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  • Microsoft paving the way for Africa’s youth with YouthSpark

    Microsoft really cares about Africa's youth -- so much so it has designed a new initiative to help empower them. The company has announced its YouthSpark global project that aims to create opportunities for 300-million youth in more than 100 countries during the next three years. This company wide initiative includes Corporate Social Investment (CSI) and other company programmes -- both new and enhanced -- which it claims will empower youth to imagine and realise their full potential by connecting them with greater opportunities for education, employment and entrepreneurship. "It is a sad reality that while young Africans are more...

  • Company Office

    Colosseum Luxury Hotel and MzansiStore Announce Joint Venture

    Hotel and e-Commerce store announce the opening of a pop-up store Cape Town, South Africa – The renowned Colosseum Luxury Hotel and MzansiStore have announced their plans to enter into a joint venture through the opening of a pop-up store. MzansiStore is an e-Commerce platform that supports local producers of handcrafted products. A selection of the store’s goods, which are usually only available online, will be showcased and made available for purchase at the Colosseum hotel as of 16 July 2014. Deidre Luzmore started MzansiStore in September 2012 after noticing that there was a substantial amount of small-scale South African...

  • Provantage launches Transit.TV in-taxi ad network, targets 6.9 million viewers

    You might not have heard of Provantage, but there's a good chance you've seen the company's work. Provantage runs Airport.TV, a news and advertising service for airports. With the recent launch of Transit.TV, the company is extending its reach to train stations and taxis. Transit.TV, will broadcast to over 1 100 HD displays and Provantage estimates a monthly average audience of 6.9-million viewers. The company is targeting South African inter-modal transport nodes as well as 600 in-taxi displays. Park station in Johannesburg is an example of such an inter-modal transport node where multiple forms of transport come together. Transit.TV will...

  • Now Novel – the easy, social way to write a book… for a price

    If you’ve always wanted to write a novel, to bring that masterpiece in the back of your mind to life, there are a few services that you can enlist to help you out. Other than the real world assistants of editors, university writing courses, self-publishing et al. there are also a number of digital and online aids out there. Writing applications such as Celtx and Scrivener provide full services, while online education options are a dime a dozen promising to make you an enthralling writer… "in just ten weeks!" And while no one option is the holy grail of writing utilities,...

  • Meet 18 brilliant SA tech entrepreneurs and their bids for a trade visit to the UK

    18 hand-picked entrepreneurs from towns, townships and rural communities across South Africa recently pitched their businesses to top level executives to secure their place on a trade visit to the United Kingdom in April this year. Sponsored by BT Global Services and lead by MEDO, the International Trade Programme (ITP) aims to promote trade between South Africa and the UK, while fast tracking entrepreneurial businesses. The programme consists of a week of training programmes, networking events and business and investor pitches in the UK. “On the last trade visit, our entrepreneurs achieved an incredible amount in one short...

  • 500 startups sees Silicon Valley in Brazil

    Startup accelerator 500 Startups is serious about growing its presence in emerging markets. According to the accelerator, "big things are happening" in the South American country, which is why the programme has "been so passionate about supporting Brazilian startups and entrepreneurs". In a recent post on its site, 500 Startups noted that Brazil's mobile landscape is worth paying attention to saying that it is "seeing Silicon Valley in Brazil". "Mobile's massive as well, with more than 1.4 phones per person, with 22-million of those being smartphones," says the post. "And these numbers are going up faster every year." 500 Startups was...

  • 8 Red Hot Chili startup lessons

    The Red Hot Chili Peppers (RHCP) may be one of the most celebrated rock groups of the '90s and early 21st century, but their journey to success shares a Parallel Universe with that of a typical startup company. Initial enthusiasm was followed by a lack of traction as they struggled through the late ‘80s confronting tragedy, personnel changes and false starts. But through experimentation they fostered creativity and progress because they don’t fear failure. This energy lead to a uniquely recognizable brand of funk, pop and rock that turned into commercial success. Some valuable startup lessons are woven into the...

  • Deal discovery startup Pashash changes name to Found, tightens focus

    Pashash co-founder Faheem Kajee said in a blog post today that the deal discovery and sharing service has been renamed to Found. Building on Pashash's initial pitch which was to give buyers a new way of discovering the best buys in brick-and-mortar stores, Found is intended to be a more streamlined service with a new focused call to action: "What Deals Have You Found?" Found will help shoppers share great deals and keep track of what they're saving. Kajee says that Pashash wasn't showing the traction they were hoping for. "Late last year we had to ask ourselves a set of...

  • Startups vs Government on innovation

    Comparing tech startups and the government is strange, I know. Nevertheless, having just finished a short course on economic development, I’m quite sure there are some parallels in the thinking of professors and civil servants in charge of the economy, and the thinking of the likes of Eric Ries of Lean Startup fame. The first thing that resonated is some advice I’ve gleaned from successful entrepreneurs. Pick a goal, i.e. the mountain in the distance. Then, ignore every single step between you and the mountain, except for the next step. Once that step has been taken, look up, make sure...

  • Airtime: the online radio management system you need

    There are thousands of radio stations around the world -- the medium is thriving in both developed and developing nations where internet-radio and the traditional format prevail respectively. And while stations' broadcasting goals may vary from entertainment to news to education to marketing, they all share the unifying challenge of managing and scheduling their broadcasts, in an effective and timely manner, to reach the millions of regular radio listeners worldwide. Interestingly, there has been an explosion in the number of radio stations that broadcast in local languages, providing an extra hurdle for show--creators: how do they create content between many contributors...

  • 8 tips to help get your startup through a big brand partnership

    If you’re doing a startup, there’s an allure to big brand partnerships. You might think: close a deal in a couple of months and then prestige, validation, press, growth, new opportunities, and lots more all await. “If I get this deal we’ll be up in bright lights.” Except it doesn’t usually work that way. The reality is that it’s so hard getting a foot in the door, then signing a contract is grindingly tough. Next, getting a successful partnership that delivers real mutual value is the real challenge, and then you have to do all this without getting sidetracked and...