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  • Applications open now for one-month Wits, MIT tech startups course

    Wits University, in conjunction with MIT Sloan School of Management, has opened applications for teams interested in participating in the MIT Global Startup Labs Programme which starts in Johannesburg next month. The event runs from 24 June to 29 July at Tshimologong, Wits University's Digital Innovation Precinct, and will provide opportunities for participants to learn and experience the process of innovating and building a tech startup. Joburg Centre of Software Engineering (JCSE) director and Tshimologong founder Barry Dwolatzky said in a press release to Ventureburn that applicants need to exhibit a sense of cohesion, drive, and creativity. "We are looking for teams of three to five people...

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    Tshwane free Wi-Fi TV – TV by the people, for the people, on the people's network

    The City of Tshwane has added another trailblazing project to its name with the launch of the WiFi TV, a Video-On-Demand service made available over the Tshwane Free WiFi network. The WiFi TV is another pioneering project geared towards positioning Tshwane as a Smart City by using technology to bridge the digital divide, engage communities on government affairs and bring about social cohesion.  Local crews have been recruited and trained to create videos covering local topics including music, current affairs, entrepreneurship, religion, jobs and sport in the townships of Mamelodi, Soshanguve, Atteridgeville and the Tshwane CBD. These videos are then uploaded...

  • The Red Bull Amaphiko Academy gives wings to social entrepreneurs

    The Red Bull Amaphiko Academy "helped me realise the potential of my business and how it could become sustainable", previous academy participant Thabang Mabapa said. Mabapa runs Selokong Sa Dimelana, a biofuel production company that focuses on farming and using caster oil. Sixteen of the country's top social entrepreneurs hope to follow in Mabapa's footsteps with the next Amaphiko programme taking place from 19 to 28 May. The Amaphiko Academy is Red Bull's venture into finding and developing successful entrepreneurs within SA. During their time, the startups will undergo mentorship from top local and international entrepreneurs and other innovators. The programme will also put the...

  • How over 70% of scale-ups fail and what entrepreneurs can do about it

    It’s a startup’s worst nightmare – having grown to over 100 employees everything suddenly slows. The bills start piling up but without growth you're unable to meet the higher costs that your bigger business is consuming. Everything you spent years building is about to come crumbling down. Jason Goldberg, founder of 10XE, has helped tens of entrepreneurs scale their business. Speaking at the Western Cape Funding Fair, held at the Cape Town Convention Centre on 10 May, Goldberg says while just the top one percent of startups end up scaling their business to a more sizeable firm, over 70% of these scale-ups end up stuck in...

  • ‘I was so desperate to change my situation’ — founder of Lady Bonin

    It was out of desperation that entrepreneur Jessica Bonin started her tea business -- to escape dead-end work in the film industry. Bonin, the founder of Lady Bonin, was speaking at yesterday's Startup Grind Cape Town, hosted at Workshop 17 in the city. The global Startup Grind community dedicated the month of May toward celebrating the success of female founders. "I was doing something that went against my very moral core. I didn’t have a business degree or anything like that, and I wanted to find a skill that would allow me to start my own business because that’s where I realised I...

  • Over 100 nominations received so far for inspiring SA women in tech initiative

    Since opening a call to nominations last month for its Inspiring Fifty South Africa initiative, the Kingdom of the Netherlands has received over a 100 nominations for “Inspiring South African Women” working in the different spheres of the technology and innovation sector. Inspiring Fifty is a Dutch based non-profit organisation that showcases inspiring female role models in the technology industry in the Netherlands, France, Europe and in Nordic countries. Each year the initiative honours the 50 most inspiring women in the technology sector with the aim of providing a platform that brings more visibility to the achievements of women in the innovation and technology...

  • Investors are a driving force in shaping Africa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem

    If we look at the startup landscape in Africa (and read the press) it is clear that fintech is one of the fastest growing sectors on the continent. The African Tech Startups Funding Report, released in January by Disrupt Africa found that in 2016, 29.6% of startup investment in the region went to fintech companies. Read more: Report: African tech startups receive funding boost in 2016 This $55-million sum is a clear indication that there is energy and ambition among entrepreneurs and innovators for fintech -- and significant appetite from investors. However, fintech is only part of the picture. The entrepreneurial base has rapidly grown...

  • ‘Nigeria’s high cost of doing business is holding back acquisition of startups’

    Nigeria's recession should have made the acquisitions of startups more affordable for foreign firms -- but instead the creation companies and building of new products has slowed because of the high cost of operating there, says Nigerian tech expert Emeka Okoye. "Unfortunately most startups are centred in Lagos which is one of the most expensive cities in the world," said Okoye in an interview with Ventureburn. The city is ranked at number 13 out of 209 cities by Mercer in its 2016 Cost of Living rankings. Much of the high cost of doing business is down to expensive internet and firms having to pay for diesel...

  • Apply to be featured on 702, Cape Talk radio acceleration programme

    Startup founders looking for an opportunity to be exposed on national radio and to be coached by well-known talkshow host and entrepreneur, Pavlo Phitidis should apply now. Phitidis runs the business accelerator programme every Thursday on 702 and Cape Talk with Nedbank. The aim of the Business Accelerator programme is to talk about businesses on air and make listeners aware of them, as well as help accelerate their growth in 2017. The programme is looking for companies that make a difference to consumers, operate in SA, and have an annual turnover of less than R150-million. Every week Phitidis, who runs Aurik Business Accelerator, brings on 30 businesses drawn from Johannesburg and...

  • Q&A: Lady Bonin founder shares her journey as a female entrepreneur

    With Startup Grind Cape Town set to take place tomorrow (11 May) in celebration of Female Founders Month, we spoke to Jessica Bonin, founder of Lady Bonin's artisanal tea. Bonin, who will speak tomorrow at the event hosted at Workshop 17, spoke to us about her success and struggles as a female entrepreneur, touching on how it was to run a food truck as well as venture into a seemingly niche market. Ventureburn: Tell us about how you got started with a food truck? Jessica Bonin: When I first started the business my greatest challenge was reinventing tea. People had no concept of good quality tea,...

  • ‘Silicon Cape event to tackle lack of diversity in tech sector’

    Cape tech group Silicon Cape plans to address the lack of diversity in the Cape tech sector – a sector dominated by white males – at an event in Cape Town later this month. Entrepreneur Antoinette Prophy, who holds the diversity and transformation portfolio on Silicon Cape’s community council and runs business mentoring organisation 88collective, told Ventureburn today that the event – Tech eKasi – would be held on May 31. "Most of the boardrooms that I step into are (dominated by) pale males. It's our responsibility to bring more women into tech," she said. Prophy was speaking today as part of...