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  • Funding your business: 8 ways to win over VCs

    In the world of venture capital (VC), ideas are plentiful but fundable businesses are hard to find. Despite the perception, VCs do not fund ideas alone, no matter how solid passionate entrepreneurs believe they are. To negate risk, VCs evaluate proposals based on several characteristics, often in-line with their specific funding mandate, to bridge the huge divide between a cool idea and a fundable business. Differentiated VC funds are inundated with requests for capital to get start-up businesses to the next critical level but very few offer significantly differentiated product or service in the eyes of their target market. The tech...

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    Callpay become first Level 1 Service Provider in Africa to achieve PCI DSS v3.2 compliance

    Callpay, a leading payment solutions provider, today announced that it has become the first Service Provider in Africa to achieve PCI DSS v3.2 compliance. The company recently underwent another rigorous audit by an independent Quality Security Assessor (QSA) to ensure that it meets the best practices and security controls needed to keep card data safe and secure from capture and transmit to processing. Callpay provides a unique range of innovative payment technologies, from its patent pending cloud call centre solutions, Bank Transfer Switch including its mPOS and mPAY Applications. Being a Level 1 PCI DSS compliant Service Provider ensure Callpay’s...

  • Kwiksta causes a stir in online education

    Kwiksta is an online education platform that aims to empower teachers to share their knowledge and earn money, while giving students the opportunity to learn from a global community of educators. The product is the brainchild of the Paddock brothers who created GetSmarter. The acronym "kwik" stands for "know what I know". A kwik is made up of multiple modules, and modules are in turn made up of multiple learning resources. Modules are completed by the students in a linear order, as set by the teacher. Courses, or "Kwiks" are broken out into two types: content only or interactive,...

  • Don’t mind the gap: Silicon Cape to learn from London

    London, one of the world’s financial hubs, is undergoing a process of bolstering its image as a city working towards the best interests of tech companies and startups. This is according to the Lord Mayor of London Michael Bear, who was in Cape Town on a short trip to help foster relations between the UK and South Africa. As part of his itinerary, he took part in a round table discussion with members of the Silicon Cape initiative and some of the city's up and coming entrepreneurs. The Lord Mayor noted that there is no reason...

  • Qooh.me: ‘A carnival fun ride of questions’

    Ever wanted to know something about your friends or someone you know but were too afraid to ask? Wish there was an app for that? There probably is, but there is a also a web-service. Enter Qooh.me, the apparent answer to your problem. Qooh.me is a "web application that allows you to ask your friends or people you find interesting open and anonymous questions in order to get to know them better," says creator, Vincent Mabuza. The service essentially takes users back to the rudimentary processes of anonymous, online interaction. It is a bit of a throwback to the days...

  • The six types of startup…And what protects Silicon Valley

    Silicon Valley veteran Steve Blank, writing in Xconomy, does a great job in describing six types of startups and how a clear understanding of the needs of each is necessary by national and local governments seeking to foster more innovation: 1. The lifestyle startup On the California coast where I live, we see lifestyle entrepreneurs like surfers and divers who own small surf or dive shop or teach surfing and diving lessons to pay the bills so they can surf and dive some more. 2. Small businesses, usually family owned and run They work as hard as any Silicon Valley entrepreneur. They hire...

  • Best and worst list: Tech CEOs that got our attention

    Steve Jobs' recent departure from Apple spurred us to create a list of the best and worst tech CEOs over the years. Read, digest and enjoy the triumphs and failures of these men of industry. The game changers Steve Jobs -- Apple No-one did it better than Steve. In the 70s, Jobs designed the most marketable computer of the time, the Apple II. Jobs was fired from Apple in the 80s, formed his own company called NeXT and eventually made his way back to Apple when his old company integrated NeXT into its line. His reign as CEO from 1997 till...

  • 5 Cool African eCommerce websites

    There was a time when Africa's eCommerce platforms were so few in number as to be negligible. The ever increasing penetration of bandwidth onto the continent has seen that change. Africa now supports a number of viable eCommerce sites, each looking to take hold of a growing market. Here are five of the best: 1. Kalahari Naspers owned Kalahari.com is the market leader in South African eCommerce. Established in 1999, kalahari.com is South Africa's largest online retailer of millions of books, eBooks, eReaders, music, DVDs, games, cameras & electronics. A pioneer in the South African eCommerce industry, the...

  • Idea Bounty: Turning crowdsourcing into cash

    How could you get paid to add to the crowdsourcing debate? It's simple, according to Daniel Neville, Brand Co-ordinator at Idea Bounty. Just do it. Idea Bounty is a global crowdsourcing platform connecting clients with thousands of creatives around the world in order to help "solve marketing and communications briefs and challenges", says the company. Clients pay for only the ideas they use and creatives receive a "bounty" for winning submissions. It's an idea clearly seeking to cash in on the crowdsourcing phenomenon, one that until now has been associated with profit in the popular imagination. Nic Ray and Rob...

  • Why emerging markets need startup accelerators to produce gold

    While I was living in Silicon Valley for a couple of months earlier this year, I had the opportunity to see how a number of the startup accelerators over there function, and also to speak to a number of tech entrepreneurs that passed through their programmes. The formal definition of an accelerator is a "programme designed to assist startup businesses with financial and/or operational resources that will increase their chance of growth and success". After seeing them for myself, my definition is slightly different. I would suggest that: "Accelerators are schools for entrepreneurs, primarily tech entrepreneurs, where you can do your...

  • Gone in 30 seconds: How Venture Capitalists screen your business plan

    "The average time that a Venture Capitalist spends analysing a business plan is 22 seconds" – Speaker at the 26th Venture Capital Institute, Atlanta, 2000. Since this realisation more than 10 years ago I've often wondered whether it was entirely fair towards entrepreneurs who spend significant time and resources to develop a comprehensive business plan. But top tier venture capitalists (VC's) deal with hundreds of business plans a year, and a decision on whether to take the proposal to the next level or to reject it is often made in less than 30 seconds. This is how: Consider the 'Flight-Path' of...