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  • VC companies don’t necessarily have to set up a fund to invest – here’s why

    Engaging with investors is often like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. This is the feedback we got from entrepreneurs in the early days of setting up venture capital company HAVAÍC. Often entrepreneurs were told by an investor that they loved their business, but that the investment didn’t fit their investment or fund criteria. The entrepreneurs were seeking to access to funds from investors who demonstrate flexibility in terms of investment criteria and approach to evaluating businesses. Based on these learnings we formed a view that a venture capital (VC) firm which really wanted to make a difference in...

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    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...

  • SA’s SnapnSave in R14m investment from Kalon Venture Partners, Smollan

    SA venture capital company Kalon Venture Partners (formerly Grotech) and retail solutions company the Smollan Group SA have together invested R14-million for a minority stake in SA shopping community SnapnSave. Kalon Venture Partners chief executive Clive Butkow said the deal, which was concluded late last week, will see Kalon and Smollan each invest R7-million in the Cape Town based startup, in return for a 20% stake each. SnapnSave's app facilitates discounts for shoppers on their favourite products, wherever they shop, just by snapping a photo of their till slip. SnapnSave CEO Mark Bradshaw said in just over 18 months, SnapnSave has given SA shoppers over...

  • Here are SA’s Inspiring Fifty women in technology for 2017

    Non-profit organisation Inspiring Fifty, an initiative of the Dutch Consulate General in Cape Town together with Inspiring Fifty Netherlands, has announced the names of its 50 inspiring women in technology in South Africa. It follows a call the Dutch Consulate General put out in April for nominations for those who can serve as role models to attract more female champions in the technology-related fields. At the close of applications at the end of June, the consulate general had received 252 nominations. Read more: Over 100 nominations received so far for inspiring SA women in tech initiative Project manager Chantal Louw said in a press release this week...

  • African tech startups have three weeks left to enter DEMO Africa 2017

    African tech startups have until 31 August to apply for this year’s edition of DEMO Africa. It follows the extension of the application window from 30 April to 31 August 2017 by the organisers Lions@frica. a partnership between non-profit organisations and tech companies. While the DEMO Africa 2017 event had initially been scheduled to take place between 6 and 7 September, it will take place between 23 and 24 November in Johannesburg. The programme aims to link tech startups with investors and technology buyers and by doing so connecting African tech startups to the global ecosystem. Startups with innovative working scalable products in energy, health, education, agriculture,...

  • Silicon Cape head calls on local startups to include sexual harassment in HR policy

    Startups should include a sexual harassment policy in their human resources strategy, or as part of the letter of appointments for all staff including the founder whether female or male, says Silicon Cape managing director Ellen Fischat. "Sexual harassments policies start with human resources. Considering that startups often do not have structured human resources practices in place, it leaves room for unprofessional conduct and abuse of power towards women," said Fischat. "Anyone in a powerful position has no right to abuse a situation in exchange for sexual favours." The head of the Cape Town's tech organisation was commenting following the series of sexual harassment scandals that have rocked...

  • Bus tour exposes 10 young black entrepreneurs to Cape’s startup hotspots

    Seven young black entrepreneurs from the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation were earlier this month introduced to the world of entrepreneurship with a two-day bus tour of Cape Town’s startup hotspots. The initiative, which ran on 1 and 2 August, was sponsored by E2, an impact investor and the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) partner to financial services company Allan Gray. Now in its second year, the bus tour aims to inspire entrepreneurs and accelerate their entrepreneurial journey. So inspiring was the first instalment of the bus tour that one of the participating entrepreneurs declined a lucrative international corporate opportunity to pursue his...

  • Startupbootcamp announces 10 finalists joining its first Africa-based accelerator

    Accelerator programme Startupbootcamp Cape Town earlier this evening announced the 10 startups that have been selected to take part in its first ever accelerator programme in Africa. The announcement was made at the end of the last selection day at the PwC offices in Cape Town. Startups were judged by mentors on criteria that focused on skills, leadership and commitment, vision, solutions and scalability. Additionally, judges also considered the growth, competitive advantage and timing of each startup's products. 409 African startups applied to join Startupbootcamp's first accelerator programme on the continent The 10 were selected from a pool of over 518 applications from 43 countries - of which 409 applications were from Africa,...

  • Launchlab and Attacq launch Smart Cities Innovation Challenge

    Stellenbosch-based incubator Launchlab and JSE-listed investment company Attacq have teamed up again to launch the Smart Cities Innovation Challenge, with the pitching platform opening on 31 August. LaunchLab will host a workshop on 17 August in Stellenbosch to detail current focus areas for the challenge in location technologies, transportation, security, black screen technology and technology. Finalists in the smart cities innovation challenge will get Launchlab incubation support Entrepreneurs who attend the workshop will get the opportunity to interact with experts from Attacq to get a better understanding of the challenge and can receive feedback on their business ideas. Following the pitching session, those entrepreneurs with the top ideas...

  • Swiss-SA innovation challenge records 110 submissions from SA applicants

    A Swiss-South African open social innovation challenge aiming to address health issues facing low-income South African urban settlements has received more than 120 proposals, with 110 of them coming from South Africa. The submissions are currently being evaluated and the 10 finalists will be announced at the Innovation Summit next month. Five Swiss applicants will be invited to join the 10 finalists at the summit and for other activities. Research Institute for Innovation and Sustainability (RIIS) media liaison Susan Botha told Ventureburn today that some of the South African proposals submitted included innovations in construction, alternative energy, water and sanitary hygiene. 25% of the proposals submitted to the innovation challenge came...

  • Female entrepreneurs platform aims to sign up 20 000 women in first year

    Future Females, a platform where women entrepreneurs can network and get support, aims to grow its user base to 20 000 female entrepreneurs in its first year, the platform's co-founder Lauren Davies told Ventureburn. The platform was launched last Thursday in Cape Town. Davies, who is also the founder of e-learning platform the Growth Academy, founded the platform with Cerina Bezuidenhout, who works for business support programme Techstars. The aim of the platform is to accelerate female entrepreneurship by sharing information on funding, grants and offering support to its members through awareness, education and direct funding. 'Aim is to help female entrepreneurs by sharing information on funding, grants...