Dragons’ Den SA Episode 4: from patchy to pitch perfect

Dragons Den SA 4 I recently came across a tweet by former England rugby player Brian Moore which, I guess, sums up how a lot people feel about Dragons' Den in all its various incarnations: Anyone else of the view that real entrepreneurs simply start up their own businesses, rather than applying to be on a TV show to be one?— Brian Moore (@brianmoore666) October 13, 2014 Whether or not you agree with Moore, there's no getting around the fact the shows like Dragons' Den ...

Startup news

BREAKING: Silicon Cape gets over R3m in funding from FNB, big changes to come

cape_town_silicon_cape South African-based entrepreneurial initiative Silicon Cape has just announced that it has received more than R3-million worth of funding from First National Bank (FNB). This announcement certainly means big things for the initiative and the ecosystem as a whole. Founded in 2009 by Venture Capitalist Justin Stanford and entrepreneur Vinny Lingham, the Silicon Cape has been running as support structure and galvaniser for the tech ecosystem in Cape Town. "We have had a longterm relationship with FNB," says Alex Fraser the outgoing ...

Ecommerce, Humour

Kalahari: obituary for a fallen ecommerce giant

Karlahari Full Name: Kalahari Dot Com Age of Death: Died at 16 Years Old Residence: Naspers Head Quarters, 40 Heerengracht, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa Day and Date of Death: Tuesday, 07 October 2014 Place of Death: Takealot Head Quarters, 7th Floor, Atlantic Centre, 14 Christian Barnard Street, Foreshore, Cape Town, 8000, South Africa Cause of Death: Merger From humble beginnings in 1998, just two years before the dot com bubble, Kalahari.com was launched, and in no time would become the largest ecommerce outfit in South Africa. Year ...


Ernst & Young report paints positive future for Africa 2030

EY-lead-image Ernst & Young (EY) has released a new report, titled Africa 2030: Realising the Possibilities, which argues that the continent is in fact showing tremendous progress despite lingering scepticism. The report points to the staggering growth rates enjoyed by the majority of the continent's countries and stresses the importance of fostering entrepreneurship. EY argues that entrepreneurship provides one of the main engines of growth in any healthy economy. Alongside new products, services and solving problems, it will be the main driver of the ...

Africa, Startup news

Rwanda’s Think reveals 4 promising African startups for acceleration

Think [caption id="attachment_90761" align="alignnone" width="800"] Rwanda accelerator Think[/caption] Rwanda's Think accelerator (brought to the world by mobile network operators Tigo and Millicom), earlier this year called for applications to fill its first batch of African startups. Out of 150 applications, the initiative has finally settled on four exciting tech companies that will be given the chance to scale across the continent. The selected startups have access to US$15 000 in funding, the massive Tigo telecom's networks across the region, mentorship and further training ...


The case of Chile’s SaferTaxi: adapting a global trend to a local market

SafeTaxi SaferTaxi is a transport mobile application company famous for being one of StartUp Chile’s greatest success stories. In 2011, it was releasing a Beta application simultaneously in three countries: Brasil, Argentina and Chile. Today, SaferTaxi employs eight people in Chile, and almost 30 on the Latin American level. It’s the biggest Car Flow company in Chile with about 100.000 rides per month. We met Martin Rodriguez, Operation Manager at SaferTaxi Chile, to learn more about one of the trendiest company of ...

Competition, Startup news

SweepSouth sweeps up award at SiMODiSA StartupSA

SweepSouth-founders StartupSA by SiMODiSA saw on-demand cleaning service SweepSouth named the winner of the conference's Get-Up Start-Up pitch awards last week. Apart from the food, drinks and insightful fireside chats, the event saw 10 chosen South African startups pitch their hearts out in front of a judging panel that included industry experts Vusi Thembekwayo, Vinny Lingham, Justin Stanford, Pontsho Maruping, and Anita Nel. SweepSouth has been awarded the opportunity to go on a two-month long trip to Silicon Valley where it will get the ...


An article and a bootcamp: the makings of a Nigerian-women-in-tech movement?

Lagos bridge This is interesting. Last week an article on Webtrends.ng asked if you could hire a female developer in your company. The piece, based on nothing more than the author's thought process, argued that women are not as dedicated as men would be in the world of coding. That's his opinion, and he is entitled to it, but that doesn't change the fact that it's unfounded and kinda rude. The author reckons women aren't willing to do what it takes or commit ...

Startup news

SnappBox from Snapplify enables rural schools to embrace ebooks

snappbox-how-it-works800 Ebooks distribution platform Snapplify is venturing into rural areas with the SnappBox distribution hardware solution. The hardware is built especially for rural schools that do not have internet. The technology allows textbooks to be preloaded onto the SnappBox, which can then be shared via intranet in the schools. The SnappBox makes it easier for students and educators to access textbooks and share their own academic materials, which are all synchronised to the cloud. It also allows for eBooks to be downloaded from ...


Millbug Tablet: bringing touch-screen connectivity to rural villages

Millbug Technology You can smell Port Elizabeth, the city where Millbug Vuya Tablet PC was invented and still manufactured, before seeing it. At least that was the case when I first visited the city as a teenager. This visit was also my last, although I have always intended to return. In my 48-hour visit there, I smelt PE, wrestled strong wind, engraved my feet in sand and watched the waves wash them away and started all over again until the teachers summoned ...