• BURN MEDIA
    • Memeburn
      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!
  • SA Innovation Summit Brings Startup World Cup to South Africa [SPONSORED]

    Global startup conference, Startup World Cup, is partnering with the SA Innovation Summit to host its first ever South African regional competition. This regional competition will be held on 22 and 23 September 2016 as part of the annual SA Innovation Summit event in Johannesburg in the Ventureburn Pitching Den. Startup World Cup is a global conference and competition with the goal of bridging startup ecosystems worldwide. There will be 15 regional events across North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia, leading up to the Grand Finale in Silicon Valley. This is the first ever event of its type, organised by...

  • Company Office

    CompareGuru set to simplify financial services for SA consumers

    Launches new site with advanced features and real-time services.  For most time-constrained South Africans, choosing between financial products and service providers is a laborious and challenging task. Despite the increasing access to all sorts of information online, it remains a complex and daunting process to sift through various product offerings, pricing structures, terms and conditions, etc. “This complexity is especially problematic when trying to choose between products and providers in the mobile, banking and insurance spheres, where contracts are often filled with jargon and consumers are understandably wary of hidden fees,” explains Ryan Marx, CEO of CompareGuru, a site which draws...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [01/08/2016]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or scratch up on some of your skills? Well, you’ve come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we’ve rounded up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or...

  • The Solaris initiative: locally sustainable biofuel for jets

    Human nature is to progress, to continually improve on existing structures. Project Solaris is an example of that nature. A joint initiative started by Sunchem SA and SkyNRG, it's already making progress in the world of biofuel. Two years ago, Sunchem SA and SkyNRG launched the project in Limpopo with the aim to roll it out on a wide scale and be the go-to for locally sustainable jet biofuel production. Today, they've achieved that goal. "The Solaris crop yields about 2.5 MT ton (sic) of oil per hectare. This is significantly more than traditional oil crops," said Solaris' Project Manager Samantha Hampton in...

  • Vickers Venture Partners is raising $250 million for its new global fund

    Despite fears of a slowdown that has already caused some sobering devaluations in markets like India and China, it seems that venture capital will continue to flow for a little while yet. Singapore-headquartered investment firm Vickers Venture Partners plans to pour some water into that stream with its newly announced fund with a target size of US$250 million. Vickers has already raised US$63.5 million from existing investors. Capped at US$400 million, it could become one of the largest funds by a Singapore VC so far, close to the US$600 million fund that Temasek poured into subsidiary Vertex Ventures last October. It’s...

  • Vinny Lingham named fourth ‘Shark’ on M-Net’s Shark Tank

    VC and co-founder of Silicon Cape, Vinny Lingham, has been named the fourth 'Shark' on M-Net's upcoming pitching show, Shark Tank. Lingham joins co-CEO of The Creative Council, CEO of The Beancounter, Gil Oved, Marnus Boordyk, and CEO at Europcar and Imperial Car rental division, Dawn Nathan-Jones on the judging panel. The show's setup features entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas to the panel of judges for funding. The Sharks may then decide to invest in the idea, or decline. If more than one Shark decides to invest, the contestant will need to decide who they're going with. Lingham is no stranger to this type of...

  • Startup Funding: Not Always Straightforward

    As with many things in life, there's the good, the creative, and the downright weird. Startup funding is no exception, as the following examples prove. Gamble BloomNation is an online flower marketplace, founded by CEO Farbod Shoraka and his team after trying of seeing only bland design online. David Daneshgar and Gregg Weisstein, friends and co-founders of Sharoka's, discussed the question of money. It was then that they realised the had access to a unique source of startup funding:  Daneshgar, who had won a number of events at the 2008 World Series of Poker. Returning to the game, he was able to...

  • GroTech looks to raise additional R38-million for funding

    VC firm GroTech is looking to raise an additional R38-million in funding. This comes after the company received R62-million in its last round. GroTech invests in companies using technological innovations to disrupt industries such as banking, insurance, health, and media among others. "The investment pipeline is healthy. Since the close of the first round of capital raising which closed on 29 February 2016, GroTech has reviewed in excess of 170 business plans. To date we have made one investment and are currently evaluating another three, one of which is at term sheet stage," says CEO of GroTech Clive Butkow in a...

  • Five tech startups chosen for Dutch #cocreate2ACCELERATE challenge

    Five SA tech startups have been selected as part of the #cocreate2ACCELERATE challenge, an initiative created by the Kingdom of the Netherlands. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, all of the participants will be partnered with a Dutch entrepreneur in order to "exchange ideas and innovations for a sustainable future." For example, video game startup RetroEpic will be partnered with Esther Jacobs, who has given more than 1000 keynotes, helped over 50 entrepreneurs write books, and has been knighted by the Dutch Queen, among other things. The four companies are video game startup Sea Monster; application builder, Polymorph; app specialist, &Innovation; agriculture...

  • Siyavula, the edtech startup enabling learners through feature phones [updated]

    Update: Facts and quotes have been amended. Our apologies to Mark Horner and Siyavula for the errors. Education has been preached about as the way to a better life, "get good grades, go to a good school, then off to a better university where you'll get a degree and make lots of money". In our country, it's especially hard to follow that path. According to the 2014 education statistics, 28.3% of learners who passed their matric exam only qualified for a Bachelor's programme, 31.3% qualified for a Diploma programme and 16.1% qualified for a Higher Certificate programme. These stats prove why more...

  • Knowledge Base Africa launches bootcamp for entrepreneurs in Zimbabwe

    SME development organisation Knowledge Base Africa (KBA) is launching a bootcamp for entrepreneurs in Harare, Zimbabwe, from 2 to 4 September. The bootcamp will consist of 200 entrepreneurs who will be taught skills and given business toolkits to use with their startup. After which, 50 participants will be selected for a 12-month incubation programme hosted by KBA. According to the CEO of KBA Agnes Chikukwa-Hove: "While the SME sector is crucial to Africa’s growth, currently contributing more than 45% to employment and 33% to GDP, a large proportion of new businesses fail. This is often due to funding challenges, but also – and sometimes...