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  • Funding platform U-Start seeking SA entrepreneurs for showcase in Italy

    Earlier this year, we took an in-depth look at U-Start, the international funding platform with an emerging market focus. Headquartered in Italy, the platform is running a search for six of South Africa's top startups to showcase to investors in Milan. U-Start's online platform connects entrepreneurs with international investors. Startups that are keen to enter, are urged to contact U-Start to gain complimentary access to the U-Start platform and instructions on how to apply for the competition. 15 of the most investment ready startups in the seed and growth stage of their business will be chosen to present to a local...

  • Company Office

    Project Isizwe’s WiFi TV hits 1 million views in one month

    Project Isizwe’s Video-On-Demand (VOD) service, WiFi TV, that was launched in November last year, has reached the coveted 1 million view milestone during February alone. WiFi TV is a free and hyper-localised internet VOD service delivered by the City of Tshwane (CoT), providing unlimited access for users of the Tshwane Free WiFi network. The VOD service streams video content created by young film makers living in various areas of the CoT, offering relevant and engaging news and entertainment. They cover topics such as music, current affairs, entrepreneurship, religion, jobs and sport and were previously unemployed or under-employed. The CoT created the...

  • Shuttleworth-funded Paperight wins O’Reilly Startup Showcase

    South African startup Paperight has been named as one of the winners of the O’Reilly Tools of Change Startup Showcase in New York City. Paperight, a print-on-demand service that allows photocopy shops to legally print books, is funded by the Shuttleworth Foundation. Founded in 2011 by Shuttleworth Foundation Fellow Arthur Attwell, Paperight claims to have more than 200 outlets throughout South Africa, offering over 1000 fiction and non-fiction titles as well as the country’s most comprehensive database of past matric exam papers. According to the company, its aim "is two-fold: to increase access to books and to encourage entrepreneurship, by...

  • How Super Simple Survey is cashing in on user experience

    The online survey space is crowded, very crowded. You'd have to be batshit to enter a market filled to the brim with competitors and fat cats like SurveyMonkey which recently raised US$794 million for a US$1.35 billion valuation. When Super Simple Survey popped up on our radar, honestly, we had to summon the office's fancy new espresso machine to instill the traces of zeal we'd need to take a closer look at yet another survey creator. So then, how bad is it? It turns out, Super Simple Survey is quite possibly the best looking and most intuitive survey creation tool...

  • 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...

  • 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...

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