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  • 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),...

  • Company Office

    Bookmark Awards 2016 Entry Series: Campaign

    With the deadline for entries to the prestigious IAB SA Bookmark Awards extended to 30 November, digital marketers have one last opportunity to enter and do battle for the industry’s most coveted awards across eight categories, of which the Campaign category is one. The Bookmark Awards celebrate the country’s most creative and high-impact digital executions and rewards excellence in digital advertising and publishing work, benchmarked against the highest international standards. “Digital campaigns have become one of the standout attributes of a strong digital marketing strategy,” says Fred Roed, Head of IAB SA’s Agency Council. “Because of the interactive element offered by...

  • 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...

  • Google’s Woza online: 25k sites now live

    If your business doesn't have an online presence, it might as well not exist. For small businesses in particular that hasn't always been easy. Google's Woza online initiative, which provides free websites to small and medium-sized businesses aims to change all that. It doesn't seem to be doing badly either. According to the internet giant, some 25 000 businesses have signed up to the initiative since its launch in January this year. Google South Africa chairman Luke Mckend said the take up of Woza online reflected the "energizing" spirit of entrepreneurs in the country. He also revealed a...

  • Turn your WordPress site into a Mxit app, easy peasy

    Mxit has been working hard to create a platform that developers can build products on. In the last few months the mobile social network has launched a set of new developer APIs as well as a redesigned Developer Centre. The company reckons that by using open web standards, it is opening MXit up for anyone who wants to develop apps for it. Apparently building a Mxit app is about to get a whole lot easier for developers. Kazazoom, an app developer on Mxit, has released, mxPress, a Wordpress plugin that "turns any Wordpress site into a Mxit Mobi Portal...

  • 3AL: at the intersection of social networking and eCommerce

    Among a slew of innocuous, copycat startups, 3AL, the Nigerian social networking and eCommerce amalgamate, is taking a road decidedly less traveled. You can think of 3AL as Facebook for businesses or Etsy -- if it went beyond arts and crafts. It connects businesses and creates a direct line between buyer and seller. It doesn't feel as if 3AL is trying to be a generalised social network aimed at subverting Facebook’s reign. In fact, when you first visit the site, your eyes are met with a big blue “Sign in with Facebook” button. That’s a smart move. One senses 3AL’s strength...

  • Kuza Mobile: Put your business online with nothing more than a feature phone

    Kuza is quite brilliant. Designed specifically with basic feature phones in mind, it allows its users to build a web profile to showcase and advertise their businesses. Advertising comes in the form of micro ads that Kuza members can create to advertise their products or services to other members in their area. To start, members have 100 Kuza Credits which allows for roughly five ads to be created, but credits can be boosted by completing certain tasks such as updating your profile or by uploading more than four photos. Kuza Credits can also be purchased by sending an SMS which...

  • Naspers buys out Romania’s biggest online retailer

    Looks like Naspers didn't waste much time on making good on its promised Eastern European expansion plans. The emerging markets media and internet giant has acquired a 70% stake in Romania's largest online retailer. According to Romania-Insider, the value of the deal has not been made public, but some estimates have it at around the EUR100-million (US$123-million) mark. eMag general manager Iulian Stanciu will retain his position and a 21.6& stake in the company while fellow individual shareholder Radu Apostolescu will keep hold of 8.4%. The acquisition was reportedly triggered by the potential Naspers saw in eMag to expand...