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  • Sage, Microsoft partner for next-generation product development

    Small business accounting and payroll solutions provider Sage and tech giant Microsoft are collaborating on future product development. The partnership will enable Sage products to be built on Microsoft platforms, leveraging the company's cloud solutions. As noted in a press release, this recent deal strengthens an existing relationship between the two parties. While Sage has been a key customer for Microsoft Office 365, Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Azure, the payroll provider will be able to deliver cloud, on-premise and hybrid solutions at a global level. Read more: Transport service Old School Cool takes top spot in 702, Sage One Small Business...

  • Company Office

    Netflix: What do South Africans think?

    With the announcement of Netflix launching in South Africa a few months ago, it might have seemed like a belated Christmas gift from America. But has the novelty seemingly worn off quicker than one would expect? There are plenty of reasons why the excitement of Netflix in South Africa seems to have died down. For one, there are not many South Africans who are fortunate to enjoy the luxury of cable TV, never mind Netflix. There is also the added hurdle of using the streaming service with limited to no access to the Internet for many and data bundles that do...

  • Here’s why SMEs should be wary of information security

    If you run a small business, you may think that data breaches and cybercrime are concerns mostly for big banks, retailers and telecoms companies. But in the worst case scenario, a data breach or a loss of customer information can be expensive to rectify, result in your business losing customers, and hurt your company’s reputation for years to come. Not just for big firms Even though headlines about data breaches and losses focus on big companies like Sony and Dropbox, small businesses are not immune.  The UK’s Federation of Small Businesses found that 41% of SMEs in that country suffered from...

  • Sw7 partners with UKTI to take SA entrepreneurs to London

    South Africa-based tech accelerator Sw7 has partnered with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) to put together a South African trade mission to London. The mission will be centered around the Innovate UK 2015 event taking place in November in London, England. The object of this trade mission is to help companies base themselves in or expand to the UK to address global markets. This trade mission will be a week-long endeavour. The first two days will be spent at the Innovate UK event. The remainder of this time will be spent talking to and connecting with investors, businesses, innovation hubs,...

  • Why governments in Africa should seriously support more angel investors

    The following article is by Carol Musyoka, the founder and CEO of Carol Musyoka Consulting who has over 10 years of financial leadership experience working in Kenya and the United States. In June I attended the G-20 Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion, which held a workshop on Financing Entrepreneurship Innovative Solutions in Izmir, Turkey. Turkey currently holds the G20 Presidency and therefore its government played a pivotal role in the organization of the successful workshop. One of the panelists was a well-known Turkish entrepreneur, angel investor and author -- Baybars Altuntaş -- who impressed the audience with his vocalization of tax incentives that the Turkish Government provides...

  • Innovative pharmacy app wins pitching competition at NigeriaCom 2015

    A pharmacy-focused app that allows store owners to keep an inventory of drugs has won the inaugural edition of the Entrepreneur’s Hub held at the NigeriaCom conference and exhibition. AGCNigeria’s GenRX help owners of small, medium and large-scale pharmacy stores to keep an inventory of drugs in their store -- informing them of those that are about to expire including information on drug-to-drug interactions. The panel of judges included Google Nigeria's Chukwuemeka Afigbo, Wole Odetayo, the managing partner of Wennovation Hub, and myself. AGCNigeria was named the winner of the competition based on the product’s creativity, feasibility, sustainability, and competence of the...

  • Patrick Kayton on Cognician’s revamped self-coaching platform [Q&A]

    Cape Town, South Africa-based self-coaching platform Cognician recently launched a new version of their software, entitled C3, which helps users collect and organise their thoughts. The company has received local and international recognition in the Cape Town Activa Awards, Seedcamp Johannesburg, Seedcamp London, and being named one of Europe's top 11 startups at the TechCrunch Europas Awards. Cognician can be used to brainstorm ideas, plan essays, and outline events. Users may then collaborate with friends or co-workers on the ideas. This e-learning tool differentiates itself from the competition by incorporating a chat-like interface for users, designed to help stimulate thinking on the subject...

  • Ugandan logistics solution claims top regional prize at Seedstars World

    International logistics solution Intership Ug has been named Uganda's best startup by Seedstars World. The startup will travel to Switzerland in February 2016, where it will stand a chance of securing US$500 000 in equity investment. Having already recognised top startups in South Africa, Nigeria, Mozambique, Ghana and more, the Seedstars World challenge is taking place in a total of 50 countries this year. Travel company lastminute.com group is also offering a US$500 000 equity investment for Seedstars World's best travel startup, while the top space startup will receive a US$50 000 grant. Read more: Pivot East 2015 announces mobile startup semi-finalists The winning...

  • 4 tips on getting the right angel investor for your startup

    The spotlight is usually on the most active VCs leading massive rounds across the board. But what about those relatively unsung heroes that fill the pre-Series A funding gap where others are too cautious? We had a chat with Michael Blakey, a Singapore-based angel investor of 16 years, to learn more about the do’s and don'ts of fundraising and leg work startups should do before asking for money. After plowing away at the UK market for 13 years in London, Blakey turned his gaze to Asia and began investing in startups in Singapore. Reason for choosing Singapore is simple: As he...

  • Ventureburn chats with Simon Hartley on WumDrop’s R1m-plus investment [Q&A]

    On the back of raising over R1-million and winning the prestigious MTN's Best Enterprise App and Best Overall App of 2015, Ventureburn sits down with WumDrop co-founder Simon Hartley (pictured above with 'anonymous' developer) to catch up with what the trendy, on-demand courier and delivery startup is up to. Hartley co-founded WumDrop together with Roy Borole in May 2014. Since then, the South African startup has achieved fast growth and prompted other players like the Tencent-backed Picup to enter the market, both seeking to disrupt the local courier industry and beyond. Today, WumDrop has secured an investment of just over R1-million, with...

  • SiMODiSA survey identifies key challenges to SME development in South Africa

    The SiMODiSA Association recently conducted research on key challenges hindering SME development in South Africa. The survey is entitled Accelerating the Growth of SMEs in South Africa and aims to reveal the hindering factors affecting the growth of startups and the scaling of businesses in the country. The survey was compiled in partnership with the Impact Trust, and endorsed and supported by First National Bank (FNB), Omidyar Network Africa, and the South African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA). In a press release sent to Ventureburn, the MD of SiMODiSA, Matsi Modise, commented on what the survey details: The survey is...