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  • Display tech: can Africa compete with the East? ‘Yes it can’ says PVision

    African hardware startups are in the minority. Instead, as capital barriers are low, the continent is seeing a boom in online ventures. That doesn't mean however, that hardware manufacturing success is exclusive to the East. Since 2003, PVision, a South African manufacturer of LED and LCD displays, has been rolling out locally manufactured products which include commercial displays, lite commercial displays, nano displays, touchscreen technology, mounting solutions and back-end architecture. PVision CEO, David Ross, sees South Africa's increasing engagement in the development and manufacture of high-end technologies, as a driver of economic change. It's a specialised market, one that isn't...

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    With over 350 hectares, treadFEST offers adventure and stunning views

    TreadFEST, which takes place in Drakensberg, is just a few weeks away. Set to take place from 3 to 6 December, one of the festival's main features is the area's setting. In the heart of the Drakensberg, surrounded by mountains and trees. The moment you arrive you will be swept away by the beautiful scenery and the fresh air. treadFEST want you to absorb the beauty around the camp, and have specially created activities that allow you to connect with nature in the best possible way. With over 350 hectares to walk, you will fully explore the natural wonders around you. If you long...

  • One year of Mxit open APIs [Infographic]

    It's the birthday of Mxit's open APIs and the launch of its mobi portal. To celebrate the last year we're not having cake, but rather showcasing a lovely infographic on the South African social network's developer (dev) and app growth. Since the mobi portal launched in April 2012, 126 active developers have launched 219 apps onto the platform, showing steady progress. Highlighting the infographic's stats, the 2012 to 2013 growth saw between five to 35 apps published each month, taking the total number of apps on the platform from 209 in March 2012 to 428 in March 2013. In terms of categories,...

  • China’s growth is not in decline: here’s why

    In 2010 China was the place of choice for foreign investment in the tech sector. Fast forward to today and it's an IPO ghost town, with less money and deals than a mid-level casino. At the heart of this "decline" in foreign interest are a number of factors. The Next Web states that political unrest, audit checks and internet censorship are but a few reasons for investor hesitation while Bloomberg pips rising employee and land costs as lowering China's "attractiveness as a destination for foreign investors." The proof is in the IPO-pudding and number of deals. In 2010, China saw...

  • African Utility Week hackathon — make a difference to Africa’s electricity woes

    Electricity shortages is the single biggest challenge African entrepreneurs face. That's according to the Omidyar Network's sublimely comprehensive Accelerating Entrepreneurship in Africa report. What Africa has no shortage of however, is creative thinkers, and that's why the 13th annual Africa Utility Week is organising a 48-hour utility hackathon to uncover innovative solutions for Africa's power, water and sanitation problems. The hackathon is being held at the Cape Town International Convention Center (CTICC), and runs from Tuesday 14 May to Wednesday 15 May 2013. The African Utility Week conference and exhibition is a gathering of professionals in the African utility sector and...

  • The Star launches $6.59M fund to invest in Malaysian startups

    Star Publications, a media company in Malaysia which also runs Star Publications, has just launched a MYD 20 million (US$6.59 million) fund to invest in Malaysian startups. The fund, called The Star Accelerator Fund is offered in two forms: pre-seed fund and the seed fund. The pre-seed fund provides each applicant with up to MYR 300,000 (US$98,800) while the seed fund offers support of up to MYR 1 million (US$329,000) per applicant. The decision on which fund to apply for is determined by the stage of development of the applicant’s business. Who can apply? How does a startup qualify...

  • Omidyar Network releases African entrepreneurship report, it’s a must read

    We have the pleasure of presenting the Accelerating Entrepreneurship in Africa report compiled by the Omidyar Network, the philanthropic foundation established by Pierre Omidyar -- the founder of eBay -- in partnership with global strategy consulting film, Monitor Group. This epic 48-page report is the result of a three-phase research project launched in 2012 aimed to better understand the state of entrepreneurship in Africa. The project started with a survey of 582 entrepreneurs across six Sub-Saharan African countries: Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania which was then augmented into 72 in-depth interviews. It promises to be one of...

  • World’s largest startup accelerator testing programme launch in Cape Town

    Having set up shop in Johannesburg earlier this year, the Founder Institute is now looking to expand to Cape Town. The Founder Institute is an early-stage startup accelerator and global launch network with a part-time four month programme. The idea is that entrepreneurs can launch their dream company with training, feedback, and support from experienced startup CEOs, while not being required to quit their day job. The Founder Institute touts its "Graduate Liquidity Pool" which ropes in graduates and mentors to share in the equity upside of each class. Since being founded by serial entrepreneur Adeo Ressi in 2009,...

  • GoMetro’s first 6 months: 600 000 users, KZN, Eastern Cape rollout next

    When we first wrote about mobi.lity, the traveller information startup from Cape Town, it had already won a pitch to Western Cape transport agency, Metrorail for its prototype mobile transit app. A short while later, Metrorail officially adopted the service and rebranded it as GoMetro. Since then, GoMetro has seen impressive adoption, and it has become an indispensable utility for over 600 000 railway commuters in South Africa. Through a partnership with iROKO Partners, the world’s largest online distributor of African music and movies, and expansion to Gauteng, GoMetro has seen steady adoption in its first six months of operation,...

  • UJ students to represent SA in Microsoft’s Imagine Cup competition

    Analysing social media chatter is getting more important than ever and for brands it's one of the key ways of measuring sentiment. A group of young developers from the University of Johannesburg think they have come up with an "innovative tool" that will allow businesses to not only monitor chatter on social platforms but also gain a better understand the data. The young entrepreneurs behind the product, SentiMeter, are finalists in Microsoft's Imagine Cup, a global technology competition in Russia later this year. At a press round table at TechEd Africa, Microsoft's technology education conference, the team spoke about the product...

  • Battle scarred and wiser: SnapBill’s fight for cloud-billing dominance

    When we last checked in on SnapBill, the cloud-based Swiss Army knife of recurring billing systems, it was yet to execute on its international ambitions. Today, SnapBill supports 34 currencies and claims the type of flexibility that allows it to handle just about any tax configuration. SnapBill endeavours to be a complete billing solution. Its users can bill their clients as well as add recurring products and services to their clients' accounts to automate the entire invoicing and payment collection process. A stealth South African success story, co-founder Jaco van Wyk tells us that the company is currently seeing revenue in...

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