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  • Some sage entrepreneurial advice from ‘Mad Men’

    Mad Men. Who doesn't love this show? There are a number of lessons that this show can teach people in the advertising and marketing industry. The show has certainly turned perceptions about the ad industry on its head. In between the cigarettes and alcohol infused conversations of Mad Men however, there are some key lessons for startups. So here are some pearls of wisdom from the crew over at Sterling Cooper & Partners: "If you don't like what's being said, change the conversation." -- Don Draper Disruption. For our society to keep moving forward, innovators need to constantly disrupt their industries....

  • Company Office

    Why now is the best time to invest in battery technology metals

    For those who use online trading brokers to monitor global markets and make investments, finding the next profitable trade can prove to be challenging given the sheer amount of choice they are presented with. Precious metals like gold and silver are popular ‘safe haven’ assets, but are often less effective for making a decent profit. Recently, there has been a lot of interest in battery technology metals, which could be far more effective for turning a decent profit. Here are some of the reasons now might be a good time to invest in them. Electric cars Most investors should be well aware of...

  • Nigerian company-builder Spark secures $2m international investment in 9 days

    Lagos-based internet group SPARK, which invests in Nigerian startups, has raised US$2-million in seed-funding from a syndicate of international investors -- based on a US$10-million valuation of the company that is just three months old. Seventeen high net-worth individual investors contributed to the total investment made to the company, founded by Jason Njoku, Bastian Gotter and Mary Remmy-Njoku, all of iROKOtv -- the Nigerian-content streaming service -- fame. SPARK was launched as a US$1-million fund intended to revolutionise Nigeria's angel investment ecosystem, with a focus on the startup scene. SPARK defines itself as follows: "We are not a fund and we...

  • Foodpanda drives into Czech Republic, munches further into Brazil

    The ever-expanding food delivery service foodpanda has just launched in Czech Republic. At the same time, going under the name hellofood, it acquired its Brazilian competitor MegaMenu in a bid to strengthen its presence in Latin America. Housed under Rocket Internet's umbrella, foodpanda goes by the name hellofood in Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. These recent expansions will put foodpanda serves a total market of 3 billion covering 28 countries on five continents. On top of this, the company says it's planning future rollouts in the coming months. Hellofood launched in Brazil six months ago and has since...

  • Lazada officially launches online shopping mall in Southeast Asia

    The Rocket Internet-backed ecommerce site Lazada has today officially launched its Marketplace for Southeast Asia. This online platform will allow merchants to sell their products on Lazada's website in Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand or the Philippines. Also known as Southeast Asia's online shopping mall, Lazada will add to its role as one of the regions most popular ecommerce sites. The marketplace lets SMEs, big brands, distributors and retailers open up a store on the website where the Philippine-based company becomes the channel to customers via the site. The site provides customized logistical arrangements, state-of-the-art online marketing initiatives and exposes...

  • 5 tips for crafting an engaging online brand for startups

    The advent of the digital age has made it simpler than ever to not only further brand awareness but to also establish your brand in the public eye. But too many businesses proceed from the belief that “if you build it, they will come” – based on the misconception that existing is all that it takes to succeed in Africa’s bourgeoning economic environments. In the past, when innovative startups were few and far between, this may have been the case, but in today’s accelerated African growth environment, being is not enough. While your best bet for crafting a strong online...

  • India’s Global Superangels Forum combines a 10km run with a startup conference

    Rajesh Sawhney heads the multi-city startup accelerator Global Superangels Forum (GSF) India which will kick-off its two-day annual startups and investors’ conference #WhereDoWeGoNow on August 21 in Bangalore city. It’ll incorporate a unique 10km run on the meet’s second day. For most of us, it’s a bit hard to understand what’s the link between a 10km run and a startup investors’ conference. So here’s what the man behind this unique idea has to say: Building a startup is a stressful job. Most founders work long hours and ignore their health. We want to build fitness as an essential ingredient of startup...

  • Can these 12 Indian tech startups expand to international markets?

    There's been an exciting startup ecosystem brewing in India over the past few years. A few well-known success stories such as InMobi and Flipkart's have created a decent follow-up culture for those seeking to make it big both locally but also, very noticeably, internationally. That's one of the interesting trends that strikes me the most -- the fact that so many Indian startups seem to have an international agenda. Other outstanding success stories include that of RedBus. As mentioned by CNNMoney, the bus booking startup was acquired by a joint Chinese-South African venture for around US$125-million which made it the...

  • Seed Engine accelerator to launch new programme to boost SA startups

    South Africa's Seed Engine Business Accelerator is looking for prospective tech businesses for its next programme. Seed Engine will be accelerating six new startups starting 1 September that will get the chance of receiving R100 000 startup capital plus over R300 000 in services. These selected ventures are also given relevant mentorship, coaching and workspace. CEO of Seed Engine Marc Elias says that he's looking for early stage tech entrepreneurs who have extraordinary ideas with international appeal and who are ready for a life-changing journey. Elias notes that certain pillars need to stand out when applying to the Seed Engine...

  • The art of convergence: Urban Restro splices disparate hospitality segments

    Urban Restro is a multi-headed, ecommerce hydra that is simultaneously attacking India's restaurant reservation, banquet booking, event management and deals markets. It's a bold play by the Mumbai-based startup. The segments seem somewhat disparate at first, but Urban Restro's parent company, Urban Online Services has weaved an intriguing mesh which looks set to fill gaps in India's hospitality industry. Market research by Urban Restro's founder and MD, Shriti Chhajed shows that there are over 200 up-scale restaurants in the city with an average occupancy rate of around 40% ranging from 10% to 20% during off-peak hours to 80% to 90% during...

  • Online banking security company Entersekt, wins Frost & Sullivan Award

    Online banking security company Entersekt, has today been awarded the 2013 South African Frost & Sullivan Award for Technology Leadership for its innovations in providing easy-to-use and secure mobile banking solutions. Transakt, as its app is called, offers an alternative method to online banking that claims to eliminate fraud and enhance transaction convenience of both the bank and customer. Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Lehlohonolo Mokenela notes that Entersekt has received accreditation from the world's largest payments networks American Express, MasterCard, and Visa and is the first and only company in Africa to earn all three of these certifications....

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