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  • PriceCheck takes top honours at BlackBerry awards

    PriceCheck has been awarded International App of the Year at BlackBerry Live, the annual international partner conference, in Orlando. The Naspers-owned price comparison app beat out more than 100 000 competitors to take the title. The awards (formerly the Wireless Achievement Awards), are reportedly intended to celebrate how BlackBerry technology helps to power innovation and brings ideas to life. “We are proud to have won this award after competing with so many great BlackBerry® 10 apps from around the world,” says PriceCheck GM, Andre de Wet. “This award proves that South Africa has world-class talent when it comes to mobile software...

  • 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...

  • Schoolboy startup incubator gets backing of Sage Pastel, Standard Bank

    This looks pretty cool. St Stithians Boys’ College, a top-end private school, has established a startup incubator programme for its pupils with the backing of accounting software company Sage Pastel and financial services giant Sanlam. The 10-week for Grade 10 Business Studies learners that will reportedly them formally register and operate real businesses, from the creation of business plans through funding, staffing, marketing and trading. The programme will be taught for four hours a week during class time. Technically, it forms part of the existing Business Studies curriculum but, because real companies are being created, it goes substantially beyond requirements....

  • 10 amazing US-based startups founded by immigrants from emerging markets

    An article published by The Economist earlier this year, quoted research by the pressure group, Partnership for a New American Economy, which found that some 40% of Fortune 500 firms were founded by immigrants or their children. An earlier report in 2011 entitled Immigrant Founders and Key Personnel in America’s 50 Top Venture-Funded Companies concluded that more than half of America's top 50 private venture-funded companies -- as ranked by Down Jones VentureSource -- were founded by immigrants. America's immigration policies have taken the spotlight recently as Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called for immigration reform with the launch of FWD.us...

  • Putting the power of health in every MAMA’s hand

    MAMA mainly operates best in regions where maternal-related mortality rates are high as well as mobile user rates. Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action is an international service provides health messaging through mobile phones. As the company celebrates its second anniversary, the launch of MAMA South Africa is the first step in introducing the service to the African continent. So far the program is stationed in Bangladesh, India and now South Africa. For now in South Africa, mothers can go to the askmama.mobi website, phone in every Monday for weekly tips or partake in a USSD-based interactive quiz service. The...

  • Dropifi becomes first African investment for Silicon Valley’s 500 Startups

    Dropifi, a smart widget that allows companies to better analyse incoming “contact us” messages, announced today that it has joined the sixth batch of companies to be taken up into the 500 Startups Accelerator Programme. As we noted last year, the team behind Dropifi are re-imagining one of the web’s oldest and most resolute elements, the “Contact us” form. The Dropifi solution consists of a website plug-in, optional QR code (for print-outs) and an analytics tool. The plug-in simplifies and speeds up contact form implementation on company websites and presents an unobtrusive interface to customers. The novelty QR code can be printed...

  • Will Total Send’s aggressive pricing disrupt the email marketing space?

    People are spoiled for choice when it comes to email marketing services. For example, internationally there is MailChimp, iContact, Benchmark and Campaign Monitor, while Everlytic, and Graphic Mail have made their marks on the South African market. Dashing into the fray comes Total Send, an email marketing service from Cape Town. It's pièce de résistance? Aggressive pricing. Total Send's founder Luke Wingfield Digby believes that the pay-per-click (PPC) advertising and search engine optimisation (SEO) scenes have become too crowded and expensive. His experience with a previous venture showed that the best return on investment for online marketing efforts came by...

  • Inside DEMO Africa: an interesting look into Africa’s startup world

    Last year the first ever DEMO Africa conference was held in Kenya featuring 40 startups from around the continent. Now, months later, African tech entrepreneur Jon Gosier and the AppsAfrica team have released a mini documentary showcasing a rarely seen part of the tech world, the startup ecosystem of Africa. "Inside DEMO Africa", features interviews with key players in the African tech ecosystem, from entrepreneurs to angel investors, venture capitalists, philanthropists, incubators and government officials. The conference, which is part of the global DEMO conference series, touts itself as a "launchpad for emerging technology and trends”. The event believes...

  • GustPay wins South African leg of worldwide competition

    SeedStarsWorld is putting on the world's biggest startup competition. The event which touts itself as the an "exclusive worldwide competition", is held in 20 countries through 2013 to discover the best startups in emerging markets and regions with vibrant startup communities. The competition travels from country to country giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to gain a spot in the finals. The event format gives entrepreneur exactly six minutes to pitch their business idea in front of a jury made up of local and international judges. Winners are then chosen to compete in the global phase next year. The South African leg of...

  • Zim innovator looks to kick-start hip hop startup with crowdfunding

    Just over a year ago we told you about Munyuki Manatsa, the Zimbabwean university graduate who built an online hip-hop community from an internet café. His efforts grabbed international attention, and now he's trying to raise funding to further build the project. Manatsa decided to build the site, called mixdem, in part because he was frustrated with after struggling to find employment once he graduated from university. There were a couple of obstacles he had to overcome first though. For one thing he didn’t have an internet connection. His coding skills were, by his own admission, a “bity ...

  • Knowing Africa’s markets in a digital divide

    Where there’s a problem there's a solution. Where there’s a solution there’s a business opportunity. Understanding what the gaps and success stories are in making a country ready for Information and Communications Technology (ICT) innovation and transformation is crucial for startups and potential investors alike. More relevant and better research could help define markets for potential entrepreneurs for example. Location-based services are also good examples of how mobile internet connectivity could increase a company’s effectiveness and its market reach. The availability of internet stimulates both the creation and adoption of innovative applications to further progress economies. But in countries...

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