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  • FNB becomes first bank to add official support for 22Seven

    At least one major South African bank appears to have changed its tune on financial management app 22Seven. First National bank (FNB) has issued a press release claiming that it will "allow access to 22Seven". The bank claims that it made the decision as part of an "ongoing attempt to create simple and convenient solutions for its customers". "FNB has set a precedence of responding to our customer's needs with innovative products and services. We are now providing a secure means to engage with 22Seven in response to our customers’ need to learn more about their financial behavior,”...

  • Company Office

    Geeks Online SA to launch soon

    Brand new education startup Geeks Online SA (GOSA) based in Cape Town, South Africa, looks to bring an innovative solution in the education space. It’s an idea inspired by the self-proclaimed “Geek” himself, one of the co-founders. The company has been founded by two chief enthusiasts, Anele Geqiwe and Busisiwe Ngxande. What they lack in years of experience, the pair has vision and passion for education. The concept driving GOSA is very simple: it requires strong relationship between high school students and tertiary institutions. We aim to introduce and prepare Grade 10-12 students to academic competency standards expected in tertiary level. Of course there are so many solutions...

  • ZiNG wants to shake up the Mobile IM space

    The mobile Instant Messaging (IM) space already has a number of big players -- think MXit, WhatsApp, Facebook chat... the list goes on. But at least one new player thinks it can make an impact by playing to the business world. A company called Blazingchilli is looking to utilise the opportunities inherent in the mobile IM space to leverage its new enterprise level messaging platform -- ZiNG. The technology at the heart of ZiNG is called Multiple Group Messaging (MGM) and Blazingchilli claims that it offers "the most powerful tool available" for reaching consumers, particularly in emerging markets. In...

  • 10 Hot Indian startups you should know about

    From the world’s cheapest car to the world’s cheapest tablet, India has emerged as a hub of "Jugaad", a Hindi term which closely translates as "frugal innovation". Owing to its booming economy, growing middle class and a talent pool of highly skilled engineers, India has a thriving tech startup ecosystem. While there are thousands of startups across the country, we bring you a compilation of tech startups that have risen above the rest to be the talking points in the startup-technology community. Based on my conversations and interactions with entrepreneurs, investors and other stakeholders, these startups are shaping the way...

  • 9 Questions and answers about successful startups – Harvard study

    Ever wondered what makes one startup succeed while another fails? Well a team of brains from Harvard Business School has put together a fascinating working paper called Performance Persistence in Entrepreneurship which answers questions related to just this. We scoured the 35 page document and found the following pearls of wisdom. Question: Are serial entrepreneurs more likely to succeed than first time entrepreneurs? Answer: Yes. All things being equal, the paper states that a VC backed entrepreneur who succeeds in a venture (by the paper’s definition, starts a company that goes public) has a 30% chance of succeeding in a follow up...

  • New York VC invests in Fine Art startup

    A New York-based early-stage VC fund called Founder Collective is taking an unusual bet on a niche online market: Fine Art. According to TechCrunch, the company is investing a cool US$4-million in Paddle8 -- an online marketplace that aims to provide people “With new access points to premier artworks”. Founder Collective is reportedly no stranger to investing in niche tech markets, having previously put capital into luxury vehicle hire app Uber and open-source hardware outfit MakerBot. Paddle8 says it hopes the capital infusion will allow it to position itself as a destination of choice for everyone from beginner to...

  • Silicon Valley’s dirty little startup secret

    In San Francisco cafes and bars, even on the street, I overhear people talking about their startup ideas, business plans, and goals. And there are tons of incubators, Angels, wannabe Angels, VC firms, making investments in startups. And there's lots of money being made, especially among the Super Angels, the incubators such as Y Combinator, the micro-VCs, and people such as Jeff Clavier, Dave McClure, who have made fortunes selling startups to larger companies. Sometimes startup teams can go from seed to exit in under a year. For the investors, making dozens of $10K to $25K seed investments, can be tremendously...

  • Why 22Seven is most probably, but not necessarily, safe

    After reading one too many ignorant articles and tweets about how personal financial management startup 22Seven must be safe because Yodlee is safe and so on -- I cracked. I banged out a bunch of tweets in quick succession with the hash tag combination #22Seven my #2c. The response was interesting, ranging from "love your work" to respected tech journalist Simon Dingle’s "How do you know I'm not a computer scientist? And why does that matter? Do you have to be a chef to know when food is good?". I want Dingle’s tweet to be an entry...

  • 7 Things you should know before forming a startup

    As you sat watching the fireworks explode in the night air, bringing yet another year to an end, you may have quietly committed to a resolution that this was finally going to be the year that you take the plunge and start your own business. Naturally, you’re a bit of a geek, so it will most likely be in the tech sphere. The idea has been brewing in the back of your mind for years and, for some unknown reason, the time finally seems right to take those unguided steps and break away from the security of your 9-5 job....

  • New startup 22seven under fire from banks [Updated]

    The high-profile launch of new financial management startup 22seven has faced some early criticism, from the very institutions it relies on: The banks. Prolific tweeter and CEO of First National Bank (FNB) Michael Jordaan tweeted yesterday that he thought 22seven was a "cool concept", but warned "against disclosing password(s) to any 3rd party". He ended his tweet with this ominous warning: "Risk all yours". Getting tweets re 22seven. Cool concept but have to advise against disclosing password to any 3rd party. Risk all yours.— Michael Jordaan (@MichaelJordaan) January 26, 2012 The innovative startup is the brainchild of Twenty20 founder Christo Davel, and...

  • 22seven, the gamification of personal finances

    The well-known founder of the pioneering online bank 20Twenty Christo Davel is hitting the market with a new startup, also in the financial management space. 20Twenty was an acclaimed South African online banking platform and an acknowledged leader for its time, but eventually went under when its bricks-and-mortar backing bank, Saambou, collapsed. 20Twenty was later sold to Standard Chartered for a cool US$10-million and closed. The new venture, the similarly-named 22Seven, is billed as an “intelligent money saving tool” that plugs directly and securely into your personal bank accounts and then delivers analysis on your spending habits. And this is what...