, a global network of 20 community-based microfinance institutions and banks. In an email earlier this week, Dalal told Ventureburn that Finca International had helped pioneer the microfinance movement in the 1980s when such market-based solutions were "not commonplace" Some of the African...

  • Share of R150 000 in prizes up for grabs in SA Wine Industry Innovation Challenge

    Innovative SA entrepreneurs with business, product or tech ideas which can support the wine and related industries in the country stand a chance to win a share of R150 000 in the recently launched SA Wine Industry Innovation Challenge. The challenge is an initiative of The Wine Industry Network for Expertise and Technology (Winetech) in partnership with LaunchLab and Stellenbosch University's Faculty of AgriSciences. Entries are set to close on 28 September. The challenge is open to innovators with a self-sustainable business idea -- no matter how simple or small -- that addresses a particular social issue, impacts communities, empowers the disadvantaged, and has...

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