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  • Three Cape Town startups win place at Seedstars World regional final

    Three Cape Town startups last night secured a place at the next round of global business competition Seedstars World, after coming out tops at a pitching event held in the city. The representatives will go on to compete at the next round of the competition at the Standard Bank Auditorium, Johannesburg on 29 June. Representing Cape Town will be: GreenFingers Mobile — A mobile-first SaaS platform to finance and manage smallholder farmers. EMG Technologies — Aggregates regional medical content from experts in one app for medical professionals. mbora — A solar-powered internet of things enabled sensing suit which provides real-time visibility to any service provider across its network. Jumpin Rides —...

  • Company Office

    Zapacab Releases the Simplest App to Order a Taxi

    Cape Town mobile taxi ordering startup Zapacab has released native apps for Android and iOS devices. This is in response to passengers demand for “clever, easy to use apps”. Zapacab initially launched their product on mobile browsers to allow all passengers the easiest access to ordering a cab. With the majority of users being Android and iPhone users, the requests for a slicker app-based experience have been numerous. Chief executive officer (CEO) Rupert Sully says they will continue to offer the web based service for Blackberry users, but felt it was strategic to launch the native apps. "It is the sort...

  • Facebook to host one-day summit for young digital entrepreneurs in Joburg

    Facebook is partnering with the Department of Small Business Development and Livity Africa to host Youth Enterprise Day, a one-day summit that aims to celebrate and catalyse youth entrepreneurship in South Africa. In a press release Facebook said the event, to be hosted on June 24 at the Turbine Hall in Newtown, Johannesburg, will mix inspiration with learning by highlighting the stories of young South Africans who have built successful businesses using online tools. The summit will highlight the stories of some of South Africa’s most successful youth-run businesses, followed by a series of workshops hosted by Facebook and Livity Africa that will...

  • Entrepreneur’s report to address why SA has yet to produce a unicorn

    South African startups have produced a string of successes of late. Yet something is lacking. In April Edtech startup GetSmarter announced it would sell to US-listed 2U for $103-million, while last year SA company Giraffe, beat out 54 finalists from around the globe in the Seedstars World entrepreneurship competition. So why asks Jason Levin, a former entrepreneur with 20 years experience building marketing agencies, have countries like Nigeria and Poland produced unicorns -- but not South Africa? Levin of Elevation Holdings, a business consulting and angel investment firm, will next Wednesday (14 June) launch his report "Unicorns, Gazelles & Leapfrogs: Fast-tracking the South African startup ecosystem" at the Gordon Institute of Business Science...

  • HiiL justice accelerator opens call for innovative entrepreneurs

    The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law's (HiiL) justice accelerator is calling all entrepreneurs looking to grow and innovate the SA justice system to apply to join the initiative. Applications for the accelerator close on 30 June and HiiL will be hosting pre-events in Maboneng, Johannesburg tomorrow (9 June) as well as Workshop 17 in Cape Town next Thursday (15 June). The accelerator is looking for lawyers, civil activists and technologists with innovations that could improve the way the law operates within South Africa. Aside from backing innovative ideas, the accelerator is also aiming to build its current network of law...

  • Joburg health platform Guidepost one of 20 new companies Endeavor to boost

    Two South African entrepreneurs are among 28 business owners from 15 countries that Endeavor, a global non-profit organisation that backs high-impact entrepreneurship, recently welcomed into its fold. Graham Rowe and Richard Johnson (pictured above, left and right, respectively), of Joburg-based company Sancreed, were selected by Endeavor along with 19 other companies from around the world at the 71st International Selection Panel held between May 15 and 17, 2017, in Canary Wharf, London (see the full list here). With their selection as Endeavor entrepreneurs the two will have access to a worldwide network of successful entrepreneurs, as well as mentoring and the chance to receive investment from Endeavor. Their...

  • Can 12J VC tax incentive create the jobs South Africa badly needs?

    Tim Strang wants to provide spaza shops and wholesalers with a better way to order stock, through an app. He's betting on creating hundreds of jobs for sales agents that deploy the app -- thanks to an investment under a venture capital (VC) tax incentive. His Durban-based company and app, Spazapp is one of a number of firms that venture capital companies (VCCs) have invested in under the incentive, which is administered by the SA Revenue Service (Sars) and falls under Section 12J of the Income Tax Act. It allows investors to get a tax rebate if they invest in a VCC that in...

  • Entersekt concludes multi-million dollar deal

    Cape Town based authentication and mobile-security solutions company, Entersekt announced today that it has concluded a multi-million dollar deal with Rand Merchant Investment Holdings (RMI) and Nedbank Private Equity (NPE). RMI and NPE, through their various startup accelerators and investment hubs such as RMI's AlphaCode and NPE's BoE Private Equity Investments, acquired minority shares of an undisclosed amount in Entersekt. "We are immensely honoured that investors of such a high calibre have endorsed our long-term vision in this way," said Schalk Nolte, Entersekt’s CEO in a press release to Ventureburn. The injection of capital will be used to further expand Entersekt's reach into other markets...

  • Seedstars World calls on all Mozambican startups to enter

    Global startup competition Seedstars World is headed to Mozambique on 14 June. This year, the initiative is calling on startups from across the country, even those residing outside of Maputo, to compete. Seedstars World has received support from Standard Bank and local ambassador UX Information Technologies, among several other entities. "Standard Bank's purpose is Africa is our home and we drive her growth," said Victor Jardim, Head of Personal and Business Banking of Standard Bank Mozambique in a press release to Ventureburn. "To this end, technology is a factor that will play a critical part in changing lives and fulfilling aspirations across the continent...

  • Innovation, tech transfer can help South Africa to address triple challenges

    The news in South Africa, and in many other countries, is currently filled with stories of power battles, conflict and corruption -- when we should rather be debating the triple challenge of alleviating poverty, reducing inequality and creating jobs. The future of South Africa, and much of the developing world, depends on the extent to which political and economic leaders are able to find ways of solving these three critical challenges. At the heart of any solution is finding ways to encourage economic growth. The growth rate of South Africa’s gross domestic product (GDP) has, over recent years, hovered stubbornly around one...

  • Here are the 11 startups that will pitch at Seedstars World Cape Town

    Eleven startups will this Thursday (8 June) compete for a place in Seedstars World's regional final when the global pitching competition kicks off its Cape Town pitching competition at Workshop 17. The regional final will be held at the Standard Bank Auditorium in Johannesburg on 29 June. "The talent we see in South Africa year after year is just amazing, and we are excited to be back to Cape Town for the satellite event," said Seedstars World Africa regional manager Claudia Makadristo in a press release to Ventureburn. "This year, there is a great variety of quality companies tackling real problems in new innovative ways. We might...