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  • 40 African news innovators you need to know about

    Google has just announced the finalists in its African News Challenge, a project aimed at strengthening and transforming African news media. Forty digital journalism projects have been shortlisted as finalists from a pool of 513 applicants. The applications screened by a technical review panel that evaluated which projects have the best potential for strengthening and transforming African news media. Short-listed finalists include proposals to improve data-driven investigative journalism and the security of journalists or their sources, as well as improve audience engagement, mobile news distribution, data visualization, new revenue models and workflow systems. The challenge's funders and partners...

  • Company Office

    Blurring of fintech, agritech holds significant potential impact for Africa

    The transformative power of fintech innovations has had far-reaching consequences on the financial services sector, disrupting traditional banking models and bringing about previously unimaginable changes in the way customers bank and pay. Technology is also transforming other industries, such as agriculture and health services. And because most industries have a financial element, the lines between the technology changes in fintech and other industries such as agritech are beginning to blur. This makes for even more exciting possibilities. “More and more we are seeing the convergence across sectors, and for emerging markets this systemic approach is a useful way to address the complexity,”...

  • Vinny Lingham’s Gyft launches, is TechCrunch Disrupt finalist

    Back in April we gave you an exclusive peek at ex Yola chief Vinny Lingham's new startup Gyft. Now you can try it out yourself following the social gifting service's launch at TechCrunch Disrtupt San Francisco. Lingham, who started Gyft after resigning as CEO of his successful website builder and hosting service Yola, officially announced the launch on his blog. According to the South African-born entrepreneur, the company also "confirmed for the first time that we raised our financing from Google Ventures, 500 Startups, Founder Collective (and more)". Gyft is a mobile gift card app that allows users to store,...

  • IBM’s Global Entrepreneur Program extended to South Africa

    This is big. IBM South Africa today confirmed that its Global Entrepreneur Program will for the first time, be extended to entrepreneurs in South Africa. Startups that are privately held, have been in business for five years or less and are actively engaged in developing a software based product or service, are being called on to sign up for this global initiative. “The Global Entrepreneur Programme is focused on helping early stage entrepreneurs to capture emerging business opportunities, especially in fast growing industries such as energy, utilities, healthcare and telecommunications. We are looking to convert startups to speed-ups by providing...

  • African incubator encourages social entrepreneurship to improve young lives

    Ventureburn readers from Chad, DRC, Rwanda, Senegal and Tanzania might find this compelling. GSM network Millicom, operating under the Tigo brand, and non-profit organisation Reach for Change, are launching a programme to improve the lives of children in the aforementioned African countries, through social entrepreneurship -- creating innovative solutions to society's most pressing social problems. Social entrepreneurs with the strongest and most promising ideas will be invited to join a three year incubator programme where they will work on transforming their ideas into sustainable ventures. The entrepreneurs chosen to join the incubator will receive salary funding as well as mentoring...

  • 20+ Chinese eCommerce players you should keep an eye on

    eCommerce is a massive industry in China. This sector presently generates revenue close to 2 trillion RMB ($315 billion) and there are plans set by the authorities for the industry to hit 2.8 trillion RMB (US$441-billion) by 2015. There are thousands of eCommerce sites in the Chinese market, where literally almost anything can be bought online. So which ones have made the biggest impact in China’s online shopping space? We have shortlisted over 20 eCommerce sites below which we think you should look out for. 1. Taobao.com Alibaba-owned Taobao is no stranger to eCommerce industry. The C2C giant sells almost everything, literally, from notebooks...

  • Jump Shopping is now uAfrica.com, widens eCommerce scope

    Jump Shopping, the popular South African comparative shopping service, has been rebranded as uAfrica.com The company has been operating in the eCommerce space since 2004 and aims to cover all aspects of eCommerce. This includes price comparison through uPrice.co.za -- essentially a rebranded version of Jump Shopping -- as well as friendly domain name registration and management services through uWeb.co.za -- uAfrica.com is an accredited co.za domain registrar with Uniforum South Africa. The company also provides eCommerce consultancy to eCommerce businesses, conducts eCommerce research and eCommerce training. Andy Higgins, founder and former Managing Director of Bid or Buy, teamed up...

  • Beauty subscription startup rubybox receives funding from HPV Africa

    Rubybox, the innovative, try-before-you-buy beauty subscription startup, announced that it has received funding from venture capitalist Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa, for an undisclosed sum. As part of the investment, rubybox is acquiring GlamBox SA, its major current competitor in the local beauty box market, making rubybox the dominant player in South Africa. “We are thrilled about the investment as we’re certain it, together with our 360 degree approach that pairs trial and education which leads to re-purchase, will help us grow rubybox to be the leading content-driven eCommerce beauty site in South Africa,” says Sylvia Gruber, rubybox co-founder and CEO. Ventureburn...

  • A closer look at GE Software: a rising startup in Silicon Valley

    One of the largest startups in and around Silicon Valley is GE Global Software in San Ramon, California, a brand new division of giant General Electric, built from scratch into an organization of 400 engineers, growing to as many as 800 software engineers and researchers by year end. Betting big on software is a key business strategy for GE. The business group's annual revenues were more than $142 billion in 2012. In 2008 they were nearly $180 billion. Software businesses have high profit margins especially if they can be applied across a large user base. Software is a far more...

  • Attention tech gurus: change a budding entrepreneur’s life with Business Bridge

    There are fervent entrepreneurs out there, hungry for your entrepreneurial knowledge. Business Bridge, a not-for-profit organisation, is attempting to start a movement which enables experienced business people, entrepreneurs and business school alumni, the opportunity to share their knowledge on aspects related to starting and running a business, with entrepreneurs in historically disadvantaged communities. Founded by Professor Michael Hay at London Business School, Business Bridge developed a scalable model for delivering high quality, low cost business education to thousands of people for whom access is otherwise denied due to cost or lack of local provision. The initiative aims to help bridge...

  • Why SA companies should be focusing on mCommerce

    Technology has transformed consumers’ lives, with shopping centres and the opportunities to spend now being brought to your PC, tablet and even your phone. With eCommerce on the increase in South Africa, such as with the latest online retail offerings by the popular fashion house, Mr Price, as well as Zando -- the online-only shopping site with international roots -- companies’ chances to leverage these opportunities online are growing. Not surprisingly however, according the Boston Consulting Group, a report published earlier this year, shows that SA’s eCommerce offering was growing at a surprisingly slower rate (12.6%) than the...