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  • BetTech secures multi-million rand seed funding

    Software development startup BetTech Gaming has announced that it has secured a multi-million rand seed funding packet from South African venture capital firm, 4Di Capital. Founded in 2009, BetTech develops gaming software, the first of which is their sports book package which will be licensed through bet.co.za’s web and mobile interfaces. When asked what persuaded 4Di to invest in BetTech, 4Di Director Justin Stanford cited the "marriage of a great idea with a capable team", namely directors Jesse Hemson-Struthers and Mark Bosman. "Jesse is already a very successful entrepreneur, with two successful online businesses to his name already, so that was definitely...

  • Company Office

    Customer loyalty is key to a retailer’s success

    What is important for a retailer is repeat business. Attracting your customer back into your store and rewarding them for spending money with you. Customer loyalty ultimately builds a brand. To manage and reward customers can be a great admin hassle if you do this manually and the process can create all kinds of unnecessary headaches. Unless your loyalty programme is easy and seamless, it can result in more damage than good! For this reason, Sureswipe has an acquiring service for retailers that use their card payment solution that allows them to customise a loyalty programme to suit their business and...

  • 10 easy ways to fail as an entrepreneur

    Many people dream of starting their own businesses and becoming financially independent, but while the idea of organising and operating your own business venture may be thrilling, there’s a good chance that your fledgling company won’t survive unless you identify potential pitfalls and plan to circumnavigate them. Here are 10 ways that you could fail as an entrepreneur: 1. Poor market research Make sure there’s a need for your product or service. Ideally, your offering should be unique and fill a gap in the market, but if there’s already competition in your intended sector, research ways to position yourself uniquely to improve...

  • 10 lessons for tech startups

    Having been involved in a number of web and tech startups from Vottle.com to a VoIP mobile startup under the auspices of Internet Solutions' ISLabs, I have been lucky enough to have worked with some very bright entrepreneurs, and have learnt some valuable lessons along the way. From Two-Minute noodles, to Darwin, to Ham-and-Egging, here are my 10 lessons for founders. 1. The Boot: Almost every business can be bootstrapped to start, and should be. Not even Google needed outside financing for its first couple of years. Superstar entrepreneurs have an uncanny knack of making money go...

  • 5 tips about the e-commerce gold rush

    It’s a brave world out there for the intrepid that roll the dice in the hopes of cashing in on the ecommerce 2.0 goldmine. My business partner recently equated the advent of the internet as akin to just that – the great gold rush. Have you used internet banking recently? Did you order your groceries online? 10 years ago these simple tasks we take for granted every day as being “just there” did not exist. Think of the gold rush – sure, the prospectors mined away and some struck it rich, but around the miners and their industry, sprung...

  • New SA crowd-source fund hits R1-million

    Crowdfund is the South African tech industry’s latest step toward fostering a culture of angel investment for online start ups in South Africa, and it’s taken off at rocket pace. After launching in March of this year, the fund has banded together 229 investors to raise a total of R1-million in capital for budding online start ups. After less than thirty days since its inception, Crowdfund is already primed to spark new entrepreneurial life in South Africa. The investors enthusiasm about Crowdfund  illustrates a wide-spread recognition that South Africa has the potential to become major player in the global tech industry if...

  • Rebooting innovation in South Africa

    Since I became the United States Ambassador to South Africa last October, I have met truly inspiring South Africans with great ideas almost every day.  I have been very impressed with South Africans’ ability to link abstract knowledge and real-world application. With such talent, it seems natural that this beautiful, vibrant country should become a global innovation hub for the 21st century. Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan emphasised in his 2010 Budget Speech that “successful developmental states are built not just through public policy and state action, but also through national identity, social cohesion and responsible citizenship - through building social capital that reinforces trust and co-operation, in the...

  • Why PayPal sucks and Kwedit doesn’t

    One of the biggest factors, apart from bandwidth and audience size, that’s restricting the development of the internet and the emergence of startups in South Africa is the lack of a safe and convenient method for consumers to buy goods and services online. The recent announcement that PayPal have officially entered the country through a partnership with FNB could help to solve this problem, but it still comes at a price and only benefits those of us who bank with FNB and have the patience to put up with the rigmarole of getting your PayPal account approved for sending and...

  • Can entrepreneurs thrive in corporate settings?

    Does working for a company preclude an individual from being an entrepreneur? Most certainly not; indeed, some of the best innovations and developments are achieved by people who are working for large corporations. The difference is that within these organisations, entrepreneurship – and critical thinking - is actively encouraged, not only in the research and development departments, but in the managerial suites too. With the global economy slowly coming out of a siege, it is to entrepreneurs that we must look for the kind of lateral thinking which sees opportunity in adversity. There is little debate that the days...

  • Personera launches Facebook print calendars

    Whoever declared that print was dead may soon have to swallow their words. Personera, an online-to-offline media technology startup, launched its unique service to Facebook users around the world this week. The company is offering the world's first print calendar that is fully personalised with a user's Facebook friends' birthdays, upcoming events, and photos. The company says it is also first to launch under the banner of the Silicon Cape initiative, a government and industry endorsed movement to create a global Silicon Valley-style startup culture in Cape Town, South Africa. Personera's website allows people to use their Facebook accounts to...

  • SA study: More people banking with their mobiles than PCs

    According to respected market research organisation World Wide Worx, the number of people banking from their cellphones has exceeded that of people banking from their PCs in South Africa. More than a quarter of bank customers are turning to their cellphones for services ranging from informational transaction types such as balance enquiries to financial transaction types which include account payments. This was one of the key findings from the consumer phase of the research company's Mobility 2009 research project. The study was backed by First National Bank (FNB), leaders in cellphone banking in Africa, and Research In Motion (RIM), the...