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  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [24/10/2016]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or scratch 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...

  • Company Office

    Barclays accelerator announces latest participants in African programme

    Barclays Africa Group and Techstars today released the names of 10 financial-technology (fintech) companies selected to participate in the second Barclays Accelerator programme, powered by Techstars. The successful companies, all focused on providing fintech solutions in Africa, will participate in a 13-week growth acceleration programme at Barclays Africa’s Rise fintech innovation hub in Cape Town from mid-May. The 2017 programme participants are: Flexpay (Kenya), Howler (South Africa), Spatialedge (South Africa), Abe.ai (USA), The Sun Exchange (South Africa), Byte Money (South Africa), Avenews-GT (Israel), FOMO Travel (South Africa), Kapitalwise (USA) and eCOIDA (South Africa). Yasaman Hadjibashi, chief creation officer at Barclays Africa Group, said:...

  • Design Innovation Seed Fund offers R6.5-million fund to Cape innovators

    Startups looking for funding can now apply to the Design Innovation Seed Fund (DISF) for a share of R6.5-million. The fund is looking for pre-revenue and innovative technologies in the agri-processing, health and bio-tech, and manufacturing sectors. The fund is open to Western Cape-based early-stage companies and SMEs, businesses in incubation, entrepreneurs and researchers. Students at tertiary institutions in the Western Cape may also apply as long as the institution does not already have intellectual property claims to the product or service. Preference will be given to businesses with at least a 25% black ownership and job creation potential. The chosen applicants will be...

  • The Sun Exchange wins at African FinTech Awards

    Crowd-lending solar energy project startup The Sun Exchange placed first in the Bitcoin & Block Exchange category at the African FinTech Awards (AFTA). Three finalists per category were given only seven minutes to pitch why their company deserved the respective award. Companies had to touch on their innovation, brand, user interface, performance and results to win the judges over. Finalists were then chosen by judges, as well as by public vote. BitPesa snagged the Public Award in the same category. The panel of judges comprised industry professionals such as the chief digital officer of Wealth Migrate, Jay Thomson; CEO of Meniga, Georg Ludviksson and CEO of Curve, Fred Baumhardt. It...

  • Spritzed: the startup helping other startups find working space

    Whether you're in the process of putting your startup together or have been in business for several months, you'll need your own working spce. Sure, you can work from home (which contains more distractions than it should) or sign several year-long leases, but what if your startup doesn't survive more than a few months? Enter Spritzed, the startup that's aiming to help other startups find flexible workspace. Spritzed is an online marketplace and facilitator of unused office space. The startup allows coworking space owners, serviced office managers, and even tenants who have under-utilised office space to list and monetise their space. In...

  • Tickets now available for fintech VentureTrain event

    Tickets are now available for the latest idea to get startups talking, the VentureTrain. The theme of this journey will be fintech and will take place from 17 to 18 November. The event aims to bring entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, thought leaders, and more together in order to share their knowledge and debate entrepreneurship in SA. VentureTrain will be happening on the Shosholoza Meyl Premier Classe Train and will depart Johannesburg Park Station and head for Cape Town. The event is created by SiMODiSA, which was founded by managing director, Matsi Modise. There have been two previous VentureTrains, but this is the first one to be advertised publically. Tickets will...

  • Domestly debuts weekly subscription service

    Popular cleaning service, Domestly, has tweaked their service to offer a better experience for the consumer and for the cleaner. Domestly is now offering a subscription service which allows you to book your favourite cleaner on a repeated weekly schedule. Consumers now have a choice between a three, six or 12 month period with payments being sorted through a debit order for the duration of the subscription. If consumers were to select the longer-term packages (six or 12 months), they'll receive a 5% to 8% discount respectively on their monthly payments. The startup has also decided to branch out into servicing businesses...

  • 7 things to consider before hiring your first employee

    Your employees are the ones who will take your ideas and turn them into reality. To start, you may be running things by yourself or you may have a small team of partners, but as your business moves to formally launch, you’ll need to hire your first employee (which isn’t easy). This is a critical time for your business, and your choices could have a massive impact on how the first few years of your enterprise play out, so it’s not a decision you should take lightly. So what exactly should you be considering when you make the move to...

  • Bandwidth Barn launches its latest co-working space, The Basement

    One of SA's oldest accelerator and incubation hubs, the Bandwidth Barn (a CiTi operated initiative), has launched their new co-working space. The Basement, launched in partnership with Telkom, is equipped with 300Mbps internet connectivity to assist startups and entrepreneurs as well as give gamers space to call their own. "To put that into perspective for you, if we were an ISP we could provide internet connectivity to 15 000 homes," says CEO of CiTi, Ian Merrington. The fast line speed aims to connect businesses faster as well as boost gaming initiatives in SA. The two packages on offer from The Basement include one for...

  • Is Singapore the next frontier for edtech?

    The future of Singapore means a vibrant and resilient economy filled with new growth sectors, corporate innovations and jobs, and skills for the future. Getting citizens skills-ready is more crucial than ever before to realize the first ever Smart Nation vision. Education is a starting point in preparing for the economy of the future, yet more work needs to be done in the sector to meet changing needs. Fortunately, as innovative technology creates waves across various sectors globally, the topic of education technology (edtech) to enable tailored and personalized learning is gaining mass awareness. Asia is seen as the next frontier in edtech. The industry...

  • Marketing plans: the overlooked Holy Grails of startups

    The majority of startups are doomed to fail before they ever launch. Don't let this reality discourage you, because there are a number of things you can do to improve your odds of success. Keet Van Zyl recently published a compelling article for Ventureburn on things entrepreneurs can you do differently. Startups often overlook the importance of marketing Zyl's article included quotes from several seasoned entrepreneurs, including Brett Commaille of AngelHub Ventures and Arlene Mulder of WeThinkCode. They all shared some excellent feedback, but none of them mentioned one of the biggest causes of failure: the lack of a solid marketing...