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  • RocketLab: New school for aspiring entrepreneurs launched in SA

    A new school for aspiring entrepreneurs is opening its doors in Cape Town, South Africa. Launching in September this year, RocketLab offers three month courses that aim to transform its students’ ideas or enthusiasm into fully fledged businesses -- or at very least the potential to set up a business -- by the time they graduate. Instead of a graduation ceremony however, students are given the opportunity to pitch their business to a panel of potential funders and business partners. Co-founder of RocketLab, Diane de Villiers, likens the experience to a mixture between TV shows The Apprentice and Shark Tank....

  • Company Office

    Slide app, SA's own version of Venmo, aims to boost person-to-person payments

    South Africa has just got its own version of Venmo, one of the US’s most successful payment platforms owned by PayPal that processes $25-billion in person-to-person payments annually. The Slide app is founded by three young South Africans who recently returned from living in the US -- Irshad Kathrada, Terence Goldberg and Alon Stern. The three have developed the app to change the way South Africans pay each other. Kathrada, worked for JP Morgan in Johannesburg, London and New York; Terence Goldberg, worked in Toronto and San Francisco; and Alon Stern moved to the US from South Africa on a Fulbright scholarship where he worked at...

  • SA fashion retailer launches online store

    Ecommerce in South Africa is gaining traction with new ecommerce plays entering and exiting the market more and more frequently. Last year retail outlet Woolworths launched an online store for its fashion line, becoming one of the first major South African retailer to enter the ecommerce space. Now another chain retailer has joined the party. Affordable fashion retail outlet Mr Price's online store went live today under the moniker MRP. We are live!! #mrponline Woohoooo— Mr Price Fashion (@MrPriceFashion) July 30, 2012 The publicly traded retail company announced its plans for an online store earlier this year as an attempt to...

  • Crowdsource rock star employees with Hiring Bounty, earn cash for referrals

    Launching today, South African startup Hiring Bounty, is set to shake up the recruitment industry by offering substantial rewards for referring a friend or acquintance for a job vacancy. Traditionally, job listing sites have offered employee referral programs as an afterthought, but with Hiring Bounty, employee referral is front and center. Hiring Bounty’s, MD Greg Schneider says that companies seeking to fill a position can source candidates faster and at a lower cost through crowdsourcing when compared to recruitment agents. Schneider says that Hiring Bounty plans to capitalise on the connections of people to make recruiters obsolete. By leveraging...

  • The Sable Accelerator: A gateway into Silicon Valley for SA startups

    With the imminent launch of The Sable Accelerator, South African businesses look set to benefit from a new network of advisers and investors based in Silicon Valley and London that can help with international expansion. Founded by South Africans now living abroad, The Sable Accelerator is backed by angel investors, CEOs, directors and consultants from companies such as McCann Erickson, Grant Thornton, McKinsey and Hasso Plattner Ventures Africa. According to Tech Central, Vinny Lingham, founder of Yola and more recently Gyft -- check out Ventureburn’s exclusive peek at Gyft -- is also onboard as an investor. Sable’s website, a...

  • Deloitte to recognise 50 of SA’s hottest tech companies

    This is interesting. Deloitte is one of the world's so called Big Four professional service companies, so being recognised as one of its Fast 500 companies is a pretty big deal. The awards recognise the 500 fastest-growing technology companies in regions around the world and, for the first time, South African companies are eligible for the service. The country will hold the Fast 50, a subset of the awards, the winners of which will be put forward to a regional Fast 500. “Technology is still one of those fast changing sectors that have a wider impact...

  • WPP Digital acquires majority stake in SA born digital marketer Acceleration

    Acceleration, a South African born digital marketing technology company, has announced that it has entered into an agreement to be part of the WPP Digital, the digital arm of WPP, the international marketing communications company. Acceleration was founded in 1999 by Stephan Pretorius and has grown into a global business with offices in London, New York, Dubai, Johannesburg, Buenos Aires and Cape Town. Acceleration will operate as an independent and standalone business within WPP Digital and will architect, implement and orchestrate digital brand experiences. "With the continued transformation of marketing by technology, there's a growing demand for digital marketing technologists to...

  • Nedbank launches financial management play

    Wow. Talk about coming back from behind. A month after its late entry into the world of smartphone banking apps Nedbank has announced an online personal financial management tool. The South African bank claims that the tool, called My Financial Life, is an attempt to help people manage their finances. Running off the back of its online banking platform, the tool won't only be restricted Nedbank customers. Non customers will be able to access My Financial Life via a standalone site. According to Nedbank's group managing executive for retail and business banking Ingrid Johnson, the bank wants My...

  • With rumoured sale looming, Zoopy founders depart

    Mere days after Ventureburn was tipped off that parent company and mobile operator, Vodacom, could offload a large portion of its investment in Zoopy, the mobile video company, founder Jason Elk and co-founder Pat Elk announced in a statement that they will be leaving Zoopy at the end of September. The statement reads: "After launching Zoopy in March 2007, we have built a company and service that we have been incredibly proud of. We have decided that it’s now time for us to move on to new opportunities and we will be leaving Zoopy at the end of September. We...

  • TrashCanKidz: socially conscious gaming with a big heart and giant ambitions

    Following in the footsteps of socially conscious toys and games such as Karito Kids and Xeko, TrashCanKidz is taking an everything but the kitchen sink approach with a unique game and retail product one-two punch that contributes 20% of its revenue to charity. The startup hailing from Mauritius is seeking funding via Kickstarter, hoping to raise US$100 000 to bring the project to life. The aforementioned game Xeko also took to Kickstarter for funding and succeeded in reaching its target of US$250 000 earlier this year. TrashCanKidz -- as a game -- is currently in closed online beta, with an...

  • Listener-driven radio station looks to take Afrikaans music global

    Given that Afrikaans is only recognised as an official language in South Africa and as a minority language in Namibia, it might seem a little surprising that an online Afrikaans-language station is trying to go global. When you bear in mind that there are at least 1.2-million South Africans living abroad though, you can see that Ja.fm might just have a chance. The fact that the top five selling albums in South Africa are all by Afrikaans artists doesn't hurt either. Ja.fm is an online radio station provided by terrestrial station Jacaranda FM, that makes heavy use of the...