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  • Seed Engine: a lifeline for idea-stage ventures

    While the US is seeing a downturn in Series A tech startup funding, 2012 has been a bumper year for seed/angel deals. In more risk averse arenas like South Africa, the feeling is that investors have traditionally been reluctant to throw money at idea-stage startups without active revenue streams. That's what makes Seed Engine, a new early-stage startup accelerator and incubator, so intriguing. In exchange for equity, 10 startups will receive R100 000 startup capital to turn their ideas into business plans, with the wind of three 13-week accelerator bootcamps at their backs. At the end of the programme, the...

  • Company Office

    2015 Trends on bidorbuy

    Selfie sticks, drones and wearables are some of the most popular search terms on bidorbuy, which may be an indication of shopping trends for the year (9 January 2015) At the beginning of 2015, several search terms have joined the ranks of “most popular” on South African online marketplace bidorbuy.co.za. “Over a million people visit bidorbuy every month, conducting hundreds of thousands of searches. These numbers are extensive enough to serve as a basis for estimating shopping trends. This is especially important for thousands of sellers who sell on the site. They need to know what prospective buyers are looking for...

  • Which industries will see the heaviest VC interest in 2013?

    If you're staring 2013 in the eyes, trying to figure out whether or not your new venture is likely to attract VC investment in the new year, you might be interested in the findings presented in the 2012 Global Venture Capital Confidence Survey. The survey, conducted earlier this year by Deloitte & Touche LLP and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA), shows which industries have attracted the most VC attention in 2012. Deloitte says that general partners with assets under management ranging from less than US$50 million to greater than US$10 billion were polled in the following regions: the...

  • If Twitter had Evernote’s baby it would look like Life Note

    If you're looking for a lightweight version of über note taking app Evernote, you might want to take a look at Life Note, a quirky, Twitter-esque web application developed by Cape Town-based web entrepreneur Ian Whiteley. Whiteley thinks of Life Note as "your brain online," useful for storing information you may want to recall later. The service focuses on notes and tasks currently, and although it doesn't have video and image upload functionality, it does support links to files stored on services such as Dropbox, Google Docs and SkyDrive. Whiteley, who worked as product manager at Vodacom and Virgin Mobile, developed...

  • Sable Accelerator signs agreements with SA tech ventures, funds and groups

    The SABLE Accelerator, a recently formed mentoring network of South African experts living in Silicon Valley and other technology hubs, today announced new partner and portfolio company agreements during a visit to South Africa by two of its co-founders. Aimed at activating and engaging South Africa’s untapped brains trust and knowledge network of expatriate assets around the world, The SABLE Accelerator was launched in August this year to help the country be more competitive in realising a better return on innovation and entrepreneurship across both the private and public sectors. The international partnership group is dedicated to helping South African entrepreneurs,...

  • What exactly are South Africans buying online?

    Ahead of the busiest shopping time of the year, Visa released a survey that reveals what eCommerce categories receive the most spend and identified changing attitudes towards online shopping in the country. It also identified hurdles still hampering growth. According to the global Visa eCommerce Tracker Survey, the top five most browsed categories in the past 12 months were physical books, CDs and DVDs (37%), holidays/travel (36%), bill payment (35%), PCs/laptops/tablets and household electronics (34%), and event/ concert tickets (32%). The survey tracked 8 000 internet users between the ages of 18 and 55 from eight countries around the world including...

  • 5 ways to grow the amount of early stage VC funding in South Africa

    A new report set out to explore the reasons for the lack of early-stage VC in South Africa and to provide some proposals for its development. A number of proposals are made that could be used to help accelerate early stage VC funding. First, the survey participants concurred that VC is a critical mechanism in support of innovation and economic growth. It was established, however, that although South Africa has a later stage VC market and a well-developed PE market, there are very few early-stage VC funds available, whether private or government funded. This presents a problem for entrepreneurs seeking...

  • Passion will make you work more

    Adii Pienaar is co-Founder of WordPress theme shop and eCommerce platform WooThemes. I used to be a firm believer of this mantra: “When you love your job, you’ll never work again.” Today, I’m not convinced that I believe it as much any more. See, in terms of that mantra I guess I’d be considered to be living the dream. I co-founded my own business, get to work with an awesome team on awesome products, we make good money, I get to travel often and I have loads of flexibility. It’s a privileged life. And all of this has been fuelled by my...

  • 4 killer emerging market startups emerge from MEF innovation awards

    MEF, the global community for mobile content and commerce, recently held a startup battle in Miami that saw North and Latin American companies go head to head for top honours. Although a US-based CMS startup, GENWI, walked away as overall winner, the innovation competition recognised some interesting ventures from emerging markets such as Brazil, Mexico and Chile. The competition was open to mobile content and commerce startups actively innovating in the North America and Latin America regions. MEF presented its first innovation award during the third annual MEF event held in Miami. The MEF Americas 2012 Award for Mobile...

  • SA business school claims world first: free online business education

    Regenesys Business School is claiming a world first: free, fully accredited, internationally recognised online business education for South Africans. The courses are offered on a freemium model under which studying and access to training materials -- from certification level, through to MBA level -- are free. Submitting assignments or exams, and attending classes are optional paid features of the programme, but are required for qualification accreditation. The following learning programmes are available: Master of Business Administration Postgraduate Diploma in Management Bachelor of Business Administration Higher Certificate in Business Management Registering for Regenesys Free Business Education allows students free access to videos, study guides, eBooks, articles,...

  • World of Avatar cuts funding to Boom.fm amid Mxit layoffs [Update]

    Online social music startup Boom.fm is set to close down after its funding was withdrawn by investment incubator hybrid World of Avatar. In an email, which was also posted on the service's site, the company said it couldn't cover its operating costs with its current revenue streams. In the mail, the company says it remains dedicated to the South African music industry: The Boom.fm team is incredibly proud of what we have achieved in the past year. We have been true to our intention of growing and supporting the success of the local music industry. The caliber of people we...