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  • Meet the 10 startups that debuted at 88mph’s Demo Day

    Demo Day has come and gone for African startup accelerator 88mph and the ten startups that completed their intensive three month acceleration programme, capped off with a beautiful Cape Town sunset. The ten startups that presented on the day began the programme three months ago, and through the process they moulded (some even changed) their ideas into marketable, scalable companies with the hopes of achieving follow-on funding. Taking the rise of Africa's mobile market into account, 88mph places its investment focus on startups that leverage mobile and internet growth in Africa and also take advantage of...

  • Company Office

    Bookmark Awards 2016 Entry Series: Emerging Digital Technologies and Channels

    With the deadline for entries to the prestigious IAB SA Bookmark Awards extended to 30 November, digital marketers have one last opportunity to enter and do battle for the industry’s most coveted awards across eight categories, of which the Emerging Digital Technologies and Channels category is one. The Bookmark Awards celebrate the country’s most creative and high-impact digital executions and rewards excellence in digital advertising and publishing work, benchmarked against the highest international standards. “The Emerging Digital Technologies and Channels category acknowledges the trailblazers in our industry, who are not only challenging the boundaries of what is currently possible, but finding...

  • Nigerian online megastore Konga.com rolls out SMS-based ordering platform

    E-tailer Konga.com, is launching its SMS-based platform called SMS2ORDER, that will allow its customers to initiate item purchases via SMS. Shoppers can send text messages containing product codes of items they wish to purchase to a number operated by Konga.com. A customer service consultant will then call the customer; setup an account if the customer is new, process the order for the customer and schedule delivery. Payment on delivery is available to customers in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt. SMS messages are sent to the number 20050, in the format "KONGA (SPACE) ITEM NUMBER" and are charged at N10 or approximately US$0.06...

  • A lack of funding in Malaysia? No way, says government-linked tech investor

    Earlier this week, Malaysia-based media house The Star announced its latest US$6.59 million dollar fund to invest in technology startups. Other than the new accelerator fund, Cradle Fund is another Malaysia government linked technology investor. Cradle started in 2003 under the purview of the Malaysia Ministry of Finance to address the lack of early stage funding in Malaysia. 10 years on, Cradle has helped provide funding and various training programmes to startups through the Coach and Grow Program. Over the years, Cradle has also played a very important role of helping grow the private sector participation through the lobbying of...

  • 7 Latin American startups shaped by current entrepreneurial trends

    As the international economy recovers, the Latin American startup culture follows suit with an economic boom. Technology is becoming more readily available allowing ventures to be empowered autonomously. Also, features such as government initiatives encouraging entrepreneurship, or the general attractiveness of the startup culture is adding momentum. As mentioned by trendwatching.com in this report, both consumers and entrepreneurs are moving away from government associated jobs and services. At the same time governments in South and Central America are encouraging entrepreneurial growth. Recently tech startups around the globe and in South and Central America have started to receive an almost-celebrity...

  • Innovation in Africa is alive and well: IPA announces its 2013 finalists

    The Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) is a big deal. The joint initiative between the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Innovation Foundation (AIF), awards a first prize of US$100 000 for the best African innovation with the greatest social impact and clear business potential. The finalists for 2013 has been announced and looking at this year's crop, one thing is abundantly clear, there is no shortage of innovators in Africa. Entrepreneurs developed ten practical solutions to some of the continent’s most intractable problems. Chosen from more than 900 applications from 45 countries, the finalists for...

  • International Girls in ICT day: breaking stereotypes, inspiring careers in tech

    We've written our fair share in support of more women in tech, and we've been pleased to witness the emergence of new initiatives that support the development of female entrepreneurs. The latest push comes via the South African Girls in ICT event. Now in its fourth year, the event in partnership with HP aims to inspire girls to consider a future in technology, with more than 130 schoolgirls expected to attend a conference with leading women in the local ICT sector. "South Africa needs to actively encourage young girls to consider technology as a career option if the country is going...

  • Ventureburn talks entrepreneurship with Omidyar Network Africa’s Malik Fal

    Right around the time Omidyar Network released its Accelerating Entrepreneurship in Africa report, we had an opportunity to talk to Malik Fal, managing director of Omidyar Network Africa. Fal has a finger on the pulse of entrepreneurship in Africa. He leads Omidyar Network’s investment strategy and operations on the continent, and for the last 15 years has been involved with social entrepreneurship, business, and development, primarily in the African context. In this monster one hour interview Fal tells us why he is naturally skeptical about co-creation as a model for innovation in Africa, which country is most likely to become Africa's...

  • With $150k backing PromiseUP aims to rid the world of broken promises

    PromiseUP, a free app that tracks and incentivises the promises we make, launched this week on iOS. The goal of the app is to use social gamification to rid the world of broken (or forgotten) promises and ultimately improve the relationships in our lives. The idea is to make us accountable for the things we say we'll do, and when we'll do them. Each promise is custom-made, with a simple and intuitive UI. A wager is placed on that promise (with the app's own virtual currency, $UP), and a time-limit set. After the time-limit expires, PromiseUP will ask the necessary...

  • ‘Seed Engine experience has been crazy, busy’ says accelerator finalists

    Seed Engine, the early stage venture accelerator, recently announced the first six startups that will receive R100 000 startup capital as part of its acceleration programme. The funding goes toward helping the startups convert their ideas into practical business plans. In May, the startups hope to raise between R200 000 and R2-million in additional funding at a showcase event with investor attendance. So, what has the inaugural Seed Engine experience been like? We've been given four videos of Seed Engine finalists talking about their ventures, and their journey as part of an accelerator. The consensus appears to be that the...

  • Startups must have something unique to be successful, says Gloo boss

    Running your own business is hard work, especially when that business has been named Digital Agency of the Year six years running. Gloo, founded in 2005, is not what one would typically call a startup, as it's a service-based business rather than a product-driven one. The company is one of the most successful advertising agencies in South Africa and was recognised as such last year when it was named overall "Ad Agency of the Year" by AdReview Awards. In our new entrepreneur series we feature the agency's founder Pete Case, who has a graphic design background and is well known in...

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