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  • New accelerator aims to boost youth entrepreneurship in South Africa

    An eight-week initiative aimed at accelerating young entrepreneurs' aspirations and boosting employment has launched in South Africa. As noted in a press release sent to Ventureburn, the New Ventures Studio was formed via a partnership between youth development NGO Salesian Life Choices and Caban Investments Limited. The eight-week programme calls for applications from aspiring entrepreneurs aged from 16 to 35, regardless of whether they have a business or not. A total of 20 applicants will be selected to receive a scholarship worth R35 000 and attend the Cape Town-based programme. Read more: Barclays Africa launches accelerator for health and fintech startups At the end of...

  • Company Office

    An Exclusive Sneak Peak At Compare Guru – Coming Soon!

    Cape Town, South Africa - The time is getting close to the relaunch of Click n Compare as Compare Guru. The rebrand – planned for mid February - comes as a strategic move to join the brand’s counterparts in Nigeria and Kenya, as well as to incorporate an animated character, The Guru, as their mascot. Compare Guru will fall under the umbrella brand Compare Africa (previously known as CNC Group), now also inclusive of PriceCheck. According to recent research, 31% of South Africans use the the internet to compare products / prices / features online, while insurance accounts for 7%...

  • GetSmarter, CiTi partner to offer top entrepreneurial students bursaries

    Online learning institution GetSmarter, in partnership with the University of Cape Town (UCT), has collaborated with The Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) to help top entrepreneurial students further their studies. The top 20 students graduating out of CiTi and Barn Khayelitsha's business development programme will receive a bursary to one of 20 hand-picked business short courses, valued at over R200 000, sponsored by GetSmarter and UCT. This will allow the students to further their studies with UCT short course certificates through GetSmarter. The bursaries awarded to the top 20 students will be handed out in January 2016. In an exclusive press release...

  • SnapScan’s Kobus Ehlers on keeping up with SA’s ever-changing payments landscape

    Kobus Ehlers is behind one of South Africa's top-ranked apps, and arguably the only successful startup to have made mobile payments relevant in the country. Even though multinational telecom giants like Vodacom struggle to get mobile payments off the ground in the country, SnapScan today boasts over 20 000 merchant clients, ranging from parking marshals to restaurants. While user numbers aren't disclosed, it's growing much faster than the merchant clients'. Yet, while growth is all good and well for certain niche sectors, the company is regularly experimenting with new features and integrations to feel out the ever-changing market and keep up...

  • MasterCard’s Start Path programme to support African startups

    MasterCard recently announced that startups in Nigeria and other African countries can apply for its Start Path Global programme -- a six-month partnership initiative for startups that extends its existing footprint to a greater number of countries globally in Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Latin America. Over the past 18 months, Start Path has provided a variety of operational support, partnership, or investment for over 40 startups that are developing the next generation of commerce solutions, including Nymi, ZenCard, BillHop and Gone. Furthermore, Start Path Global has been designed to put the startup first which means a startup will no...

  • Raizcorp, Nedbank to host SimplyBiz workshop for Cape Town entrepreneurs

    South African business incubator Raizcorp in partnership with major local bank Nedbank will be hosting the SimplyBiz Shift Questions workshop in Cape Town 12 September. The workshop is part of a national effort to equip entrepreneurs with the tools needed to think differently about their businesses and accelerate success. CEO of Raizcorp, who will also be facilitating the one-day session, explains that the SimplyBiz Shift Questions workshop will teach entrepreneurs to shift the paradigms of their thinking. “Many people have this notion that if they follow the exact steps that a successful entrepreneur took in their own journey, they too will...

  • Crowdsourcing location-tracking device Leash enters beta phase

    Local Bluetooth-tracking startup Leash is entering its beta product testing phase. The company has 1 000 units ready for rollout with an additional 15 000 being released after receiving adequate user feedback. Founded by Mark Allewell -- founder of numerous startups such as Tourism Radio -- he got the idea from 2014's Internet of Things expansion. According to Allewell, the Leash concept has already been proven internationally. Leash's functionality enables the users to keep track of the whereabouts of their possessions. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the device pairs with an Android or iOS device via low-powered Bluetooth and then...

  • Q&A with AgroInfoTech on building real tech solutions for Nigeria

    No one doubts the booming status of the tech ecosystem in Nigeria, but taking a closer look at where the action is happening would reveal that much of the noise is being made by players in the ecommerce space, followed by education, and so on. Strangely though, little is really happening in the agricultural space. That was until I met Oluwajoba Ayo Okediji, the founder and director of AgroInfoTech. In an interview, we spoke extensively on what is happening in the agricultural-tech space, the prospects and ongoing plans to launch Nigeria’s incubation hub for agriculture-focused tech startups. Ventureburn: Why is tech...

  • Why it’s important for entrepreneurs to think about their plan Z

    I recently came across an interesting article in the Financial Times (FT) which covers the question Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, has been asking entrepreneurs: "What is your plan Z?" We all have plan A's in our business. Even those who purport not to plan have some idea of the overall vision, direction and immediate business model. We are all also prepared to make a significant change ("pivot" in lean startup jargon) to one or more elements of the business plan if new information guides us to do so. That is a plan B. But the Plan Z to which...

  • India’s Zomato secures $60M cash injection to roll out exciting food services globally

    Restaurant-discovery startup Zomato has raised a US$60-million round of funding from new investors Temasek Holdings, and existing investors Vy Capital. The capital injection will help the India-headquartered company to introduce more of its product features and services to some of the 20 countries it operates in. In a blog post, Zomato's CFO Umesh Hora writes that some of these new businesses include online ordering, table reservations, cashless payments, point-of-sale, as well as its newly launched white-label platform. Read more: Zomato closes $60m round of funding for its appetite to take over the world Hora adds that the company will roll out online...

  • Payments startup i-Pay gets expansion support from PayU [updated]

    South African online payments company i-Pay signed a deal with the Naspers-owned payments company, PayU, which aims to expand the startup's services across the continent. Launched in November 2014, i-Pay came on to South Africa's online payments scene with a mission to take on existing players like PayFast and PayGate. Though the company's appetite stems much further than ecommerce solutions. "PayU is excited to work with i-Pay in deploying this next-gen EFT solution, as it not only leads the industry in the right direction but it perfectly complements the existing 30 plus products suite PayU currently offers South African merchants," said...