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  • 4 reasons startups should consider virtual offices

    In the virtual world of today, it is actually surprising that brick-and-mortar offices and stores still exist. With all of the modern technology that is available, it seems a real office could be ditched by just about every business, and choose a virtual office instead. Some business owners already have made the switch, while others are holding onto their real office or storefront for dear life. Like anything else, virtual offices do have downsides to them. However, given all of the benefit that they provide, you really should strongly consider whether the virtual office is something your business should switch...

  • Company Office

    Be good at being wrong… and getting it right quickly

    Even the best entrepreneurs get things wrong from time to time. Launching a business is a learning process, and you are bound to go down dead ends and change direction here and there, says CEO of Nomanini, Vahid Monadjem.  One of our investors, Esther Dyson, has the words “Always make new mistakes!” in her email footer. Being wrong is pretty much unavoidable when you’re doing something new. You have to work with a mixture of facts and assumptions. You don’t have a crystal ball, but you have to take a view. And even if a solution or a strategy is...

  • Storage space is no longer a viable business model for file storage startups

    As one of the most competitive cloud micro-markets, file storage SaaS has grown considerably over the last few years. In 2015, venture capitalists recognised startups in this field as lucrative investments, so it’s unsurprising that the number of companies aiming to meet the demand for cheap storage space keeps growing. However, most of them are bound to fail mainly due to the inability to compete against giants such as Microsoft, Google and Dropbox. This is particularly the case with startups that based their business models on storage space offering, which has long stopped being a true differentiator. With Google’s...

  • Taking African innovation global: Q&A with Aaron Fu from Nairobi’s Nest

    "We're seeing a lot of innovation born in Africa, servicing the world," says Aaron Fu (pictured left), managing partner of the Hong Kong VC and incubation firm Nest Africa. But there's not enough, which is why the Hong Kong founded startup incubator in July this year launched its African chapter in Nairobi, Kenya. So far Nest has given South Africa's Creditable and Kenya's SuperFluid Labs the opportunity to learn from some of Hong Kong's top financial providers through its DBS Accelerator programme. One of these startups is already in the process of running a pilot with an Asian bank. The...

  • Nigeria’s top 5 startup moments of 2015

    Barring last-minute announcements, it is safe to say the curtains have been drawn on the 2015 startup year in Nigeria. Like previous years, the startup ecosystem in Africa’s powerhouse continues to record year-on-year growth and 2015 was not an exception as new products and startups were launched in the outgoing year. There were also several developments in the startup space that got everybody talking for an unusually long duration. At the outset of 2015, many industry watchers were not sure how the industry would play out considering the fact that it was an election year in Nigeria and the result...

  • The year of mobile? 9 of Africa’s most exciting startup investments of 2015

    If you ever doubted the significance of mobile innovations in Africa, then this year's developments are likely change your mind once and for all. Not only has 2015 been a good year for investments in startups across the continent (the most we've seen in South Africa thus far), millions of dollars are flowing towards mobile innovations. From micro-jobbing platforms to peer-to-peer payment solutions, more and more investors are growing confident in the potential of the many interesting mobile solutions Africa has to offer. But apart from smartphone applications, companies like M-Kopa and Off Grid Electric are fast growing in popularity....

  • This inspiring entrepreneur proves startups can be born from anywhere [correction]

    Correction: this article originally stated that Kanayo Okwuraiwe was let go from his previous employer Ad Dynamo. We have since updated the article to reflect that Okwuraiwe left Ad Dynamo on a mutually agreed basis. Kanayo Okwuraiwe is an entrepreneur that has been through an incredible amount of hardship over the last few years. Even with these problems, he sees disaster as a blessing rather than a curse and shows us that entrepreneurs can come from anywhere, regardless of circumstance, or personal loss. A taxi lies overturned on a Lagos highway. Moments ago, its tire burst, sending the vehicle skidding along the road and...

  • Nitestay’s attempt to stand out in Nigeria’s highly competitive hotel booking space

    Even though ecommerce giants Jumia and Konga are still Nigeria’s foremost startup companies, attention is gradually being extended to other sectors as 2015 saw the launch of quite a number of well-equipped startups emerge in non-retail sectors. A sector that saw surge in the number of new companies is the online hotel booking space which used to be dominated by the likes of Mark Essien’s Hotels.ng and Rocket Internet-backed Jovago. But that’s not all. There is also Hotelnownow, SlimTrader also secured US$1-million to grow its online booking platform and several similar services are expected to be rolled out in the...

  • Ventureburn’s top 5 tech startups in South Africa of 2015

    There's no doubt that 2015 has been an exciting year for South African innovation. Out of the hundreds of companies building exciting new products and services, five stand out for their innovative solutions, impact, and sustainability as businesses. "Its been a great year for startup South Africa, which started on a high with the January sale of Stellenbosch-based iKubu to Nasdaq-listed Garmin and has ended with the recently announced sale of Kapa BioSystems," echoes Vuyisa Qabaka from Abaphumeleli Business Consultants, who assisted with nominations. Other judges Ventureburn consulted with include CEO of Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative Ian Merrington, Knife Capital's...

  • Banking on ecommerce growth in SA — Q&A with The Foschini Group’s Brent Curry

    Even though South Africa's ecommerce sector is estimated to estimated to make up only one percent of the total market for consumer goods, we've over the last few years seen many players bank on this figure to grow. Investors are confident to say the least. To give you an idea of how determined stakeholders are hundreds of millions of dollars have been pumped into online-only stores like Takealot, while traditional retailers are forced to restructure their entire business models in order to stay relevant. At the same time the latter group is constantly trying to perfect the omni-channel experience, where...

  • Ventureburn’s 2015 top 10 podcasts that you have to listen to

    One of the exciting things at Ventureburn in 2015 was visiting startups in their offices -- be they shared spaces, artsy dens or a cluttered mess. Apart from capturing images of these liars of innovation, we sat down with some of the most intriguing startup founders and spoke to them about their ventures and the industry they operate in. As you sit at home during these December holidays, contemplating quitting your job and starting a business, these podcasts can offer much needed personal stories from startups founders. 1. Special Podcast #1: Jacques Coetzee chats with Mark Forrester from WooThemes Earlier this year...