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  • Spaaza: The glue that brings together online and offline shopping

    eCommerce changed everything, but beyond the convenience, choice and financial savings yielded by armchair shopping, there’s an armada of disgruntled brick and mortar businesses who find it hard to compete. Why? In the US, big online retailers such as Amazon are exempt from collecting sales tax from online shoppers in the majority of states. A 1992 US Supreme Court ruling states that online retailers don’t have to collect sales taxes in states where they lack a physical presence. The pressure is mounting however, local governments are joining arms with offline retailers to change the laws, as projections of uncollected taxes...

  • Company Office

    Here are three facts you need to know about using local app Parkfind

    Parkfind, an app developed by Street Parking Solutions (SPS), allows users to search for, navigate to and pay for parking anywhere in the Cape Town central business district (CBD) in real time. SPS claims that Parkfind is Africa's first search, navigation and payment app. New to the app? Here are a three Parkfind facts around availability, reliability and security. 1.Eight to five on weekdays You can only use the app between 8am and 5pm on weekdays, as well as between 8am and 1pm on Saturdays. Users will not be able to use the app to locate and pay for parking on public holidays, Sundays...

  • What tech businesses need to survive in a time of flux

    The theme of the 2012 Skoll World Forum is "Flux: seizing momentum, driving change", which I think is a fantastic one. We’ve never had such upheaval in the way businesses work, in how citizens interact with government, or in how information flows in the world. It’s about change, and survival in a time of flux is best done through agility and creativity. "As an operating paradigm, it expresses the fluid nature of relationships, policies, institutions and human beings which are ever-changing in non-linear ways." Thriving on acceleration The world we live in today is accelerating, in just about everything we’re seeing disruptive...

  • 4 Factors shaping social impact investment in Africa’s tech scene

    I recently took part in a panel discussion focused on “investing in tech in Africa”. It was a good session, as it was very much a discussion between the audience and ourselves. There were a number of points that came up illustrating both the current difficulties and future opportunities when it comes to investing in the African tech space. Using what's there There are a number of tech hubs and labs coming up across the continent, and each have a different focus as we all try to experiment in our space to see what works. The Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of...

  • It’s Startup Month at Memeburn

    Every month is startup month at Memeburn, but we’re doing something special for the month of April. We invite you to let us know about which killer startups -- your own or ones you admire -- we should be covering. Share on Facebook or Twitter Tell us about deserving startups by using the hashtag #memestartup on Twitter or by posting a short motivation on Memeburn's Facebook page. If you’d like us to feature your own startup, be sure to complete Memeburn's startup questionnaire. Pitch your startup on Google+ Later this month, Memeburn will be hosting a Google+ Hangout  featuring MXit and World of...

  • The benefits of customer reviews on your ecommerce site

    By now, unless you’ve been spending the vast majority of your time hankering around the Gobi Desert, sans internet, you’ll have noticed the abundance of ecommerce sites that have sprung up, especially in emerging market regions. There’s no disputing it, ecommerce is a booming industry, and if the latest stats are anything to go by, we can assume that it's going to develop into even bigger and better things over the next few years. An interesting success story around ecommerce is in South Africa. To give you an idea of just how successful it's proven to be so far, let’s...

  • Photo-based MXit app shows impressive growth — 400k users in one month

    An app inside mobile social network MXit is showing some fairly impressive growth. The app, called JudgeME, was developed by mobile social network builder Motribe and reportedly helps people meet each other by uploading and browsing photos. The South African-based company claims the app has gained over 400 000 users less than a month after launching and that it is “already generating enough revenue to cover its costs”. The company says this growth happened faster than it could scale the technology to manage the demand. Motribe CEO Nicholas Haralambous reckons one of the reasons the app has grown so quickly is the sheer...

  • The rise of Woza Online: 10K websites in just two months

    Google's Woza Online initiative claims to have successfully helped 11 200 small businesses set up websites easily and for free in South Africa -- all in just two months. And Google expects "thousands more" to sign up in the coming months. Woza Online is a world-wide initiative that helps small businesses create their own websites, in turn boosting job creation and economic growth. Google has launched similar initiatives in 23 other countries around the world from Great Britain, Canada, and Australia to Brazil, Indonesia, France, and Poland -- bringing 400 000 businesses online over two years. In Africa,...

  • 9 Events every tech startup should add to its diary

    South Africa's tech scene is on the rise and tech entrepreneurs from the country are finding their way to Silicon Valley with products worthy of the world's attention. Some of these entrepreneurs are now mentors and have a wealth of knowledge that they're willing to share with their fellow countrymen. Two of the most common themes among startup mentors, coaches and founders whose companies got acquired, are to learn continually and to increase the quality of your network. You can do both at industry relevant events, so I took a moment to find out which South African tech events...

  • And the winners of the Cape Town Entrepreneurial Competition 2012 are…

    Moments ago LaunchCapeTown announced the winners of the Cape Town Entrepreneurial Competition for 2012. Congratulations to the following teams. Track 1 -- Idea Stage 1st place: Zoe-X 2nd place: Ching 3rd place: Home Bug Track 2 -- Growth Stage 1st place: Snapplify 2nd place: Triggerfish 3rd place: Umuntu Media Earlier today all ten finalists received a second round of coaching and delivered their final pitches in front of the judges, mentors and other finalists. The awards ceremony concludes CTEC 2012, but the three Growth stage winners will receive additional coaching next week, in preparation for the Barcelona Global Entrepreneurship Competition nominations. The winners of both groups receive cash prizes and...

  • LaunchCapeTown: Cape Town Entrepreneurial Competition — Day 1

    Memeburn was in the house for day one of the Cape Town Entrepreneurial Competition (CTEC), part of LaunchCapeTown, the event that brings together startups, entrepreneurs, and digital tastemakers. The morning started off with an opening address by Belinda Walker from the City of Cape Town. In her spirited talk, ten teams waiting to deliver their opening pitches listened intently as Walker stressed the the importance of entrepreneurship in job creation. She called Cape Town “a city of contrasts” and highlighted the 28% unemployment rate -- 40% if you include those who are not actively pursuing work. In order to avoid what...

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