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  • No Picket Fence: a new hub for South African entrepreneurial knowledge

    I’ll admit that I was skeptical about No Picket Fence, essentially a Quora for South African entrepreneurs. Like the popular question and answer site by ex-Facebook CTO, Adam D'Angelo, No Picket Fence is a knowledge market, but niched to cater exclusively for South African entrepreneurs. With a lot of functionality overlap I wondered, “what’s the point?" I’ve been lurking around the site for months now and it’s clear my initial skepticism has no merit. There’s something special here. Founders Michael Bouchier and Michael Cowen are candid about their appreciation of Quora. The site’s engagement format and the community quality inspired...

  • Company Office

    IAB SA Bookmark Awards keeps pace with the ever-changing digital industry

    With only 10 days to go until the deadline for submissions to the IAB Bookmark Awards, digital marketers have one last chance to get their entries in and face off against the best in the industry. The awards continue to rise in prestige and have become the Academy Awards of the local industry – with one very particular difference. While so many other awards feature the same categories and subcategories every year, the Bookmarks have undergone an exciting revamp to reflect the dynamic nature of the digital space. The Bookmarks has, in a mere eight years of existence, established itself...

  • Tech Trailblazers Awards: startups from emerging markets encouraged to apply

    The inaugural Tech Trailblazers Awards is calling all innovative tech startups to apply, especially those in emerging markets. The competition has a strong focus on finding "green" startups that help companies or data centres save money while saving the planet, but there are also categories for big data, cloud, infosecurity, mobile, networking, storage and virtualisation. A separate emerging markets category is open only to countries based outside of the Middle East, North America, Europe, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Israel, Japan, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand. This category is open to all private companies both privately funded or VC backed (Series C...

  • Every company is a media company

    For many years I've been saying that every company is a media company and writing about what that means, as well as its importance to business. At first people were puzzled by that statement but these days it is much better understood. Its importance has increased tremendously and it is now fueling multi-million dollar acquisitions. This week, Fleishman Hillard, one of the world's largest PR firms, and GMR Marketing acquired Amos Content Group in a deal estimated at as much as US$10 million, to create a new venture called Freshwire Tanzina Vega, in The New York Times, reported: "Freshwire will be tasked with...

  • Silicon Cape to offer startups a chance to ‘Pitch London’

    This is very cool. South African-based entrepreneurial initiative Silicon Cape is leading a trade mission of 10 startups to London to pitch their ideas and raise capital from UK-based investors. The trip is open to any startup looking to expand beyond South Africa's borders, and that thinks it could benefit from UK investment. According to the Silicon Cape, it's organizing the mission in a bid to: Get local startups in front of investors who are eager to invest in the opportunity that is Africa -- it’s up to you now to bring your A-game. To highlight the talent we have...

  • Meet the top execs of the hottest US tech companies. Here’s what they earn

    Tim Cook is Silicon Valley's highest paid CEO, but you already knew that. What do other high profile execs earn? Personal finance and credit service comparison company, NerdWallet, created a tool that shows the compensation of the highest paid executive for each of the S&P 500 companies. We delved into the data for 2011 and ranked the highest earners for some of the more well known US tech companies. Perhaps, like us you are simply curious, but there are some interesting things to note. Compare Tim Cook's salary to that of Amazon.com's CEO, Jeff Bezos. Microsoft's highest paid employee? Nope, it's...

  • A Kickstarter project worth backing: The Startup – a comedy film about startups

    The team behind a new startup comedy set in present-day San Francisco, is utilising Kickstarter to bring the project to life. Simply called the startup, the film bills itself as comedy-drama and aims to show the "the many, ever-changing sides—from the absurd to the sublime, but mostly the hilarious—of life inside an early-stage startup." The project is gaining traction. With 26 days to go, 52 backers have pledged a total of US$11 565 towards the goal of US$25 000 which will allow for a 30-45 minute film. The team is shooting for US$95K however, in the hope of creating...

  • Pitch it. Work it. Launch it: Startup Weekend returns to Cape Town

    Getting a business off the ground takes time, dedication and the occasional bit of sweat and blood. You should be able to pack that all into fifty-four hours right? That's how long people will have to pitch, work and launch their business ideas at Cape Town's second Startup Weekend. These high-pressure events have been a staple of Silicon Valley for some time now, but are relatively new to the South African scene. The 54 hour event essentially provides the networking, resources, and incentives for participants to take a business idea from concept to launch ready, in two days. ...

  • 6 things Koos Bekker could buy if he sold his Naspers shares tomorrow

    Naspers is big. Very big. As in a market cap of US$ 21.3-billion big. A large portion of that is down to its explosive growth since 2008. CEO Koos Bekker has overseen much of that growth, benefiting all the while through the 11.7-million direct and indirect shares he holds in the company. In fact, it's estimated that Bekker's shares in the company are currently worth around R6-billion (US$730-million). That's some serious pocket change. Then again this is a man who can lose US$80-million without blinking. But let's say he had to sell all those share tomorrow. Let's also say...

  • ISBC 2012 aims to mitigate ‘alarming state of entrepreneurship’ in SA

    The most recent Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report shows that total early-stage entrepreneurial activity (TEA) in South Africa remains “a matter of grave concern”. The GEM’s TEA metric measures the participation of individuals in early-stage entrepreneurial activity and conveys the percentage of the adult population between the ages of 18 and 64 years that is in the process of starting a business or has recently done so. Although the GEM’s measure of TEA shows that South Africa’s rate in 2011 (9.1%) remained fairly constant (8.9% in 2010), this rate was, again, far below the average of comparable economies...

  • Cash up for grabs with Africa’s largest Hack Boot Camp for Trade Transparency

    Have you ever wondered why certain items seem to cost way more than they do in the US and Europe? RLabs, Department for International Development (DFID) and Mxit Reach will be hosting the first Trade Transparency Project hackers’ boot camp in Cape Town, South Africa on the 3 – 5 September 2012. The aim is to provide consumers with information on how trade-related costs and trade barriers such as tariffs affect them by raising the prices of the goods they buy. If you're a techie, developer, designer, creative person or activist, create visualisations, interactive tools, mobile, web and...