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  • Is your startup ready for the World Cup Tech Challenge?

    Most sports have a world cup, or global championship of some sort, but did you know that the tech space does too? Organised by the Silicon Valley Foundation, the event aims to bring together some of the hottest emerging tech companies from around the globe and have them compete for the title in front of a group of VCs, Angels, corporate business development executives, prospective customers and partners, bloggers and media from the global tech scene. This year's event, to be hosted at Microsoft's Silicon Valley campus, includes a number of high-profile speakers and judges and takes place...

  • Company Office

    SA consumers doing their product homework before purchase

    At a time when most consumers are spending conservatively, with a hawkish eye on every last Rand, value for money has become paramount. Long gone are the days when people sign on to mobile contracts on a whim, or buy insurance products at the behest of a smiling salesman. With deep-seated economic and political uncertainty prevailing, consumers are looking to inform themselves as best they can before spending a cent. “The good news for sceptical South Africans is that a host of new and sophisticated digital tools are coming online, giving people much-needed access to information,” says Ryan Marx, CEO...

  • Special Podcast #17: Shafin Anwarsha, Head of Product at Giraffe, talks US$500 000 equity prize

    In this latest Special Podcast episode, Graham van der Made, talks to Shafin Anwarsha, Head of Product at Giraffe, the South African startup that has just won US$500 000 equity prize at the Seedstars World Summit in Switzerland. Since its launch in February 2015, the startup has attracted over 75 000 job seekers. The year 2015 was a good year for South African startups, according to the Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA), the SA venture capital industry represented almost R2 billion in assets under management. Silvertree Capital invested over R20-million in the first half of 2015, but...

  • Peer-to-peer review platform Hi5 shows success outside of SA

    Peer reviews and 360s can be a daunting and challenging task for employees and companies alike. Cape Town-based startup Hi5 is looking to try and simplify the entire process. To date, 90% of the signups for Hi5 have come from outside of South Africa, specifically from the US, UK, and Australia. "I think the reason it's doing well, is that it's helping fast-paced companies take the laborious time intensive administration out of managing staff and replaces it with a solution to help managers focus on staff growth, which ultimately increases efficiency and reduces employee turnover," writes founding partner, Gary Willmott. Each employee is...

  • Fostering entrepreneurial learning in the formative years is vital

    In South Africa, most of the focus on entrepreneurship is happening too late. Not all cultures have benefited from dining room table discussions, or seeing it positively in action through family members. For many, exposure comes too late, and this means that solid foundations are not set early enough and therefore the impact is lessened. Entrepreneurship should be encouraged and fostered from a high school level. There are a few privileged schools that do include it in the curriculum, but the reach needs to be far beyond that. For example, for those who attend a technical high school –...

  • Journey Re Reinsurance Competition is looking for disruptive entrepreneurs

    The Journey Re Reinsurance Competition is looking for talented entrepreneurs in the reinsurance market. The competition is open to anyone, but will specifically address young professionals, new graduates, and students. Starting in July, it will take place in Johannesburg, Boston, Dublin, and Berlin over the course of a six-month period. Teams will be competing for a €50 000 prize with the runner-up receiving €20 000. Participants will also receive additional benefits, such as a dedicated working space in one of the mentioned cities. Those selected will spend a week in Hannover, Germany, from 4-8 July as an introduction to the sector. "As far...

  • New MMI unit to hunt out innovative entrepreneurs

    MMI, the financial services group, has announced that it's setting up a new unit to hunt out innovative entrepreneurs. The new unit, called Exponential, will focus on potentially disruptive innovation opportunities around financial wellness globally and domestically in South Africa. Exponential is headed up from the UK by Jaco Oosthuizen, previously in charge of MMI’s loyalty and rewards programme, Multiply. In total, Exponential comprises four members, with two of them located in South Africa and the other two in the United Kingdom. “Entrepreneurship is driving ongoing technological advances and changes in consumer behaviour are making it easier for innovative new...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [14/03/2016]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or scratch up on some of your skills? Well, you’ve come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we’ve rounded up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or...

  • LaunchLab on the hunt for Western Cape’s best startups

    The Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab Business Incubator has kicked off the first leg of its biannual Ideas Programme Pitching Platform for 2016. Participants stand a chance of winning a share of over R150 000 in incubation support services. The platform initially takes the form of a series of events where startups can record their pitches. The recordings are then filtered through a judging round to select finalists to pitch at the final event, which will be hosted at the Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab. “This programme is open to all aspiring and practising entrepreneurs from student and non-student communities who...

  • Fundamo Diaries — Keeping faith during dark times [Part 4]

    The following article is part of a series of extracts from South African entrepreneur Hannes Van Rensburg’s upcoming book, "Cash In, Cash Out". The founder and CEO of the fintech company Fundamo, van Rensburg recalls the events that have helped shape the world’s mobile banking industry as we know it as well as those leading up to the company’s exit to Visa for a whopping US$110-million. In this, the final article in the series, van Rensburg recalls the time he was at a Christian outreach programme in 2007, and was forced to decide between two keen investors that would help...

  • Special Podcast #16: Matthew Buckland in conversation with Vinny Lingham

    Earlier this week, Burn Media publisher Matthew Buckland and serial entrepreneur and investor Vinny Lingham joined forces for a fireside chat hosted by the Silicon Cape Initiative. The event, titled "Silicon Cape to Silicon Valley", was wide-ranging, covering everything from the opportunities available to startups in trying economic times and why the Western Cape is home to so many more startups than the rest of South Africa to what Lingham looks for when it comes to investing in a company. If you missed the event, don't worry. We've got your back. Ventureburn was on-hand to record the talk, which you can...