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  • 20 finalist startups announced for U-Start showcase in Milan

    U-Start, the Italian funding platform with a penchant for emerging markets is narrowing its search for six of South Africa’s top startups. The winning teams will be showcased to investors in Milan, Italy from 11 May to 14 May 2013. U-Start says that it has received entries for its BLOOM Business Plan Competition from over 250 enterprises. 20 finalists have been selected for the South African leg of the business plan competition which will be held at the Bandwidth Barn on 11 April 2013. Let's take a look at the finalists. Chowhub -- An online takeaway and food delivery service. Chowhub is...

  • Company Office

    Wabona Partners up with Cinemo

    Wabona, Cape Town based video streaming service has partnered up with RLabs start-up Cinemo to provide its large library of African TV shows, films and documentaries on Cinemo’s mobile video distribution service. Cinemo distributes video content via applications on MXit and Google Android respectively. Wabona is Cinemo’s largest content partner to date. Cinemo is the brainchild of Shane Vermooten, a filmmaker and Co-Founder, who started Cinemo to solve the problem of distributing video content to the people without smartphones and fixed line internet while providing another revenue stream and new audiences to filmmakers. With the help of Marlon Parker and...

  • For the sake of future startups, WeChat has to stand up to the telcos

    China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is pressuring Tencent to subsidise telcos in China for supporting the huge data demands of the user base of its popular IM chat app WeChat. There are a total of 300-million WeChat users globally and 260-million residing in China. According to Chinese authorities, either Tencent or its users have to foot the bill. But Tencent president, Martin Lau, confirmed over the weekend that WeChat will remain free to users. Good news for users, at least for now. I find this whole subsidising the telcos fiasco ridiculous simply because users have actually paid...

  • Invasion: will international attention boost or badger African tech startups?

    As Africa keeps emitting positive economic signals, international investment will continue to rise. The question is, how will it affect Africa's tech startup scene? Will it boost the fledgling ecosystem, or cannibalise greenfield opportunities? There's a balance in the middle there somewhere, and it's worth exploring. For example, Futurex is the latest international security company to see opportunity in Africa. Based out of Texas USA, the 30-year old company specialises in encryption for secure transactions. Futurex will be represented in South Africa by Stanchion Payment Solutions. As Africa’s unbanked start to gain access to new payment channels, while connectivity...

  • Seed Engine selects first 6 startups, applications remain open

    Since we last checked in on Seed Engine, the accelerator has begun its first 13 week accelerator boot camp. Six teams of entrepreneurs have been selected from more than 300 applications. Each venture has been given R100 000 startup capital to convert their ideas into practical business plans ready to attract further investment at a demo day in May. Entrepreneurs hope to raise between R200 000 and R2-million. Marc Elias, CEO of Seed Engine says that the ventures selected are all tech focused, have international appeal as well as disruptive and scalable qualities. "There is tremendous energy in our Sandton based...

  • Three trends linking Silicon Valley to Africa’s startup ecoystem

    There is simply no denying that tech entrepreneurship in Africa is on the rise, and the dedication and passion of community leaders across the continent has resulted in a strong pool of technology-driven investment opportunities. From our vantage point high in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, we’ve been watching three trends that seem to be bridging the ocean between Silicon Valley and the so-called Silicon Savannah. Below are three trends that demonstrate these connections. The rapid growth of accelerator programs Going through an accelerator program today, some would argue, is equivalent to past generations getting their MBAs. The key benefits from an accelerator...

  • Preparing your startup for an exit? Here are 7 things you should do

    You have a startup. Chances are you will raise some decent cash because your idea is that good. You know it's only a matter of time before you're ready to sell it off to the highest bidder. That's great. We are here to prepare you for that moment. Just because your company is great and the technology is amazing doesn't mean the big guns will come calling. Sometimes no matter how great the startup, it escapes the notice of the buyers. More often than not, you have to go find the buyers. The truth is, businesses are acquired if...

  • Need a good startup idea? Here are 5 ways to make it happen

    How did you find your startup idea? For those of us evolving in the start-up ecosystem, it is not uncommon to spend sleepless nights trying to find the right product idea that will find or create it’s own market in the so-called product-market fit. There are tons of literature and excellent books on that topic, such as Eric Ries’ Lean Startup or The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki. All offers valuable advices on starting and managing a startup from idea to the first million dollars revenue. However, finding your startup idea does not happen at night reading books, whatever practical...

  • Meet Social8er — a Social CV service for the recruitment industry

    At first glance you probably wouldn't think that there is money to be made off the unemployed. After all, no jobs means no money, right? For the most part perhaps, but the US$400 billion recruitment industry might beg to differ. Technology has the ability to eat into industry revenues and professional social network LinkedIn stands the best chance to take a bite out of the recruitment market. But for the most part, the industry is alive and well. With that amount of money, tapping into the recruitment market seems a good idea, but how exactly can a company do...

  • Pricecheck gets a nod in this year’s BlackBerry Achievement Awards

    Mobile comparison shopping App PriceCheck has been nominated as one of three finalists for the app of the year category in this year's BlackBerry Achievement Awards. The South African-based offers shoppers access to different price options as well as reviews for various products with access to both online and offline stores. According to BlackBerry, the awards aim to recognise "cutting-edge contributions of creative thinkers, from all corners of the globe" by bringing together a community of exceptional businesses, entrepreneurs and developers. "Using BlackBerry technology to help power innovation, the BlackBerry Achievement Awards celebrate when ideas meet execution. As BlackBerry continues...

  • Funding and South Africa’s tech startups [Infographic]

    South Africa's funding scene is cagey. It's really hard to find concrete information, but it's no surprise really, considering all the non-disclosure agreements. Silicon Cape has been running a survey in an effort to unlock some funding information which it hopes will enlighten the country's tech startup community. The survey results were compiled into this infographic. While 60% of startups are self-funded, 41% are in search of funding. Funding is still a luxury available to a select few -- about a quarter of the survey respondents have received funding from VCs, Angels and family. Few investors are willing to invest amounts...