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  • The Sable Accelerator: A gateway into Silicon Valley for SA startups

    With the imminent launch of The Sable Accelerator, South African businesses look set to benefit from a new network of advisers and investors based in Silicon Valley and London that can help with international expansion. Founded by South Africans now living abroad, The Sable Accelerator is backed by angel investors, CEOs, directors and consultants from companies such as McCann Erickson, Grant Thornton, McKinsey and Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa. According to Tech Central, Vinny Lingham, founder of Yola and more recently Gyft -- check out Ventureburn’s exclusive peek at Gyft -- is also onboard as an investor. Sable’s website, a...

  • Company Office

    Why all fintech startups should consider joining a global innovation hub

    Entrepreneurs in the fintech space have been shaking up the banking industry for a number of years and their impact continues to grow, making it imperative to collaborate with the startups that are helping to shape the future of financial services as we know it. Stories of entrepreneurs who "cracked the code" in the basement and became overnight billionaires are plentiful, but in most cases, a great idea is only half the battle won. And in most cases, successful entrepreneurs have to invest time and money over long periods to get an idea off the ground and through to execution...

  • Deloitte to recognise 50 of SA’s hottest tech companies

    This is interesting. Deloitte is one of the world's so called Big Four professional service companies, so being recognised as one of its Fast 500 companies is a pretty big deal. The awards recognise the 500 fastest-growing technology companies in regions around the world and, for the first time, South African companies are eligible for the service. The country will hold the Fast 50, a subset of the awards, the winners of which will be put forward to a regional Fast 500. “Technology is still one of those fast changing sectors that have a wider impact...

  • WPP Digital acquires majority stake in SA born digital marketer Acceleration

    Acceleration, a South African born digital marketing technology company, has announced that it has entered into an agreement to be part of the WPP Digital, the digital arm of WPP, the international marketing communications company. Acceleration was founded in 1999 by Stephan Pretorius and has grown into a global business with offices in London, New York, Dubai, Johannesburg, Buenos Aires and Cape Town. Acceleration will operate as an independent and standalone business within WPP Digital and will architect, implement and orchestrate digital brand experiences. "With the continued transformation of marketing by technology, there's a growing demand for digital marketing technologists to...

  • Nedbank launches financial management play

    Wow. Talk about coming back from behind. A month after its late entry into the world of smartphone banking apps Nedbank has announced an online personal financial management tool. The South African bank claims that the tool, called My Financial Life, is an attempt to help people manage their finances. Running off the back of its online banking platform, the tool won't only be restricted Nedbank customers. Non customers will be able to access My Financial Life via a standalone site. According to Nedbank's group managing executive for retail and business banking Ingrid Johnson, the bank wants My...

  • With rumoured sale looming, Zoopy founders depart

    Mere days after Ventureburn was tipped off that parent company and mobile operator, Vodacom, could offload a large portion of its investment in Zoopy, the mobile video company, founder Jason Elk and co-founder Pat Elk announced in a statement that they will be leaving Zoopy at the end of September. The statement reads: "After launching Zoopy in March 2007, we have built a company and service that we have been incredibly proud of. We have decided that it’s now time for us to move on to new opportunities and we will be leaving Zoopy at the end of September. We...

  • TrashCanKidz: socially conscious gaming with a big heart and giant ambitions

    Following in the footsteps of socially conscious toys and games such as Karito Kids and Xeko, TrashCanKidz is taking an everything but the kitchen sink approach with a unique game and retail product one-two punch that contributes 20% of its revenue to charity. The startup hailing from Mauritius is seeking funding via Kickstarter, hoping to raise US$100 000 to bring the project to life. The aforementioned game Xeko also took to Kickstarter for funding and succeeded in reaching its target of US$250 000 earlier this year. TrashCanKidz -- as a game -- is currently in closed online beta, with an...

  • Listener-driven radio station looks to take Afrikaans music global

    Given that Afrikaans is only recognised as an official language in South Africa and as a minority language in Namibia, it might seem a little surprising that an online Afrikaans-language station is trying to go global. When you bear in mind that there are at least 1.2-million South Africans living abroad though, you can see that Ja.fm might just have a chance. The fact that the top five selling albums in South Africa are all by Afrikaans artists doesn't hurt either. Ja.fm is an online radio station provided by terrestrial station Jacaranda FM, that makes heavy use of the...

  • Is there a solution to Groupon’s SA woes?

    There’s been a recent surge in complaints about the South African iteration of Groupon, with many customers getting vocal about undelivered products, not receiving refunds as promised and even about difficulties in opting out of their mailing list. Complaints are flooding in on consumer websites such as HelloPeter, most of which typically relate to users not receiving goods paid for, refunds that never get processed, poor after-sales service and spamming by the group-buying giant. One HelloPeter user said that he keeps receiving the company's daily deals, despite repeated attempts to make it stop emailing him: “I unfortunately subscribed to Groupon...

  • 4 tips for protecting your tech startup idea

    In this month’s Entrepreneur magazine, startup adviser and mentor Ed Hatton provides four tips for turning your idea for a tech startup into a business, without someone stealing it. To develop an idea, founders need to approach service providers and investors. This may require divulging your secret recipe. Unlike offline businesses or products that can be protected by patent laws, internet-based businesses require a different approach. #1 Deal with trustworthy suppliers Check references carefully before picking financiers and advertising agencies. Opt for reputable and established suppliers who respect the confidentiality of their clients’ ideas. #2 Use a Non-Disclosure Agreement Although banks and financial...

  • From TEDx Cape Town: How to incubate new business ideas

    At TEDx Cape Town over the past weekend, Peter Greenwall, author of the book Logical Stupidity delivered a colourful presentation on innovation. Greenwall stressed the importance of embracing discontent, failure, anxiety and curiosity as energy sources for creativity. The creative process starts with asking the question: “What went wrong?" or as Greenwall likes to put it "Why The Failure (WTF)". If it’s hard to identify the root causes at first, start by describing the symptoms of the problem -- it will help you connect the dots. Greenwall describes anxiety as a "dark hole of vulnerability" that should be celebrated as a...