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  • 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...

  • Company Office

    Silvertree Internet Holdings, Africa’s premier internet platform and leading recruiter

    Cape Town:  Silvertree Internet Holdings, founded by Manuel Koser, Peter Allerstorfer, and Paul Cook, is Africa’s premier Internet platform with countless benefits and growth opportunities for prospective employees. After just three years of active investment in Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond, Silvertree Internet Holdings currently invests in over 10 companies across South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya and Ghana; and boasts around 300 employees with 3 million unique users visiting their various online platforms, per month. Within the last year, Silvertree Internet Holdings also achieved one of their greatest successes thus far through the acquisition of PriceCheck (previously Naspers owned). Together with CompareGuru and...

  • 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...

  • Investment company Arise launches to accelerate banking

    Arise, a new investment company focused on the banking sector, has launched. It is the brainchild of international institutions, Norfund, FMO, and Rabobank, which collectively manage more than US$660-million in assets. "The main objective of establishing this company was to strengthen and develop effective, inclusive financial systems in Africa in order to contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction," said the CEO of Arise, Deepak Malik, in a press release to Ventureburn. "Arise will take and manage minority stakes in Sub-Saharan African Financial Service Providers (FSPs) with the core aim of building strong and stable institutions that will serve retail, small and medium...

  • Local blockchain-based AR game nears funding goal

    A new Blockchain-based augmented reality (AR) mobile game, made in South Africa, looks well on its way to meeting its crowdfunding target. Michael Deon and Kyle Haffenden pitched their Augmentors game on the Shark Tank TV show last year, with venture capitalist Vinny Lingham getting on board. Deon and Haffenden created a 30-day crowdfunding round for the Android and iOS game, in the form of an initial coin offering (ICO), hitting half of its US$1-million target in 24 hours. The campaign saw its biggest backers coming from the USA, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Slovakia, Norway, Romania, Netherlands, Canada, and China. The crowdfunding campaign...

  • Demo Africa to hold mini events in search for startups

    The sixth edition of technology startup event Demo Africa will take place on 6 - 7 September in Johannesburg, South Africa. Those wanting to showcase their startups have until 30 April to apply. Apart from the main event, the organisation will host mini-Demo Africa events in 14 cities around the continent from February to May. These smaller events will allow startups from the health, education, agriculture, commerce, hospitality, manufacturing, entertainment, energy, and logistics sectors to compete for a chance to launch their company at the main Demo Africa event. "We will be covering all the four corners of the continent and we have increased...

  • 3 things to consider before expanding into China

    Trust. That's the No. 1 reason customers try out new stores according to a joint report by Retail Week and international law firm Pinsent Masons. Now, think about asking customers in a different corner of the world to buy what you're selling. Trust, then, becomes an even bigger selling point. For many entrepreneurs, expanding internationally is just a matter of logistics. Setting up a business location, hiring employees, getting a production chain going, finding people who know the language -- these are considered chief difficulties when moving your business to another part of the globe. However, the entrepreneurs who think this...