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  • The African ecommerce opportunity [NetProphet]

    Ecommerce is on the rise around the globe at a rapid pace, driven by the huge successes of online retailers in the US and Europe, such as Amazon.com which has scaled up exponentially in recent years. It may come as a surprise, but the most successful ecommerce market place is actually in the Far East, South Korea to be precise, where the government and private sector are pushing for affordable broadband access, stimulating trust, upscaling, and using cutting edge technology. But where does Africa fit in? Africa’s consumer market is riddled with challenges unique to the continent. Not only is...

  • Company Office

    The importance of auditors for businesses that are looking to grow

    Arguably, we've never lived in stranger or more conflicted times. On the one hand, it has never been easier to launch a new business venture or bring a product to market. This is reflected by small business statistics in the UK, with the number of active SMEs in the private sector having increased by 197 000 to a record 5.7-million at the beginning of last year. Despite this, an estimated 96% of all businesses still fail during their first 10 years of trading, as firms continue to do battle with a volatile and strained economic climate. Sure, this figure may be slightly...

  • Mobiflock — Helping parents keep an eye on kids’ mobile habits

    We live in a mobile centric society. To deny that would be foolish. Everyone has a mobile phone -- adults, teens and children. The consequences of children using mobile phones have been constantly featured in the news. Parents fear the dangers that await their children on many mobile platforms. A new startup has entered the mobile stage to help parents keep track of their children's mobile usage. Mobilflock, a Cape Town-based startup, that says it makes "cell phones safe for kids by giving parents visibility over how they use their phones, and tools to protect their children from harm". The...

  • Coming soon: A homegrown tech entrepreneurship guide

    All rising economies need a helping hand to achieve greatness. Economies that wish to thrive in today's fast-paced world of changing commerce and enterprising initiative need enterprising people. Entrepreneurship is a crucial part of any society on the rise, especially where technological infrastructure is lacking. The Entrepreneurship Guide website will go live on 12 May, in conjunction with the project launch at the Net Prophet conference in Cape Town. The South African entrepreneurial landscape is fast becoming a busy one. A sizeable number of South African entrepreneurs have graced the international stage with their ideas and flourishing success stories, though many...

  • Research reveals a growth in eCommerce site development

    There has been considerable growth in the eCommerce development sector in the first quarter of 2011 with regard to freelance projects. This is according to the latest quarterly report from DoNanza, the Israeli-based search engine which aggregates information from freelance sites such as elance, odesk and others on related online projects. The quarterly report, which is released on Monday 9 May, focuses on eCommerce freelance jobs and required skills. The data was gathered from more than 150 000 projects on hundreds of marketplaces and sites from all across the web. The report shows a 27% increase in the total number of...

  • South African venture capital exit to US technology giant

    Graceful exits are often unreported, but one South African venture capital company has done it smoothly with seemingly positive effects for the local emerging markets environment in which it operates. PoweredbyVC, which manages the South African venture capital portfolio of HBD, has concluded the exit of its CSense Systems (Pty) Ltd to US based GE Intelligent Platforms. CSense has been behind rapid process troubleshooting and process improvement software solutions that aim to enhance the performance of industrial processes by indentifying problems before they occur. The latest deal sees GE Intelligent Platforms having now acquired the technology assets of CSense,...

  • Innovation journalism — Media coverage is important to startups

    Media coverage is very important for startups. It is how they gain respect in their community, it is how they can win investors, and it is invaluable in helping to recruit staff. Positive media coverage will also help gain users of their products and services, providing valuable marketing services that could cost tens of thousands of dollars. But the only reason media coverage of a startup and their product is valuable is that the media coverage is seen as a neutral third party -- it has no financial bias in its reporting. The only acceptable bias is a thirst for a great...

  • Young Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and their unethical ways

    The film "The Social Network" has helped to make startups popular among young people the world over. It's just one factor inspiring new generations of entrepreneurs hoping to succeed through innovation and hard work. But are they learning ethical ways of doing business? The more we find out about Mark Zuckerberg and his behaviour during the early days of Facebook, the more he reveals a cavalier attitude to ethics. And other founders of successful startups also have shown questionable ethics. Take Mark Pincus, the CEO of Zynga, the social gaming company behind Farmville. His behaviour was documented by Mike Arrington in Techcrunch: Scamville:...

  • Kickstart your startup with Google and Silicon Cape

    How often have you had a great idea that you were convinced could become a major hit, if only you had a team to help you realise it? Or perhaps you're a great developer waiting for just the right project to work on that will maximise your talents? If either of these scenarios sound familiar to you, then you need to make sure you're at the Ideas & Builders event, hosted by Silicon Cape and the Google Umbono team. The Ideas and Builders Event takes place on Wednesday 20th April, 2011, and runs from 6:30PM to 9:30 PM. Umbono is...

  • Mobile social network Motribe celebrates ‘one million user’ milestone

    Memeburn has it on good authority that Motribe, the relatively-new mobile social networking platform that empowers users across the world with tools to build and manage their own mobile social network, claims to have now hit the "one million user mark". The venture capital-backed startup focuses its attention primarily on emerging markets in Asia and to some extent Africa, and markets itself heavily on mobile advertising networks like Google Adsense for mobile and Admob -- where much of the service's traffic is thought to emanate. Motribe is backed by early-stage venture capital company 4DiCapital, which forms part of international...

  • FSMS.co.za: Q&A with the new mobile messaging startup

    There's no such thing as a free lunch right? There's got to be a catch somewhere within a so-called free service? Think of Facebook, Google, and Twitter. These are all based on “freeconomics”. They are free tools. These services are subsidised by advertising and that model has, obviously, proved extremely successful. Why not apply the same model to mobile messaging? Launched last year, FSMS.co.za is doing just that. Memeburn had a chat with FSMS CEO Daniel Schwartzkopff to find out more about the start-up and their future plans. How did you come up with the idea for FSMS? Daniel: After looking...