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  • Five elements needed to attract startup funding

    Raising funding can be potentially expensive, as it requires resources, and time-consuming experience. Done correctly, it can yield valuable results and a substantial financial investment to grow your business. Enthusiastic entrepreneurs that want to go this route should be well prepared and display these five key essentials that funders look for when considering investing. 1. Know your market Clear and thorough market and competitor analysis is the mainstay of any successful business concept -- even more so when seeking funding. Understanding who you’re selling to, what pressing need you’re addressing and what competition you’re facing enables the funder to evaluate the...

  • Company Office

    Career Opportunities at Creative Spark

    If you’re keen to take on exciting new challenges and gain a taste of agency life, take a look at the career opportunities we have available. We’re expanding our team and are in search of go-getters and committed team-players to be part of our journey in this fast-growing industry. With us, you’ll get to work on stimulating, high-profile local and international media projects, alongside a group of talented and highly-skilled individuals. Best of all, we have the yummiest bottomless coffee and the most amazing views of the city. Tempted yet? Take a look at our vacancies below and share with your...

  • eBay’s physical stores are giving it the jump on competitors this Christmas

    While most retail businesses this year are pushing to get a bigger slice of the online shopping spend, eBay Inc. has turned the tables on its more-traditional competitors by opening up physical "pop-up" stores in New York, San Francisco and London. Open for only five days (from 1 – 5 December) these stores will allow consumers to touch-and-feel products and purchase the product on the spot by using QR codes and scanning it in with their mobile phones. Traditional shoppers who are not accustomed to buying their Christmas goods online may be tempted to try it out for themselves and experience...

  • Lights out for Powertime in Cape Town

    Powertime, a South African mobile and web-based prepaid electricity vendor, is in trouble. As users in the Western Cape may or may not know, they are no longer able to purchase electricity online. This issue lies not with Powertime, but with the government of the Western Cape, or more specifically, the municipalities. Powertime launched two years ago as a bright-eyed startup project, servicing most municipalities as well as the major electricity providers such as Eskom and City Power. Based in Cape Town, it became the first vendor to introduce a prepaid electricity iPhone, Android and Nokia app. Their products consist...

  • 10 great insights from London’s tech hub

    I was recently in London for the Tech City UK Entrepreneurs Festival, as part of Britain's Global Entrepreneurship Week with over 300 tech entrepreneurs from around the globe. The experience was educational, to say the least, and gave me some insight into what any initiative aimed at developing entrepreneurship in the tech sector should be doing. Throughout the course of the week long conference, it became evident that emerging market initiatives like Silicon Cape in South Africa and the iHub in Kenya are definitely on the right track. There were, however, a number of guidelines I took away...

  • Why your startup’s product offering should look like a McDonald’s menu

    While some might question the logic behind Alan Knott Craig Junior's purchase of MXit, one can only stand up and applaud the astuteness of his first actions as the instant messaging giant's new Owner, CEO and all round Big Cheese! His first steps were simple, focus on what MXit's core product offering is and make sure it is the best at it. I liken this to the experience when you walk into McDonald's where, despite years of success around the globe, Ray Kroc's original idea for the McDonald's product offering that "you'll get the best hamburger you ever...

  • Breaking news: Visa, Fundamo unveil emerging markets MCommerce product

    Visa, the world’s largest credit and debit card network, has unveiled a new product that allows people to access a prepaid account through their mobile phone. The product, which appears to be nameless, was developed in conjunction with Fundamo, a leading South African mobile money platform bought out by Visa for $110m earlier this year. The mobile banking solution is aimed specifically at emerging markets and, according to Visa, offers "unbanked and under-banked" people in those regions a "secure, reliable, globally interoperable electronic payment account". "Reaching consumers who have previously lacked access to formal financial services with secure...

  • This Army: Gunning for the big time

    This Army first launched Tank five years ago as a hosted site-builder application in an already competitive DIY web publishing arena. Slowly but surely it gained a following in the local market, mostly spread by word-of-mouth amongst the creative crowd. The simple, minimal designs and a certain “less is more” approach has seen it gradually being adopted by everyone from photographers to galleries and wine farms. Tank empowered those with little to no web development skills to quickly and easily setup and create their own sites. Following this success This Army has spent the past 18 months developing...

  • Coachingmill.com brings online sports strategies to the masses

    It's a hard life being a coach. When the team wins, everyone's dreading your next loss. When your team loses, you are raked through the coals by anyone within earshot of your failure. Logically, startup CoachingMill.com navigates these wins and failures, turning it into pure strategy thanks to the magic of online coaching. Its aim is nothing short of becoming the premier, one-stop platform for coaches to complete their off-field work. Eventually CoachingMill will be in a prime, globally accepted position according to site's owner, Robbie Vos. CoachingMill.com is a sports coaching platform where coaches can view, create and share coaching...

  • Steve Jobs would never succeed in today’s Silicon Valley

    I recently watched a documentary on Steve Jobs called "One Last Thing". It was well done, mixing a fair bit of the good, the bad, and the ugly about the life of the man. There was also a lot of praise for the "marketing genius" of Steve Jobs. Then it struck me: If Steve Jobs were starting out today in Silicon Valley, he would have trouble getting funding because he's a "marketeer" -- not an engineer. Venture capitalists(VC) generally won't fund startups without a tech lead. For example, Mark Suster, a popular VC blogger, writes on his blog "Both Sides of the...

  • SA director wins digital innovation prize for mobile concept

    Hajira Cassim, a trainee South African director was announced as one of the winners in the Not-For-Profit Digital Innovators Award category at ITU Telecom World 2011. Cassim was a winner out of 45 finalists from 22 countries around the world. Held in Geneva, Switzerland, Telecom World is one of the globe's most important events, brought together by The United Nations' International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Cassim won the award for pitching the mobile-content-generation showmemobi model to an international investment panel, global leaders in technology, and an international audience via the internet. Cassim is part of the Film Industry Learner Mentorship (F.I.L.M.) MICT...