Entrepreneurship, Microsoft

Steve Ballmer to startups: ‘take a long-term view’

steve_ballmer As Microsoft charts a new course under Satya Nadella, the company's former head and now Microsoft board member, Steve Ballmer, has been candid about his experiences at the Redmond software giant. The ex-CEO's latest public words came via a fireside chat hosted by Professor Peter Tufano, a long-time friend of Ballmer's and Dean of the Saïd Business School, part of England’s Oxford University. We've extracted some entrepreneurial gems from the talk, but if have an hour to kill, the school has ...

Africa, Innovation

Royal Academy of Engineering launches Africa innovation prize

African Innovation prize This is pretty cool. Africa has its fair share of innovation prizes but the vast majority of them are aimed at entrepreneurs and thinkers rather than engineers. Now of course those categories can and do overlap, but the Royal Academy of Engineering's (RAEng) decision to launch an innovation prize specifically aimed at engineers from all sectors is a pretty welcome one. RAEng, which is the UK’s national academy for engineering, says that the Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation will be ...

Africa, Ecommerce

Bad business: the makings of an ecommerce venture in Africa

Africa If you had to pick any industry that Africa seems to have clung onto since its tech boom, it has to be ecommerce. For the most part, it's relatively easy to set up an ecommerce shop. There may be some logistical challenges, but it seems to be an easier industry to play in. Ecommerce globally is a big deal these days, but the fall of EcoMom shed some light on online shopping's dark side. A telling report by the company's financial ...

Africa, Conferences, Startups

U-Start Cape Town conference: the hunt for Africa’s top 4 startups

ustart Africa's potential for growth has been recognised by global investment advisory firm, U-Start. The boutique firm will be holding a national pitch event in Cape Town, South Africa, with the goal to partner the top four startups Africa has to offer with Western European funding. U-Start -- which has a fund of around €3.8billion under management contributed to by over 132 international investors -- will further strengthen its presence in Africa with the U-Start Conference taking place on 6 March, featuring ...

Advertising & Marketing, Entrepreneurship

There are massive opportunities in the ad industry for startup growth

Blank billboard on blue sky The talented technology specialist has become the go-to guy when big advertising agencies go looking for digital skills for an internet, mobile or social media campaign. It seems like desirable status. In fact, the ‘go-to’ reflex explains why some small, under-resourced techie start-ups stay small, under-resourced techie start-ups. You go to them. They don’t come to you. The mismatch is glaring between the excitement of the technology field and the reactive business models favoured by many small technology operators. Ideas-rich ...

Entrepreneurship, News

SA gets ready to become an Entrepreneur Country

Entrepreneur Country Entrepreneur Country (EC), a global online discovery platform aimed at helping startups connect with big corporates (something which can be incredibly beneficial to both), is getting ready to launch in South Africa. Inspired by the example of EC's global founder Julie Meyer, who has experience in both the VC and startup space, Tobie van Zyl (CEO, Moneysmart.co.za) and Zulfiq Isaacs (CEO, Liquid Thought) will be the programme's official representatives in South Africa. Bringing EC to the country will apparently give ...

Entrepreneurship, Startups

Cash flow management: why startups shouldn’t ignore it and how to get started

cash flow flickr The saying rings true: Turnover is vanity, profit is reality, cash flow is sanity. The importance of cash flow management in business. With looming deadlines, urgent customers, growing priorities and narrowing margins robbing you of your sleep at night, I know how far down 'proper' financial management is on your list of things to do. For entrepreneurs, financial management seems like a luxury afforded to more-established businesses, and definitely not something we need to apply in the early days of business start-up. Flat-Line or ...

Africa, News

Crowdfunding platform Afrikstart to revolutionise Africa’s startup scene

crowdfunding Launched in 2013 by Edwige Boum, and a group of students who met on an online course on Technology Entrepreneurship from Stanford University and motivated by a desire to improve social and economic conditions of many entrepreneurs in Africa, Boum and his friends founded the Afrikstart as a crowdfunding platform for Africa’s startups. Aiming to be Africa’s top crowdfunding platform set to revolutionize how young and women entrepreneurs are funded, trained and mentored, the platform aims to set up local partnerships ...

Africa, News, Startups

SA’s popular e-reader app bookly wants everyone to be an author

bookly The popular e-reader app for Mxit, bookly, is expanding its service offering to inspire writing as well. Designed by Native VML, bookly has had a popular uptake since its launch last year and has won numerous prestigious awards. With this latest feature, Native VML hopes to promote and improve literacy in South Africa. The fact that it runs on the social messaging service Mxit means that anyone with a smartphone or a feature phone can read a book and now be ...

Operating systems, Startups

Social Business Software: a time capsule for business ideas

time capsule flickr Innovation plays an integral role in the longevity and existence of any startup or company, irrespective of which line of work you are in. Customers today are always looking for what their service providers can do for them. And they want you, as the service provider, to provide them with solutions to problems before they even realise there is an issue. Companies are also struggling to retain important knowledge and intellectual value, as key skills are sometimes lost to competitors ...