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  • Meet Tracking the Wild: the social tool using crowdsourcing to help Africa’s wildlife

    One of the biggest tourist attractions in South Africa -- and Africa as a whole -- is its sprawling wildlife. However valuable this attraction may be, its sustainability is questionable. Just take the rapid rise in illegal poaching as an example. With some clever technological solutions at hand, perhaps social media and crowdsourcing could help inject a fresh sense of modernity to this cherished industry. Tracking the Wild is a platform that encourages Africa's parks and reserves to capture and share wildlife sightings with like-minded enthusiasts, while making a valuable contribution to conservation. It has a two-pronged approach. On the one...

  • $100m Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme is calling for applications

    Applications for the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme have opened in a grand mission to forge over 10 000 entrepreneurs within the next decade. Founded by Nigerian billionaire Tony Elumelu, the pan-African programme is open to young compelling businesses with strong market feasibility, clear financial models and run by capable teams. The programme includes a 12-week training programme, mentorship, access to crucial networks and resources as well as possible funding. The qualifying startups that have progressed their business plans sufficiently will each receive second stage seed capital investment of US$5 000 that will be provided as returnable capital. Read more: $100m pan-African initiative...

  • Shoe etailer Heels.com.ng secures investment, hopes to ride ecommerce wave

    Nigerian online designer shoe shop Heels.com.ng has secured an investment from Kernel Fund, a regional seed stage investment fund. Both Kernel Fund and Heels.com.ng are not at liberty to disclose any specific figures, but Kernel Fund Manager Ade Ajayi has noted that the fund usually invests between US$25 000 and US$50 000 in individual funding rounds. Heels.com.ng was founded by avid entrepreneur and angel investor Ikenna Okonkwo and technologist Udoka Uzoka, currently the CEO and CTO respectively. With its selection of designer shoes at affordable prices and a big focus on digital marketing, the company hopes to ride on the ecommerce hype...

  • 4 New Year’s resolutions your startup should consider adopting in 2015

    This is it. This is the year your startup will go big. At least that's what you were telling everyone at the New Year's eve party a couple of nights ago. But how exactly are you going to achieve that? What exactly are you going to do this year that makes it different from last year, or any other year for that matter? Well, we've been privileged enough to observe the startup space for a good couple of years now and we've got a few ideas for changes you can make in 2015 that could go a long way...

  • Can a business be too agile?

    By Cornel Masson and Francois Swanepoel Agile development has been embraced by businesses around the world. It improves speed to market by cutting down on the development cycle. If done properly, it improves the quality of output and mitigates risks. But risk increases when agile methodologies are not applied correctly. And, unfortunately, it is quite easy to get it wrong. The best thing about agile development isn’t necessarily its speed, it’s the fact that it is iterative, which makes it highly reactive. You start with just the essentials and add new functionality every couple of weeks. Critically, at the end...

  • 2014: the year in digital agency acquisitions

    If 2014 was a big year for investment in the South African startup space, it was an even bigger year for digital agency acquisitions. While the likes of WPP and Publicis have been a part of the country's digital agency space for a good few years now, 2014 was particularly busy. It wasn't just the world's two biggest advertising holding companies making acquisitions either. US advertising giant also got involved. Significantly, so did Deloitte as it continues to expand from one of the traditional "big four" professional services companies into a major threat in the digital agency scene....

  • 14 tech startups from emerging markets onto something big

    This year, for Ventureburn and all the other tech blogs covering startup scenes, we've seen an exciting crop of talent show face. From major ecommerce moves to exciting health technologies and crowdsourced design platforms, below we've rounded-up some of the ones that have stood out to us showing the most potential. HealthQ The Stellenbosch-based startup HealthQ is onto something really big. After introducing the world’s first open source metabolic chamber a few years ago, it has now industrialised the LifeQ technology, which can track your metabolism, heart rate and blood pressure among other world-class things. Co-founder Riaan Conradie has also been invited...

  • 10 culinary tips for building a successful startup team in 2015

    If you don’t like the heat, stay out the kitchen. The saying comes from the world of politics, but applies just as strongly to the startup space. After all, the skills needed to lead a growing business are familiar to any halfway decent cook in a well-run kitchen. There really is a recipe for superior corporate performance and key elements in the mix can often be described in culinary terms. Here, therefore, are my 10 tips for those hoping to taste business and career success: 1. Quality ingredients are essential Go shopping for cheap people and you get poor results. Hire quality...

  • 5 savvy podcasts you should listen while building a winning startup

    It's holiday time (for most of you at least), which means that you should sit back, relax and let advice and conversations seep into your subconscious. Which is why we've rounded up a bunch of inspiring, insightful, and just plain entertaining podcasts for you to follow. While not all of them will give the popular Serial audio series a run for its money, they are all pretty damn awesome. TWiStartups Serial entrepreneur Jason Calacanis gives you a weekly low-down on what's hot and happening in the world of startups. With a strong experience, Calacanis shares his tips and trends about...

  • 11 of SA’s biggest (and most exciting) tech startup investments of 2014

    Money makes the world go round. And if you play your cards right, might just make your startup successful -- putting a smile on shareholders faces. In 2014, we saw a lot of money being moved around in South Africa's startup scene. So much so that we've decided to round up some of the investment rounds that really stood out to Ventureburn. From real estate, crowdsourced designs to a multi-million financial aid startup, these are some really exciting times. Nomanini One of South Africa's much-talked about startup success stories, prepaid voucher enabler Nomanini, has raised a fat R20-million in February...