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  • Task team’s investigation into $445m Kapa Biosystems deal drags on

    Months after setting up a task team to probe the $445-million sale of Kapa Biosystems, the Department of Science and Technology is still proceeding with investigations, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor's office said today. It follows the setting up of a task team last year by the department to investigate the deal in which the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) sold its 49% stake to US shareholders for $4.93-million. The company was subsequently sold to Roche for $445m on 30 November 2015 (an amount which is disclosed in the Swiss pharmaceutical company's 2015 annual report). Pandor's spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele said he was unable to comment...

  • Company Office

    IAB SA makes great strides in 2015

    2015 has seen IAB SA take great strides and have a positive impact on the digital industry in South Africa. The organisation launched several new initiatives and projects, while working towards finding viable solutions for the challenges facing the digital industry. At the IAB SA AGM, held this week, chairperson Jarred Cinman emphasised that the organisation has not only grown in terms of members, but also in realising its vision of making a constructive, positive contribution to the South African digital industry. Its greatest achievements for 2015 include:  Successful engagement with the Film & Publications Board, negotiating an alternative to the direct...

  • Seven Startups make it into the BongoHive Launch programme

    Zambian startup hub BongoHive kicked off its Launch Accelerator programme this week by inviting seven startups as its fifth cohort. During the 12-week programme, startups will undergo a series of workshops and get to share a co-working space with other Launch startups. The startups will also be matched with an industry mentor, have access to legal advice and be able to work with BongoHive's in-house accounting and finance lead. Some of the mentors on the programme include Irene Banda Mutalima, founder and director Tucuza Associates; Mwawi Phiri, senior manager procurement and logistics at MTN and Mawano Kambeu, founder and MD at Dot Com Zambia.  The seven startups selected for the programme are: ...

  • The Foschini Group produces another initiative powered by a startup

    Startup Pargo and major retail corporation The Foschini Group (TFG) have partnered again to launch their Collect In Store initiative. TFG and Pargo, which helps co-ordinate deliveries, previously partnered to launch TFG’s Deliver 2 Me service. The Collect In Store project will allow customers to purchase their items online and collect them at their nearest TFG store within an eight-day period. The initiative will be tested across @home, Foschini, Markham, Sportscene and Totalsports stores within the Western Cape before expanding nationally. Lars Veul and Derk Hoekert (pictured left and right, respectively), directors and co-founders at Pargo commented on the recent partnership in a press release...

  • Will SA startup Moonrock energise local portable power sector?

    Taking on a saturated market isn't always the smartest move when it comes to starting a business. However Cape Town startup Moonrock, is doing just that. Founded by Marcel Hattingh in 2016, the startup retails single-use emergency powerbanks through merchants who sell them to customers wanting to recharge their cellphones in a hurry. The powerbanks are offered through merchants who can only make use of them once before having to return them to Moonrock to be charged. Hattingh came up with the idea after getting tired of relying on plugging his devices directly into the wall. One of Hattingh's team members, Josh Swart, detailed to Ventureburn how...

  • Start-Up Nations SA helping spread best practices in SA, claims co-ordinator

    Three years after the launch of Start-Up Nations South Africa by the Minister of Small Business Development Lindiwe Zulu in November 2014, Ventureburn has questioned what the role of the initiative -- which works mostly behind the scenes -- really is. The initiative is a partnership between the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), The Innovation Hub and the Wits Business School. Ventureburn spoke to IDC support specialist Mmodi Rambau-Nesengani, who has been tasked with co-ordinating the initiative. She says her desk is at work trying to connect local organisations with best practice programmes from other countries, while having initiated a local initiative that aims to foster...

  • How Pretoria guy made a million at 22 but still stays with parents

    A millionaire at 22. That's the story of Pretoria property entrepreneur Albert van Wyk, who last month launched a book detailing how he made his first million. But like all stories there's more to it than meets the eye. In his self-published book, A Millionaire at 22, Van Wyk -- who is now 24, still lives with his parents and uses a second-hand cellphone -- describes how as a 19-year-old fresh out of school he used the money he would've received from a bursary as a down payment to acquire property. A little help from dad Writes van Wyk: "After a long debate I made...

  • Startup Grind to host first event in Angola

    Angolan entrepreneurs will get access to regular entrepreneurship talks and information when global entrepreneurship meetup group Startup Grind kicks off its first event in Luanda next month. The event, which will be held on 5 July at the Belas conference centre in Luanda, will feature agribusiness specialist Marcia Gomes, who will talk on soil quality and the tech behind agriculture. Founder of entrepreneurship news site Acelera Angola and the head of Startup Grind Luanda Jose Carlos dos Santos told Ventureburn that he expects about 50 people to attend the first event. In November last year Santos helped organise the first official events Angola has held under the...

  • Orange launches African-focused investment programme

    Telecoms company Orange has announced the launch of a new programme dedicated to helping African entrepreneurs achieve their goals. The Orange Digital Ventures Africa programme will serve as Orange's investment vehicle and is committing €50-million to invest in startups which will account for half of the direct investments made by the flagship programme. The other half will be devoted to "indirect investments through specialised funding". A team will be set up in Dakar in September for the Ventures programme to be able to assist applicants. Pierre Louette, deputy CEO of Orange and Chairman of Orange Digital Ventures commented on the new initiative in a press...

  • Grotech fund set to announce first three deals

    Grotech, a venture capital (VC) fund set up under the 12J VC tax incentive, is set to announce its first three investments, said fund manager Clive Butkow speaking to Ventureburn. Butkow (pictured above) said the three three deals are all in technology products developed by existing companies. These are: A tech app for a fast moving consumer goods company. A social-media influencer platform, which already has revenue of about R17-million and employs eight staff. The platform has a presence in the UK and looking to expand to other overseas markets. An existing business involved in booking activities in the travel sector. Butkow expected several jobs to be created...

  • SA SME Fund will commence with due diligence in July says CEO

    The R1.5-billion SA SME Fund will commence with initial fund screening due diligence from next month (July 2017), the fund's CEO Quinton Dicks said today. In April, Dicks told Ventureburn that he plans to finalise the recruitment of his initial five-member team by 1 June before making investments into approved funds. The fund will invest in funds which will then invest in high-growth small and medium-sized enterprises. In response to questions from Ventureburn on whether any funds had been disbursed, Dicks said the initial team members had all been appointed with the final appointment joining on 1 July 2017. "We have not committed to any funds...