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  • Reserve Bank is looking to further unblock ecosystem challenges – Winde

    The Reserve Bank is looking at further ways to unblock challenges that entrepreneurs face, Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities Alan Winde revealed today during the announcement of seven projects to receive seed funding from the Cape Craft and Design Institute (CCDI). Speaking in Cape Town, he said he and officials from the Western Cape government, including Finance MEC Ivan Meyer, were asked by the Reserve Bank to present to the bank on happenings in the Western Cape ecosystem and economy. The presentation took place last month and Winde said that it was the first time that his office has been asked to present to the...

  • Company Office

    Hurry, Bookmark Award entries close this Sunday!

    The annual IAB SA Bookmark Awards reward excellence in the digital advertising space and have, within less than a decade, entrenched its position as one of the most prestigious events on the South African digital marketing calendar. Awards are presented across eight categories that provide an inclusive overview of the best work performed in the local digital space, as determined by a team of expert local and international judges. Entries for next year’s event, to be held at the Turbine Hall in Newtown, Johannesburg, on March 3, 2016 close on November 15, 2015. “The categories were determined through extensive engagement with...

  • GSMA announces top startups in Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund

    Digital disruption has proven to be a challenge that mobile operators seem to be struggling with, according to a recent GSMA report. This disruption, caused by many startups, could be leveraged by those same startups to scale. It's this mindset that the global cellular standards body, GSMA, has launched the Ecosystem Accelerator Innovation Fund to help startups take advantage of the current disruption. "Nevertheless, these mobile operators face a plethora of challenges. Sustainable competitive advantage in the telecommunications sector is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve. Likewise, while startups are vital forces in both the innovation ecosystem and the wider economy, the majority...

  • Women have more advantage over men, says top SA female entrepreneur

    Women in South Africa have more of an advantage over men when it comes to starting a business because of the large number of business support programmes available to them, says a top SA female entrepreneur. Finfind CEO Darlene Menzies has been selected along with five other women by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as the continent's top female entrepreneurs. "I think that we have a bit more of an advantage over men in this country in terms of starting a business from all the different accelerators and programmes," Menzies, whose web platform helps small businesses to source finance, told Ventureburn. Read more: Finfind initiative...

  • Chance meeting helped SA startup GetSmarter secure over $100m sale

    A chance meeting with US listed company 2U's CEO Chip Paucek in October last year set Cape Town based SA edtech startup GetSmarter on the road to being acquired by the US firm in a $103-million deal signed on Monday evening. Sam Paddock (pictured on right), who is the company's CEO, said he and his co-founder and brother Rob weren't looking to be acquired. "It became clear that joining forces would result in an organisation that could power the world's best digital education. This was too big an opportunity to pass on," he said. The deal, reported by Forbes magazine in an article yesterday includes an earn-out...

  • PiggyBank, Olivine Technology awarded $50,000 in funding from Village Capital

    Nigerian startup PiggyBank.ng and Kenyan startup Olivine Technology have each scored $50,000 in funding from investment firm Village Capital, following the conclusion of FinTech Africa 2017, a three-month investment readiness programme. The programme was organised in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation and the DOEN Foundation with support from VC4A. The two companies were a part of a cohort of seven peer companies. PiggyBank.ng allows Nigerians to save small sums of money through an automatic savings process by working directly with financial institutions, while Olivine Technology has created ASiM, a mobile app that serves as a point-of-sale and stock management solution that connects multiple distribution sites seamlessly with their respective...

  • Q&A: FSB’s Caroline da Silva clarifies 30 June deadline on crowdfunding

    South Africa's Financial Services Board (FSB) last month revealed to Ventureburn that it had set a date of 30 June by which it plans to rule on whether to craft specific rules or not for equity crowdfunding. Since then the FSB has received a number of calls from interested parties who mistakenly believe the authority is about to release crowdfunding legislation. Read more: South Africa's FSB to rule on crowdfunding by June 30 In a Q&A with Ventureburn, FSB deputy executive officer for financial advisory & intermediary services Caroline da Silva explains what the deadline is all about and details the FSB's current approach...

  • Innotribe announces 10 startups chosen for Swift’s African Regional Conference

    Accelerator programme Innotribe has chosen 10 startups for the third edition of the Startup Challenge Africa, for secure financial messaging provider Swift's African Regional Conference which takes place in Abidjan, in the Ivory Coast, later this month. The 10 were selected after 100 judges evaluated close to 100 applications. Applications came from a number of African countries with SA, Nigeria and Kenya filling up most of the positions. "It is a pleasure for us to see the number of African startups applying to our programme growing year after year. Their calibre continues to impress, and there is no doubt they are going to play an...

  • Exclusive: Vinny Lingham to open Civic office in SA following IP rule changes

    Silicon Valley based SA entrepreneur Vinny Lingham says he plans to open an office in Cape Town to hire developers for his new startup Civic, following reforms to South Africa's Intellectual Property (IP) control regulations. "The Reserve Bank by listening to the community and making the changes (to the IP control rules) have opened it up to more foreign investments," Lingham said in a Skype call with Ventureburn from San Francisco on Friday last week. Lingham recently posted a link of Civic's Facebook account saying the startup is looking to hire in South Africa. It follows an announcement by then Minister of...

  • Mimecast founder on how he turned down R30 000 deal only to sell for R20m

    South African Peter Bauer, who just over 18 months ago listed his email management startup Mimecast on the Nasdaq, once turned down a R30 000 offer for his then business in the late 1990s, only to sell it a few months later for R20-million. Mimecast, which Bauer started in 2003 with fellow South African Neil Murray, listed on the Nasdaq in November 2015. The company's stock price has since doubled and trades at about $24 per share, bringing its total market cap to $1.2-billion. In the late 1990s, after selling his stake in a school stationery and goods supplier and after having travelled a...

  • Barclays Rise mentors aim to provide guide in lonely world of entrepreneurship

    Mentors can prove invaluable to entrepreneurs looking to grow their business as they can impart important knowledge and act as an important guide in the lonely world of starting a business. So says Alexandra Fraser, director of Silicon Cape and a Barclay's Rise mentor -- one of a number of Barclay's Rise Techstars mentors who spoke to Ventureburn on the benefits of mentorship, following the announcement earlier this month of the accelerator's next cohort of startups. Read more: Barclays accelerator announces latest participants in African programme Fraser said networks and relationships, much like ones you make with mentors are important, particularly when you're an entrepreneur. "Being an entrepreneur is a...