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  • Startup Blitz: Magnetic is an end-to-end business management platform

    On this week's Startup Blitz we take a look at Magnetic-- the startup that's offering simple tools to manage your business internally. This end-to-end management platform is integrated into your business activities to reduce training costs and increase visibility in your company. Ventureburn's Mich Atagana chats with Magnetic's Jan Pickard, Korak Kuhnert, and Daniel Marcus to give us a better idea of what this startup's all about and where the team currently stands. Currently based in Cape Town, Magnetic's cloud-base management tool will let any business help manage its customers, projects and easily access files, calendar and internal information. Customer...

  • Company Office

    Designing for emerging markets, the challenges businesses face in Africa

    Emerging markets are full of opportunity for the clever entrepreneur. Across Africa, Asia and South America are countries with millions of underserved consumers. These people may be living on very little, but their basic needs are similar to those of wealthier people in more developed countries. In their paper, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, C.K Prahalad and Stuart L. Hart explain that “low-income markets present a prodigious opportunity for the world’s wealthiest companies to seek their fortunes and bring prosperity to the poor.” This opportunity exists for any company, whether it’s wealthy or not. Designing for emerging markets,...

  • 8 tools every startup should have in its bag

    I got an email yesterday asking me to recommend some tools for startups to use when starting out, things like the best way to track marketing campaigns and the best task managers out there. Simple things that you wouldn't think about and things that startups wouldn't make a priority -- because most of the time it's about building a product and getting that product to market. So in response to that mail, I have put together a list of eight essential tools that every startup arsenal should have. Bear in mind you might not need all eight though. It...

  • Tech travel startup Tourism Radio looks to Kickstarter for Google Glass app

    Travel technology startup, Tourism Radio, is aiming to get a head start in utilizing emerging technologies. The startup wants to pair up with Google Glass to guide you through cities. Launched today, the founders are running a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to create easy to use audio travel guides for Google Glass wearers. The team wants to create a product for travelers based on the idea of a local person giving information, but using technology instead. This travel information plays automatically as the user travels past points of interest and general areas. Walking through Barcelona, you'll have a tour guide...

  • Feeling Blue? TherapyRoom offers online therapy to South Africa via Skype

    Psychology is one of those fields that took some time for people to warm up to. Looking after your body is commonplace, looking after your mind is optional... right? Slowly the field took flight, and now it's not too strange to see your therapist more often than some of your closest friends. Taking that practice online is yet to really cement itself in South Africa, although online psychotherapy has been around for a while in the USA and UK. Leading the South African charge though, is a company called the TherapyRoom. TherapyRoom is effectively just an online practice -- home to...

  • Online travel agency Travelstart shares its growth strategy in new markets

    Travelstart aims to help customers with travel research and has made some impressive inroads into emerging markets. Online travel solutions now include six African countries as well as Turkey. Recently the company has shared what it's claiming to be its "winning growth formula" in emerging markets. Founded in Sweden, Travelstart has since moved ever more into emerging markets and has successfully launched its headquarters in South Africa where it has been since 2006. Today, the company has about 150 employees worldwide and 1-million monthly visits. Some points of interest that the company recently "divulged" include taking presenting...

  • Deciding your startup’s social media strategy? Read this

    Startups in the early stages that are trying to get their name and product or service out there with very little budget always seem to turn to social media. This isn't bad, in fact it's quite good but most of the time it isn't always great. When startups think about social media, to them it seems to be just a place to sell their product or a way to get people talking about the company. All that is great but social media isn't just something you do without purpose. Just being on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram isn't a...

  • Microsoft SA unveils Microsoft Technology Centre – first in Africa

    South Africa might just have got a leg up from Microsoft in its bid to become a regional technology hub with the unveiling of the new Microsoft Technology Centre (MTC), the first in Africa. The MTC is a high-tech melting pot of a facility filled with millions of rands of hardware and devices that Microsoft says will help local companies (of all sizes) to become more globally competitive by aiding the development of "next-generation solutions" for their most pressing business problems. The best way to think of the centre is as a "technology think-tank on digital steroids." No matter the kind...

  • Rocket Internet launches online hotel booking service Jovago in Nigeria

    I am starting to think that Nigeria is Rocket Internet's new pet project. You can't really blame them, with Africa's biggest population, an obsession with tech and people who like to spend, it's an easy fit. The company today announced the launch of Jovago -- an online hotel booking service in Nigeria. According to a release by Rocket, Jovago offers around 140 000 hotels worldwide that users can choose from and its free. "Jovago provides all information about hotels, as well as means to compare different options and find the ideal location. In Nigeria the portfolio consists of over...

  • 12 Kickass African startups worth getting excited about

    I have decided that any old Joe can start a company. In fact all you have to do is have an idea. It doesn't even have to be a good one. All you need is for a bunch of other Joes to want it. In Africa, all the Joes are starting their own business, but not all the Joes can make it work -- after all, This is Africa (TIA). We have written a fair amount about tech startups in Africa that have shown they have the potential to impress and have gained some very serious traction. Some companies have...

  • Entrepreneurship and the fallacy of work-life balance

    How do you deal with stress and life balance as an entrepreneur? This was the question posed on the latest Startup Edition thread. As I let the question rattle around, it seemed like a natural opportunity to expand on my previous post on avoiding burnout. So, here we are. The first, and arguably most important piece of achieving work-life balance as an entrepreneur, is simple: acknowledge that there’s no such thing. By becoming an entrepreneur, you’re making a conscious decision to forego balance in favor of excitement, learning, and opportunity. That’s very much a choice. It’s no secret that entrepreneurship is a gamble....