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  • 8 tips to help get your startup through a big brand partnership

    If you’re doing a startup, there’s an allure to big brand partnerships. You might think: close a deal in a couple of months and then prestige, validation, press, growth, new opportunities, and lots more all await. “If I get this deal we’ll be up in bright lights.” Except it doesn’t usually work that way. The reality is that it’s so hard getting a foot in the door, then signing a contract is grindingly tough. Next, getting a successful partnership that delivers real mutual value is the real challenge, and then you have to do all this without getting sidetracked and...

  • Company Office

    Wabona Partners up with Cinemo

    Wabona, Cape Town based video streaming service has partnered up with RLabs start-up Cinemo to provide its large library of African TV shows, films and documentaries on Cinemo’s mobile video distribution service. Cinemo distributes video content via applications on MXit and Google Android respectively. Wabona is Cinemo’s largest content partner to date. Cinemo is the brainchild of Shane Vermooten, a filmmaker and Co-Founder, who started Cinemo to solve the problem of distributing video content to the people without smartphones and fixed line internet while providing another revenue stream and new audiences to filmmakers. With the help of Marlon Parker and...

  • So. Many. Billion-dollar startups. [Infographic]

    When we came across this infographic about billion startups by Staff.com, we were impressed to see the number of young companies that have sky-high valuations. That is, until we started calling out big names that we expected to see on the list. Where is Pinterest? What about SurveyMonkey, Rovio and Kayak? Once we started doing some research we realised that the billion-dollar club has in fact become more of a party in the park than an exclusive VIP snootfest. The New York Times did the thumbsuck-math and came up with a number between 25 and 40 startups that now have...

  • 9 things entrepreneurs can learn from Winnie the Pooh

    "Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart" -- Winnie the Pooh. I went to a conference once where a venture capitalist said that if entrepreneurs treated their startups more like their children and also saw their companies with the eyes of children, chances are we would get more interesting and noteworthy companies. I think entrepreneurs need to see their startups as children because an idea, no matter how small, has the potential to take up great deal of room in both your heart and your mind. Being an avid fan of the popular children's book series...

  • VOX: the SMS-based banking service gaining ground in rural Indonesia

    Founded by Joseph Gaol in 2008, VOX, which stands for Virtual Online Exchange, aims to help the rural population in Indonesia set up bank accounts. According to Gaol, Indonesia has over 220-million mobile subscribers but only has 50-million bank users. But, the majority of Indonesians just don’t trust the banks. As many of us have the perception that banks are all about physical branches, ATMs, and bureaucracy for issuing loans, Gaol argues that the traditional bank model doesn’t work well with the rural population in Indonesia. Instead, Gaol explains that VOX has, to use his phrase, “mobile street vendors” to...

  • Can Zerofund, an unusual funding platform, save Greece’s economy?

    Greece's startup ecosystem is on the up with the launch of Zerofund: an inventive platform that is part social network and part funding/participation bridge to the United States’ acceleration program, MindTheBridge. Greek entrepreneurs were forced to find ways to survive the economic crisis of 2008 as a direct result of government budget cuts and company layoffs. One solution was to create and fund their own companies -- a tough task indeed. Fortunately they now have a helping hand with Zerofund. The platform was founded by the core team of BugSense - John Vlachogiannis, Maria Nasioti and Panayiotis Papadopoulos -- and is...

  • IMPI: Is this SA startup going to become the Symantec of the mobile age?

    With its growing popularity, the Android mobile platform, much like Windows, is rising to number one on the cybercriminal hit list. At the end of 2012, Trend Micro reported 350 000 "malicious" and "high-risk" Android apps -- up from a mere 1 000 in 2011. The security firm notes that it took Windows 14 years to reach this threat level, while Android managed it in three. What types of carnage did mobile malware cause? While 605 new malicious families were detected in 2012, the most common type was the "premium service" abuser. This type of malware sends text messages to...

  • Nedbank launches live point of sale solution – first in Africa, Middle East

    Nedbank seems to be on a bit of a mobile and digital banking innovation streak at the moment. Friday 8 February marked the launch of PocketPOS, Africa and the Middle East’s first live EMV--certified mobile point of sale (POS) solution, specifically targeting small to medium-sized businesses. PocketPOS™ uses ‘CHIP & PIN’ technology to process debit and credit card transactions via a smartphone connected to a secure card reader. According to Sydney Gericke, Managing Executive of Nedbank Card and Payments people including "plumbers, electricians or delivery services" will find PocketPOS appealing, as it gives them the ability to minimise cash acceptance during...

  • 13 Asian startups that caught our attention

    From Singapore to China, the startup scene in Asia is becoming more crowded by the day. Here are a just a few of the up-and-coming businesses that are gaining ground in the region and beyond. 1. The Mobile Gamer | Singapore The Mobile Gamer (TMG) is a Singapore startup that builds mobile games on platforms like mig33, as well as, Kotagames, TMG’s very own platform. 2. Harpoen | Indonesia Indonesia’s Harpoen is a location-based messaging platform and wants users to leave digital marks at their locations. It has recently rolled out a major update and has tens of thousands of users...

  • Why entrepreneurs will rule the world (for the next while)

    The world has changed in the last 10 years. The rate of technological development has rocketed -- in part due to the high number of working engineers, the boom of the internet and self-perpetuating human empowerment which has resulted. The outcome of this rapid change has caused a fracturing of the traditional business model and the rise of the niche mega-market solutions. Conventional business has been a strong proponent of the idea of managing through processes and control in order to convert chaos into order. Historically this has been very effective as it allowed efficiency and overall risk management. In...

  • 500 Startups expands emerging market footprint to China

    Insanely popular business accelerator 500 Startups is expanding its emerging market footprint to China reports The Next Web. Former associate at The Raine Group, venture capitalist Rui Ma, has joined the company to help to launch the Beijing outpost. 500 Startups was founded in 2010 by high profile Silicon Valley Angel investor, Dave McClure. The organisation describes itself as a seed accelerator with a tech bias. According to a TechCrunch report, Ma has worked in the region over the last few years, specifically providing investment and advisory services through merchant bank The Raine Group, notable as an advisor to China’s biggest...

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