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  • Mxit’s CEO quest: our picks for the top job

    It's been about five months since Mxit's board of directors (aka the people with the money) and Alan Knott-Craig Jnr had a showdown that resulted in his stepping down as CEO. Five months on and the company is still under acting CEO Francois Swart. The Vatican found a new leader in less time. So we thought we would help Mxit along with some candidates to consider. There have been some major shake ups since Knott-Craig's departure: retrenchments, products announcements and reshuffles. The way we see it, Mxit needs something new and different, it needs a non-Mxit person who can...

  • Company Office

    Tshwane free WiFi project provides model for social impact bond

    Model could help with municipal infrastructure challenges A free WiFi project that has successfully taken root in Tshwane could set the pattern for social impact bonds in South Africa in which the private sector guarantees delivery of services, the public sector guarantees payment and commercial funding is accessed upfront from the financial markets. Social impact bonds are a form of innovative funding that gives service providers, including nonprofit organisations, access to upfront resources to tackle social problems by tapping private funding to cover the upfront costs of social programmes approved by government institutions. Kasief Isaacs, portfolio manager for infrastructure investments at Mergence...

  • 500 Startups takes ‘Geeks on a Plane’ tour to exciting Southeast Asia

    Asia's startup scene is booming. A large contributor to this boom is Southeast Asia's rise as an exciting region for tech startups due to an increase in internet and smartphone access, among other factors, and a budding presence of local accelerators. Noticing this, Western accelerators are keen to get in on the action. Leading the way is none other than 500 Startups, the ever impressive and expanding seed accelerator, who is taking their 'Geeks on a Plane' (or GOAP) tour to the region. GOAP is an invite-only tour designed to connect startups and investors while teaching both parties about the local...

  • Why Indonesia is a tech market that can’t be ignored

    Indonesia is awesome. Its capital city of Jakarta is one of the biggest social media users in the world. And a McKinsey report believes that the country is on track to becoming the world’s seventh biggest economy by 2030, placing it ahead of currently more developed countries like the UK and Germany. Indonesia is also the third biggest democratic country, and it has held smooth presidential and parliamentary elections too. While many would prefer to make their living in a more developed country, maybe like the US or Australia, you should seriously consider building your business here in Indonesia. That thought...

  • 5 apps every entrepreneur needs to be using

    Entrepreneurs are those people who see great opportunities and grab hold of them before they can pass by or be taken advantage of by others of their kind. These are the human beings who see massive potential where others see risk, and who are responsible for the rapid advancement in our industries and the world we live in. Without them, the world would be boring, grey and average. If you're an entrepreneur, here are five apps that could help you on your quest. Freshbooks Cloud Accounting -- Free Part of being an entrepreneur is doing everything yourself, well initially anyway. This...

  • Mobilitrix Telmap partnership set to turn SA drivers into bargain hunters

    Telmap, the Israeli mobile navigation company that was acquired by Intel in 2011, recently announced a partnership with South African mobile rewards company, Mobilitrix. The deal will allow Telmap users in South Africa to search Mobilitrix's database of vouchers and coupons, as well as navigate to retailers where the mobile rewards can be redeemed. Telmap runs on iOS, Android and BlackBerry platforms. While its main feature is navigation, Telmap has a legacy of offering users the ability to find things like restaurants, banks and other points of interest based on proximity. Mobilitrix was founded in Cape Town in 2007 with the aim...

  • Some business lessons from Cirque du Soleil

    I recently went to see DRALION by Cirque du Soleil -- presented by T-Systems. It was one of the most visually stimulating things that I have witnessed in recent years. In fact it was an all-round sensory experience not to be missed. That's not why I'm writing this blog post. Sitting there listening to and watching the show, I was taken by how perfect of an experience the show was and started to wonder what startups could learn from it. Here are a few things I noticed: Work with only the best Every single person that formed part of the crew (performers, backstage...

  • Africa App Quest: the search for the best travel app in Africa

    Research commissioned by the World Bank has predicted that Sub-Saharan Africa's travel and tourism industry is expected to achieve an annual growth rate of 5.5% over the next ten years. The world average, by comparison, is a paltry 4.1%. Taking this into account, Visa - the global payments technology company - and South African Tourism (SAT) have officially cut the ribbon on the Africa App Quest (AAQ). In the form of a competition, the AAQ is a challenge to developers to build the continent's best mobile travel app compatible with iOS, Android and Windows. The winner - deemed to have best...

  • Vodacom, Vaimo team up for new youth-based ecommerce platform

    African mobile operating giant Vodacom teamed up with ecommerce Vaimo to deliver Vodacom 4U’s new online platform with a focus on the youth market. Vaimo claims to be South Africa's only Magento gold partner and helps people set up shop on the platform, which is one of the fastest growing in the world. It also claims to have helped more than 300 store owners to move their online business forward "without compromise". According to Vodacom, the ecommerce store is designed to appeal to the informed tech-savvy youth of today and will allow people to choose a phone and contract...

  • 5 things startups can learn from surfers

    Surfing isn't exactly the sport one would associate with startups, but there's a lot to be learnt from hanging ten that applies to the world of online business: Know the conditions Ideal surfing conditions are a cumulation of swell, tides and wind. Ideally, offshore conditions hold up he wave, giving the surfer more surface area on which to surf. Similarly, startups should have an idea of what their market's conditions are -- for example: knowing that iOS users monetise better than Android users means that iOS development takes precedence if you want to monetise early. Know the locals At every surf spot...

  • JSE-listed Sekunjalo cuts into mobile with stake in World Wide Creative

    Hot off the signing desk, digital marketing agency World Wide Creative (WWC) has announced that Saratoga, a subsidiary of JSE-listed Sekunjalo Investments Limited, now holds a sizeable stake in its business, making it a majority shareholder in the company. World Wide Creative was launched in 2003 by business partners Fred Roed and Mike Perk and has created digital products for the likes of Virgin Mobile, BizConnect and the Democratic Alliance. The company and its team are also responsible for the Heavy Chef Project, which focuses on practical learning about digital marketing as well as a series of talks with...