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  • Understanding Color a little better

    It's a shame that the US$41-million funding of Color Labs has dominated the news about Color, a radically different type of mobile app, because that's what's interesting. Color shares photos with everyone around you that has the app on their iPhone or Android device. There are no privacy settings and you don't need to "friend" or "follow" anyone -- it automatically creates an ad hoc social network within 50 yards of your location. It's a fascinating concept and it will be interesting to see just how much people want to connect with strangers, where often the only thing they have in...

  • Company Office

    Welcome to the Matrix: Mastering the art of Scenario Planning

    For entrepreneurs, one of the most frequently cited challenges is the task of having to juggle multiple demands on your time at any given moment. In my view, however, there is a task that is perhaps more taxing – and yet absolutely critical – that entrepreneurs have to tackle every day. It is the task of identifying and planning for multiple possible business scenarios in the midst of an ever-changing market environment. Smart scenario planning, in effect, is something that undoubtedly needs to be built into the fabric of your daily communications with the board, management and your team...

  • Color, a new social networking app that does away with privacy

    It was only a matter of time before a network was created for people who have no privacy issues and believe that all information should be available at anytime to anyone. It's a social network called Color for the "post-PC world" according to its founder Bill Nguyen, who was also one on the people behind music service Lala, which was bought by Apple in 2009 before it closed it down in April 2010. Speaking to the Huffington Post, Nguyen said "As tech causes cultural changes, we're going to live so much more of our lives in public. There's private...

  • A VC boom in new media?

    Investment banker Kevin Covert is increasing staff at his company, Covert & Co, up to prepare for a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) bonanza in Silicon Valley. Move over social networking, move over ecommerce -- he reckons that the conditions are great for M&A -- "especially in new media". If the recent, high-profile Techcrunch and Huffington Post deals are anything to go by, he may be right. Although these are only two high profile deals -- and to the same company, AOL. Covert is no stranger to the Silicon Valley scene: Over the past ten years he's had a hand in many...

  • WhereIsMyTransport: The solution to public transport problems?

    From third world countries battling with proper organisational issues with regards to locating routes, to travelers unable to locate transport when commuting in new cities, to congestion, traffic jams and lack of service delivery, public transportation issues are problems that occur on a global scale. Two entrepreneurs however believe that for the first time their company is offering developing nations a chance at a true end-to-end intelligent transport system (ITS). Transport IT infrastructure specialists, WhereIsMyTransport gives transport providers a platform on which to run all their daily operations such as routing, scheduling, reporting and monitoring which all form part of...

  • Emerging markets unclear about future of online gambling

    Online gambling in South Africa may be set for tough times ahead. For users, tech entrepreneurs and established businesses alike, new laws may change the way gambling in the wealthiest African emerging market takes place. The National Gambling Amendment Act of 2008, which is said to make provisions for the licensing of online casinos, may only come into force after an appeal to a high court ruling against “interactive gambling” is heard, according to journalist Jan Vermulen. Even services hosted outside the country would be rendered illegal if the proposed legislation comes into effect. The South African Department of Trade...

  • Umbono: Google launches new African tech incubator

    Google has chosen Cape Town as a pilot for a new technology incubator called Umbono which aims to bring together seed capital, Google mentorship, angel investors, local tech stars, entrepreneurs and business leaders. If successful in Cape Town, Google may take the model to other parts of the globe. Google says it chose Cape Town because the city is in "the process of positioning itself as a hub for innovation and technology". The search engine expects that successful funders will move to Cape Town and work "onsite" to take advantage of the opportunity. The search monolith says the incubator is "in...

  • 8 venture capital sources for your startup

    Raising funds in emerging markets may not be a walk in the park, but the process has become easier. Though some have complained the current economic environment is not favourable to startups, the current mindset is favourable to good ideas - no matter where they are. For startups with global vision based in emerging markets, here are eight sources of capital to consider. Venture Partners The US-based Venture Partners (USVP) has helped build great companies in the last three decades. Since its inception in 1981, USVP has invested more than US$2.7-billion in about 450 companies. After the investment the company’s...

  • Avusa joins the daily deals game with Zappon

    South Africa's group buying market adds another contestant with the launch of Zappon.co.za, just two and a half months after project initiation. The startup, owned by South African media company Avusa Media, joins many other Groupon like deals sites in the country. The only difference is it comes into to the game with the backing of Avusa's brands. “The daily deal space is on the cusp of maturing in South Africa,” says Zappon creator and General Manager of Avusa Media LIVE, Elan Lohmann. “Other players - both local and international entrants - have been working to create the...

  • Bubbling in the cauldron: Is Twitter a sign?

    "Double, double toil and trouble; Fire burn, and cauldron bubble," chanted the witches of Shakespeare's Macbeth, cooking up trouble. Similarly, are the VCs of Silicon Valley cooking up trouble by helping to fuel a new bubble? Valuations for venture backed companies are certainly higher than they've been in a long time but are we in a bubble? The answer seems to be no. At least, not yet. I spoke with veteran VC Bill Davidow: "When I look at companies such as Facebook, Zynga etc, I see high valuations but at least these companies have business models with proven revenues. Whether they...

  • Formsly: A profitable approach to interactive ‘contact us’ pages?

    Formsly - Cape Town based, Silicon Cape start-up is adamant it is meeting the needs for a global market with its offering at www.formsly.com. Falling into the online tools and web-apps category of the tech industry, the startup is targeting individuals and small businesses. Formsly describes itself as a web app which allows users to create custom, feature-rich 'contact' pages for websites. Its features includes google maps, GPS, turn-by-turn navigation, social media links and integration, live support integration, as well as custom mailing lists and analytics. Formsly is available as a basic free service or a premium, paid...