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  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [29/03/2016]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or scratch up on some of your skills? Well, you’ve come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we’ve rounded up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or...

  • Company Office

    SA consumers doing their product homework before purchase

    At a time when most consumers are spending conservatively, with a hawkish eye on every last Rand, value for money has become paramount. Long gone are the days when people sign on to mobile contracts on a whim, or buy insurance products at the behest of a smiling salesman. With deep-seated economic and political uncertainty prevailing, consumers are looking to inform themselves as best they can before spending a cent. “The good news for sceptical South Africans is that a host of new and sophisticated digital tools are coming online, giving people much-needed access to information,” says Ryan Marx, CEO...

  • Solving global problems is the best way for Nigerian startups to scale globally

    Nigeria’s tech ecosystem is getting attention from within and outside Africa even though the ecosystem is less than a decade old. The successes of ecommerce giants, Jumia and Konga, were an eye opener to the potentials of the tech market in Nigeria yet few startups are profitable, very few are scaling up and expanding to other markets. Simeon Ononobi, Founder and CEO of MyAds.ng, an advertising platform that recently expanded to India and plans to roll out in more countries outside Africa, believes that the chance of Nigerian startups growing to become ‘unicorns’ such as Google, Facebook and Twitter...

  • GroTech raises R62m for disruptive tech entrepreneur investments

    Section 12J Venture Capital company GroTech has raised an attractive R62-million in its first round of capital raising for disruptive tech investments. GroTech is looking to invest in entrepreneurs with disruptive businesses. These companies need to be scalable and looking for growth capital in order to disrupt the likes of traditional banking, insurance, and retail industries, among others. In a press release sent to Ventureburn, CEO of GroTech, Clive Butkow, says there is funding ready for businesses, though they want to look at disruptive models within tech. Wealth and management business Cale Capital has invested a significant, though unspecified amount, in GroTech for this...

  • 10 must-have cloud software programs for your startup

    There are many great programs that can work for your business right now but some of the best are cloud-based ones. These are programs that you can access through any device at any time, thus giving you more control over a variety of business functions. Here’s a look at a few of the top choices that you can use right now. 1. Adobe FormsCentral Adobe FormsCentral lets you create forms or upload content from existing forms online. This works for when you’re trying to create forms for customers to fill out online but what’s even more important is that FormsCentral helps...

  • Solar startup The Sun Exchange uses Bitcoin to fund green energy

    Crowd-lending solar energy project startup The Sun Exchange will be using Bitcoin for solar energy investment. This is a first for the Bitcoin industry. Achieved last week, the startup is able to use Bitcoin as a transactional mechanism for investing in a solar energy. The Sun Exchange is now hosting a campaign to solar power a school in Stellenbosch, South Africa. "What makes our platform unique is that investors can finance solar energy using Bitcoin and the electricity generated by the solar installation can be repaid to the investor using Bitcoin wherever they are in the world," says founder of The Sun...

  • Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme selects 1000 entrepreneurs from across Africa

    From the 45 000 odd entrepreneurs that applied for the second round of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP), a list of the selected 1000 entrepreneurs has been released by the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF). The highest numbers of applicants came from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, and Cameroon, with representation from all five of Africa's regions. Organisers said applications were received from applicants in 54 African countries and the number of entries this year were more than twice the number that applied for the maiden edition in 2015. TEEP is currently Africa's largest philanthropic initiative devoted to entrepreneurship and represents a 10-year,...

  • Nuren, an ecommerce firm for brides and mothers, scores $2m series A from Gobi Partners

    Anyone who’s gotten married will tell you – weddings are stressful. It’s a ton of work and drowning in the details, which can take away all the excitement for what’s supposed to be the best day of your life. That’s why Malaysia-based Nuren wants to simplify the whole planning process for brides-to-be. The startup operates ecommerce sites (Wedding.com.my in Malaysia and Nuren.sg in Singapore) that offer tips and advice on each step, and link you with vendors who can help you with whatever you need. Co-founded by Petrina Goh, Kelvin Leow, Stacey Lee, and Alice Ong, the company also offers consulting...

  • Nigerian online shopping portal DealDey acquired by Ringler Africa

    Ringier Africa Deals Group has today announced its acquisition of DealDey, one of Nigeria's biggest online shopping platforms. Ringier, a joint venture between Swiss Ringier Africa and South Africa's Silvertree Internet Holdings, also grabbed DealDey's couponing platform Promohub and discovery platform Lyf -- both part of the larger company. This move also comes after Silvertree's South African acquisition of Pricecheck -- a price comparison website based in South Africa. "The DealDey team is excited about joining forces with the newly-formed Ringier Africa Deals Group," explained company CEOs Kehinde Oriola and Etop Ikpe. "It offers great opportunities as DealDey brings a wealth of experience in technology, merchant management and...

  • Looking beyond the fear factor when selling cloud software to startups

    A common misperception is that SMEs using old software could put their companies at risk and that such solutions are based on databases considered to be “antiquated”. Most big service providers maintain a range of platforms – cloud, server and desktop - based on technologies ranging from legacy to cutting-edge. It’s good practice to support customers using your older software as best you can. Even with vendors trying to frighten them into buying new software, many businesses know that these security risks are reasonably small once you quantify them. Those that are concerned should remember Chief Vitalstatistix in the Asterix...

  • MEST opens up entrepreneurial programme to South Africans for first time

    This is pretty cool. South African entrepreneurs can, for the first time, apply to be part of the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST). The announcement comes as the prestigious entrepreneurial school continues its expansion across the African continent, with South Africans joining Ghanaians, Kenyans and Nigerians who wish to spend a year at MEST in Accra to take part in its training programme and launch their own software company, with potential for seed investment opportunities. Admitted applicants receive a full scholarship to a one-year entrepreneurial training program that blends an MBA-type education with hands-on training in software development. During...