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  • Interview: Sam Hutchinson, CTO of unified messaging juggernaut Everlytic

    Sam Hutchinson is co-founder and Chief Technical Officer of Everlytic, the unified messaging platform for sharing content via email, mobile, and social media. South Africans Hutchinson and Josh Adler started Prefix Technologies in 2004. When the duo began tailoring email newsletters for the publishing industry, Everlytic was born -- a general email and mobile marketing platform. Today, Everlytic ties together email marketing, social sharing and analytics with support for popular CMSes like WordPress and Drupal. Clients can measure and track campaigns across multiple messaging channels and integrate with accounting, CRM and CMS systems. Everlytic became profitable without external funding and today...

  • Company Office

    Sureswipe's new referral programme boosts business and gives cash back

    Sureswipe's Referral Programme has stepped up a gear. It now incentivises not only staff and new and existing customers to refer friends and businesses to Sureswipe’s card payment products, but the larger business community as well. Anyone can now refer Sureswipe to a new business and on installation of a product, get cash straight back into their pockets. To facilitate this process, Sureswipe has built a slick new dashboard that includes three simple steps that track the referral process. Step 1: Visit clientzone.sureswipe.co.za Step 2: Complete your personal details and banking details Step 3: Complete the details of the business you are referring. As...

  • Innovate, network at hack-a-thon that brought the world the tweeting hamster

    Hellocomputer and Draftfcb are all set to host the first of their tri-annual hack-a-thon of 2013 at their Johannesburg office, in May. The frenetic 48-hour event briefs and pits teams against each other to produce the most innovative and refreshing "invention" from whatever means necessary -- no matter how bizarre or unconventional those means might be. It's a no holds barred experience, and one many talented tech-savvy (programmers, engineers) and creative (designers) individuals should consider for the opportunities it might well provide. The hack-a-thon setup is not designed to show off new businesses, nor is it about finding investors for "your next...

  • Singapore’s Nitrous.IO gets $1 million funding from Silicon Valley luminaries

    Nitrous.IO, Action.IO’s software development platform and key product, just got US$1 million in seed funding from a handful of VC firms in Silicon Valley including Bessemer Venture Partners, Draper Associates, CrunchFund, 500 Startups, TIBCO Software, and individuals like Eduardo Saverin and Prosper Nwankpa. The whole idea behind Nitrous.IO is to help “developers create a development environment in the cloud in a matter of seconds.” If I have a developer team and I want to build and implement a software product, it always takes a lot of time to find, download, set up, and install code on all my machines to...

  • WAYN: how a social startup is cashing in on its jet-setting community

    Since its re-launch in 2006, WAYN has managed to become one of the few social startups to secure funding despite a recent downturn in social media investment. After changing its market strategy over the years, the ‘Pinterest for travelers’ has relaunched its site once again in February. WAYN (Where Are You Now?) claims to be the world’s largest travel and social network and tries to fuse commerce with social. WAYN has, and still is, showing interest in key emerging markets such as South Africa, India and Indonesia and is planning on localising the site in Brazil, China and Russia...

  • Gumtree duo enters South African job search market with Adzuna

    The guys behind popular classifieds network, Gumtree.com, is launching their job search engine, Adzuna, in South Africa today. Having gained traction in the UK through social job hunting tools, real time labour market data and of course search, the venture-backed job aggregator now aims to make a splash in South Africa. Adzuna reckons that are over 50 000 live job vacancies in South Africa that represent an estimated R16.9-billion of ‘Total Earning Opportunity’. The job search egnine collates the latest job ads in real-time from major job boards such as PNet, Career Junction, JobMail, JobSpace and Gumtree. Arguably the...

  • 7 surprising things I learned about entrepreneurship from my local store

    Last week, when I was home lazing in front of my laptop, my mother commanded me to go out and buy a few groceries and other household items (although I think the instruction was more out of concern for my laziness rather than an actual need for the groceries). So I ventured out and arrived at the main street and became instantly confused by all the store options. But almost immediately, one particular shop caught my attention and in a moment I had made the decision. I ended up spending over an hour at this store and learned a...

  • What’s behind the social startup decline?

    Fewer and fewer entrepreneurs are starting social startups. Why? Fizzling IPOs and disappointing return on investments mean that social is no longer the investor darling it once was. The facade has fallen. While some have warned against a coming social media bubble, it took volatile social startups like Groupon, Zynga and Facebook to make up-and-coming entrepreneurs think twice about starting a social-centric venture. Social has traditionally been about user numbers first, business model second. It's for this reason that analysts estimate Facebook stock to be at least 76% overvalued. As deal seekers turned on the online coupon business during the course...

  • SA startup Paperight wins prestigious innovation award at London Book Fair

    If you haven't heard of Paperight, the network of independent copy shops that print books, it's time to pay attention: the South African startup is capturing the imagination of the world's publishing industry. On the heels of being named one of the winners of the O’Reilly Tools of Change Startup Showcase held in New York City, the startup from Cape Town was awarded the Digital Minds Innovation Award at the London Book Fair -- one of the world’s most prestigious publishing events. The showcase held Sunday night at the Digital Minds Conference, a precursor event to the London Book Fair,...

  • 6 brilliant SA startups chosen for U-Start startup showcase in Milan

    Last week we took a look at the finalists for the U-Start Bloom Business Plan Competition. U-Start, the Italian funding platform behind the competition, have now released the names of the six winning South African startups chosen for the startup showcase to be held in Milan later this year. Winners are split between two groups. Growth sector winners Medical Diagnostic -- The company manufactures lateral flow rapid diagnostic test kits. Ad Dynamo -- An advertising network. The startup isn't listed as an initial finalist and appears to have been a late entry. Mimiboard Umuntu -- Umuntu helps communities create and share content. Read our...

  • 8 startup lessons from Pinky and the Brain

    In the world of startups, quick thinking is important and a willingness to keep learning should be a given. So are you pondering what I am pondering? I am fascinated by the television show Pinky and the Brain -- the complete lunacy of it. In every episode Brain hatches a new plan in his never-ending quest to take over the world, which ultimately ends in failure. More often than not this is due to Pinky's idiocy, the sheer impossibility of Brain's plan, Brain's own arrogance, or the fact that they are tiny mice trying to take over the world....