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  • 6 Japanese startups worth keeping an eye on

    Given that Japan has some of the biggest tech companies on the planet, it's easy to overlook its startup scene. It's also probably fair to say that the country's emerging tech companies also don't get nearly as much press those from Silicon Valley, or even China and Russia. Thing is, once you take a step back from the massive corporates, there are some very exciting things happening in Japan. At a recent tech event I had the privilege of finding out about a handful of them. 1. Beatrobo CEO/Founder: Hiroshi Asaeda A music community service which enables users to share their...

  • Company Office

    Colosseum Luxury Hotel and MzansiStore Announce Joint Venture

    Hotel and e-Commerce store announce the opening of a pop-up store Cape Town, South Africa – The renowned Colosseum Luxury Hotel and MzansiStore have announced their plans to enter into a joint venture through the opening of a pop-up store. MzansiStore is an e-Commerce platform that supports local producers of handcrafted products. A selection of the store’s goods, which are usually only available online, will be showcased and made available for purchase at the Colosseum hotel as of 16 July 2014. Deidre Luzmore started MzansiStore in September 2012 after noticing that there was a substantial amount of small-scale South African...

  • Ad Dynamo goes on a Brazilian adventure

    There are a good few people who think that the next big thing in tech could come from Latin America. It makes sense that foreign companies would want to invest there too. The latest to do so is Ad Dynamo, an online and mobile advertising marketplace with a global presence. The company today officially announced its entry into the Brazilian market, with CEO Sean Riley saying the country represents "an enormous growth market in both online and mobile advertising". Ad Dynamo isn't going it alone in Brazil either, announcing that it would be working in partnership with native outfit...

  • Google’s Page and Schmidt backing asteroid mining startup

    Wired is reporting that a group of intrepid billionaires will soon announce their new venture called Planetary Resources, Inc, “which plans to send swarms of robots to space to scout asteroids for precious metals and set up mines to bring resources back to Earth." Nope, this is not a movie, this is actually happening. “The resources of Earth pale in comparison to the wealth of the solar system," Eric Anderson who founded the commercial space tourism company Space Adventures, told Wired. Anderson is co-founder of Planetory Resources along with Peter Diamandis, who started the X Prize foundation, which offers prizes for...

  • Umbono Alpha Beta: Beer, pizza and startups, the Google way

    Umbono Alpha Beta is a Google event at which you can have as much free beer and pizza as you want, as long as you love startups. Memeburn was invited to watch as six startups -- three teams at the end of their six month Umbono program (last year's winners) and three who are just beginning -- presented their products and businesses to a packed (and we do mean packed) room. Umbono launched last year as a trial startup incubation project exclusive to Cape Town, South Africa. The Umbono programme aims to transform visions into businesses by taking successful applicants with new...

  • Exclusive: A peek at ex-Yola chief’s new startup, Gyft

    When well-known serial web entrepreneur, Vinny Lingham, recently resigned as CEO of his successful website builder and hosting service, Yola, he announced that he would be heading up a new venture called Gyft. At the time of the announcement all we knew about Gyft was what everyone else knew, simply that Gyft promised “to change the way you think about gift cards". Today we know a little more thanks to a sneak preview given exclusively to Memeburn. Gift cards are estimated to be a US$100 billion annual market in the USA alone. The trouble is, 20% to 30% of gift...

  • 10 Startups that could change the face of news forever

    There are an estimated 7-billion of us. Between us, its other inhabitants, the big black bit around it and Mother Earth herself, there’s never a dull moment, news happens organically, all the time. The news machine is an efficient one, the cogs -- reporters, news agencies and so on -- have become invisible. It seems seamless, news follows us everywhere, the machine works, but that doesn’t stop brilliant minds -- internet entrepreneurs, emerging media innovators and legacy newsrooms -- from attempting to push it forward, especially in the digital age. The Knight News Challenge is part of Knight Foundation’s US$100-million...

  • Stand a chance at receiving expert startup mentoring

    Running a startup is tricky: you have way more work than you would in an office job without any of the safety nets offered by a big corporate. You need all the help you can get. That help couldn’t come in a much better package than seasoned UK-based startup mentor Permjot Valia. Startups attending the Startup Acceleration Workshop at this year’s Net Prophet conference will have the opportunity to spend time with the CEO and founder of Help with Sales and prolific Angel investor. According to the conference organisers the course “gives technology startups the opportunity to greatly...

  • Online shopping on the rise: Price, convenience, security key

    According to the latest MasterCard Worldwide Online Shopping Survey, online shopping has increased significantly and continues to show potential for growth, with price, convenience and security key factors to consider making a purchasing decision. The survey revealed that even in an emerging market like South Africa shopping online has steadily increased over the past two years, with 58% of respondents in a survey of active internet users saying that they use the internet for shopping. This is an increase from the 53% that said that they shop online in 2010, and the 44% that gave the same answer in 2009. When...

  • Startups head to the cloud

    The excitement evoked by the word 'entrepreneurship' too often drains away when the business leaders of tomorrow start trying to turn their 'big idea' into reality. Along with challenges around securing funding, building a client base and finding skilled staff, the challenges around setting up the essential IT organs required for running a healthy and secure small business is possibly one of most daunting prospects. Beyond a great idea, two things drive successful startups: speed to market and keeping the burn rate to a minimum. The cloud can help startups do both and is quickly proving a competitive advantage. By...

  • Looqiloo turns everyone into an infomercial host

    Ever wanted to be an infomercial host, but never figured out how? Then Looqiloo might be the right site for you. The site's developers claim that it lets people buy directly from a video pitching products at them. The site, which goes live today, also wants to make selling social. Looqiloo claims that "anyone can easily upload personal videos about their favorite products and share them with their friends, family and social networks". The site isn't exactly starting from scratch either. Looqiiloo says there already 14 000 products live. It also says getting started with pitching a new product is relatively easy...