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  • Two SA startups to battle it out in international pitch competition

    South African companies Newtech Rail and Adfire Creative M3dia’s iMORPH3D app will compete in the international Get In The Ring finals in Colombia later this year. This comes after the two startups battled it out against seven other African startups in a pitching session in Johannesburg recently. The Get In The Ring competition made its debut last year in South Africa and is part of the Dutch House of the Future programme. Today it has participants from 64 countries, connecting more than 3 000 entrepreneurs to thousands of funders and millions of fans. The competition is brought to Africa by The...

  • Company Office

    How to find a strong mentor to guide you to business success

    Why every entrepreneur needs multiple mentors… While the challenges of being an entrepreneur have been well-documented, reports often fail to describe the feelings of self-doubt, loneliness and isolation that tend to plague aspiring entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey. No amount of angel funding, slick technology or strategic business consulting can really assuage the feelings of doubt that accompany starting a brave new enterprise. Yet this is where strong mentorship can play a critical role – and in fact can prove to be far more valuable than landing an investment deal or angel fund backing. Mentors can keep tired...

  • Rand Merchant Insurance opens Jozi-based Fintech hub

    South African financial services company Rand Merchant Insurance (RMI) on Tuesday announced the launch of AlphaCode, a new fintech hub operating out of Sandton, Johannesburg. Described as a collaborative club for next generation financial services entrepreneurs, the hub is meant to provide a platform for members to engage and work alongside experienced entrepreneurs, technology investors and industry experts, resulting in accelerated growth and access to market. As well as an office space, AlphaCode features a clubhouse for entrepreneurs, an active online community and regular networking opportunities. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the concept is modelled...

  • Crazy about startups and all things tech? Ventureburn might have the job for you!

    Ventureburn is looking for an experienced journalist to further help cement the site in becoming South Africa, and Africa's, go-to publication for all things startups. If you're well-grounded in the local ecosystem and can argue the pros and cons between angels, VCs and bootstrapping, you're probably the person we're looking for. If you love networking with some of the industry's brightest minds and tell the stories of those up-and-coming, this should be your dream job. Ventureburn offers insightful and original thought leader pieces, ‘how to’ and resource articles, and the latest news for startups and entrepreneurs specifically aimed at Africa and...

  • Domestic cleaning startup SweepSouth sweeps in R10m

    Jacques Coetzee contributed to this article. Cape Town-based on-demand cleaning service SweepSouth has announced a new R10-million round of funding. This follows a thrilling 2015 which was filled with impressive company growth as well as recognition by one of Silicon Valley's most prestigious accelerators. The new round comes from First Rand Group and Jobs Fund's capitalised Vumela Fund, which is managed by FNB and Edge Growth, as well as Newton Partners, owned by Vinny Lingham and Llew Claasen. In October 2014, SweepSouth was the winning pitch at the SiMODiSA Startup SA conference. In April 2015, it went on to secure seed funding...

  • African tech innovators: Our Uber moment is coming

    We all know that we face some unique challenges in Africa, driven by the lack of access to market and the relatively small skills pool to draw from. If we look at the four types of innovation (thanks to The Innovator's Dilemma for the foundation) they are: True Innovation: creating something new that has not been done before Incremental Innovation: improving something that exists Sector Innovation: taking bits of tech from other sectors to disrupt another sector Market Innovation: figuring out new ways to get to market and scale Most tech innovators focus on Sector Innovation, when in Africa our main barrier is Market...

  • Mobile Challenge Africa crowns three winners from Sub-Saharan Africa

    Last week saw the final round of the Mobile Challenge Africa (MCA) startup competition, where three exciting mobile-focused entrepreneurs were recognised for their innovations. The event is co-founded by European business school IE Business School and IMTIAZ Middle East. "It was a fantastic event where we could see the enormous talent and potential that there is in the region," says Catalina Tejero, Associate Director for the Middle East & Africa, IE Business School & IE University. Out of the eight contestants on the day -- several of which were unavailable -- three winners were chosen. The winners were Kenyan credit card processing and paying system, LipaPlus; Gifted Mom from...

  • Online entertainment startup iROKO closes $19m in deals

    Online entertainment startup iROKO has revealed that it's closed multiple deals totaling US$19-million to beef up the Nigerian company's operations and expand across the continent. The figure is made up of content development and capital funding deals from French media giant CANAL+ and existing investor Kinnevik AB. Launched in 2010 and headed by renowned entrepreneur Jason Njoku (pictured above), iROKO claims to be the largest online distributor of African content in the world. IROKOtv, for instance, claims to be the world’s largest online catalogue of Nollywood movies, with over 10 000 hours of movie and TV content streamed on-demand. “With millions more...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [25/01/2016]

    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...

  • Publicis celebrates 90th birthday with support for 90 startups

    Publicis, one of the biggest agency networks on the planet, has announced plans to provide mentoring, support, and funding to 90 entrepreneurial projects around the world. The initiative, called Publicis90, is part of the company's 90th birthday celebrations and is open to startups doing innovative things in the digital field. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, Publicis90 is not limited to established startups and is also open to students and employees within the Publicis network of agencies. The Publicis90 platform will be open for submissions until 28 February 2016. Projects will be pre-selected by region (Africa, Asia-Pacific,...

  • 3 ways China’s slowdown yields opportunities for Africa

    Any economic news out of China makes waves in markets around the world, particularly when it’s bad. Last year’s slowdown prompted furrowed brows across the globe. Reports in December 2015 that the People’s Bank of China was using an aggressive expansionary policy to buffer lethargic growth indicated that China’s problems would persist well into the new year. Because China is a leading investor in African markets, many analysts speculated that the shift would negatively impact the continent. The International Monetary Fund even downgraded sub-Saharan Africa’s growth forecast on the basis of China’s circumstances. But Africa won’t suffer over China’s economic situation....