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  • Exclusive: A peek at ex-Yola chief’s new startup, Gyft

    When well-known serial web entrepreneur, Vinny Lingham, recently resigned as CEO of his successful website builder and hosting service, Yola, he announced that he would be heading up a new venture called Gyft. At the time of the announcement all we knew about Gyft was what everyone else knew, simply that Gyft promised “to change the way you think about gift cards". Today we know a little more thanks to a sneak preview given exclusively to Memeburn. Gift cards are estimated to be a US$100 billion annual market in the USA alone. The trouble is, 20% to 30% of gift...

  • Company Office

    Four winners of Standard Bank's Girlcode Hackathon jet off to San Francisco

    Standard Bank continues to inspire women who love technology, with four winners of the recent Girlcode Hackathon jetting off to the globally popular Tech Inclusion Conference 2017 in San Francisco on 14 October. The key objective of the hackathon – an annual event sponsored by Standard Bank that takes place in the first week of August to celebrate Women’s Month – is to develop projects that will make a difference to society. The four winners are Valerie Tshiani, Kungela Mzuku, Lorna Nqodi and Fadzai Mupfunya. The hackathon is run as a collaborative learning experience where everyone walks away with new knowledge and a starter kit to...

  • 10 Startups that could change the face of news forever

    There are an estimated 7-billion of us. Between us, its other inhabitants, the big black bit around it and Mother Earth herself, there’s never a dull moment, news happens organically, all the time. The news machine is an efficient one, the cogs -- reporters, news agencies and so on -- have become invisible. It seems seamless, news follows us everywhere, the machine works, but that doesn’t stop brilliant minds -- internet entrepreneurs, emerging media innovators and legacy newsrooms -- from attempting to push it forward, especially in the digital age. The Knight News Challenge is part of Knight Foundation’s US$100-million...

  • Stand a chance at receiving expert startup mentoring

    Running a startup is tricky: you have way more work than you would in an office job without any of the safety nets offered by a big corporate. You need all the help you can get. That help couldn’t come in a much better package than seasoned UK-based startup mentor Permjot Valia. Startups attending the Startup Acceleration Workshop at this year’s Net Prophet conference will have the opportunity to spend time with the CEO and founder of Help with Sales and prolific Angel investor. According to the conference organisers the course “gives technology startups the opportunity to greatly...

  • Online shopping on the rise: Price, convenience, security key

    According to the latest MasterCard Worldwide Online Shopping Survey, online shopping has increased significantly and continues to show potential for growth, with price, convenience and security key factors to consider making a purchasing decision. The survey revealed that even in an emerging market like South Africa shopping online has steadily increased over the past two years, with 58% of respondents in a survey of active internet users saying that they use the internet for shopping. This is an increase from the 53% that said that they shop online in 2010, and the 44% that gave the same answer in 2009. When...

  • Startups head to the cloud

    The excitement evoked by the word 'entrepreneurship' too often drains away when the business leaders of tomorrow start trying to turn their 'big idea' into reality. Along with challenges around securing funding, building a client base and finding skilled staff, the challenges around setting up the essential IT organs required for running a healthy and secure small business is possibly one of most daunting prospects. Beyond a great idea, two things drive successful startups: speed to market and keeping the burn rate to a minimum. The cloud can help startups do both and is quickly proving a competitive advantage. By...

  • Looqiloo turns everyone into an infomercial host

    Ever wanted to be an infomercial host, but never figured out how? Then Looqiloo might be the right site for you. The site's developers claim that it lets people buy directly from a video pitching products at them. The site, which goes live today, also wants to make selling social. Looqiloo claims that "anyone can easily upload personal videos about their favorite products and share them with their friends, family and social networks". The site isn't exactly starting from scratch either. Looqiiloo says there already 14 000 products live. It also says getting started with pitching a new product is relatively easy...

  • South African entrepreneurs are punk rock

    Like most people who grew up in America, I really had no idea what to expect when I first travelled to South Africa (besides gazelles and lions). My first trip was to Johannesburg two years ago to open a new office, and I have been back several times since, most recently Cape Town. Of all the places I travel for our company, South Africa is one of my favorites. After I overcame the shock of there not being any gazelles or lions, but instead razor wire and "taxis" crammed with people, the first thing that struck me was how...

  • 14 International events and a startup exchange for your calendar

    The last post I wrote featured seven, which later became nine, South African events worth attending to grow your startup. If you have started building a product or platform that you deem worthy of international exposure, which I’m sure it is, then you may want to attract the attention of investors, mentors and innovators worldwide. Here is a list of 14 events and a startup exchange programme you may want to consider: 1. South by Southwest (SXSW) One of the most talked about conferences is SXSW, whose focus is in music, independent films and emerging technologies. It is renowned for being...

  • Digital publishing conduit Snapplify launches Android platform

    If you haven’t heard of Snapplify, it’s a solution that enables publishers, authors and content providers to convert their books, magazines and brochures into digital publications. If the concept sounds compelling to you and you happen to be in London between 16 and 18 April this year, Snapplify will be on hand at the London Book Fair to launch its new Android platform. Its iOS version currently supports publishers such as iMaverick, Random House Struik, New Holland Publishing and Fiell Publishing. CEO Wesley Lynch says other items on the London agenda include the strengthening of Snapplify’s regional channels and...

  • WineConnected brings wine-making online

    It’s not easy to get excited about wine if you have been living under the notion that US$2 box wine is the best of the best. It takes a smartly designed website, and an online wine-ordering system to bring wooded cabernet sauvignons to the masses. That website is WineConnected. WineConnected wants you to become a member of its family. It’s not simply a matter of logging on, ordering a case of bubbly and drinking till dawn. No sir, WineConnected gets you invested in the concept of wine creation. From grape to glass, it’s your show baby. The concept comes from...

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