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  • Ampion Venture Bus diaries: Day 5 with elevator pitches in Bloemfontein

    Ampion is a Berlin-based accelerator and advisory firm promoting technology entrepreneurship in Africa. In this series, Ventureburn follows the organisation's Ampion Venture Bus tour through Namibia, Botswana and South Africa, in its seven-day bootcamp for entrepreneurs. Day 5 After the previous night’s pitches at the JoziHub, the mentors had a lot of feedback for participants, which included some restructuring and dedicated assigning of mentors to each group. Once everyone was up and breakfast was done with, we hit the road once more to tackle the 400 or so kilometre stretch to Bloemfontein. During the bus ride, mentors began working with their assigned...

  • Company Office

    Netflix: What do South Africans think?

    With the announcement of Netflix launching in South Africa a few months ago, it might have seemed like a belated Christmas gift from America. But has the novelty seemingly worn off quicker than one would expect? There are plenty of reasons why the excitement of Netflix in South Africa seems to have died down. For one, there are not many South Africans who are fortunate to enjoy the luxury of cable TV, never mind Netflix. There is also the added hurdle of using the streaming service with limited to no access to the Internet for many and data bundles that do...

  • Why Cape Town has emerged as the biggest startup hub on the African continent

    Cape Town is fast cementing itself as the biggest continental hub for tech startups. It’s a growing trend, confirmed by a number of research surveys and articles over the past decade. The Mother City is rightfully living up to monikers such as "The Silicon Cape" and the "Digital Gateway to Africa". However, the reasons why the South African city is ranked where it is are a bit more complicated, and therefore debatable. Alongside Johannesburg, Cape Town is the most populated urban area in South Africa. Of the Western Cape's total population, 64% reside in the city. We've therefore rounded up...

  • Ampion Venture Bus diaries: Day 4 with running repairs, intensive pitches at JoziHub

    Ampion is a Berlin-based accelerator and advisory firm promoting technology entrepreneurship in Africa. In this series, Ventureburn follows the organisation's Ampion Venture Bus tour through Namibia, Botswana and South Africa, in its seven-day bootcamp for entrepreneurs. The fourth day of our great trek is one none of us will soon forget. Day 4 During the previous night's journey to the Botswana Innovation Hub, our bus driver hit one of the vehicle's side windows against a tree branch. The extent of the damage wasn't realised when we exited the bus. It was only when we returned to our seven-day home did we notice...

  • Gust, Africa Business Angel Network partner to support early-stage investment

    One of the world's largest global match-making platforms for high-growth entrepreneurs and early-stage investors, Gust, and the Africa Business Angel Network (ABAN) have partnered to optimise investment activities across Africa. ABAN represents angel investors and investment organisations in the African region. The not-for-profit's goal is to promote investment, providing education and nurturing international relationships, among other things. "Africa is already equipped with the minds and means for a fruitful startup environment, and with the available tools and opportunities cultivated by this partnership, Africa will continue to grow as a leader in global entrepreneurship," said Tomi Davies, who heads ABAN. Read more: What...

  • 3 ways China’s position in Africa is good news for other foreign investors

    Nothing good can come from Chinese investments in Africa -- at least that’s what naysayers would have you believe. Critics suggest that China’s African projects lay the groundwork for neocolonialism and leave poor communities vulnerable to exploitation. But as a recent Quartz article put it, when it comes to Africa, “Chinese investment is everywhere.” And with polls showing more than 50% favourability of China in a number of African countries, many people on the continent don’t think that’s a bad thing. Critical observers should revise their stances as well. China has enabled a number of much-needed, high-profile advancements in several...

  • Ampion Venture Bus diaries: Days 2 & 3 with MVPs and pitching fever

    Ampion is a Berlin-based accelerator and advisory firm promoting technology entrepreneurship in Africa. In this series, Ventureburn follows the organisation's Ampion Venture Bus tour through Namibia, Botswana and South Africa, in its seven-day bootcamp for entrepreneurs. After a slower start to the first day, Ampion’s Venture Bus has revved things up. Throwing participants into the deep end, the tour starts to focus on agriculture and pitching. Day 2 Keeping the same randomly assigned groups as the day before, the participants were now charged with looking at problems within the farming and agriculture sectors in sub-Saharan Africa. The bus’s first stop was at...

  • Payments company Nomanini rolls out advanced terminal for prepaid distributors

    Payments platform provider Nomanini is rolling out its second-generation Point of Sales (PoS) designed for informal markets. The new device, called eLula, will enable merchants with more "sophisticated insights" via a new cloud platform. The device also enables merchants with the means to sell different types of services electronically. Nomanini's flagship product, the Lula terminal, is a rugged, waterproof, GSM-connected PoS device for printing PIN-only products. The device enables people in informal markets to buy prepaid products such as airtime vouchers. Though company CEO Vahid Monadjem says that this is just the tip of the iceberg. Kitted with an electronic paper screen, normally...

  • A winning company culture: An imperative for business success

    CEOs like to say that their employees are the business, but a healthy business actually adds up to more than the sum of the skills and talents of each individual it hires. Underlying the success (or failure) of the business is the culture that determines how the people in the team interact with each other, clients, and other stakeholders, as well as how they behave and perform in the workplace. Whether the leadership team tries to actively shape the culture or not, each organisation develops a set of values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours shared among most people in its extended...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [16/11/2015]

    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...

  • Ampion Venture Bus diaries: Day 1 at Namibia’s FabLab, getting to grips with agriculture

    Ampion is a Berlin-based accelerator and advisory firm promoting technology entrepreneurship in Africa. In this series, Ventureburn follows the organisation's Ampion Venture Bus tour through Namibia, Botswana and South Africa, in its seven-day bootcamp for entrepreneurs. The Ampion Venture Bus recently started its latest trek across Africa. The bus functions as a seven-day bootcamp for entrepreneurs with this event focusing on startup pitch training and business thought. Ventureburn had the opportunity to follow the Venture Bus on its final outing through several Southern African countries. The Tour The Southern Africa leg started 13 November in Windhoek, Namibia, and will end at AfricanCom...