Africa, Startup news

Microsoft awards 7 more African startups with Innovation Grants

microsoft 4afrika alt Microsoft 4Afrika has announced the second round of startups that will have access to the tech giant's Innovation's Grant, the latest in a series of initiatives we've seen this year as it looks to fast-track African innovation. The grant will help each startup achieve their unique needs whether that be skills, funds or networking. Fernando de Sousa, General Manager of Africa Initiatives at Microsoft notes how critical it is to support Africa's future industry leaders: “The world is looking for the ...


Dragons’ Den SA episode 2: the dragons come into their own

Dragons Den SA 2 By anyone's standards, the first episode of Dragons' Den South Africa was something of a mixed bag. Outside of the random assemblage of people calling themselves entrepreneurs and pitching ideas they'd thought up during the week (these are the same people who believe they can win Idols based on their solo shower performances), there were a couple of promising ideas, one that was "too polished" and a single actual investment. The second episode delivered more, not least because the dragons -- ...


Quitting my corporate job to follow my startup dream worked out, but not in the way you think

Golden Hamster I was inspired to write this after reading an article by Ali Mese, where he discusses how quitting his job in order to chase his startup dream stuffed up his life. I found myself in a similar position not too long ago, and I want to share my story with those of you who may be contemplating doing the same thing. The startup journey begins In 2011 I was working for one of the top engineering companies in South Africa, a job ...

Africa, Startup news

Zimbabwean Wi-Fi startup SaiSai wins SWELL Innovation Award

SaiSai Wi-Fi distribution startup Saisai has been announced as winner of the SWELL Innovation Award at DEMO Africa. SaiSai will receive an all-expense paid trip to Silicon Valley as part of the SWELL Innovation Tour, which includes the exclusive participation in SWELL’s intensive soft landing programme in California. The Zimbabwean company provides a bandwidth redistribution wireless mesh network consisting of free access wireless hotspots in public areas, including public transportation. SaiSai explains that many companies have large periods of time when their internet capacity ...

Ecommerce, Entrepreneurship

What I’ve learnt from the trenches of startup ecommerce in London

London I’ve spent almost two weeks writing this. At first it was too personal, then it became too anecdotal, so I’ve settled on a list of things which I think are concrete lessons I can impart, and which are easily digestible. Hope you find it useful! Ecommerce is hard The startup world is largely populated by tech people. Or led by tech people. I think that ecommerce went through a phase where technology was a barrier to entry, but that phase is over ...

Competition, Startup news

Student admin startup Gradesmatch wins Ventureburn Startup Battle

Startup Battle 2 From B2B recycling through to travel agents and elearning, last week's Social Media Week Johannesburg saw five exciting tech startups go head-to-head for a chance to be crowned the ultimate winner of Ventureburn's Startup Battle. While competition was extremely tough, student administrative startup Gradesmatch was eventually dubbed the winner and walked away with R25 000 sponsored by Ford Motors SA. Apart from the cash prize, the winning company was also awarded a mentoring session with Sage Pastel Managing Director Steven Cohen, as well ...

Startup news

Sage SA acquires talent connection portal SkillsMap

Sage Skillsmap Software and services company Sage South Africa has acquired SkillsMap, an online platform that connects employers in South Africa and the rest of the continent with potential candidates. According to Sage, the cloud-based, end-to-end recruitment solution was acquired in order to broaden its payroll and HR offering. In line with this, the product has been rebranded Sage SkillsMap and will eventually integrate to both Sage VIP and Sage Pastel’s Payroll & HR systems. In addition, the company says, Sage SkillsMap ...

Startup news

Your startup could win an eight-week trip to Silicon Valley: here’s how

Silicon Valley In the world of startups, Silicon Valley is pretty the place everyone else has tried to ape. There's a good reason for that too. The collection of Southern California towns has birthed some of the biggest technology companies the world has ever seen. And now, if you play your cards right, your startup could spend two months there soaking up all the knowledge on offer. The eight week trip to Silicon Valley is the grand prize in SiMODiSA's 10-10 event, ...


The technophobic entrepreneur: a dying breed

Surprised nerd hides behind a computer keyboard over white background Ecommerce, business management apps, social media, The Cloud... the list of technological advances keeps growing. While the sometimes bewildering slew of new technology might make some business owners want to return to the days of the abacus, ignoring it won’t make it go away. Not only can using technological tools help you in your business – they can also be instrumental in your success. Ease of communication Communication is crucial to any business, so it goes without saying that any technology that ...


Superbalist swings past the million member mark

Superbalist acquisition Things are looking pretty good for the team at Superbalist right now. Hot on the heels of its acquisition by South African ecommerce giant Takealot, the curated design shop has announced that it now has more than one-million members prepared to spend their hard-earned cash on it. According to Superbalist co-founder Claude Hanan, a large part of this growth has come from South Africa, with people looking to buy international products, but through a local channel with proven reliability. “Our ...