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  • Awethu Project app to provide virtual incubation to informal entrepreneurs

    South African business support organisation The Awethu Project has launched an app for entrepreneurs and aspiring business owners, intended as a "business coach in your pocket". Awethu Project CEO Yusuf Randera-Rees said in a press release following the official launch of the app on June 16 that the Awethu Project App enables informal entrepreneurs to start and grow a business, make more money, and improve their lives. “Over the last four years, 100 000 people applied to our incubator. We only had the resources to incubate the top 2 100, and those entrepreneurs have created over 2 500 jobs. Now, it’s...

  • Company Office

    Wabona Birthday Promotion

    Wabona, Cape Town based video streaming service is celebrating its one year birthday. With that Wabona is free to all until the 12th of December. Anyone can sign up and watch as much content as they want for free. To celebrate this momentous occasion Wabona received a birthday message from acclaimed African-American film and TV star, Malik Yoba. Malik was introduced to Wabona by Africa Angel Network Founder and Chairman, Pule Taukobong. Africa Angels Network (AAN) is an Angel Investment firm that invests in and supports African entrepreneurs and start-ups. AAN pays particular attention to start-ups in the TMT (Technology,...

  • SA fitness app Fitkey heads for 1000 paid subscribers almost two years after launch

    Almost two years after it launched local startup Fitkey has almost a 1000 paid subscribers, with about 3000 users signed up to the browse the site. It all started when Ohio-born Evan Walther, who has a background marketing for tech startups in the US, came on a two-week holiday back in 2014 and fell in love with Cape Town. Walther is due to speak tonight at Startup Grind Pretoria (see details here). With the city being close to nature and with its abundance of good restaurants, it was so much like Cornell University in Ithaca in upstate New York that he decided...

  • Q&A: Focus on creating unicorn for SA is misdirected says Justin Stanford

    Any overt focus by South African ecosystem players on creating the country's first unicorn is a "misdirection of attention" says venture capitalist and founder of 4Di Capital Justin Stanford. With the number of multi-million acquisition deals concluded by South African startups seemingly on the increase of late, Stanford says the country should rather focus on systematically repeatable value creation. 'Focus on headline number of $1-billion valuation is misdirection of attention' It follows the $445-million sale of Kapa Biosystems in 2015 and, more recently, the $123-million GetSmarter deal announced in May. Read more: Are these the 10 all-time biggest exit deals for SA startups? Responding to emailed questions from Ventureburn, Stanford...

  • FSB misses its own crowdfunding deadline

    South Africa’s Financial Services Board (FSB) has missed a June 30 deadline on considering whether to regulate equity crowdfunding or not. A FSB spokesperson in April said the authority had set a date of 30 June by which it planned to rule on whether to craft specific rules or not for equity crowdfunding. It followed the completion of a research report by the FSB on crowdfunding. Read more: South Africa’s FSB to rule on crowdfunding by June 30 However Felicity Mabaso, the FSB's head of department for FAIS Supervision, stressed that the "crowdfunding project" is still a work in progress. "We have scheduled further engagements...

  • Agri-Vie Fund exit from Fairfield sees investors reap over three times in returns

    Investors in the $100-million Agri-Vie Fund I have scored big with the fund today announcing its first exit, from one of South Africa’s most respected dairy companies Fairfield Dairy. A private investment trust linked to the Lang family which founded the diary has agreed to buy Agri-Vie’s stake in the KwaZulu-Natal-based dairy producer. While the fund would not disclosed the sale figure, Agri-Vie co-founder and managing partner Herman Marais said the return on the investment exceeded the fund's objectives -- which is usually to return to investors between 2.5 to 3 times of the invested capital. The fund's initial investment of about $4-million in Fairfield diaries was made in 2009. Marais said...

  • Machine learning is fast becoming business imperative for marketing

    Imagine a world ruled by robots, where artificial intelligence (AI) is used to wield commercial influence and drive our daily decisions. Imagine if your every move was predictable, your behaviours easily anticipated, your world reduced to a set of probabilities. This might sound like the stuff of science fiction, but this isn’t a dreamed up dystopian reality -- in fact, it’s the world we’re living in today. But machine learning isn’t the stuff of nightmares conjured up in futuristic Hollywood thrillers -- in fact, it’s something with which most of us are very familiar, thanks to its prolific use in...

  • SA startup ThisIsMe claims can process FICA filing in record three minutes

    South African fintech startup, ThisIsMe claimed today to have set a new record for making a Financial Intelligence Centre Amendment (FICA) filing on behalf of accounting institutions. It says it can do the filing in just three minutes -- down from the two days to two weeks it usually takes. “ThisIsMe has set a new African record for the compliance process known as Know Your Customer (KYC) and in doing so have also set a new record for the fastest FICA in South Africa," said Mark Chirnside, CEO, ThisIsMe in a press release. He said consumers that have used ThisIsMe are able to skip queues and register new accounts within minutes...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [03/07/2017]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or catch 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 them 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,...

  • Benin’s Sèmè City to become West Africa’s newest business hub

    The presidential office of Benin has launched an international call for all innovators earlier this week (28 June), to help in the development of Sèmè City. Sèmè City aims to become a unique hub for education, research and business incubation in West Africa and will be situated in the coastal city of Cotonou, Benin. One of the main attractions regarding Sèmè City would be its ability to generate and house educational establishments, and research and development centres which include a business incubator supporting up to 250 startups. "Sèmè City symbolises our determination to promote knowledge as a growth driver and position Benin at the...

  • EMGuidance is set to represent South Africa at the Seedstars World finals

    The South African leg of the Seedstars World competition came to a close this week with EMGuidance being chosen to represent SA in the finals in Switzerland next year. The finals saw all the SA satellite winners as well as the three wildcard draws come together to pitch for their chance to represent the country. "The quality of startups is validation of the abundance of talent in South Africa. 2017 being our third (running), we are seeing the impact Seedstars World has on the growth of the local ecosystem, as more founders are thinking global," said Vuyisa Qabaka, a partner at Entrepreneur...