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  • If Twitter had Evernote’s baby it would look like Life Note

    If you're looking for a lightweight version of über note taking app Evernote, you might want to take a look at Life Note, a quirky, Twitter-esque web application developed by Cape Town-based web entrepreneur Ian Whiteley. Whiteley thinks of Life Note as "your brain online," useful for storing information you may want to recall later. The service focuses on notes and tasks currently, and although it doesn't have video and image upload functionality, it does support links to files stored on services such as Dropbox, Google Docs and SkyDrive. Whiteley, who worked as product manager at Vodacom and Virgin Mobile, developed...

  • Company Office

    IAB SA makes great strides in 2015

    2015 has seen IAB SA take great strides and have a positive impact on the digital industry in South Africa. The organisation launched several new initiatives and projects, while working towards finding viable solutions for the challenges facing the digital industry. At the IAB SA AGM, held this week, chairperson Jarred Cinman emphasised that the organisation has not only grown in terms of members, but also in realising its vision of making a constructive, positive contribution to the South African digital industry. Its greatest achievements for 2015 include:  Successful engagement with the Film & Publications Board, negotiating an alternative to the direct...

  • Sable Accelerator signs agreements with SA tech ventures, funds and groups

    The SABLE Accelerator, a recently formed mentoring network of South African experts living in Silicon Valley and other technology hubs, today announced new partner and portfolio company agreements during a visit to South Africa by two of its co-founders. Aimed at activating and engaging South Africa’s untapped brains trust and knowledge network of expatriate assets around the world, The SABLE Accelerator was launched in August this year to help the country be more competitive in realising a better return on innovation and entrepreneurship across both the private and public sectors. The international partnership group is dedicated to helping South African entrepreneurs,...

  • What exactly are South Africans buying online?

    Ahead of the busiest shopping time of the year, Visa released a survey that reveals what eCommerce categories receive the most spend and identified changing attitudes towards online shopping in the country. It also identified hurdles still hampering growth. According to the global Visa eCommerce Tracker Survey, the top five most browsed categories in the past 12 months were physical books, CDs and DVDs (37%), holidays/travel (36%), bill payment (35%), PCs/laptops/tablets and household electronics (34%), and event/ concert tickets (32%). The survey tracked 8 000 internet users between the ages of 18 and 55 from eight countries around the world including...

  • 5 ways to grow the amount of early stage VC funding in South Africa

    A new report set out to explore the reasons for the lack of early-stage VC in South Africa and to provide some proposals for its development. A number of proposals are made that could be used to help accelerate early stage VC funding. First, the survey participants concurred that VC is a critical mechanism in support of innovation and economic growth. It was established, however, that although South Africa has a later stage VC market and a well-developed PE market, there are very few early-stage VC funds available, whether private or government funded. This presents a problem for entrepreneurs seeking...

  • Passion will make you work more

    Adii Pienaar is co-Founder of WordPress theme shop and eCommerce platform WooThemes. I used to be a firm believer of this mantra: “When you love your job, you’ll never work again.” Today, I’m not convinced that I believe it as much any more. See, in terms of that mantra I guess I’d be considered to be living the dream. I co-founded my own business, get to work with an awesome team on awesome products, we make good money, I get to travel often and I have loads of flexibility. It’s a privileged life. And all of this has been fuelled by my...

  • 4 killer emerging market startups emerge from MEF innovation awards

    MEF, the global community for mobile content and commerce, recently held a startup battle in Miami that saw North and Latin American companies go head to head for top honours. Although a US-based CMS startup, GENWI, walked away as overall winner, the innovation competition recognised some interesting ventures from emerging markets such as Brazil, Mexico and Chile. The competition was open to mobile content and commerce startups actively innovating in the North America and Latin America regions. MEF presented its first innovation award during the third annual MEF event held in Miami. The MEF Americas 2012 Award for Mobile...

  • SA business school claims world first: free online business education

    Regenesys Business School is claiming a world first: free, fully accredited, internationally recognised online business education for South Africans. The courses are offered on a freemium model under which studying and access to training materials -- from certification level, through to MBA level -- are free. Submitting assignments or exams, and attending classes are optional paid features of the programme, but are required for qualification accreditation. The following learning programmes are available: Master of Business Administration Postgraduate Diploma in Management Bachelor of Business Administration Higher Certificate in Business Management Registering for Regenesys Free Business Education allows students free access to videos, study guides, eBooks, articles,...

  • World of Avatar cuts funding to Boom.fm amid Mxit layoffs [Update]

    Online social music startup Boom.fm is set to close down after its funding was withdrawn by investment incubator hybrid World of Avatar. In an email, which was also posted on the service's site, the company said it couldn't cover its operating costs with its current revenue streams. In the mail, the company says it remains dedicated to the South African music industry: The Boom.fm team is incredibly proud of what we have achieved in the past year. We have been true to our intention of growing and supporting the success of the local music industry. The caliber of people we...

  • Lessons from Southeast Asia: trials and tribulations of a young VC

    James Chan is chief hustler at Silicon Straits, and concurrently principal at Neoteny Labs. He is currently kicking the cans around on a couple of fronts, some of which you might hear about soon. It’s not easy to be a young venture capitalist (VC) in Southeast Asia. I know it because I’ve been one for the past three years at Neoteny Labs. Fred Wilson, who is managing partner at Union Square Ventures and an investor in our fund, would readily agree. As he wrote earlier this year, “startups are a great place to be in your 20s and 30s. VC is...

  • Cap40: Fostering business relationships between the Western Cape and France

    Cap40 is an interesting new non-profit initiative that aims to foster business relations between French and Western Cape businesses. One of Cap40's main goals is to support French investment, entrepreneurs and professionals in the Western Cape and to provide support to Westen Cape business that would like to export their products, services or know how to France, as well as other French-speaking countries and Europe. At Cap40's launch event earlier this week, Consul of France Antoine Michon introduced the online social platform created by local French and South African entrepreneurs. Anyone can sign up for Cap40, but memberships have to be...