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  • Crowdfunding campaign to Jumpstart Africa’s innovative game-changers

    Based in Morocco but with regional and international ambitions, Jumpstart Africa is an initiative currently raising money in an effort to help connect and finance Africa's brightest entrepreneurs and innovators with the rest of the world. By setting up a crowdfunding platform, Jumpstart Africa aptly wants to take advantage of "the crowd" to connect investors and other contributors with tech, environmental and creative projects across the African continent. Furthermore, the initiative will help find and educate entrepreneurs. We've seen a bunch of crowdfunding platforms popping up across the continent over the last few years. Some with a certain degree...

  • Company Office

    The importance of a co-working space for startups, what to consider when looking for one

    Brad Neuberg is widely credited as having founded the co-working space concept as we know it when he launched the first such space in 2005 in San Francisco. Since then the co-working movement has spread around the world and is now associated with innovation and tech startups. Benefits associated with co-working spaces range from affordability, opportunities for networking and collaboration, to hip amenities and services. But, just how important is it for startups to find a good co-working space? Schuyler Vorster (pictured above), director and founder of co-working company The Inner City Ideas Cartel, believes a good co-working space is “one of very...

  • Six lessons for entrepreneurs from the movie ‘Jobs’

    I just watched the movie Jobs, and before you Apple fanatics lose your mind, this is not a review, go watch it yourself. What I have are some lessons from Apple’s early days for entrepreneurs, the Steve Jobs way. If the movie is an accurate representation of the birthing of Apple Inc. (it's not really), then Steve Jobs robbed Steve Wozniak out of a company and many people more. If the movie is an accurate representation of the early days at Apple, it takes some serious guts and a heck of a lot of moxy to work for the revered...

  • Rocket Internet’s Lazada receives near $250-million from Tesco and friends

    The Rocket Internet-backed Lazada is based in Singapore and operating in Southeast Asia, making it easier for people to buy and sell goods online. The company announced today that it has secured approximately US$250-million from the British retail conglomerate Tesco PLC, the US-based Access Industries, Investment AB Kinnevik and Verlinvest. Since its launch in February 2012, Lazada has expanded to five Southeast Asian countries and now employs approximately 1500 employees. CEO of Lazada Group Maximilian Bittner notes the importance of establishing multinational relationships to support further expansion: “We are delighted to welcome Tesco and Access to join our investor...

  • Confirmed: Caxton strikes acquisition deal with Habari Media [update]

    A while back we reported that South African publishing giant Caxton was in talks with digital sales house Habari, possibly around an acquisition. We can now confirm that was the case, with Caxton taking a 100% stake in Habari. When Ventureburn contacted Habari founder Adrian Hewlett, earlier today he could neither confirm nor deny that the acquisition and was unable to provide any official comment on the story. Update: In a statement issued by Habari Media on the announcement, Hewlett said: The company can continue to grow and enhance their existing offering by combining all the elements that...

  • South African entrepreneurs, take a bow: a North American’s perspective

    Jonathan was recently part of a team that traveled around South Africa actively searching for potential investments as they recruited entrepreneurs to the Canadian government’s Startup Visa Program, a scheme to assist qualified entrepreneurs interested in relocating to Canada. Here's his perspective on what they found. In the next five years, South Africa is going to produce successful breakout companies whose exciting stories will be told and re-told as inspiring startup legends. Among them will be some of the 50+ smart, focused, serious and ambitious entrepreneurs we recently met in South Africa. But for us it is not just their...

  • Are startups ignoring the 99%?

    Most of the economic activity, resources, growth, and innovation is happening in the cities across the world. The global top 600 cities are projected to generate 60 percent of the worldwide GDP by 2025. And it’s for this obvious reason that startup ecosystems are growing in the hearts of cities and not the countrysides. The cities pack all the venture capitalist money and tech founders and employees all into one place. This is great for Europe and Northern America where cities can be the engines that develop products and services for a large middle class outside of the cities....

  • African ecommerce set to boom this Christmas as landscape improves

    As we've seen before with Africa's ecommerce landscape, the Christmas season holds the test of time for many startups. With both Africa's consumer base and the number of local online stores growing, customers are increasingly choosing to purchase goods online. While the figures are on the increase, one of the biggest obstacles remains educating potential customers. The popularity of online shopping continues to grow in emerging markets and startups such as Konga, Jumia and Zando are indicative of this. During the Nigerian-based ecommerce startup's fall Yakata sale last month, the site "experienced a traffic surge unprecedented in Nigerian...

  • Mining the developer pool: inside SA’s tech recruitment woes

    "There is very little loyalty in the developer community," says Alex Martin, CEO of Recruit Digital, a recruitment agency that specialises in tech/digital jobs. In the burgeoning tech ecosystem that South Africa is building, this doesn't inspire confidence. In the last couple of years the world has cottoned on to the fact that Africa has something special and worth looking into, and investing in, especially within the tech industry. Africa is very software and app focussed when it comes to the tech space. There is money to be made from web development and mobile apps here, but the pool of...

  • Dell’s e-waste recycling project: helping East African small businesses grow

    This week Dell announced East Africa’s first large-scale e-waste recycling hub. This initiative will help create the capacity to regulate, curb, and ultimately create jobs for Kenyans and the general East African region. A UN report released in October suggests that e-waste has significant value, especially in developing countries. As such Dell, together with the newly-formed East Africa Compliant Recycling initiative in Nairobi, is running an e-waste recycling programme to further help independent small businesses grow. According to Forbes, more than 40 collection points have been set up to encourage independent small businesses and entrepreneurs to buy e-waste from specially...

  • Interested in the Thai mobile market? Here’s all you need to know today

    Thailand has 90 million mobile subscriptions among its 66 million people. The smartphone penetration rate is 36 percent, up 17 percent from last year. With the ongoing discussions surrounding the expansion of nationwide 3G and the rollout of a new 4G network, let’s take a closer look at the market. Telenor Group, an international provider of call, data, and media communication services has released a report by TNS’s annual global mobile life study that studied mobile phone consumers in Thailand. Here are some interesting key points: Smartphone use is soaring. In the third quarter of 2013, it saw a record 29.1%...

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