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  • 3 digital marketing strategies startups need to get right from the start

    Starting a new business is a bit like caring for your first born. Now while you don’t need to write a marketing strategy for your first born; you do need to ensure that you are giving your business the best chance of success. That is done by ensuring that you are placing it in front of people looking for your product. When you are devising your business strategy; planning the supply chain; product specifications; looking at costing models and ultimately picturing your retirement on a Caribbean beach; don’t forget your marketing strategy – specifically your internet marketing strategy. The reason...

  • Company Office

    Welcome to the Matrix: Mastering the art of Scenario Planning

    For entrepreneurs, one of the most frequently cited challenges is the task of having to juggle multiple demands on your time at any given moment. In my view, however, there is a task that is perhaps more taxing – and yet absolutely critical – that entrepreneurs have to tackle every day. It is the task of identifying and planning for multiple possible business scenarios in the midst of an ever-changing market environment. Smart scenario planning, in effect, is something that undoubtedly needs to be built into the fabric of your daily communications with the board, management and your team...

  • 5 things to consider when building a team vested in your success

    People matter to organisations. While we may get a headache from those who overplay the importance of relationships against the basics of operations and the bottom line, there is no doubt that your team’s personal investment to your startup matters. So, how do you actually set a team that works effectively? One way is by giving an actual share of your startup to employees -- more commonly called staff equity, or a staff shareholding. Memeburn found five things to consider around the issue staff equity, where you make employees part of the team and comfortable with periods of lower than...

  • Lessfuss and the Virtual PA — A workable concept?

    Few of us would turn down the use of a personal concierge service. With the rise in busy lifestyles and the need to still get the more mundane tasks of everyday life sorted, one online startup reckons it has a solution. Cape Town-based Lessfuss is an online personal assistance service for busy people who can’t afford or don’t need a full-time PA. This is according to Marije Pierson, one of the company’s four co-founders who spoke with memeburn on the startup’s plan of action. Launched late last month, the founders say Lessfuss offers the personal attention most of...

  • Ra.ise a to.ast with some Bre.ad

    URL shorteners have become ubiquitous to social networking, especially with the sharing of links across Twitter. Bit.ly, Cli.gs, Goo.gl and many others offer an easy and painless way for you to shorten your URL within the 140 character constraint of Twitter. Most of these URL shortening services offer a simple analytics dashboard which is useful for tracking and analysing the number of times people shared your links or clicked on them. But a little known service called Bre.ad is gaining in popularity. What is Bre.ad? from Bre.ad on Vimeo. Bre.ad, which has only five employees and backers that include Lady Gaga's manager, has decided...

  • Six questions that rejected Venture Capital seekers could not answer

    Raising funding for an early-stage venture is always difficult. There is no bottled recipe for success, but even if you have a great concept that is scalable combined with a passionate team that can execute the growth strategy, you still need to communicate this in a multifaceted investor’s pitch. Most entrepreneurs can give a fair account of the top line business strategic growth path, dive into the complexities of the product or service offering, put together a good industry analysis, name a handful of possible clients and present enticing year three to five financial projections, but this will not necessarily...

  • A look at some of Africa’s hottest startup incubators

    Although investment in Africa has traditionally focused on commodities rather than technologies, the explosion of mobile usage has opened up opportunities for small-business development. Memeburn explores some of the continent's incubators for entrepreneurs to consider before taking the next step. It's worth remembering that the investor climate is often make or break when it comes to finding angel investors. Nigeria Enspire is more than an incubation programme as it aims to support the establishment of businesses that graduate from the initial stage of developing an idea. The group’s vision encompasses seeing incubating business through to the forefront in developing...

  • 4 very different mobile payment services

    Mobile payments may be the next big tech gold rush, depending on who you listen to. For something getting so much hype, and with so many start-ups popping up in the field, it is a surprisingly vague term. There are at least a half dozen different approaches competing to become the de facto format. All of them share one thing: the use of mobile devices – mostly cell phones, but increasingly other devices such as tablets – to exchange money. But that's just about where the similarities end. Here are four different services with four very different routes to...

  • Why most startups fail … and here’s how not to

    It’s easy to think of the latest startup like a pimple in the middle of your forehead: you wake up one morning and it’s all you can see. And then, one day, for no specific reason, it’s gone. “Anyone know what happened to Whatchamacallit?” After some enquiry, all you’ve got is a handful of rumours and a bucket of spin. All we know for sure is that it’s over. Truth is, most of the time, it failed because of the same reasons so many other startups fail. There will always be special individuals who find exceptional ways...

  • Myows: managing your copyright online

    Creative people are generally not well known for being legally switched on. But the challenges of protecting original work in the digital age means bloggers, freelance writers, photographers and web designers should all be prepared to interact with the law to protect their intellectual efforts -- and their businesses. Luckily, the concept of copyright is pretty straightforward: as soon as a work is created in a tangible form – be it on paper, film, online or in sound – it is eligible for copyright. It is automatic and, unlike patents or trademarks, official registration is not required. If, however, there is...

  • Visa snaps up SA mobile financial services company Fundamo for $110m

    Visa, the world's largest credit and debit card network, has snapped up South African mobile financial services company Fundamo for $110-million in cash. The Cape Town-based Fundamo is a privately-held company which has more than 50 active mobile financial services deployments across 40 countries, including 27 countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The company has been operating since 1999 and has a number of funders which include Cape Town venture capitalists and emerging market investment group PoweredByVC, investment company Remgro and financial services corporate Sanlam. PoweredByVC is also linked to dot.com billionaire Mark Shuttleworth. Fundamo’s deployments currently have...