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  • Passion will make you work more

    Adii Pienaar is co-Founder of WordPress theme shop and eCommerce platform WooThemes. I used to be a firm believer of this mantra: “When you love your job, you’ll never work again.” Today, I’m not convinced that I believe it as much any more. See, in terms of that mantra I guess I’d be considered to be living the dream. I co-founded my own business, get to work with an awesome team on awesome products, we make good money, I get to travel often and I have loads of flexibility. It’s a privileged life. And all of this has been fuelled by my...

  • Company Office

    Sureswipe’s POS LITE helps Jele Bebe improve business processes

    Theamari Jonker, owner and director of Jele Bebe Teething Jewellery discusses how Sureswipe’s POS LITE helped her improve her business processes. Tell us more about Jele Bebe and its products Jele Bebe is a teething jewellery business that my husband and I started over 3 years ago when we saw a product from the US and were so interested, we researched the South African market, and found that there was nothing equivalent available locally. Our teething products ease the teething process for babies and parents. Our range is multi-purpose -- moms can wear the jewellery as fashion and stylish accessories, as well...

  • 4 killer emerging market startups emerge from MEF innovation awards

    MEF, the global community for mobile content and commerce, recently held a startup battle in Miami that saw North and Latin American companies go head to head for top honours. Although a US-based CMS startup, GENWI, walked away as overall winner, the innovation competition recognised some interesting ventures from emerging markets such as Brazil, Mexico and Chile. The competition was open to mobile content and commerce startups actively innovating in the North America and Latin America regions. MEF presented its first innovation award during the third annual MEF event held in Miami. The MEF Americas 2012 Award for Mobile...

  • SA business school claims world first: free online business education

    Regenesys Business School is claiming a world first: free, fully accredited, internationally recognised online business education for South Africans. The courses are offered on a freemium model under which studying and access to training materials -- from certification level, through to MBA level -- are free. Submitting assignments or exams, and attending classes are optional paid features of the programme, but are required for qualification accreditation. The following learning programmes are available: Master of Business Administration Postgraduate Diploma in Management Bachelor of Business Administration Higher Certificate in Business Management Registering for Regenesys Free Business Education allows students free access to videos, study guides, eBooks, articles,...

  • World of Avatar cuts funding to Boom.fm amid Mxit layoffs [Update]

    Online social music startup Boom.fm is set to close down after its funding was withdrawn by investment incubator hybrid World of Avatar. In an email, which was also posted on the service's site, the company said it couldn't cover its operating costs with its current revenue streams. In the mail, the company says it remains dedicated to the South African music industry: The Boom.fm team is incredibly proud of what we have achieved in the past year. We have been true to our intention of growing and supporting the success of the local music industry. The caliber of people we...

  • Lessons from Southeast Asia: trials and tribulations of a young VC

    James Chan is chief hustler at Silicon Straits, and concurrently principal at Neoteny Labs. He is currently kicking the cans around on a couple of fronts, some of which you might hear about soon. It’s not easy to be a young venture capitalist (VC) in Southeast Asia. I know it because I’ve been one for the past three years at Neoteny Labs. Fred Wilson, who is managing partner at Union Square Ventures and an investor in our fund, would readily agree. As he wrote earlier this year, “startups are a great place to be in your 20s and 30s. VC is...

  • Cap40: Fostering business relationships between the Western Cape and France

    Cap40 is an interesting new non-profit initiative that aims to foster business relations between French and Western Cape businesses. One of Cap40's main goals is to support French investment, entrepreneurs and professionals in the Western Cape and to provide support to Westen Cape business that would like to export their products, services or know how to France, as well as other French-speaking countries and Europe. At Cap40's launch event earlier this week, Consul of France Antoine Michon introduced the online social platform created by local French and South African entrepreneurs. Anyone can sign up for Cap40, but memberships have to be...

  • HealthQ: groundbreaking African startup launches, attracts funding, blows minds

    When we broke the story about HealthQ's open source metabolic chamber -- the first of its kind in the world -- we came away solemnly impressed by what a group of entrepreneurs from Stellenbosch, South Africa, managed to pull off on a limited budget. After its official unveiling today, we are now privy to HealthQ's impressive investor roster and how the metabolic chamber fits into HealthQ's plans. We knew that WooThemes co-founder Adii Pienaar was an investor, and that venture capital fund 4Di Capital was involved. Shortly after wealthy mining family, the Oppenheimers, invested in 4Di Capital’s venture fund for...

  • Entrepreneur diaries: Don’t be ashamed of building a sustainable business

    Editor’s Note: Nicholas Haralambous was the co-founder of mobile social network builder Motribe, which was recently acquired by Mxit for an undisclosed sum. The company was started two years ago with Vincent Maher and was invested in by local venture capital company 4Di Capital. He also recently started an environmentally friendly online sock shop. This is the third post in the series: "things I learned building a mobile startup in Africa". In the era of tech startups, raising a billion dollars and being bought for triple that after a few months, it is increasingly becoming uncool to build an organically...

  • Are the consumer web and enterprise splitting the VC herd?

    Dave McClure, the highly successful Silicon Valley Angel/Micro VC investor, published a passionate post about the prosperous future for the consumer web, and criticised other investors for moving away from the sector. McClure writes: Recent articles by the WSJ, Fred Wilson, & others are noting a shift in investor interest to enterprise and away from consumer. If true, this is a huge error... at least for entrepreneurs, angels, and smaller funds. There is no better time than the present to build cheap & scalable software-based businesses that make money. He points out that the business opportunities are far from over because of...

  • Protecting your inventions: IP and the perceptions of Kenyan startups

    Economies can lose billions of dollars due to piracy and IP infringement. Therefore, a country that values intellectual property (IP) can potentially create an excellent environment for IT innovation and economic growth. The 2008 survey conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC) revealed that Kenya could create 977 IT jobs and the local IT industry could contribute $73.60 million to GDP (an increase of $40.01 million) by reducing the current 80% software piracy rate by 10 percentage points over four years. Perhaps the most successful case of IP protection is the Indian software industry. Between 1994-95 and 2001-02, the industry’s gross...