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  • 6 reasons why your internet startup should be using Amazon Web Services

    Y Combinator co-founder, Paul Graham, defines a startup as "a company designed to grow fast." The definition highlights one of the hardest problems internet startups traditionally faced at the outset: weighing infrastructure capacity and cost. Amazon changed things up when it launched Amazon Web Services (AWS) in 2006. It used economies of scale to offer services -- many of them developed for internal use and opened up to the public later -- to take the guess-work out of upfront infrastructure investments. AWS allowed startups to start small, with the knowledge that AWS would grow to meet the demand should business...

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    Mayibuye Film Festival on Wabona

    Wabona, one of Africa’s premiere video streaming services is happy to announce a ground breaking partnership with Cape Town based Gravel Road Entertainment. On the 13th of April 2014 Gravel Road Entertainment’s Retro Afrika Bioscope launches the Mayibuye Film Festival on SABC 1.  The festival will run for three weeks, airing two never before seen films every Sunday in which Wabona and Cinemo, Wabona’s mobile service, will be released 2 hours after broadcast free for its users on both services. This will be a first as Gravel Road and Wabona will be releasing film content on three media platforms within...

  • The Hope Factory: empowering women entrepreneurs

    According to Census 2011, 15% of South African households have female breadwinners, where a married woman is the head of the household. But as South Africa’s unemployment rate rises and it becomes increasingly harder to find permanent employment, Enterprise Development organisation, The Hope Factory, is finding that more and more women are looking to entrepreneurial endeavours to help them support their families. While the reasons for this are the same as for men, The Hope Factory points to a report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) that found women to “show marked differences from men in characteristics such as their...

  • Think being a tech entrepreneur is glamorous? Pick another career path

    Having spent the past two years building a company in Hong Kong, I can testify that it is f**king hard. In the beginning, ignorance is bliss. You allow your sexy PowerPoint slides to seduce you into believing your big idea is flawless. Your projections are up and to the right and you feel invincible. You sleep great at night and have the energy and ego to believe you will change the world. It’s not until you quit your job, realize you have no health insurance, absorb the fact that VCs don’t respond to your emails and that you only have...

  • The complete guide to bootstrapping a web startup on a tight budget

    So you’ve got a great idea, and want to get going straight away. That's great, but bringing an idea to life can be a bit of a challenge. Don’t fret though, that really should be the absolute last thing that throws you off getting started. While spending time working on getting SuperSimpleSurvey off the ground, we learned a few pretty hard lessons and thought it would be good to share them. When we started, we didn’t have much to spend. We also wanted to put off fundraising until we had proven our concept first by means of a Minimal Viable...

  • The state of South Africa’s tech startup industry [Infographic]

    A recent Silicon Cape survey titled The State of South Africa's Tech Startup Industry has been compiled in the form of the mighty infographic. Although only around 250 people have answered the survey at the date of writing, the information supplied by the small sample group provides revealing insight into the nature of the scene, and most tellingly, the perception of the scene -- especially when compared to last year's poll of 190 startups. Let's take a closer look. In terms of gender and education, the results are similar to previous polls. The South African (SA) startup scene is still dominated by...

  • Deal will see Habari Media advertising on 2go’s 10m strong chat network

    Instant messaging service, 2go is on a roll. Following the partnership announced with Nigerian music service iROKING recently, advertising house Habari Media today announced that it's adding 2go to its mobile advertising strategy. This partnership will allow Habari’s customers to target 2go's 10 million active users in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, of which 9 million are in Nigeria. While smartphone adoption in Africa is growing, 2go's support for 800 different types of feature phones allow Habari to reach a wider audience. Habari and 2go are reporting click-through rates of up to 15% on full-screen clickable Splash Ads and engagement...

  • 7 reasons why you should run your startup remotely

    In light of the recent ban on working from home imposed by Yahoo's newest CEO, Marissa Mayer, it's got the debate up and running once again: is it better to work from home or at the office? When thinking about startups, I'd like to add my two cents and argue that running a young company remotely is a very real and attractive option for many an entrepreneur. Not only because the technological tools exist to share and collaborate on documents, communicate in real time (even face-to-face) and meet those all important deadlines, but also because there are practical advantages to...

  • Deal discovery and sharing startup Found launches, ‘Sport Shoppers’ rejoice

    Found Shopping, the deal discovery and sharing service from Cape Town launched its free app for iPhone and Android at the city's Design Indaba last week. We've been tracking Found's evolution for a while. The team behind Found's previous app, Pashash, was backed by Google Umbono -- now Google for Entrepreneurs -- and showed promise when it went on to win Startup World South Africa last year. Co-founder, Faheem Kajee, subsequently spent two months in Silicon Valley marketing and getting feedback before deciding to refocus the proposition specifically around sharing deals. Pashash was renamed to Found in order to represent...

  • Lessons learned by an Indonesian accelerator: don’t spoonfeed startups

    It’s been quite some time since Project Eden, Indonesia’s first startup accelerator, made an announcement. In fact, the last time it did so was back in 2011. What happened? We talked to Project Eden board members Natali Ardianto and Aulia Halimatussadiah (Ollie) about the program’s hiatus. But most importantly, both of them shared the biggest lesson they learned from running the project: don’t spoonfeed startups. Natali said that the first mistake was that they selected the startups mostly based on the potential of their ideas, but did not account for the people behind them. This resulted in the startups’ founders...

  • 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...