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  • Why Silicon Valley is only part of California’s innovative success

    California seems to be on a constant roller-coaster of events – technological, economic and social. Strangely enough, the state keeps moving on as the American epicentre of high-tech industry. To technological entrepreneurs, California is synonymous with Silicon Valley, a place where brain-rich can become money-rich. To movie lovers, California is synonymous with Hollywood, where real life can become fantasy. In the 1980s, Silicon Valley defined California’s economy in particular and America in general. It was the first time in the history of capitalism when the best brains made the most money. Inheritance was frowned upon as wealth based on sexual...

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    Tshwane free Wi-Fi TV – TV by the people, for the people, on the people's network

    The City of Tshwane has added another trailblazing project to its name with the launch of the WiFi TV, a Video-On-Demand service made available over the Tshwane Free WiFi network. The WiFi TV is another pioneering project geared towards positioning Tshwane as a Smart City by using technology to bridge the digital divide, engage communities on government affairs and bring about social cohesion.  Local crews have been recruited and trained to create videos covering local topics including music, current affairs, entrepreneurship, religion, jobs and sport in the townships of Mamelodi, Soshanguve, Atteridgeville and the Tshwane CBD. These videos are then uploaded...

  • Exploding 7 myths about venture capital

    The venture capital investment industry is laden with myths and misconceptions, often causing entrepreneurs to lose faith in funding and enthusiasm for their business. Andrea Bohmert, chairperson of South Africa's Cape IT Initiative’s Board of Directors and director and co-managing partner of Hasso Plattner Ventures, helps demystify some of the more destructive fallacies. 1. There is no money The first common misconception is that there is no money to fund entrepreneurs. This idea exists largely because so many business plans are declined, and so few are accepted. The first thing that counts against an applicant is failing to take...

  • Smoke and mirrors at new start-up Smokoo.co.za

    A new start-up, Smokoo.co.za, has found a unique way of publicising their upcoming launch in South Africa. They're not telling anyone what they do. Instead, the company has begun marketing themselves with a competition where people have to guess what kind of company Smokoo is going to be. The person who comes closest, wins an iPad. The only clues on their homepage are their logo, an iPad and a clock that's counting down towards the launch date of 1 August 2010. They also have a Twitter account and a Facebook page where you can try and extract some more clues about what...

  • Mocality aims to be ‘largest’ mobile business directory in Africa

    If you’re in downtown Nairobi before the 4th of August, be sure to pop in to the Barber Q Hair Studio and get yourself a free head massage. The studio is on the 2nd Floor of El-Roi Plaza, close to the Odeon Cinema. This is just one example of the thousands of snippets of information that are at the heart of Mocality, a free-to-list, hyper-local mobile business directory in Nairobi, Kenya. Mocality offers a free business suite of tools to all listed businesses, such as the ability to upload customer mobile numbers into the Mocality platform, a free mobile website...

  • The lack of tech IPOs is holding back job expansion in US, says leading VC

    Robert Ackerman, a leading Silicon Valley venture capitalist and founder of Allegis Capital, says that tech IPOs will remain scarce and that this will curtail job creation in the US. A continued scarcity of tech IPOs means that the Obama Administration won't be able to count on Silicon Valley startups to help spark a job boom and help alleviate tough economic conditions for millions of unemployed. Mr. Ackerman says, "These days, tech startups have to rely on being acquired by a larger company once they reach a certain size because there isn't an IPO market to help them recapitalise and grow...

  • AMMO: A fresh approach to mobile banking

    As I write this story, I’m tucking into my free lunch. Yep, that’s right, I said free lunch. Remember when you were told that “there’s no such thing as...”? Well, that’s because I’m eating it. Vida e caffè just gave me a croissant and a cappucino without a penny leaving my pocket and all because I signed up to AMMO Mobile, a trendy new mobile banking application developed locally that has come swaggering onto the mobile banking playing field with the confidence of a seasoned veteran. AMMO Mobile’s funny, hip and user-friendly website keeps you entertained while you register to...

  • Transforming data into information: 4 important steps

    Data is meaningless. Bunches of numbers and ratios mean nothing without a context. Data on its own can’t help us do anything better. Information however, is beautiful. Information can make us laugh or cry. Information is data set on fire, data with a purpose. Take Depressed Data, follow these four easy steps and voila: Inspirational Information! 1. Know your business goals An often neglected first step you have got to be very aware of, and intimate with. If your website makes a large proportion of its revenue from Pay Per Impression ads, then  the number of visitors and page views will be important...

  • 5 popular open source eCommerce platforms

    There are so many off-the-shelf web solutions out there, many website owners are asking: Why should I bother building it myself? When thinking about their eCommerce platform, a site owner faces three key choices: the Software as a Service hosted solution, download and install an open source or purchased solution, or just build it yourself. There are also many hosted eCommerce solutions available such as Shopify, BigCartel or Vendr which may offer a quicker and easier setup, but perhaps don't offer the same ownership of content as downloadable, open-source software. The software reviewed below is by no means a complete list...

  • Saul Klein: Price of SA broadband an ‘absolute disgrace’

    One of South Africa’s most successful exports, web entrepreneur and venture capitalist Saul Klein, has labelled the cost of broadband in his home country “an absolute disgrace” and urged the members of The Silicon Cape to function as a pressure group in lobbying for cheaper broadband. Klein, who was born in Johannesburg and is married to a South African, currently manages a $2.5-billion venture capital fund, and is a “massive believer” in early stage venture capital. His CV reads like a greatest hits of the Internet over the last 10 years, from early work at Blogger, last.fm and Betfair then...

  • Waytag: A startup changing the way we use location services

    A new South African start-up, Waytag, is setting out with the ambitious goal of revolutionising the way we think about and use addresses. Location-based services are clearly a strong feature in most fast-growing web services and applications, such as FourSquare, GoWalla and Twitter. It can however sometimes seem like these types of applications exist in a world of their own, catering to just a small niche of web-savvy people. Waytag may just change all this by improving the usability of physical location addresses from the bottom up. The concept is simple, as most clever concepts are. Take the domain name...