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  • BRCK: Ushahidi’s Kickstarter project designed to fix Africa’s internet issues

    Leave it to the Kenyans to figure out a way to connect to the internet no matter where you are and without electricity. Currently attempting to raise a whooping US$125 000 on crowdfunding platform Kickstarter, BRCK is an Ushahidi initiative that hopes to solve internet connectivity issues in remote areas. The device is "the easiest, most reliable way to connect to the internet, anywhere in the world, even when you don’t have electricity," says open source information and mapping company Ushahidi. According to the team, the gadget, which could be described as mobile router, works as a backup generator for...

  • Company Office

    IAB SA makes great strides in 2015

    2015 has seen IAB SA take great strides and have a positive impact on the digital industry in South Africa. The organisation launched several new initiatives and projects, while working towards finding viable solutions for the challenges facing the digital industry. At the IAB SA AGM, held this week, chairperson Jarred Cinman emphasised that the organisation has not only grown in terms of members, but also in realising its vision of making a constructive, positive contribution to the South African digital industry. Its greatest achievements for 2015 include:  Successful engagement with the Film & Publications Board, negotiating an alternative to the direct...

  • Enter the Entrepreneur ‘X’ Factor and fast-track your business

    If you consider yourself an entrepreneur - someone with an adept business acumen, an affinity for risk-taking and developing ideas into marketable, scalable companies - then you probably haven't considered entering the hit reality television show The X Factor. Well one show you should consider entering is its spin-off competition, Entrepreneur 'X' Factor, which promises to appreciate your skill-set, and give you an opportunity to fast-track your business idea. Brought to you by "transformational coaching and events company" Rock Your Life, Entrepreneur 'X' Factor is a competition in its second year, focused on finding a grass-roots entrepreneur with... you guessed...

  • How a beauty box startup bootstrapped to become a million dollar company

    Today, Memebox is the Birchbox of South Korea; the beauty sample subscription and e-commerce service is leading in terms of marketshare, gaining thousands of fans and pulling in over S$1-million in annual revenue. But that wasn't always the case. Hyungseok Dino Ha, CEO and founder of Memebox Korea, recently shared his startup's story at a Tech in Asia meetup in Singapore, providing insightful (and honest) answers to questions about how his company grew. Humble beginnings At the beginning, the three co-founders raised a small amount of money themselves -- not much, but just enough to get the business running for about...

  • 7 startup lessons from the film industry

    At first glance you might not think there is much in common between the film industry and tech startups. I'm here to tell you differently. Both industries have their own set of challenges, whether you're starting out, or refining your craft/company down the line. I'm not here to tell you that one is tougher than the other, but rather that startups can learn from the parallels between them. Each member must know their 'craft' In the film industry you have to know your craft. Whether you're a scriptwriter, cinematographer, director or simply a gaffer or runner, you have a...

  • With new asset class, Grovest wants to disrupt VC in South Africa

    Grovest Venture Capital introduces a new asset class today. Investors are encouraged through incentives like tax relief as well as the growing attractiveness of the VC industry in South Africa. Although this asset class is the first operational venture capital fund introduced in South Africa, it has proven to be very successful in the UK. By having attractive incentives, Grovest aims to encourage investments which will further help grow the venture capital industry in South Africa. In order to boost and further drive this industry, tax relief incentives as well as tax-free dividends are included. Tax relief of as...

  • iDEA: another innovation to help build successful businesses in Nigeria

    In bid to foster Nigeria's growing entrepreneurial landscape, a new innovation hub has launched. Its aim, it says, is to "help Nigerian entrepreneurs create successful businesses". The new hub, called Information Technology Developers Entrepreneurship Accelerator (iDEA) launched in 2013 and is a not-for-profit organisation aiming to accelerate the development of the technology industry in Nigeria. The aptly named Lagos-based hub launched with four developers sessions facilitated by tech industry bigwigs: Google, BlackBerry, Microsoft and Nokia. The companies, as part of their support for the centre, provide entrepreneurs with tools to build software skills, solutions and businesses to aid their...

  • Dear African VC, angel: international investors are stealing your lunch

    Is there a shortage of VC and angel funding in Africa? Pose the question to entrepreneurs and the answer is bound to be yes. Omidyar's latest report on African entrepreneurship found that 71% of respondents surveyed in South Africa, Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania believe that there is a shortage of equity capital to start new firms. African financiers disagree, simply saying that many projects are not fundable. Whatever the case may be, the International Finance Corporation estimates that up to 84% of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Africa are either un-served or underserved, representing a value...

  • 5 small-town SA tech entrepreneurs sign deals with international investors

    In March this year we reported that a group of SA tech entrepreneurs from small-town South Africa, were set to take a trip to the UK with the hope of signing deals with international investors. The organisation behind the programme, MEDO (Micro Enterprise Development organisation) reports that five of the 11 small businesses represented on its current programme signed deals or partnerships with stakeholders in the UK and Europe. MEDO says that the remaining six created networks with potential partners, with a long-term view for exponential business growth. “We had more successes than we were expecting,” says Judi Sandrock, CEO...

  • Global Innovation Lounge to showcase emerging hubs at re:publica 2013

    From 6 to 8 May, the massive global innovation event, re:pulica will feature both AfriLabs and GIZ (German agency for International Cooperation) collaborating in order to host The Global Innovation Lounge in Berlin. The Global Innovation Lounge focuses on showcasing technology innovation hubs in Africa, Latin America and Asia that have been booming as well as their inspirational success stories. re:publica is an extremely popular event taking place in Berlin every year. As its motto stands “In/Side/Out”, the event focuses on the idea of "bringing the online and offline together." Using a wide range of speakers and perspectives, the...

  • Elevator pitch case studies: 5 examples to learn from

    Pitches are nerve-wracking. The perfect pitch would probably have the ability to “plant ideas” like Leonardo DiCaprio does in Inception. Sadly we don’t live in a Christopher Nolan directed reality. We do however live in a world where we can learn from other people’s success. Having a good concept is one thing. Having to present that concept another. Especially if you’re seeking funding. The elevator pitch is all about getting your startup’s concept to your audience as simple and coherent as possible. It’s like having to paint a picture with a 140 character limit. Being concise is vital. As...