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  • Motribe launches Indian payment platform

    Motribe, a mobile social network builder, with a focus on emerging markets recently launched a mobile payments and promotion platform for users in India. According to the company, users in India will now be able to head "to the new Motribe mobile tribe builder", to create a tribe and promote the tribe "on the Motribe portal". Users will have to pay for this ability, however, using the newly minted virtual currency, called Motribe Coins. What differentiates Motribe Coins from other kinds of virtual currency is the fact that people can purchase it using airtime. This is in line with Motribe's...

  • Company Office

    Sureswipe's Move allows business owners to accept payments on the go

    Business owners that often move around to sell their goods and services have been able to increase revenue thanks to Sureswipe's Move payment solution. The solution allows one to easily receive card payments from customers regardless of where one is. Sureswipe MD Paul Kent says Move has boosted the revenue of a number of its small business clients because it allows business owners and their staff to remain mobile, agile and offer their customers personalised, face-to-face service. Move is also a great option for pop-up shops, those operating from markets and who run promotions. “We know the challenges that merchants, independent retailers and SMEs face. This is why we...

  • Start-up co-founders: 10 tips for choosing your significant other

    They say that starting a business with a partner is like a marriage. What they don't tell you is that if your marriage does really well it's like having a few hundred kids too. When things go wrong they can go really wrong, so here are ten tips for picking the right startup co-founder. Do not marry Lorena Bobbit The first and probably most obvious part of the selection process is to try avoid starting a tech company with a psychopath or someone who acts rashly and against the best interests of the people around them. You will...

  • Guzzle, a specials aggregator with heart

    Online coupons have their place, primarily as colossal repositories for random bargains. Guzzle, a self-funded South African venture wants to be your new favourite shopping companion by offering true value as it roots out discounts and product specials from newspapers, catalogues and other forms of print media. Guzzle is a "specials aggregator" which focuses on products offered by major South African retailers such as Game, Pick 'n Pay and Makro. The team collates information from the retail stores, lists the various deals and presents it as a searchable, online catalogue. The founders, Ricard Meulemans and Oliver Bryant began Guzzle a little...

  • Google announces Umbono winners

    Google’s startup incubator, Umbono, has officially launched with the announcement of its first set of winning teams. The pilot programme based in Cape Town, South Africa presented the teams in their new office space at an event on 1 November. The programme, a Google first worldwide, is being tested in Cape Town, South Africa which was chosen because Google believes the city is in “the process of positioning itself as a hub for innovation and technology”. Google's vice president of engineering, Nelson Mattos said that the Umbono project is part of Google's effort to grow its ecosystem in Africa. "We...

  • ‘Artists helping artists’ with Headliner.fm

    Queen once sang, "I want to break free". They might easily have been talking about recording artists breaking free from the shackles of the traditional music business model. Headliner.FM embraces this and wants to "spread the music", helping artists to connect with their fan base. Facebook and Twitter users are invited to the party to swap music recommendations based on personal choice and the option of raising awareness for one of the 110 000 musicians currently registered on Headliner.fm. Headliner.fm is a meaty concept, with plenty of sinew to chew on. Essentially a recommendation and promotion engine, Headliner.fm "lets artists market themselves...

  • Death is the default for startups, and your little idea means nothing

    Death is the default for startups, reckons Amazon Web Services Technology Evangelist Simone Brunozzi. Apart from having a really cool Twitter handle @Simon, Brunozzi has founded a few startups himself, so speaks with some authority. Speaking at a Tech4Africa conference in Johannesburg he mentioned that there was quite a bit of confusion at what constituted a "startup". He emphasised that most new businesses in the world were actually not startups, but were "service companies". I guess they like to call themselves "startups" because it's very funky and trendy to call yourself one these days. But to qualify as a startup, says...

  • Financial investors vs business owners: Every startup’s ‘offside’ relationship

    My cry goes out not to add to the orchestra of outrage as referees seemingly miss foul play in our favourite sports, but to voice my support for another cause, the "Business Owner" and "Financial Investor" relationship, where too many "offside" decisions are not blown. Any business owner, unless their family has one of those black American Express credit cards or they have, like Scrooge McDuck, managed to save their life earnings, would have had a relationship with a Financial Investor in some form. Call them Angel Investors, Venture Capitalists, Financial Institutions or my Silent Partner, I refer to...

  • FeedbackRocket, a ‘360 degree’ employer feedback tool

    If buzzwords like "360 degree feedback" and "anonymised responses" rev your engine, then FeedbackRocket.com will fuel the fire inside of you. FeedbackRocket is anonymous employee-to-employer feedback technology, used simply and effectively to communicate issues to relevant managers at work. Or as Dr. Gavin Symanowitz, the founder of FeedbackRocket puts it, "It enables important work-place conversations that would never happen face-to-face. It opens up the lines of communication between managers and employees in a powerful new way". Launched in June 2011, this self-funded Johannesburg-based company was the sole concept of Symanowitz, qualified actuary and previous strategic head of a major South African...

  • You better scale up: The ecommerce boom is upon us

    By 2015 companies will generate 50% of their online business via their social presence and mobile applications. This bold claim comes from prominent research company, Gartner. Retailers in the e-commerce sector will begin to offer new context-aware, mobile-based application capabilities that can be accessed via a browser or installed as an application on a phone. This will happen as the number of mobile phones overtakes PCs and as people use mobile browsers and applications as the main points of interaction. Gartner reckons that ecommerce operations will need to scale up their operations to handle the increased traffic on their sites...

  • Pitching perfection to investors: A 10-step guide

    Enthusiastic entrepreneurs looking to raise funding must realise that a great business case alone is definitely not enough to guarantee a favorable outcome. Not preparing adequately for a presentation to an angel investor or a venture capital fund is a sure-fire way of guaranteeing failure. The power of a strong, well polished pitch to funders cannot be underestimated and it warrants considerable time and effort to make sure that you hit the mark first off. Here are some tips on what funders might expect from entrepreneurs hoping to make a good impression. 1. Perfect your micro pitch This is your 90-second introduction,...