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  • Pashash: the online social network for offline shopping

    Pashash is a location-aware mobile app that lets you share the things you buy or like in brick-and-mortar retail stores. You can think of it as an online social network for offline shopping that allows you and your friends to express your tastes and discover great deals on items you fancy. Born out of Umbono, Google’s Cape Town based tech incubator, Pashash is shaping up to be a welcome weapon against showrooming. Showrooming Showrooming is a term used to describe the trend which sees people visiting a physical store to check out a product, only to purchase the product online. Brands are...

  • Company Office

    Preparing your startup for international expansion

    While people often try to apply generic rules to all startup ventures, the fact remains that these entities are not created equal. So, although it's usually sound advice to suggest that entrepreneurs strive to establish their brand locally before expanding overseas, there are instances when this is arguably counterproductive. After all, it's not unknown for firms to offer products or services that have a more defined target audience overseas, while your startup may also benefit from first-hand knowledge of international expertise. If you are going to expand your business overseas, however, you'll need to ensure that you're fully prepared. Here are some...

  • Google nestles in with Kenya’s 88mph, SA expansion planned

    Looks like Google's African startup footprint is about grow a little more. Kenyan startup accelerator 88mph has signed a partnership with the tech giant in a bid to ramp up its African expansion. The company says it hopes the partnership will "fill the gaps of the nascent startup ecosystem" on the continent. According to The Next Web, the new partnership will allow 88mph to provide a number of extra services, including legal and IP advice, mentoring, and technical workshops. The first stop in Accelerator's expansion will see it heading to Cape Town later this year. Google already has a...

  • Marketing opt-out list TrustFabric rockets to 305 000 users

    In the fight against spam, TrustFabric, South Africa's first independently run direct marketing opt-out list is getting traction, having now grown to 305 000 users. The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) gives South Africans the right to block direct marketing by adding their contact details to an opt-out list, but an official national opt-out list is yet to be appointed. The free TrustFabric service, launched in 2011, hopes to become the official national opt-out list, which would see direct marketing companies become legally bound to check if a number is on the list before they are allowed to phone or SMS...

  • Who are South Africa’s top business women and entrepreneurs?

    The influence of women on business is increasing -- they're making a mark on the tech world and women account for a larger percentage of the influential people on TIME Magazine's global list than ever before. From Yahoo!'s new CEO Marissa Mayer to the first female chairperson of the African Union, women are showing why they're a force to be reckoned with. So who are some of South Africa's top female entrepreneurs and business women? If the list of finalists for this year's Top Women in Business and Government Awards is anything to go by, they're working in industries...

  • Best and worst sub-Saharan African countries for startups

    We delved into the World Bank's Economy Rankings for 2012, released earlier this year and found that despite African countries not featuring in the top 20 overall for ease of doing business, they still offer aspects that could make them attractive to startups. We also identified some aspects of economies in Africa that make it really hard for entrepreneurs to prosper. First, let's take a look at the countries in the region that have aspects that are likely to attract startups. Be sure to have a look at the full detailed report for complete rankings and methodology. Mauritius Ranked number one...

  • 3 little known (but effective) tools for understanding your user

    If you're like me, you've always been fascinated by startups but not sure how to go about actually starting one up. At the beginning of this year I noticed a gap in the online market and started working on filling it by creating an online novel-writing programme for people who really want to write a novel, but don't know how to start it. I've been working for a large corporate in South Africa and in the Netherlands, so it's been fairly eye opening having to do things myself (not having a team of people to execute on things for me),...

  • Peter Thiel’s 20 Under 20: Transforming Tomorrow documentary coming soon

    This is one you'll want to look out for. The two-part 20 Under 20: Transforming Tomorrow documentary airing next Monday and Tuesday on CNBC in the US, tells the story of 20 young entrepreneurs who compete for a US$100 000 Thiel Fellowship to bring their dreams to life. The Fellowship is offered by legendary investor Peter Thiel, who many know as one of the first investors in Facebook. The documentary will chronicle Thiel's search for brilliant innovators -- 1 000 applied from 20 different countries -- who will will pitch their ideas to investors and entrepreneurs including Sean Parker and...

  • Fresh out of beta Moneysmart reveals bank integration, master plan

    Moneysmart, the online personal finance manager (PFM) we covered last year, will be exiting beta in the next few days. It sports a new look, iOS and Android apps, and now, direct integration with all but one South African bank. Absa is yet to give Moneysmart its blessing, but CEO Tobie van Zyl is confident that an agreement will be reached by the end of this year. With big name backers and a maturing feature set, Moneysmart is coming out guns blazing in its bid to lead a pack of new personal finance tools that aim to give you a...

  • FNB injects Acer laptops into its interest free eCommerce lineup

    Award for the geekiest bank in South Africa? That’s easy. FNB. In addition to gadgets by HTC, Apple, BlackBerry and Samsung, FNB clients can now buy Acer laptops and ultrabooks at no interest or charges over a 24 month period. New and existing FNB Gold or Platinum Cheque Account clients as well as FNB Private Clients will be able to get their hands on Acer's Aspire S3-391 Core i5 Ultrabook, 320GB Acer Timeline Ultra M3 and Aspire V3-571 Core i3 Notebook. Triggered by a successful iPad offer, FNB expanded its inventory to include a range of consumer devices. The bank pre-installs...

  • South African VC Knife Capital receives international recognition

    To the people living on the African continent, the brilliant innovation emerging from the continent's unsung entrepreneurs is axiomatic. The rest of the world however remains largely unaware of its rise as a tech powerhouse. To those paying attention however, it's clear. In its Fortnightly Thoughts research report American investment banking and securities company Goldman Sachs asks: “Is now the time for multi-nationals to be investing in Africa?” The answer: In short, our conclusion is yes. Africa’s exceptionally robust growth over the last decade is probably understated (informal parts of economies are very big), but not being able to measure this growth...