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  • Saul Klein: Price of SA broadband an ‘absolute disgrace’

    One of South Africa’s most successful exports, web entrepreneur and venture capitalist Saul Klein, has labelled the cost of broadband in his home country “an absolute disgrace” and urged the members of The Silicon Cape to function as a pressure group in lobbying for cheaper broadband. Klein, who was born in Johannesburg and is married to a South African, currently manages a $2.5-billion venture capital fund, and is a “massive believer” in early stage venture capital. His CV reads like a greatest hits of the Internet over the last 10 years, from early work at Blogger, last.fm and Betfair then...

  • Company Office

    Sureswipe’s new POS Lite is a game-changer for small retailers and startups

    For a small retailer or startup to be successful and move to the next level, it’s important that systems are in place to track inventory, recon and balance merchant batch closure, manage multiple store and staff sales and have immediate access to real-time data that helps make better management decisions. South Africa’s long-standing fintech player, Sureswipe has launched a new Point of Sale (POS) app and an online business management portal that will change the way small retailers, startups and pop-up shops process card payments from customers and manage their businesses. Sureswipe POS LITE comprises an app and online portal which...

  • Waytag: A startup changing the way we use location services

    A new South African start-up, Waytag, is setting out with the ambitious goal of revolutionising the way we think about and use addresses. Location-based services are clearly a strong feature in most fast-growing web services and applications, such as FourSquare, GoWalla and Twitter. It can however sometimes seem like these types of applications exist in a world of their own, catering to just a small niche of web-savvy people. Waytag may just change all this by improving the usability of physical location addresses from the bottom up. The concept is simple, as most clever concepts are. Take the domain name...

  • FNB announce host of PayPal features, plan to implement Rand

    South African bank First National Bank (FNB) rolled into a crisp and windy Cape Town last night with a challenge to entrepreneurs to embrace the opportunities presented by its new partnership with international e-commerce giant, PayPal. It was The Silicon Cape's, a local body formed to support and promote the web community, third networking event was hosted by FNB and included an introduction by the bank’s CEO Michael Jordaan, who painted a picture of entrepreneurs as people who are “intellectually curious and unhappy with the way things are”. Paypal was invented by South African Elon Musk so it's...

  • Six ways “Young World” entrepreneurs are changing the business landscape

    A lot has been written about the “digital generation” – the cohort that grew up marinated in high tech, and whose worldview reflects their constant exposure to information, communication and collaboration, media and multitasking.  But the greatest impact this generation is having on the world is when they have a blank canvas to start their own businesses – and nowhere is this felt more profoundly than in those parts of the world where young people are most numerous: emerging economies. Over the past two years, I’ve been studying the most innovative young entrepreneurs on five continents and observing how the values of...

  • Are classified sites in Africa profitable?

    You’ve probably heard of these very popular online classified sites, Craigslist and Gumtree. Both sites offer buyers and sellers an opportunity to engage in a free and open market. With the success of these sites in their respective countries and beyond, African entrepreneurs are keying into the online classifieds market. Today, there are probably more than 20 classified sites in Nigeria alone that offer the same service, but with different business models and technical functionality. Some of the popular niche classifieds sites include Nairalist.com, Txtoweb.com, Chukslist.com, Gbogbo.com, Bunchbay.com, Kerawa.com Nigeria, and WhoGoBuy.com. In addition, other Nigerian websites also offer online classified...

  • Startup tips from Mark Shuttleworth

    South Africa is the best place to become successful says Mark Shuttleworth, who made it big when he skidded over twenty and then promptly became a billionaire by selling Thawte to Verisign for some R3.5-billion. “The fact that South Africa doesn’t have a Silicon Valley shouldn’t deter anyone from being an entrepreneur in South Africa,” he says. “The existence of Silicon Valley is held up as a reason for California’s success with technology. The simple fact is that there were a bunch of people there who had the confidence and the audaciousness to start stuff, so it has become a...

  • Does Mark Zuckerberg need adult supervision?

    Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, is just 26 and has done very well but his young age does often show itself in various ways. He's put his foot in his mouth several times over privacy and has had mixed reviews on his performance in high profile interviews. Here is Chris Pirillo: "Things didn't go well for Mark Zuckerberg when he appeared on the D8 stage two days ago. From all angles, he appeared to be fumbling his way through the answers he was giving. He broke out into a cold sweat and had to remove his trademark hoodie. Bloggers around the...

  • Jamiix: The Cape Flats startup that’s going global

    Jamiix, a brand new social-media aggregator that was developed on Cape Town’s notoriously under-resourced and impoverished Cape Flats is launching internationally with grand ambitions to become an integral part of the Web 2.0 landscape. The web and mobile-based tool is described as a “distribution and aggregation technology to engage with clients who are in need of support services”. It grew organically out of a desire for affordable communications in the area of social services, which is a chronic need on the Cape Flats. Developed over two years, it takes its name from “Jamii”, the Swahili word for social or community and...

  • Manifesto for web startup entrepreneurs

    I’m going to apologise up front. These aren’t all original thoughts - are original thoughts still possible? I read voraciously online and I am pretty convinced that all that reading has helped inform this list. And no, I’m not going to get into the semantics about exactly what a “startup” is right now. 1. Think global You are not going to become rich building an online business solely focused on the South African market. Read that again. You will not become rich. Despite what you think now, in order to become wildly successful, you have to build an online business that...

  • New player enters SA online recruitment market

    A new South African online-recruitment portal, "developed out of frustration with existing recruitment methods", claims to have developed creative solutions for the difficult task of match-making between employers and employees. Sebenzi.co.za attempts to shake up the existing model, where the power is placed firmly in the hands of the recruitment agencies which have access to a database of CVs, and who frequently share the personal details of recruits without their knowledge or consent. The new players have set out on a mission to redress this imbalance, and after two years of research and development, the site was launched with...