Don’t PANIC: why you need to find a mentor for your startup

yoda “And that is how we’re going to get to $25-million in revenue within 18 months!” I bit my lip and scratched my head. Sitting opposite me was a small business owner with over 10 years experience in his industry. By all outward appearances he seemed to know what he was talking about. However, there was a huge disconnect between the realities of business and his vision for the future. “Have you ever had a mentor?” I asked as politely as ...


POPI will have a big impact on how your business does tech: here’s how

Private The Protection of Personal Information (PoPI) act is about ensuring the personal information of your employees, partners and customers is relevant and managed securely. In essence, you shouldn’t have any information about someone beyond that which you require for your business. Equally, you must take every reasonable measure to secure that information. For IT companies, this means the access to sensitive information in an organisation needs to be managed on an ongoing basis. It isn’t good enough to do a probe ...


Wanted: entrepreneurs under 40 to take to Israel, must love startups

sa flag 650 Arguably, the best access any entrepreneur can have is access to the world. Access to new markets, possible trade partners and the ability to understand the startup landscape and consumer market beyond their borders. This is what MyStartUp and the South Africa-Israel Forum, with the support of the Entrepreneurship Development Trust as well as Investec, are trying to do. The idea is to take 12 South African entrepreneurs on a one-week trip to Israel. "[The aim is to] introduce the group to ...

Ecommerce, Startup news

India’s Flipkart raises $210 million, investors include Naspers

Flipkart-Logo Hot off the back of acquiring rival online shopping site Myntra, India's ecommerce leader Flipkart announced that it has raised a new round of funding at US$210 million. Flipkart, which is often referred to as the 'Indian Amazon' saw this round led by DST Global, while other investors included Tiger Global, Iconiq Capital, and South African-based Naspers. Flipkart's acquisition of fashion ecommerce site Myntra was reported to be around the US$300 million mark and it was anticipated that Flipkart would raise more capital. In ...

Africa, News

GovHackSA devs create micro-polling app to make citizens more active

GovHackSA As part of World Design Capital Event in May this year, GovHackSA took place in Cape Town over the weekend. The day-long hackathon saw more than 40 novice to experienced coders come together and find creative solutions to problems posed by the City of Cape Town. There were three challenges. Each participant could choose which challenge they wanted to work on, and teams were formed organically. Dubbed the Last Mile for the Base of the Pyramid, the first ...


Takealot gets $100-million from Tiger Global but no expansion plans… yet

Takealot Things are looking good for one of South Africa's biggest ecommerce players -- Takealot. According to a TechCrunch report, the site has just secured a staggering US$100-million from Tiger Global Management. The site was founded in the 2002 as Take2, but was later relaunched as Takealot in 2010 by Tiger Global Management and CEO Kim Reid. Takealot offers an extensive range of locally supplied and imported books, DVDs, music, games, electronics and toys with delivery to your doorstep. This investment is a ...


Listen to the early adopters: 3 tried and tested Lean Startup principles to follow

Lean-Startup-Eric-Reis The day I picked up Eric Reis' The Lean Startup I couldn’t put it down. If you’re a startup or just looking to move into the startup world and you haven’t read it, do yourself a favour and grab a copy of The Lean Startup today. I've gained a fair mount of knowledge over the years from starting, building, failing and succeeding in a number of businesses. However, if I had read this book when I started my first venture over ...

Africa, News

Africa grabs prestigious awards at Ericsson’s 2014 app competition

WorkMode-App Two computer science students from Stellenbosch University, South Africa, have won €25 000 (about R355 000) for the WorkMode app they developed for the Student category for Ericsson’s applications 2014 competition. Rijnard van Tonder and Jacques Marais, both MSc students in Computer Science at SU, competed against 158 entries from 142 teams in the Student category. They developed an app that helps workers collaborate by allowing them to see the real-time work context and tasks of colleagues. The idea behind WorkMode ...

Startup news

Yachtsie makes booking yachts easier than a flight, car or hotel

yachtsie Booking a car, flight or hotel has become pretty darn easy in the 21st century thanks to smartphones, Google and specific online services. However, for fans of sailing, booking a yacht has always been a time consuming, and difficult endeavour -- at least that's how Steve Raw, an Oxford-educated engineer and RYA Yachtmaster, felt about the process. That's why he founded Yachtsie, a web-based yacht booking service that hopes to make securing a yacht for hire as easy as booking that car, ...

Africa, Startup news

Lean Startup Machine launches Cape Town event: ‘Fail fast. Succeed faster’

Lean-Startup-Machine-Cape-Town-logo Lean Startup Machine (LSM) is a tried and tested, world-renowned methodology that's based on the principle for startups to "fail fast and succeed faster." Brought to us by ROI Media, from 30 May to 1 June, LSM Cape Town will host a three-day event consisting of fifty-second pitches, essential workshops and training, judges and ultimately winners. Participants' ideas will be refined and put to the test under the guidance of well-acclaimed mentors such as Snapscan co-founder Kobus Ehlers, Andrew Smith from ...