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  • Innovative new funding platform Corculture.com launches in SA

    A while ago, we wrote about the partnership between FNB Private Clients and AngelHub, which gives startups access to a pool of high-income investors. In the same way, a new online investment platform, Corculutre.com gives both established and early stage businesses the opportunity to virtually pitch their businesses to a group of 30 private equity and VC funders with funds available to the tune of ZAR250 million. To ensure a better chance of fostering successful relationships between entrepreneurs and investors, the platform's team carefully assesses deals before listing them on Corculture.com -- things like product or service demand and an...

  • Company Office

    Geeks Online SA to launch soon

    Brand new education startup Geeks Online SA (GOSA) based in Cape Town, South Africa, looks to bring an innovative solution in the education space. It’s an idea inspired by the self-proclaimed “Geek” himself, one of the co-founders. The company has been founded by two chief enthusiasts, Anele Geqiwe and Busisiwe Ngxande. What they lack in years of experience, the pair has vision and passion for education. The concept driving GOSA is very simple: it requires strong relationship between high school students and tertiary institutions. We aim to introduce and prepare Grade 10-12 students to academic competency standards expected in tertiary level. Of course there are so many solutions...

  • Journey: an astoundingly smart solution for building data-gathering mobile apps

    In 2009, four guys based out of a dorm room in Stellenbosch started working on something quite extraordinary. It’s called Journey and it’s a bold new approach to building data-gathering mobile apps. Blasting off today, Journey straddles a line somewhere between a low-level mobile platform and traditional "form builder". It hopes to resonate with businesses and NGOs that are looking to digitise or improve data capturing elements in their workflows, especially paper-based ones. Philip Joubert, co-founder of the company behind Journey, Embark Mobile, believes the best way for businesses to capture data for their internally facing processes, is through mobile...

  • Is Siyavula the answer to South Africa’s textbook crisis?

    What would the tech solution to the textbook crisis in South Africa be? One solution would be to use the open-source model to write the content and distribute it through all channels including mobile. Then, engage via social-media. That is exactly what Mark Horner and his team of 14 at Siyavula have done. Siyavula facilitated writing sessions with volunteers to produce South African curriculum aligned textbooks under an Open Copyright license. This content was then handed over to the South African Department of Basic Education for free. With huge economies of scale, Government printers were able to print 2.5 million...

  • Remember China’s only US IPO of 2012? It’s doing rather well right now

    Remember VIPShop (NYSE:VIPS), the Chinese flash eCommerce sales site that’s the only company from China to list fully in the US this whole year? After an initial rough ride right after its IPO debut at $6.50 per share in March, it’s now having a superb week and closed yesterday at $8.00, giving it a market cap of $404.55 million.Chinese media have been having a field day with that latter stat, highlighting that it takes VIPShop higher in value than the Amazon-esque eCommerce site Dangdang (NYSE:DANG), which was the first Chinese B2C e-tailer to go public in the US. VIPShop...

  • What’s for dinner? Decide with Daily Dish, the service that shops for you

    Daily Dish is as a menu planning and grocery shopping service for "busy people" who want to eat delicious, cook-it-yourself food at home. We'd venture that it's also a godsend for South Africans looking to improve their culinary skills. Launched in September this year, Daily Dish allows "ordinary home cooks" to select dishes from a weekly menu; the ingredients and step-by-step recipes for these dishes are then delivered, same day, if the orders are placed before 10AM. Daily Dish co-founder Diane de Villiers tells us that the service was born out of "pure personal frustration." She paints the all too familiar...

  • Google for Entrepreneurs: a boon for emerging market startups

    Google reckons there are about 400 million entrepreneurs out there in the world and it wants to see that number increase. The search giant recently celebrated its 14th birthday by launching Google for Entrepreneurs, a hub for its several dozen programmes and partnerships that support startups and entrepreneurs. The initiative that aims to boost entrepreneurial activities within local communities has projects running in 30 countries around the world including those in emerging markets such as India, South Africa, Kenya, Israel, Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea, Egypt, Morocco, Russia and Brazil. Google also supports Startup Weekend, the 54 hour weekend incubators...

  • Art.sy: For the art lover and the art interested

    You know how Spotify and iTunes can tell the kind of music you might like based on previous purchases and listening habits? The same way Foursquare can tell you what restaurants you might like, ever wish there was a tool like that for art? Now there is and it's called Art.sy. Art.sy, is a genome project for art. Think Pandora for art. According to Pandodaily, the New York company has been building its art "database of tagged and categorized works of art" since 2010. "Art.sy’s mission is to make all the world’s art freely accessible to anyone with an internet...

  • 5 Ghanaian startups recognised at inaugural TopApps Awards

    Ghana, a strong West African tech startup region, played host to the first ever TopApps Awards ceremony, held in Accra last week. The ceremony recognised leading web and mobile applications in 10 categories and were decided through a mix of public voting and deliberation by judges. Of the 65 nominees, MEST incubator startup Dropifi walked away as overall winners, followed by 233Law, winner of two categories. Dropifi The team behind Dropifi are re-imagining one of the web’s oldest and most resolute elements, the “Contact us” form. The Dropifi solution consists of a website plug-in, optional QR code (for print-outs) and an analytics tool....

  • 5ounces: flash sale eCommerce for gourmet food and wine lovers

    There's a new gourmet food and wine eCommerce site on the block, and it's called 5ounces -- the name refers to the standard, one-fifth measurement of a bottle of wine. Launched in August of this year, 5ounces is inspired by the flash sale model of Gilt Taste and the artisanal wine offerings of Lot 18. Founder Trevor Gosling says that 5ounces aims to provide South African consumers with gourmet produce and premium wines at significantly reduced prices. A quick scan over the site reveals price reductions on Platter four and five star wine half-cases of close to 50%. A...

  • Meet OuterEdit: the startup all about online collaborative art

    The internet has impacted our lives in a number of different ways, but its function as a collaborative space is one of the most exciting, bringing together great minds over great distances. This advancement has touched the art community as well. And one young startup out of Singapore, OuterEdit, is a good example of what kind of amazing things can happen when artists meet online to work on projects together. We spoke to OuterEdit’s Ryan Tan to find out more about how this collaborative design process works, and how it all got started. What exactly is OuterEdit? Ryan: OuterEdit is a new online graphic...