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  • How to do market and competitor research that wins investment

    Regardless of whether it’s an angel investor or venture capitalist you are approaching, every funder will narrow things down to one major question: “Who is your target market and who are you competing against?” This is the warning of Alex Fraser, who drives home the fact that preparing a market and competitor analysis is a vital part of any business plan or pitch deck. Fraser is based at at InvenFin, an early stage capital company. She says she often receives business plans with no competitor analysis, leading her to request one from entrepreneurs with the need for more information. It’s...

  • Company Office

    HealthQ

    HealthQ has been  tasked to assist with the testing and industrialization of a technology called LifeQ. The LifeQ product, worn by the user, will be able to determine the amount of calories and type of food that is being metabolized in real-time. Through constant electronic monitoring, both the energy uptake from food consumption and the energy expenditure of the user from vital functions and exercise will be accurately tracked, without the need for manual data logging and intervention, or the use of inaccurate proxies such as accelerometers or GPS. Being essentially a dashboard with the ability to track processes inside...

  • InMobi launches global mobile payment solution, ad network combo

    InMobi, a large, global independent mobile ad network, has announced the launch of a performance-based global mobile payments solution it is calling SmartPay. The company says this offering is "a first" because it combines InMobi’s large global ad network of nearly 32-billion ads monthly in 200 countries with a mobile payments solution. The company says that tracking from ad to conversion is a "major leap forward" for developers and digital goods providers globally. The payment solution will enable app developers, game companies, and content providers in the $200bn mobile content and virtual goods space to expand their business and monetise...

  • An international perspective on SA startups [NetProphet]

    Angel investing came accidentally to UK-based Permjot Valia. As the sales and marketing director of Ernst & Young, he became involved in their entrepreneur programme, which in turn led to his new career of investing in startups. By his own admission, Valia’s success rate is a statistical anomaly: while an average of only 3% of investors successfully exit a startup via an IPO, the first company he invested in went public within just seven months. Visiting Cape Town this week to work with local entrepreneurs, Valia shared his experiences, garnered over the course of his 25 or so investments,...

  • 38 emerging South African tech entrepreneurs to watch [Part I]

    The technology space is particularly notable for the amount of entrepreneurial activity it attracts. The word "startup" has become almost synonymous with the tech and online space and there are thousands of entrepreneurs that run small and large companies that are carving out niches for themselves. The high amount of entrepreneurial activity in the tech sector may be explained by the fact that the costs of starting an online business are low. You don't need a factory or heavy-lifting equipment to start an online business, and the people found in the sector are highly skilled. Also, we all know about the...

  • The African ecommerce opportunity [NetProphet]

    Ecommerce is on the rise around the globe at a rapid pace, driven by the huge successes of online retailers in the US and Europe, such as Amazon.com which has scaled up exponentially in recent years. It may come as a surprise, but the most successful ecommerce market place is actually in the Far East, South Korea to be precise, where the government and private sector are pushing for affordable broadband access, stimulating trust, upscaling, and using cutting edge technology. But where does Africa fit in? Africa’s consumer market is riddled with challenges unique to the continent. Not only is...

  • Mobiflock — Helping parents keep an eye on kids’ mobile habits

    We live in a mobile centric society. To deny that would be foolish. Everyone has a mobile phone -- adults, teens and children. The consequences of children using mobile phones have been constantly featured in the news. Parents fear the dangers that await their children on many mobile platforms. A new startup has entered the mobile stage to help parents keep track of their children's mobile usage. Mobilflock, a Cape Town-based startup, that says it makes "cell phones safe for kids by giving parents visibility over how they use their phones, and tools to protect their children from harm". The...

  • Coming soon: A homegrown tech entrepreneurship guide

    All rising economies need a helping hand to achieve greatness. Economies that wish to thrive in today's fast-paced world of changing commerce and enterprising initiative need enterprising people. Entrepreneurship is a crucial part of any society on the rise, especially where technological infrastructure is lacking. The Entrepreneurship Guide website will go live on 12 May, in conjunction with the project launch at the Net Prophet conference in Cape Town. The South African entrepreneurial landscape is fast becoming a busy one. A sizeable number of South African entrepreneurs have graced the international stage with their ideas and flourishing success stories, though many...

  • Research reveals a growth in eCommerce site development

    There has been considerable growth in the eCommerce development sector in the first quarter of 2011 with regard to freelance projects. This is according to the latest quarterly report from DoNanza, the Israeli-based search engine which aggregates information from freelance sites such as elance, odesk and others on related online projects. The quarterly report, which is released on Monday 9 May, focuses on eCommerce freelance jobs and required skills. The data was gathered from more than 150 000 projects on hundreds of marketplaces and sites from all across the web. The report shows a 27% increase in the total number of...

  • South African venture capital exit to US technology giant

    Graceful exits are often unreported, but one South African venture capital company has done it smoothly with seemingly positive effects for the local emerging markets environment in which it operates. PoweredbyVC, which manages the South African venture capital portfolio of HBD, has concluded the exit of its CSense Systems (Pty) Ltd to US based GE Intelligent Platforms. CSense has been behind rapid process troubleshooting and process improvement software solutions that aim to enhance the performance of industrial processes by indentifying problems before they occur. The latest deal sees GE Intelligent Platforms having now acquired the technology assets of CSense,...

  • Innovation journalism — Media coverage is important to startups

    Media coverage is very important for startups. It is how they gain respect in their community, it is how they can win investors, and it is invaluable in helping to recruit staff. Positive media coverage will also help gain users of their products and services, providing valuable marketing services that could cost tens of thousands of dollars. But the only reason media coverage of a startup and their product is valuable is that the media coverage is seen as a neutral third party -- it has no financial bias in its reporting. The only acceptable bias is a thirst for a great...