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  • Meet 8 of Russia’s top VC firms

    Being a part of the Russians doesn’t mean you get a free bottle Russki Standard at tech events. Unfortunately. But what it does mean, is that you join a massive group of incredibly talented programmers and hackers and recently business-savvy tech folks, together with a whopping 150-million people all sitting in their warm homes tapping away at their keyboards. The Russian tech scene has exploded in the last five years, with companies like search engine Yandex completing an IPO on the NYSE and startups popping out of the snow like daisies in Namaqualand. A quick word on Yandex – it...

  • Company Office

    South African fintech in 2018 – what can we expect? [Opinion]

    Fintech continues to surprise with little to touch the rise of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in 2017.  This will continue in 2018 and I make some predictions based on what we see happening globally and what we see taking place with our members at AlphaCode, a Rand Merchant Investments club for fintech startup entrepreneurs. Bitcoin At the end of 2016 I predicted that 2017 was going to be the year that the world would embrace bitcoin. I thought it would go mainstream but I had no idea how mainstream it would become. We have seen the bitcoin price increase from $1000 at the beginning...

  • Ogilvy & Mather acquires a majority share in SA mobile marketing company

    This is big. Marketing giant Ogilvy & Mather South Africa (O&M SA) today announced that it has acquired a majority share in SA mobile marketing company, Strike Media Proprietary Limited. O&M SA says that the move is a significant step forward in developing its South African mobile marketing capability. Strike Media (Strike) who's client list includes Acer, Nokia and McDonald's, has a service portfolio that includes customised mobile campaigns, payment services, business solutions and consulting. The company is headquartered in Cape Town, and lists a turnover of over R40m. Strike CEO, Russel Stromin, who is also chairman of the Code of...

  • 5 things startups can learn from bodybuilding champion Phil Heath

    Phil Heath is the current face of professional super heavyweight bodybuilding. A two-time, back-to-back Mr. Olympia, Heath has pushed the limits of the human physique to its extreme. It takes a special type of drive, some would say "crazy", to make it in the sport of bodybuilding. Heath embodies this drive as well as the unrelenting spirit found in many an entrepreneur taking on the challenges of building a business from scratch. Whether you're sculpting a physique, or crafting a business, the lessons learned on the way to success are often similar. The pivot: if it does come, embrace it Heath once...

  • Entrepreneurs Bootcamp launches with free online courses for entrepreneurs

    Entrepreneurs Bootcamp is a collection of nine free courses covering different aspects of entrepreneurship, designed by leading South African entrepreneurs. It's all kinds of brilliant and well worth a look. The project was designed for the Cape Town branch of the Entrepreneurs Organisation (EO) by online education company GetSmarter, with sponsorship from Van Schaik Publishers. The courses on offer include “Identifying opportunities”, “The legal environment”, “Effective marketing” and “Management and growth”. According to Sam Paddock, Managing Director at GetSmarter, “These 9 courses have been designed specifically for entrepreneurs, by entrepreneurs. We’ve recorded over 90 video interviews with some of...

  • 5 clever growth hacking techniques to inspire your startup

    "The growth hacker is the new VP of Marketing. Growth hackers are a hybrid of marketer and coder, one who looks at the traditional question of ‘How do I get customers for my product’ and answers with A/B tests, landing pages, viral factor, email deliverability, and Open Graph. On top of this, they layer the discipline of direct marketing, with its emphasis on quantitative measurement, scenario modelling via spreadsheets, and a lot of database queries. If a startup is a pre-product/market fit, growth hackers can make sure virality is embedded at the core of a product. After product/market fit,...

  • What shutting down my business taught me about running one

    This article is for you. So you can learn from my mistakes and go on to make some of your very own. My sense is that if we can start to share our business mistakes without fear, we can learn faster, fail with more flair, and generally get better at running businesses, managing people and making a difference. I shut down my PR agency in November last year. It’s taken some time to get my ego out of way so that I could unravel exactly where I went wrong. So here, just for you, at the six-months-after-shutdown mark are...

  • Hot SA tech startups from towns and rural communities head to the UK

    We recently introduced you to 18 entrepreneurs hand-picked by BT Global Services and MEDO from towns, townships and rural communities across South Africa. The group competed to secure their place on a trade visit to the United Kingdom in April later this year. The selected entrepreneurs will spend a week in the UK participating in training programmes, networking events and business and investor pitches. After a final pitching session to top level executives, we now know who made the cut. According to Judi Sandrock, CEO of MEDO says that although all the teams were well prepared and delivered business pitches...

  • China’s startup scene needs more Angel investors says tech mogul Lei Jun

    Lei Jun wears many hats -- he’s Xiaomi CEO, the board chair at Kingsoft and an Angel investor -- and is one of the most respected figures in China’s tech industry. As one of the wildly successful Xiaomi co-founders, he’s also someone worth listening to when it comes to China’s startup scene. In a recent interview, the Beijing News asked him what he thought the differences were between Silicon Valley and China. Here’s what he said: The biggest difference in the startup environment between and the US is that China doesn’t have enough Angel investors, and there is...

  • CitiDoc: an exciting platform for doctors, now they just need to use it

    Choosing a healthcare provider can be a tough call. It is always advised to learn about a doctor first before jumping into this, the most delicate of relationships. The main port of call for many a would-be-patient is going on the recommendation of an already trusted doctor or a friend (of a friend) - after all, everyone always has the best doctor or specialist that you "just have to see, no really, he's excellent". Subsequently, the last route people generally seek out is medical directories or ratings sites, especially in less internet-prevalent places such as South Africa, where I would argue that traditional directories...

  • Why (almost) every startup should be working from home

    Marissa Mayer may have decided that working from home doesn’t work anymore for Yahoo, but that doesn’t mean that working from home isn’t the best option out there for some tech companies. And for startups it seems like a no-brainer. Here’s why: No rent, no utilities. This is big, obvious reason that everyone should already know: if your team works from home, you don’t have to rent office space or pay for anything like heat, internet connections, electricity, phone lines, or anything else like that. There’s a big expense that just vanished from your budget. Poof! Good home workers are self-starters,...