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  • Here’s what you need to know before you apply to Propella’s incubator programme

    Are you running a tech startup in or near Port Elizabeth? Looking to get into an incubation programme? Here's what you need to know about the Propella's business incubator programme. Propella was launched in 2015 through a partnership by business support company Engeli Enterprise Development and Nelson Mandela University owned commercial company Innovolve in an effort to develop tech startups in Nelson Mandela Bay. Propella provides support for startups working in ICT, renewable energy, smart city solutions, energy efficiency and advanced manufacturing sectors Grant Minnie, the senior industrial advisor at Propella, told Ventureburn that startups interested in joining the accelerator need to be aware of the...

  • Company Office

    Welcome to the Matrix: Mastering the art of Scenario Planning

    For entrepreneurs, one of the most frequently cited challenges is the task of having to juggle multiple demands on your time at any given moment. In my view, however, there is a task that is perhaps more taxing – and yet absolutely critical – that entrepreneurs have to tackle every day. It is the task of identifying and planning for multiple possible business scenarios in the midst of an ever-changing market environment. Smart scenario planning, in effect, is something that undoubtedly needs to be built into the fabric of your daily communications with the board, management and your team...

  • Tech startups crucial to Pick n Pay’s technology strategy says executive

    South Africa retail giant Pick n Pay has in the last year worked closely with "at least" 10 startups on various projects that have been delivered into the business, says the retailer's deputy CEO Richard van Rensburg. "Tech startups are crucial to Pick n Pay’s technology strategy," Van Rensburg told Ventureburn last week, in a set of emailed responses. He says over half of the retailer's spend on innovation is with startups. "We have recently completed re-platforming all our systems across the group , from in-store point-of-sale (systems) through logistics and distribution, buying, customer loyalty and finance. Our core business systems are up to date and...

  • SA VC firm Knife Capital expands to UK in deal with former rugby star Bob Skinstad

    Venture capital (VC) firm Knife Capital has expanded into London after introducing UK-based Draper-Gain Investments as a strategic investor. It follows Knife Capital's management buyout last week from JSE-listed African Dawn Capital. The London office will accelerate the international growth of companies within Knife Capital’s investment portfolio. Draper-Gain is a family office with significant global resources including existing investments in South Africa. The transaction was facilitated by entrepreneur and angel investor Bob Skinstad (pictured above, right) who is Knife Capital’s partner in KNF Ventures, a SA Revenue Services (Sars) Section 12J VC company. South African 12J schemes were created to promote early stage capital...

  • Crackdown on ICOs only a temporary setback believes Bitcoin Foundation head

    China’s announcement today that it has banned all initial coin offerings (ICOs) might be “unexpected”, says Bitcoin Foundation executive director Llew Claasen but is only a temporary setback for startups looking to raise capital through ICOs he adds. He said the decision by Chinese authorities to ban ICOs rather than to regulate them as the US is moving to do, is simply another way to "deal with it” and that going forward regulators are likely to gain a clearer understanding on what can and cannot be done. He added however that it would be “very unfortunate” for startups in need of early-stage venture capital (VC) finance...

  • Time is ripe for startups like Pineapple to disrupt insurance – Old Mutual manager

    Startups are set to disrupt the insurance business model fundamentally, says Stanley Gabriel, head of innovation at Old Mutual Personal Finance. Gabriel was responding to a question from Ventureburn on big trends he sees in the sector that startups should look out for. His comments follow the announcement last week by Johannesburg based insuretech startup Pineapple of a R5.2-million funding round from Lireas Holdings. "Overseas, Lemonade has disrupted the market, paying a claim in seconds, and locally Pineapple raised R5.2-million with their peer-to-peer insurance offering," Gabriel told Ventureburn. Read more: SA startup Pineapple secures R5.2m to take on short-term insurance market "I am excited about these developments and believe that...

  • Google expands intake for new Launchpad Accelerator cohort to 10 African nations

    Google’s Launchpad Accelerator has opened applications for its next cohort -- and has added seven more African countries to the three countries it initially targeted when it first began including startups from the continent earlier this year. When the programme began targeting Africa in May it took applications only from startups based in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. In the new cohort startups from Algeria, Egypt, Ghana, Morocco, Tanzania, Tunisia, and Uganda will also be eligible to apply. Read more: JUMO first SA startup to be selected for Google Launchpad Accelerator The announcement was made by the Launchpad Programme's global lead Roy Glasberg last week Thursday, 31 August. Launchpad is...

  • 8 corporate managers that SA tech startups should meet [Digital All Stars]

    Digital All Stars is a series of articles which aims to celebrate the best of South African digital. The articles, which will appear on Memeburn and Ventureburn, recognise and celebrate South Africa’s best digital entrepreneurs, business people, advertisers, and media professionals among others. In this piece we take a look at eight managers of corporates that startups should meet if they're looking to pitch their app or web platform. Here are 8 corporate managers that SA tech startups with apps and web platforms should meet Follow the link beneath each for a more detailed interview with each corporate on what to look out for when looking...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [04/09/2017]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or catch up on some of your skills? Well, you've come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we've rounded up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or...

  • Czech accelerator lures startups in with ‘cheap beer, beautiful girls, clever boys’

    Long-running Czech accelerator JIC STARCUBE is promising 10 startup teams from around the world the chance to hang out in "stylish" bars, enjoy "incredibly cheap" beer and meet "clever boys and beautiful girls". "Brno is an amazing city with stylish bars (New Yorker says here) incredibly cheap bear (half a litre for one dollar!), clever boys and beautiful girls! (sic)" Martina Pouchlá, a public relations specialist told Ventureburn in an email sent out with a press release announcing the call for its ninth cohort. The accelerator, run by innovation agency JIC, says entrepreneurs from all over the world, who have tech projects, are invited to apply. The deadline is the end of next...

  • SA lending platform Prodigy Finance chose London for ‘pro-business regulation’

    Cape Town founder of multi-million dollar lending platform Prodigy Finance Cameron Stevens says the "pro-business" regulation of the UK's Financial Conduct Authority was key in his decision 10 years ago to set up his platform in London 10 years ago. Through the platform Prodigy Finance lends to students globally via an Irish Stock Exchange listed bond. Last month the company announced a R3.19-billion fundraise from venture capital firm Index Ventures, with participation from Balderton Capital and AlphaCode and a global investment bank. South Africa has yet to develop regulation on peer-to-peer lending or equity crowdfunding, while the UK has of late been praised for crafting rules that are fair and balanced. Read more: SA founder of Fintech platform...