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  • Poke Asia’s startup bubble all you want, it won’t burst

    What’s popular in these Asian countries, and why you should care. Because after all, Asia is not a startup bubble. The cynics sneer from afar: “Oh, Asia. They only know how to play catch up; imitating her siblings from the Valley. There are many startups there, but hey, few exits. What does that tell you? Startup. Bubble.” At Echelon 2013, a panel discussion moderated by Joash Wee, our very own editor, saw Asia being discussed and scrutinized meticulously in the company of four others who each represented their home country — Charle Charoenphan (Thailand (TH), managing director at HUBBA), Casey Lau...

  • Company Office

    Peach Payments and Callpay announce EFT system partnership

    Peach Payments, a leading and one of Africa's fastest growing payment service providers and Callpay, an innovative provider of secure payment solutions announce collaboration to provide automated Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT) as well as secure telephonic payment acceptance solutions. The innovative products will enable millions of South Africans to make instant and secure payments when shopping online or during payment processes over the phone and via call centres. Through this exciting collaboration announced at the 3rd eCommerce Africa Conference, customers will now be able to pay online using their cheque, savings or credit card accounts. Merchants that sign up through...

  • iRokoTV set to launch a Nollywood DVD collection in SA

    If something is really good online, chances are it will find its way offline soon enough and that's what the team at iRokoTV is looking to do with its latest offering. The Nigerian online movie streaming site is launching a new Nigerian movie DVD collection. iROKOtv is the world’s largest online distributor of Nigerian movies, boasting a catalogue of over 5 000 titles. This new venture is the company's attempt to enter into the DVD market in order to reach the millions of Nigerian movie fans who do not have access to the internet. Nigeria’s movie industry, colloquially known...

  • Microsoft’s 4Afrika initiative to create 3000 tech jobs

    Microsoft is getting quite busy in Africa lately. Through its 4Afrika initiative, the company has announced that will partner with the South African government's Jobs Fund to train more than 3000 unemployed graduates to get permanent jobs in the technology sector in the next three years. "The government's top priority is to get young South Africans working. As a company, we have long invested in South Africa and understand the need for us all to continue to develop solutions to this challenge. We remain committed to helping address the issue of youth unemployment, as we cannot let an entire...

  • HumanWrit.es: the notebook company helping underprivileged kids

    This is pretty cool. Social innovation startup HumanWrit.es, which donates 10 exercise books to classrooms of school children in need for every one of its Writable notebooks sold, has released a video showing its most recent donation delivery. The most recent donation of 20 000 exercise books were delivered to over 200 pre-schools that form part of the Ithemba Labantwana community forum, operated under the umbrella of Ikamva Labantu, the company's partner organization. The give-away exercise books include tools for reading and writing in both Xhosa and English, drawing and colouring-in, some basic maths and dotted pages for free thinking,...

  • Startup Blitz: Wabona, online streaming service for African film and TV

    The online streaming space is heating up in Africa, fueled by a huge desire for African media content from consumers inside and out of the continent. The latest 'Netflix for Africa' competitor is Wabona - a startup that proudly focuses on Sub-Saharan content, empowering content creators, as well as facilitating a distribution platform for the African diaspora. Wabona is a graduate from startup accelerator 88mph's Cape Town 2013 programme, and was one of the most charismatic pitching teams at its demo day. Mich Atagana spoke to founders Simbarashe Mabasha and Simukayi Makuna about Wabona's subscription model, competitors, licensing issues and the...

  • Startup Stock Exchange: global market for startup investing set to launch

    On 10 June 10, 2013, the Startup Stock Exchange (SSX) will open its marketplace for startup investing and funding. On SSX, investors of any level can buy shares of vetted startup companies, and shares are traded freely -- investors can buy or sell anytime and control their own account. For startups and small businesses, SSX is a compelling way to raise funds. SSX continues the trend of online angel investing, set by services such as Seedrs (UK), SeedInvest and AngelList (US). When SSX opens investors will be able to buy shares in two companies. Underling SSX's parallels with a stock exchange...

  • Is 3D printing the key to Africa’s dire manufacturing sector?

    It’s not just a gimmick you often see on Kickstarter. 3D printing technologies have the ability to provide local communities with the access to facilities they need to produce and market their own products. It could enable the much-needed manufacturing industry to be personalised as well as democratised. What entrepreneurial opportunities could this “over-hyped gimmick” create for developing countries? Imagine a doctor from the DRC who can make a prosthesis with materials found in his backyard. What if an engineer could design the newest African tablet or smartphone with metals found at a neighbouring mine? From shoes to toilets ,...

  • Big publishing dreams for Snapplify with SPi Global partnership

    Popular mobile digital publishing solutions provider Snapplify has announced a global partnership with SPi Global, a global digital and epublishing service provider to content owners and publishers. Snapplify launched in 2011 at the Frankfurt Book Fair and has seen some major successes in the last few years with multiple partners in Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, the US and UK. According to the startup, "after the launch of the first iPad, a highly successful new generation new generation of app developers for tablet and smartphone platforms are rapidly going global, and they’re using partnerships to further accelerate their expansion". "We've established a...

  • The co-innovation trend and the challenge in emerging markets

    While the absence of mature intellectual property laws remains one of the deterrents holding back co-creation or co-innovation in Africa, it's a compelling model for novelty, especially considering the many successful examples abroad. A keen observer of mega trends, Professor Sang M Lee of the University of Nebraska underlines co-innovation for organisations that are looking to remain competitive in a globalised economy. Lee is currently the University Eminent Scholar, Regents Distinguished Professor, and Executive Director of the Nebraska Productivity and Entrepreneurship Center. He is also president of the Pan-Pacific Business Association, an international scholarly society of over 4 000...

  • Meet Breather: bespoke room-letting at $20 an hour [LeWeb]

    If Airbnb ever had a sibling it would be Julian Smith’s new startup Breather. Launched today at Le Web London, Smith along with CTO Alex Payne (ex-Twitter and former CTO of Simple), launched what they call a “Zipcar for rooms”. Not just any rooms though. A bespoke network of rooms that are cleaned and checked regularly. "A distributed private club," that's always open, according to Smith.. For those who need a little more space than the local Starbucks can provide, Breather will provide shelter for around US$20 an hour. Opened with your phone (naturally!) each room has undergone a strict...

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