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  • Valuation startup wins Tech4Africa’s Ignite competition

    ValuationUP has won the top spot at Tech4Africa's ignite startup competition. The competition is part of the annual conference that looks at tech innovation in Africa. The company allows businesses owners to learn what drives the performance of the business they are buying, growing, selling or advising. ValuationUP benchmarks the financial performance of companies to see if they can take a knock, what it's currently worth and if it will be around next year. The market for this product is truly global if VU can adapt their model for different industries, currencies and influencers. The aim of the ignite competition is...

  • Company Office

    Why now is the best time to invest in battery technology metals

    For those who use online trading brokers to monitor global markets and make investments, finding the next profitable trade can prove to be challenging given the sheer amount of choice they are presented with. Precious metals like gold and silver are popular ‘safe haven’ assets, but are often less effective for making a decent profit. Recently, there has been a lot of interest in battery technology metals, which could be far more effective for turning a decent profit. Here are some of the reasons now might be a good time to invest in them. Electric cars Most investors should be well aware of...

  • Demo Africa: the future of African startups looks bright

    Flowgear, a South African startup that offers application integration for the cloud era, was named one of the Demo Lions and will be joining four other African startups in the US for mentorship and introduction to potential investors. The Demo Lion awards are under the auspices of the US State Department. Flowgear offers companies pre-built connectors that allow quick and easy implementation for developers without the need for coding. The company bridges cloud and on-premise applications and simplifies integration management with full visibility of data flows. Demo Africa gave 40 startups from around the continent the opportunity to demo their products...

  • GoMetro and iROKING partner to bring free music to SA commuters

    Man, mobi.lity is on a roll. First, the startup's GoMetro service got picked up as the official traveller information system of commuter rail agency, Metrorail, and later became one of the four finalists selected for IBM's SmartCamp programme. Today, the service announced its rollout in Gauteng and a partnership with iROKO Partners, the world’s largest online distributor of African music & movies. Not bad for a service launched in September this year. The GoMetro mobile site provides commuters with real-time train schedules, timetable deviations, schedule changes and platform changes. In addition to this, as of 31 October 2012, GoMetro...

  • Events to diarise for Global Entrepreneurship Week 2012

    It's almost time for Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW). This year, the world’s largest celebration of entrepreneurship will run from 12 to 16 November in more than 100 cities around the world, and Cape Town is one of them. Since 2008, during one week in November, GEW inspires people everywhere through activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators. In the Western Cape, Cape Town Entrepreneurship Week will feature a host of expos, workshops, hackathons and startup pitching events. Two events we recommend checking out during that week are Startup Weekend and #GovHackSA. Startup Weekend Following on from the success...

  • Zando gets €20 million investment boost from Summit Partners

    International growth equity investor Summit Partners is set to invest €20 million in South African online retail giant Zando. This shows a huge vote of confidence in the South African ecommerce industry. Summit, a growth equity and credit investing company, has investments in more than 350 rapidly growing businesses across North America, Europe and Asia, raising nearly US$15-billion since 1984. "We seek to invest in companies that build long-term value," said Scott Collins, managing director and head of the Summit Partners London office. "Zando has shown dynamic growth in a short period of time." This investment comes just a...

  • How to build a successful startup

    When it comes to venture capital, Keet van Zyl is as savvy as they come. He's worked for companies such as Procter & Gamble, Investec Bank and HBD Venture Capital, and helped set up private equity funds in the Southern African region for a US-based investor. He also co-founded fund manager, Knife Capital as well as the business Angel investment group, AngelHub, which invests in startups with high-growth potential. Based on his experience as a partner and board member of various investments, van Zyl shared some of his thoughts on what it takes to build a successful startup. His findings...

  • 15 years, 5 key lessons in entrepreneurship

    Junk Mail started life as a weekly print publication, a solidly old-school business – but in the 15 years since I joined the business in 1998 it’s also become South Africa’s largest online classified advertising site, with a huge mobile reach as well thanks to our custom-developed mobile site. These are the top five things I’ve learned in the past 15 years: 1. Never think you’re ahead of the game We went through a phase a few years ago where everything we touched made money. I thought I was so good: And then the competitors came. I watched them,...

  • Steeple: the virtual real estate broker

    If you're thinking about selling your house, give Steeple a look. Launched earlier this month, the online estate agency service for South Africans keeps commissions low by cutting out flesh-and-blood estate agents. Sellers send their property details and photos to Steeple and show potential buyers around themselves. Steeple will value the property, market it on online property websites, arrange viewings, obtain feedback, negotiate with buyers, and project-manage the sale -- all without visiting your home. The startup has been operating in test-mode since March and claims to have already sold a number of properties. David de Waal, a chartered accountant and...

  • 5 entrepreneurial lessons from 3 African tech innovators

    Africa has made promising leaps in the tech space over the past few years. Hubs in Kenya, South Africa, Ghana, and Nigeria are all priming the next generation of entrepreneurs to make a big splash on the continent and the world. Those who have already succeeded provide lessons and models for others to follow. They will of course be adapted and changed, sometimes for the worse, but mostly for the better. And if entrepreneurs are looking for role models, they could do a lot worse than the likes of Sim Shagaya, Mbawna Alliy and Verone Mankou. All three have...

  • What are some of the biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make? [Video]

    If you run your own business, then you’ve become very good at one thing, and that’s making mistakes. Starting a new business requires you to possess many skills, many of which you’re admittedly not that good at. Unfortunately, screwing up is an inevitability as a new business owner. I’m a small business owner myself and I’ve made tons of mistakes. But I’m calling it quits now. Not for my business, but for my mistakes. I don’t want to make any more. To lessen my mistake quotient, I asked attendees of the Small Business Expo in New York to tell me...

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