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  • Is your startup ready for flextime?

    If you're looking for ways to raise productivity and reduce overhead at your startup, you might have come across the term 'flextime'. This is a concept in which workers are offered the option of flexible hours and increased opportunities for telecommuting in an office setting. The employee is primarily in charge of setting his or her own hours, with management approval. Flextime is often used in corporate settings to raise productivity and employee morale. Firms and their staff have found it to be an efficient strategy, and many startups are encouraged to adopt the pattern. The policy is an appealing company...

  • Company Office

    B2B ecommerce's untapped potential: How innovative companies can capitalise on the massive gap for growth

    Cape Town, 25th January, 2016: Ecommerce in South Africa – while still just a slice of the overall retail pie - is growing as much as 35% per year*. However, of this, the lion’s share still operate in the B2C space, suggesting that B2B companies – those that use the web to sell goods and services to other businesses - have yet to cotton-on to its very lucrative potential. So says Charlie Stewart, CEO of digital marketing agency Rogerwilco and co-author of Business to Business Marketing. A Step-by-Step Guide (Penguin). “B2B is perceived as the less sexy sister of B2C,...

  • Startup Grind: 12 things we learnt from Yoco’s Katlego Maphai

    The second Startup Grind Cape Town event of the year took place on Monday night at Workshop 17, featuring Katlego Maphai, co-founder of Yoco. The event saw Maphai cover a wide variety of topics, including the formation of Yoco, challenges associated with the company and more. So what did we learn? Working on Jumia gave him the required confidence Maphai said that while working at RocketInternet, he was sent (along with current Yoco CFO Bradley Wattrus) to Nigeria to work on online retailer Jumia. "That was a gruelling experience... really tough... And I think after that, him and I just...

  • Startup Grind hosts Yoco’s Katlego Maphai

    Last month, Startup Grind kicked off the year by hosting Lean Iterator co-founders David Campey and Roger Norton. Their latest event, which took place on Monday night, saw Yoco's CEO and co-founder, Katlego Maphai take the stage.  Startup Grind Global Conference In welcoming the crowd, Startup Grind's global community director, Guillaume De Smedt spoke about the Global Conference happening earlier this year in Silicon Valley. "This conference is where over 5000 entrepreneurs from over the world will be congregating to listen to some of the best entrepreneurs in the world," said De Smedt. With tickets being priced at US$500 and US$600 per head, the lineup is promised...

  • Xero’s Gary Turner: Say goodbye to late payments

    Ventureburn recently caught up with Xero's Gary Turner, so we got the chance to speak about one of the underlying threats to small businesses -- late payments. "One of the biggest threats small businesses face is getting money through the door, I'm sure that it won’t always be the problem. We did some research to see how that plays out versus any of the other countries. The bad news is that it's just as bad here as it is everywhere else," said Turner. Their research was conducted through Frontline and looked at 500 businesses across SA (to represent local figures only). What...

  • University of Johannesburg to debut its own business incubator

    The University of Johannesburg (UJ) has announced a new incubator which will aim to empower its students and create thousands of youth-driven businesses within the tech sector. The programme was established in partnership with the Finnish University of Applied Science, Laurea. The university based in the Uusimaa region of Finland is known for boosting entrepreneurship among the youth through their EER entrepreneurial ecosystem programme. "We want to see our students and other young people start businesses valuable to the economy. We want them to create jobs and grow local economies rather than to be looking for employment," said UJ's VC, Ihron Rensburg. "Obviously...

  • Xero to take on traditional accounting software companies

    Since Ventureburn reported on Xero's partnership with Sasfin Bank, we had a chance to speak to the MD for Xero's operations across EMEA, Gary Turner, about the deal and more. After announcing their partnership at a recent roadshow, the team over at Xero have been hard at work in keeping that momentum going. "What we do when we partner with banks has never existed before, this isn't about the bank selling or recommending Xero, or becoming some kind of sales channel for Xero," said Turner. "I know the banks in SA, the UK and other countries have had bank referrals where they...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [07/02/2017]

    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...

  • SA sports scale-up achieves self-exit from VC

    A scale-up developer of ball tracking in sports, FlightScope, has bought itself out from its VC partner. In 2006, HBD Venture Capital, which is owned by Mark Shuttleworth and managed by VC firm Knife Capital, became a funding partner for the company. "We saw tremendous potential in applying world-class technology to bridge the gap between the passion and science of sports," said CEO of Knife Capital Eben van Heerden in a press release to Ventureburn. When Ventureburn asked a Knife Capital representative about the deal, they said the amount of the exit could not be disclosed, though they did receive a desired ROI. A clause...

  • New Economy Accelerator announces second cohort of entrepreneurs

    New Economy Accelerator (NEA) has selected 12 entrepreneurs to join its 10-month readiness programme, which commences in February. The objective of the NEA is to find SMEs in SA which could potentially have a large impact socially and environmentally, as well as to provide those startups with the necessary support and development assistance needed to scale successfully. Those selected attended a three-day NEA bootcamp to determine whether or not they make the cut for the programme. The participants were selected for their use of innovative methods to tackle challenges such as nutrition, sustainable agriculture, digital inclusion, renewable energy as well as waste management...

  • South African steps up at top Silicon Valley VC firm

    South African-born Roelof Botha has been promoted to one of the three stewards of Sequoia Capital. Botha joins the stewardship along with current partners Doug Leone and Neil Shen. He takes over from Jim Goetz, who held the position for 13 years. Even though the position brings with it more responsibilities, Botha has been running the U.S. division of Sequoia Capital with Goetz since 2007. Before joining the VC, Botha was the chief financial officer (CFO) at PayPal from 2000 to 2003. He later sat on the board of directors for the likes of YouTube and Evernote, was a business partner in Instagram, and more. He is also...