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  • 8 questions you should ask yourself before pitching your startup

    So you've had the next big idea, or your startup's been going along quietly for a little while. Now you're ready to take it out into the big bad world. If you find yourself asking "Umm...what next?" you're not alone. If you're in an emerging market like South Africa, knowing what to do next is getting easier, but it's still not as easy as it might be in a more traditional market. Sure there are a growing number of angel investors, venture capitalists, incubators and accelerators, but if you want to get their interest you really have to stand...

  • Company Office

    Callpay, MyGate announce telephonic payments collaboration

    MyGate, one of Africa’s largest and fastest growing gateways, and Callpay, an innovative provider of secure payment solutions have collaborated to provide a payment solution that offers secure, telephonic payments in South Africa. Through this exciting collaboration, companies that require contact centre agents to accept card can now process these transactions through MyGate to the bank. Card payments are processed in a PCI compliant manner through their contact centre agents without the agent hearing or seeing any sensitive card data. At the point of payment, the agent simply delivers a virtual terminal directly to the customer’s mobile device. It can...

  • MobiProps: clever mobile real estate service links online and offline worlds

    MobiProps is a mobile real estate service that makes effective use of short URLs, SMS and QR codes to drive prospective homebuyers to online property portfolios. For agents, the service offers a streamlined solution for marketing their property portfolio to the rapidly growing number of homebuyers and sellers using smartphones. The service launches today. MobiProps provides homebuyers with direct access to the property information, high resolution images, video clips, sharing and contact information of ‘for sale’ properties, formatted to fit the small screen of a smartphone. For agents, the service offers QR code and SMS technology to send a...

  • Alan Knott-Craig Jnr: 7 career lessons learnt thus far

    Alan Knott Craig Junior is mobile entrepreneur, who was previously the CEO of wireless internet provider iBurst. He recently stepped down as CEO of Mxit, after buying it in 2011, and World of Avatar, the startup group he co-founded. In this post, he explores some of the lessons his various ventures have taught him. When I think of the factors that led to any successes (or failures) in my career thus far, the following come to mind: 1. Communicate If you can’t effectively transmit the picture in your head into the head of the person you’re communicating with, you’re dead. This...

  • #GovHackSA: intrepid developers tackle challenging government problems

    The first-ever #GovHackSA event held recently, was a free, day-long coding marathon for developers to create new and novel solutions to problems faced by the Western Cape Government, City of Cape Town and Wesgro. The event was spurred by Alan Winde, MEC for Finance in the Western Cape Government, and taken forward by the volunteer GovHackSA team. There were four challenges presented to over 40 community members in attendance. Each participant could choose which challenge they wanted to work on, and teams were formed organically. Some chose to jump right into coding while others brainstormed ideas. Justin Coetzee of...

  • London calling: 11 SA entrepreneurs head to the UK

    Silicon Cape, in partnership with Western Cape Provincial Government and the South African Chamber in the United Kingdom takes eleven entrepreneurs to London this week to expand their ecosystem of funders, mentors, partners and peers. “The objective of this trip is simply to give the eleven businesses attending access to people, information and experience that will make their companies even more successful,” says Rob Stokes, chairman of the Silicon Cape Initiative. “We have utilized our network in the UK to get our local business leaders in front of people who are keen to do business with IT companies in...

  • Nollywood 2.0: how tech is making Africa’s movie industry a global leader

    Nollywood, Nigeria’s ever-expanding film industry, is ranked #2 globally, after Bollywood (#1) and Hollywood (#3), by the number of annual film productions (making roughly 40 films per week, at an average cost of $40,000 per project). This stat still blows me away — this is arguably the most popular content across sub-Saharan Africa and the prolificity of this US$590-million movie industry has all happened in less than 20 years. Impressive when we consider the challenges the industry faces: Rampant piracy Poor production quality and infrastructure Insufficient funding sources and venture capital Lack of reliable electricity (Nigeria is one of the most inefficient producers of electricity...

  • Social journal startup LifeCrumbs kills the noise, focuses on intimate sharing

    Ever think there's just too much noise on your social networks? LifeCrumbs is a new social journal that allows you to share memorable moments in your everyday life. It aims to minimise the hassle of all the social networks, presenting you with the most important events in a calendar format. Users can import posts, including the ones you write on your friends’ walls. The Taipei-based startup was the winning idea in an internal rocket pitch within the team back in May. It first came about when they were tired of filtering through content spread across different social networks, and envisioned...

  • Online retailer Loot.co.za secures funding from Titan Investments

    In October this year, online retailer Loot.co.za launched enhancements to its site usability and the customer experience -- just in time for the festive season which accounted for 22% of its total revenue in 2011. Today, the eCommerce company, headed up by ex-Kalahari CEO, Gary Hadfield, announced that it has raised a new round of funding from Titan Investments. Titan is a broad-based black economically empowered investment company whose investments include, among others, a shareholding in EOH, Connection-Telecom, wysetalk.co.za, Quadrem Africa, BCX and RainFin.com. Investment Director at Titan Investments, Sean Emery -- also co-founder and CEO of RainFin.com...

  • Mimiboard: an African hyper-local ad network and social platform

    With Mimiboards, Umuntu Media is re-imagining the humble noticeboard. You can think of a Mimiboard (pronounced me-me board) as a geographically sensitive, virtual noticeboard. Just like their real world counterparts, Mimiboards are relevant to enclaves within larger communities -- some say "hyper-local". But, that's where the similarity solemnly ends. The fact that Umuntu Media, founded in 2009 by Johan Nel, received a US$1 million seed investment late last year, without any revenue to speak of, tells you that the Cape Town-based company is about more than just virtual noticeboards. Beneath the surface, Mimiboards form part of an ambitious publishing...

  • Silicon Lagoon: Nigeria’s growing innovation hotspots

    It seems Nigeria's Silicon Lagoon, based in Lagos is upping its innovation game. The region recently saw the launch of the 'Lagos Angel Network,' reports VC4Africa. The aim of the network is to help foster tech startups in the Lagos area. The angel investor platform hopes to bring "together individuals and organisations seeking to invest in and mentor Nigerian tech start-ups". The initiative is headed by Tomi Davies, CEO of TVCLabs a Technology Business Incubation Company based in Lagos. The network currently consists of 15 Angel investors, who are each expected to commit at least US$6 000 a year to...

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