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  • Why Silicon Valley can be bad for emerging market startups

    Launching a startup anywhere in the world is challenging, but launching one in an emerging market territory where there is often limited access to funding and a fragmented entrepreneurial ecosystem it is so much harder. One sure way to fail is to try and duplicate first world solutions for emerging market problems without tweaking them for the unique local conditions. The Silicon Valley story is inspirational. Its ability to launch globally competitive, world-changing internet startups is unsurpassed. It continues to be the leading hub for high-tech innovation and development and accounts for one-third of all of the venture capital investment...

  • Company Office

    The impact of mobile technology on business

    Mobile technology has had a massive impact on business, allowing you to cut the cord but still be as productive as if you were sitting in an office the entire day. When it comes to setting up a small or medium business, or even venturing out as a freelancer, there are devices that can help make your life easier. Smartphones Smartphones have become the Swiss Army knife of technology, having replaced multiple devices. In the past, businesses didn’t allow you to bring your phone to the office, however now; your phone has the potential to be your most vital tool. One of the most...

  • Winners and losers in cloud computing and what your business gains

    The buzz around cloud computing has been around for a while now, and it doesn’t seem like the frenzy around this new phenomenon will wane out any time soon. This might be due to the realisation that the entire IT industry is on the verge of a major revolution, and we all know that in the midst of a revolution, there will always be winners and losers. The promise Cloud computing promises a paradigm shift in the way that we have been using computational resources; an environment where business applications are hosted by a service provider and accessed by...

  • 5 free web applications to take your startup to the next level

    Starting a business can be daunting and trying to keep tabs of everything from sales to projects, even more so. If you happen to be an entrepreneur still writing things down on paper or using TextPad or the like, then this one's for you. The digital age is one that encourages start-ups, in the sense that they no longer need expensive stand-alone applications to move their business to the next level. Say hello to the following free web applications guaranteed to change the way your business operates. Freshbooks We’ve all been there: creating invoices ad-hoc, taking time to edit each one,...

  • Create your own mobile application for your company

    It's self-evident that most organisations have already rolled out their own email and personal information software (PIM) to their workforces. Are internal apps, however, the next step in productivity and mobility? One Johannesburg startup believes this trend is already underway, paving an opening for mobile to step into the next phase. Device Magic’s product Mobile Forms follows in the wake of the company’s launch at the beginning of the year. The product works by allowing a business or organisation of any kind to create its own data-gathering application for a mobile device. In explaining what it is, the...

  • Digital marketing: Next steps for startups

    Promoting your startup effectively is a critical step towards ensuring that your business makes it from being a big idea to a well known and self-sustaining concern. In a previous article, on Digital Marketing and what startups need to get right from the start, I mentioned that building a new business is like caring for a baby. Now it’s time to teach your baby to walk! Once you have completed the initial steps in marketing your business online, it is time to get serious about the next two steps and make sure that your business has legs. The initial steps...

  • Startups to ‘Ignite’ Tech4Africa 2011

    Tech4Africa, one of the continent’s most prominent web and emerging technology conferences, has launched an initiative called Ignite, which will provide leading African startups with the opportunity to pitch their products to a carefully curated panel of Angel investors, mentors and business leaders. Startups selected to partake in the Tech4africa Ignite pitches will be given five minutes to showcase their products, with the opportunity to gain not only potential investors but also invaluable exposure to the wider Tech4Africa audience of thought leaders, decision makers, journalists, influential people and potential recruits. From the initial applications, a select group of the most...

  • FabFi does fabulous things in Afghanistan and Kenya

    Something interesting is happening in Afghanistan. It’s also happening in Kenya. I think that it is proof that it is possible to open the Internet to every developing country in the world. Back in December 2008, a group of individuals in Jalalabad, Afghanistan started working on a project to bring high-speed internet to a village, hospital, university, and an NGO in the city. The group was known as FabLab Jalalabad and they modelled their project on a system which was designed to track sheep in Norway. The remarkable thing about this project was that they were designing an incredibly...

  • 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...

  • 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...