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  • African company constructs world’s first open-source metabolic chamber

    HealthQ Technologies, a high-tech startup facility based in Stellenbosch, South Africa, claims to have constructed the first open-source metabolic chamber in the world. The company says that the metabolic chamber will enable South African entrepreneurs and researchers to perform crucial experiments using facilities which were previously inaccessible. It is also intended to be used for developing new technologies and products in the wellness, weight-loss and fitness industries. WooThemes co-founder Adii Pienaar is one of the investors in HealthQ. "I was first attracted to HealthQ, because their incredibly talented & smart team; a true bunch of geeks! I initially invested in HealthQ...

  • Company Office

    Why more entrepreneurs are investing in understanding AI

    Whether you’re wary of the disruption that Artificial Intelligence (AI) brings or you’re embracing it, there’s no avoiding the impact it’s expected to have on businesses in the coming years. Not only has AI been proven to speed-up processes and streamline operations, but it also has great potential for customer experience, product development, sales, and business intelligence – improving the bottom line for companies both big and small. In fact, PwC estimates that by 2030, artificial intelligence alone could add a total of $15.7-trillion to global GDP. Below are just some of the ways AI could influence how we do business, now...

  • Lessons to learn from 5 promising (and failed) Chinese startups

    They say you learn more from failure than you do from success. And that appears to be the theory behind a new blog post from Sinobeat Capital managing partner and Fortune China columnist Ding Chenling. In his very long post in Chinese, Ding lays out the stories of 17 Chinese startups that ultimately failed, and breaks down the lessons learned. The whole thing is a bit too long for our purposes, but here are a few of the most interesting startups (and lessons) Ding picked. Company: Fanfou Lesson: Startups shouldn’t work in areas that could be politically sensitive. Fanfou is actually still around, but these days it...

  • Knowledge Bridge to help news businesses transition to digital

    Media Development Loan Fund (MDLF), the New York-based, "investment fund for independent news outlets in countries with a history of media oppression," recently launched Knowledge Bridge. The website and monthly newsletter contains best practices, strategies, trends, data and resources to help news outlets in emerging markets make the transition from traditional to digital media. The site strays away from focusing on digital editorial innovation. Instead, it provides information, analysis and resources to MDLF's clients -- and indeed anyone involved in the news industry -- about the digital news business. The site falls in line with MDLF's goals which is to...

  • 6 of South Africa’s hottest ecommerce sites

    When it comes to tech startups, ecommerce is at once an easy and tricky space to play in. It's easy, because to get going all you really need is something to sell, a good design and the right plugins. It's tricky because people are trusting you with their money. You have to make sure you have the right security, and can guarantee delivery. It's also not easy to stand out in a market like South Africa where broadband penetration remains comparatively low, forcing you to compete for place in a crowded space. There are a few that have done...

  • Oppenheimer family invests in 4Di Capital to back SA tech entrepreneurs

    Amid increased calls by the private and public sectors for greater support of South Africa’s growing pool of entrepreneurial talent, local VC company, 4Di Capital, announced that E. Oppenheimer & Son has joined 4Di Capital Fund 1 as the fund’s newest investor. E. Oppenheimer & Son International is the investment holding company of the Oppenheimer Family interests, founders of the global mining company Anglo American, and managing shareholders of De Beers, the world’s leading diamond company, until its recent acquisition by Anglo American. 4Di Capital has made seven investments in South African ventures so far, and recently announced its first...

  • 8 questions you should ask yourself before pitching your startup

    So you've had the next big idea, or your startup's been going along quietly for a little while. Now you're ready to take it out into the big bad world. If you find yourself asking "Umm...what next?" you're not alone. If you're in an emerging market like South Africa, knowing what to do next is getting easier, but it's still not as easy as it might be in a more traditional market. Sure there are a growing number of angel investors, venture capitalists, incubators and accelerators, but if you want to get their interest you really have to stand...

  • MobiProps: clever mobile real estate service links online and offline worlds

    MobiProps is a mobile real estate service that makes effective use of short URLs, SMS and QR codes to drive prospective homebuyers to online property portfolios. For agents, the service offers a streamlined solution for marketing their property portfolio to the rapidly growing number of homebuyers and sellers using smartphones. The service launches today. MobiProps provides homebuyers with direct access to the property information, high resolution images, video clips, sharing and contact information of ‘for sale’ properties, formatted to fit the small screen of a smartphone. For agents, the service offers QR code and SMS technology to send a...

  • Alan Knott-Craig Jnr: 7 career lessons learnt thus far

    Alan Knott Craig Junior is mobile entrepreneur, who was previously the CEO of wireless internet provider iBurst. He recently stepped down as CEO of Mxit, after buying it in 2011, and World of Avatar, the startup group he co-founded. In this post, he explores some of the lessons his various ventures have taught him. When I think of the factors that led to any successes (or failures) in my career thus far, the following come to mind: 1. Communicate If you can’t effectively transmit the picture in your head into the head of the person you’re communicating with, you’re dead. This...

  • #GovHackSA: intrepid developers tackle challenging government problems

    The first-ever #GovHackSA event held recently, was a free, day-long coding marathon for developers to create new and novel solutions to problems faced by the Western Cape Government, City of Cape Town and Wesgro. The event was spurred by Alan Winde, MEC for Finance in the Western Cape Government, and taken forward by the volunteer GovHackSA team. There were four challenges presented to over 40 community members in attendance. Each participant could choose which challenge they wanted to work on, and teams were formed organically. Some chose to jump right into coding while others brainstormed ideas. Justin Coetzee of...

  • London calling: 11 SA entrepreneurs head to the UK

    Silicon Cape, in partnership with Western Cape Provincial Government and the South African Chamber in the United Kingdom takes eleven entrepreneurs to London this week to expand their ecosystem of funders, mentors, partners and peers. “The objective of this trip is simply to give the eleven businesses attending access to people, information and experience that will make their companies even more successful,” says Rob Stokes, chairman of the Silicon Cape Initiative. “We have utilized our network in the UK to get our local business leaders in front of people who are keen to do business with IT companies in...

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