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  • WooThemes launches retail WordPress plugin

    WordPress theme provider WooThemes has launched a new plugin application and library of integrated themes. The company claims that the product, called WooCommerce, will help "individuals and businesses turn WordPress sites into simple, elegant and fully-customisable eCommerce offerings". The South African-based company aims to replace traditional eCommerce CMS platforms and hosted services that require outside expertise to implement. It hopes that companies will instead use WooCommerce to build WordPress-powered shopping sites without the headache and hassle that such projects typically entail. WooThemes says that “carefully integrating successful themes means WooCommerce can have a huge impact on any businesses looking to improve...

  • Company Office

    Hurry, Bookmark Award entries close this Sunday!

    The annual IAB SA Bookmark Awards reward excellence in the digital advertising space and have, within less than a decade, entrenched its position as one of the most prestigious events on the South African digital marketing calendar. Awards are presented across eight categories that provide an inclusive overview of the best work performed in the local digital space, as determined by a team of expert local and international judges. Entries for next year’s event, to be held at the Turbine Hall in Newtown, Johannesburg, on March 3, 2016 close on November 15, 2015. “The categories were determined through extensive engagement with...

  • Silicon Valley startups can’t rebuild US workforce

    There has been a lot of discussion lately about US jobs and Silicon Valley's role in helping to rebuild the US workforce. US government officials and many others believe that Silicon Valley is key to reviving US jobs growth. But is this really true? It's worth revisiting an article in Bloomberg Businessweek from last year, written by Andy Grove, a veteran Silicon Valley executive who helped build one of its most successful companies: Intel. Andy Grove worked with the early founders of Intel and became its CEO and chairman for many years. In this article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek he takes...

  • Moneysmart – a better way to manage your money

    Zulfiq Isaacs and Tobie van Zyl want to help you to understand your money better. Moneysmart, their startup, is a user-friendly financial management platform. Users aggregate their banking information into a single place, outlining budgets and setting goals. For those who were once scared of their finances, the enthusiastic founders reckon Moneysmart will put the control back into your hands and help you to "reach your financial dreams". I visited the Moneysmart offices in Gardens, Cape Town. Their workplace is akin to a renovated iStore, starkly white and divided into rows of gleaming laptops. From here, we travelled to...

  • Bozza: A mobile startup aimed at township mobihoods

    Bozza plans to add the phrase "mobihood" to our lexicon. The new startup, funded by Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa (HP Ventures) is a mobile social networking service aimed at township users. Its primary focus is to give a voice to the Pan-African market. HP Ventures is a €29-million (about US$40-million) venture capital fund based in South Africa. The intention of the fund, it claims, is to "invest in promising innovative technology companies, allowing local players to broaden their perspectives by entering a global arena". Bozza is a mobile application which enables communities to tell their stories "from the inside out"....

  • Down and out in Silicon Valley: The dark side of easy VC access

    The Valley is the tech centre of the Universe and you're unlucky if you're not based there. That's what popular culture will have you believe. The image of Mark Zuckerberg waltzing into Case Equity in his night gown and slippers and telling Mitchell Manningham that Sean Parker says F You is what pop culture will have you believe a tech founder on his way to business success must look like. There are many businesses like oil drilling and bio-tech that need a large initial investment or they simply aren't feasible. Software businesses are not one of them. A small group...

  • Online furniture sales on the rise says bidorbuy

    We all know that online auction sites are a great place to find a deal on a whole host of products. With a bit of luck, Electronics, games and DVDs can all be found for a fraction of their original price. According to the latest figures from South African online auction site bidorbuy, furniture is playing an increasingly important role in the world of online buying. The site’s figures state that shoppers spent over ZAR1.1-million (US$140 000) on new and antique furniture for their homes and gardens in August. Of this, R 700 000 (US$ 89 000) went to...

  • Funding your business: 8 ways to win over VCs

    In the world of venture capital (VC), ideas are plentiful but fundable businesses are hard to find. Despite the perception, VCs do not fund ideas alone, no matter how solid passionate entrepreneurs believe they are. To negate risk, VCs evaluate proposals based on several characteristics, often in-line with their specific funding mandate, to bridge the huge divide between a cool idea and a fundable business. Differentiated VC funds are inundated with requests for capital to get start-up businesses to the next critical level but very few offer significantly differentiated product or service in the eyes of their target market. The tech...

  • Kwiksta causes a stir in online education

    Kwiksta is an online education platform that aims to empower teachers to share their knowledge and earn money, while giving students the opportunity to learn from a global community of educators. The product is the brainchild of the Paddock brothers who created GetSmarter. The acronym "kwik" stands for "know what I know". A kwik is made up of multiple modules, and modules are in turn made up of multiple learning resources. Modules are completed by the students in a linear order, as set by the teacher. Courses, or "Kwiks" are broken out into two types: content only or interactive,...

  • Don’t mind the gap: Silicon Cape to learn from London

    London, one of the world’s financial hubs, is undergoing a process of bolstering its image as a city working towards the best interests of tech companies and startups. This is according to the Lord Mayor of London Michael Bear, who was in Cape Town on a short trip to help foster relations between the UK and South Africa. As part of his itinerary, he took part in a round table discussion with members of the Silicon Cape initiative and some of the city's up and coming entrepreneurs. The Lord Mayor noted that there is no reason...

  • Qooh.me: ‘A carnival fun ride of questions’

    Ever wanted to know something about your friends or someone you know but were too afraid to ask? Wish there was an app for that? There probably is, but there is a also a web-service. Enter Qooh.me, the apparent answer to your problem. Qooh.me is a "web application that allows you to ask your friends or people you find interesting open and anonymous questions in order to get to know them better," says creator, Vincent Mabuza. The service essentially takes users back to the rudimentary processes of anonymous, online interaction. It is a bit of a throwback to the days...