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  • Mega-corp Oracle to acquire South African enterprise cloud startup Nimbula

    American-based enterprise software titan, Oracle, will acquire South African startup, Nimbula, for an undisclosed sum of money. In an official blog post, the enterprise software maker said that it has agreed to buy Nimbula, a provider of private cloud infrastructure management software, in a bid to strengthen its own cloud offerings. Prior to the announcement, there had been speculation that the deal was going through in order to give Oracle a means of joining OpenStack, the open cloud organisation that Nimbula participates in as a member. Heavy hitters such as Intel, Dell, HP and IBM are part of the...

  • Company Office

    Free WiFi grows Citizen Journalism in the City of Tshwane

    Project Isizwe, a non-profit organisation that aims to bring the internet to people across South Africa, said on Wednesday it is encouraged that citizen journalism using video news is rapidly growing in the City of Tshwane on the back of free WiFi. Citizen journalism is provided through WiFi TV, a video-on-demand service of relevant and engaging video content distributed over the Tshwane Free WiFi network that the City of Tshwane has provided for its citizens. The WiFi TV service offers 5 channels and hosts content created by young film makers living in the various areas of the City of Tshwane providing...

  • Doing it the startup way: Veronica Mars gets big pay day on Kickstarter

    Teen sleuth drama Veronica Mars has raised more than US$2.5-million on Kickstarter for its final performance. Everything is a startup these days, and Kickstarter helps everything get the money to turn their brilliant (or not so brilliant) ideas into realities. For Hollywood, Kickstarter is a way to circumvent the big studio bosses who have tightened their purses against projects they just don't see the checks and balances of. Kickstarter is making the business of making movies a tad easier. This year, a Kickstarter-funded documentary made history by winning Best Documentary Short at the Academy Awards. Interestingly, the doccie, Inocente, was...

  • The five Ws and one H of building a startup

    Dear startups, I think it is time someone spelled out a few truths. There are many ideas floating about. Some are really good, others not so much. Not a every idea warrants a company and not everyone can run a good business. Before deciding to turn an idea into a business, approaching investors or squandering the family fortunes, it is important ask yourself some very serious questions about what you are about to build and the company you intend to start. Any journalism student will tell you that the first rule of new writing is understanding the five Ws...

  • Off to chat to a VC? Here are 10 things you need to do first

    A lot of very very smart, experienced investors have put several “must read” guides out there over the last few years on how to get their attention. If you’ve read these before, consider this a reminder. If you haven’t read these guides before, then consider this a starting point. This post should not be seen as a comprehensive list. It’s more of a response to various pitches I’ve been getting from multiple sources. “Understand the investor’s mandate, fund size, investment reqs. Pitch the right investors and build relationships with others” – TJ Sassani, Founder of Zozi. Research Before going out and trying...

  • 500 Startups partner GSF India opens second accelerator program applications

    Emerging market startups are a dime-a-dozen these days. Getting recognised and separating yourself from the pack is a challenge for any young company, but one way to achieve recognition is by gaining acceptance into an accelerator program run by, or associated with, a respected accelerator. 500 Startups, the ever impressive American seed accelerator, would be one such company to gain recognition through, and a program facilitated by one of its partners, GSF India, is one such program Indian entrepreneurs should explore. It just so happens the second year of the GSF Accelerator program has opened applications today. ...

  • Why your email pitch did not even make the VC’s ‘maybe pile’

    Here’s the thing: if you do a cold-call pitch to a Venture Capital (VC) investor using email, your proposal is already at the bottom of the pile before anyone has even read the subject line. The reason: VCs mostly rely on warm referrals from within their trusted networks to generate dealflow, as this acts as an automatic filter and increases the quality of proposals. It also says a lot about an entrepreneur that goes through the trouble to "stalk" a VC and infiltrate his or her networks to ultimately get introduced, or introduce themselves face-to-face in the right forum. I...

  • Check out the 10 biggest tech entrepreneurs under 30 [Infographic]

    Need some inspiration? Why not look to the most successful, and young (under 30), tech entrepreneurs in the world today, in the form of a nice neat infographic? It's sure to lift your mood... or make you feel like a terrible person because you haven't yet marked your place in the history books. From what kinds of companies were received well in 2012 to the genius of their ideas to their problem-solving nature, we can all learn something from these entrepreneurs. It's important to have models for success, and where better to look than the best of the best. So...

  • RLabs raises R10-million for Youth Innovation Programme

    Reconstructed Living Lab (RLabs) has announced that it has received R10-million in funds from the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and other partners to help with its Youth Innovation Programme. RLabs is a global community based movement and registered social enterprise that provides innovative solutions to address various complex problems. Founded in 2008, the organisation hopes to "impact, empower and reconstruct local and global communities through innovation." It seems with the latest investment from USAID it is well on its way to doing that. According to RLabs Managing Director, René Parker, "The support from USAID and The Western Cape Department...

  • Supercharge your startup’s focus with these priority optimisation tips

    Adii Pienaar is co-founder of WordPress theme shop and ecommerce platform WooThemes. A couple of months ago, I implemented a few “lifehacks” that would allow me to have better balance in my life (according to my unique set of variables & wants / needs). One of the consequences and / or requirements of these hacks were that I simply had to spend less time working / in front of my computer. I wasn't ready to compromise on my professional ambition though, because I'm passionate about what I work on. So instead, I forced myself to become better at prioritising the things...

  • Is MiName about to turn telemarketing on its head?

    Check this out. Cold-calling is annoying right? You're always getting hassled and it often smacks of privacy invasion. Yet, it's someone's job to make those sales calls and companies often have great products, it's just that they're not getting through to the right people. Three South Africans who wanted to put an end to the exploitation of cold-calling, actuaries Gaurav Nair and Derrick Hyde, and an engineer Lawrence Joffe founded MiName. MiName allows consumers to request calls from companies that sell products and services they actually need. The incentive? Cash rewards. MiName says the experience allows personal details to be kept...