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  • Trend watching, market intelligence and research online portal TREND. launches

    TREND., launched last week, will track and publish consumer data and trends across the media, advertising and marketing communications industry. Visitors can look forward to original, in-depth trend reports combining local and international research contextualised for the South African market with interviews with thought leaders and experts. The trend watching, market intelligence and research online portal is the brainchild of industry editors and publishers, Louise Marsland and Herman Manson. TREND. is a free resource and is targeted at the media, as well as the advertising and marketing communications industry. Regarding content on TREND., expect to find consumer and media...

  • Company Office

    Four black-owned fintech startups each win R1m at Alphacode pitching event

    Four black-owned South African financial services startups each won R1-million last night at a pitching event hosted by AlphaCode. The event was held on 31 October and was run for the third time in collaboration with AlphaCode, a club for next generation financial services entrepreneurs powered by RMI Holdings. The Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) pitching event is an initiative of Merrill Lynch South Africa and Royal Bafokeng Holdings which seeks to identify and reward high potential South African fintech entrepreneurs to boost the development of fintech in South Africa. Monetary awards were made to four of the 10 black-owned financial services businesses which pitched. The four businesses, as recipients of the grant funding, will become members...

  • Tuskys: Online marketplace to promote Ugandan products locally

    Tuskys Uganda was started as an effort to make more Ugandan products available in the local market – where foreign goods seemed to reign. What started as an online platform has now expanded as the startup is currently setting up physical outlets in the country to distribute their products. VC4A spoke to Jeff Kabuleta, co-founder of the startup. “Local products are just as good, but in Uganda they are not given the extra push these products deserve.” Tell us more about Tuskys Uganda and what inspired you to start it? “Tuskys Uganda was started in 2008 as an online market place for...

  • And the winner of Startup Knight is… Easy2Map

    Easy2Map, the startup that's taking the programming out of creating and embedding Google Maps, was named as the winners of Startup Knight 2012. Byte Orbit will be working with Easy2Map to further develop the solution and mentor the startup into a sustainable, profitable tech startup. Virtual Firehouse, winner of Cape Town's first Startup Weekend and Karma Footprint, who pitched at the newly launched Google for Entrepreneurs, were singled out as runner ups for the competition. The Startup Knight competition saw 15 finalists -- all South African software based tech startups -- pitch their ideas to a panel of judges at the...

  • Nano credit startup MoDe wins Africa stage of IBM Global Entrepreneur

    If you were at Tech4Africa this year, you might already have heard the news. MoDe (Mobile-Decisioning), the Kenyan mobile nano credit startup, won IBM's inaugural SmartCamp in Africa. MoDe's innovative emergency airtime payments solution won over the judges and will now take on competitors in the regional finals of IBM’s Global Entrepreneur of the Year Competition in Sao Paulo in December. IBM will offer support and mentorship to MoDe in the run-up to the competition, as well as exposure to IBM's venture capital and partner ecosystem. IBM's first startup talent scouting foray into Africa adds to the 20 different locations...

  • Instant messenger 2go is targeting smartphones, hedging its bets, hiring

    Ventureburn recently reported on 2go, the instant messaging startup that was seeing significant traction in Nigeria. The company attributed much of its success -- 10 million active users compared to an estimated five million on Facebook -- to its feature phone focus. It might be surprising then, to learn that the company will be expanding to smartphones. With that, 2go is also growing its team of software developers and support staff. The instant messaging service is currently pushing 6 billion messages a month, mostly on lower-end feature phones in Nigeria and South Africa. “Feature phones have been an incredibly successful...

  • RIM opens second BlackBerry apps lab in SA, further boosts entrepreneurship

    RIM recently opened its second BlackBerry apps lab in South Africa, this time in Cape Town, and hopes to both accelerate mobile apps development for its own platform and to create new job opportunities in the mobile space. The app economy is real and with RIM estimating four percent more revenue per app/per month than iOS and about 40% more revenue than Android, the BlackBerry platform appears attractive, especially in emerging markets where the smartphone maker has managed to weather its transition to BlackBerry 10 better. The first apps lab was launched at the University of Pretoria (UP), a BlackBerry Authorised...

  • Can Silicon Valley be repeated in Africa? Ventureburn asks IBM’s Martin Kelly

    IBM's Venture Capital Group is a really interesting cog in the startup machine. It's not a fund and yet, through it, IBM has managed to invest in a bevy of startups that align with its Smarter Planet initiative. Smarter Planet is an umbrella concept under which IBM aims to uncover and foster technology that moves society forward in big ways. Think about smarter systems across just about every industry that can lead to things like improved electrical grids, traffic management systems and protection online -- to name a few examples. IBM's SmartCamps attempt to uncover startups working on these kind of...

  • Nokia and the Kenyan government team up to fund mobile startups

    Finnish mobile phone-maker Nokia has partnered with the government of Kenya through the Kenya ICT Board to work towards ensuring tech startups specialising in agricultural, health and educational apps benefit from technical and financial support. During the two-year partnership, Nokia will fund the startups as well as provide technical expertise, while the Kenya ICT board will be in charge of the coordination of the activities. Speaking during the signing of the partnership, Jussi Hinkkanen, Nokia Vice President for corporate relations in charge of Middle East and Africa, said: “Our objective is to support local talent in developing their skills, and to...

  • Valuation startup wins Tech4Africa’s Ignite competition

    ValuationUP has won the top spot at Tech4Africa's ignite startup competition. The competition is part of the annual conference that looks at tech innovation in Africa. The company allows businesses owners to learn what drives the performance of the business they are buying, growing, selling or advising. ValuationUP benchmarks the financial performance of companies to see if they can take a knock, what it's currently worth and if it will be around next year. The market for this product is truly global if VU can adapt their model for different industries, currencies and influencers. The aim of the ignite competition is...

  • Demo Africa: the future of African startups looks bright

    Flowgear, a South African startup that offers application integration for the cloud era, was named one of the Demo Lions and will be joining four other African startups in the US for mentorship and introduction to potential investors. The Demo Lion awards are under the auspices of the US State Department. Flowgear offers companies pre-built connectors that allow quick and easy implementation for developers without the need for coding. The company bridges cloud and on-premise applications and simplifies integration management with full visibility of data flows. Demo Africa gave 40 startups from around the continent the opportunity to demo their products...