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  • M4JAM appoints WeChat, Tencent big guns to board of directors

    South African micro-jobbing service M4JAM has appointed a couple of big hitters -- in the shape of Brett Loubser, head of WeChat Africa, and Poshu Yeung, general manager of international business at Tencent -- to its board of directors. In a press release issued to Ventureburn by the company, it says that the two "will work closely with other board members to bolster M4JAM’s disruptive business model to be a global success". Involving both does make sense, given that M4JAM's service is predominantly WeChat-based. Being able to tap directly into the mind of a Tencent executive (the company owns WeChat)...

  • Why it’s so important for startups to nurture leaders from within

    One of the greatest challenges for a startup founder is growing the startup into an organisation that is far beyond his own strengths and limitations. It can be sometimes difficult to part with responsibility when what you’re responsible for, has become an integral part of you. That’s when you find you need to hand over responsibilities to people you trust and more importantly, people who can do what you do: lead. But to be able to identify leaders, there are certain things you need to keep in mind. There are qualities that are common to all leaders like communication, team...

  • SA’s mobile TV app Tuluntulu part of Foundry50’s top global startups

    South African TV and audio streaming app Tuluntulu is named one of Unilever's Foundry50 top startups from around the globe. Tuluntulu is the first startup from Africa recognised by Foundry and will be introduced to relevant marketers and agencies from around the globe at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Unilever is one of the world's biggest ad agencies with over 7 000 marketers at its disposal and 300 designated as mentors for the selected Foundry50 startups. "The reality is that the more the marketing industry can get behind startups, pilot with them, partner with them and help them scale,...

  • Ampion Venture Bus: an NGO’s mission to drive impactful innovation in Africa

    There are various initiatives through which entrepreneurs can come together to ideate, develop, test and launch a product (and company) in Africa, but none of them sound as somehow crazy audacious as the impact driven non-profit, Ampion Venture Bus. Basically, participants are put on a bus which then travels through different countries, attending pitching events and building products as they go along. If you consider the bad roads and restrictive nature of a bus, you would think it is not the ideal way to facilitate innovation and ensuring overall efficiency, but co-founder of Ampion Jan Schafft thinks otherwise. He tells...

  • Startupbootcamp Insurance Accelerator gets support from JSE listed financial group

    Global startup accelerator Startupbootcamp's Insurance Accelerator programme is getting early investment support from South African financial services group MMI Holdings, which along with Lloyds Banking Group, Momentum and many others hope to foster innovation in the financial services space. Based in London, the three-month accelerator programme invites startups from all over the world, that focuses on different areas within insurance, including consumer, re-insurance, back-office efficiency and new risk models. Nektarios Liolios, the co-founder of Startupbootcamp FinTech, says in a press release that the Insurance Accelerator programme aims to connect early-stage companies with relevant communities. "The insurance industry is calling out for...

  • Microsoft BizSpark Plus offers $120k Azure credits to startups, partners with Sw7

    Tech companies dominate the startup scene, but it's often difficult to get these businesses off the ground. Starting 1 July, Microsoft's BizSpark Plus platform, in partnership with top global accelerators, will offer Azure credit to select businesses. This new partnership will give select startups US$120 000 Azure Cloud Credits in order to cultivate their business ideas. The partnership is in conjunction with 150 startup accelerators in 47 countries around the world. Sw7 will be representing the African-arm of the BizSpark Plus program. Odette Jones, Sw7 co-founder, is excited about the announcement:"This is a very exciting endorsement for what we have...

  • Startup competition Seedstars World partners with SA’s Standard Bank

    Global startup competition Seedstars World has announced a strategic partnership with Standard Bank in South Africa. A third time in South Africa, Seedstars World is on a mission to place the spotlight on entrepreneurs from emerging markets. Over the past few years we've seen interesting companies recognised through this initiative like the South African fire detection startup, Lumkani, and mobile payments outfit GustPay. The shortlisted entrepreneurs will pitch in Cape Town 30 June, followed by the final round 17 July in Johannesburg. The winner will be invited to Switzerland in March next year to represent South Africa at the...

  • Candystick: this new SA startup wants to help you crowdfund gifts, occassions

    Let's say you're getting married and that you've asked your guests for money so that you can buy something big. They could bring cash, but that's not safe or they could transfer the money into your bank account, but then it doesn't feel like much of a gift. A new South African startup called Candystick is aiming to fix that. Candystick's primary product is called Candybox, which the company describes as an "online money box where your friends, family, colleagues or anyone else can contribute towards an occasion or a group gift". According to the company, the service can be...

  • Why having the right cloud security is so important for small business

    While there are probably some people out there that still don’t understand the cloud, it seems as if it is taking over the world of computing. In the beginning it was a way to keep computers connected between long distances, giving companies and individuals a place to share and save their words and photos without it taking up space on their computer’s hard drive. Today, cloud computing is the way of the world for both businesses and individuals. It makes sense that with using cloud computing in all aspects of life and work now, that someone would come up with...

  • SA’s fire detection startup Lumkani named finalist in Index Awards 2015

    Lumkani, the South African startup behind the innovative fire detecting device, is a finalist in the globally renowned design competition Index: Award 2015. Lumkani and the other finalists had to meet vigorous criteria to be chosen as finalists. The most important being their strength and creativity in improving people’s lives, as well as their overall rank across the INDEX: Award criteria of form, impact, context. Ranging from body, home, work and play, other finalists include Foldscope by Stanford engineers Manu Prakash and Jim Cybulski, language and text translation platform Duolingo, the Ambulance Drone by Dutch designer Alec Momont, the Google...