Africa, News

DEMO Africa commends international community’s support for local startups

DEMO Africa 2013 With support from the international community, DEMO Africa is helping local startups get into the global limelight. The annual event recently saw 40 tech startups showcase their businesses in Lagos, Nigeria. DEMO Africa is one of the flagship initiatives of LIONS@FRICA, a project started by the US Department of State, Microsoft, DEMO, USAID and Startup Weekend. The US State Department through the LIONS@FRICA partnership will this year sponsor five DEMO Africa startups for a 10-day trip to pitch at the DEMO US. ...

Startup news

GoMetro relaunches as SA’s social network of transport

GoMetro app In celebration of National Transportation Month in South Africa, data and transport startup GoMetro relaunched this week. Apart from the additional social elements, the startup's updated product now include information regarding major bus services like Cape Town's MyCiti and Golden Arrow as well as Johannesburg's Gautrain and Rea Vaya. GoMetro's new app -- GoMetroApp -- is referred to as the Community for Commuters where people provide each other with information including crowdsourced updates about transport in South Africa. Whereas the original GoMetro.co.za ...

Entrepreneurship

Screw Samsung and LG, Korea’s real tech legacy could be as a startup nation

Seoul Palace Think of the world's great startup hubs and you think Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, Sao Paolo and Bangalore. If you've spent some time on the African continent, you'd probably throw Cape Town, Nairobi and Lagos into the mix too. Chances are South Korea probably won't even cross your mind. If you're anything like most people, when someone mentions technology and Korea you probably think about its two hardware giants Samsung and LG. If you're up to scratch on the instant ...

Entrepreneurship

Where’s the line between inspiration and startup overhype?

Startupbootcamp A piece that my colleague Ali Mese wrote recently went viral instantly. My Facebook timeline became a mish-mash of people -- entrepreneurs or not -- sharing it and applauding his bravery in leaving his corporate job, and leaving comments on how it made them want to drop all they were doing and dive into the deep end of entrepreneurship. You know, the usual viral reaction. But not everyone loved it. Some were critical of how, they claimed, Mese’s story failed to provide ...

Africa, Featured, Startups

What startups may come: a look at Silicon Savannah in Kenya

Kenya "How would you like to pay?", a cashier at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport asks me. "M-Pesa or cash?" she continues as I try to gather my thoughts. And then it hits me -- this is Kenya, where mobile payment works and is everywhere. This is Africa's hub of innovation. The technology ecosystem here works and unlike Nigeria, the fragments are better held together. So I have decided to spend some time getting to know the ecosystem and the startups and ...

Startup news

Uber is bringing its enterprise-like offering to Africa, meet Uber for Business

Uber for business Uber is shaking things up with its latest offering Uber for Business. The enterprise space is hotly contested right now and everyone's favourite private driver is digging in for its share. According to the service, it wants to assist businesses with very mobile employees. How? By assisting business travelers to "move with ease and get where they need to go". The new enterprise offering was launched earlier this year in parts of North America and Europe. Uber says that ...

Africa, Startup news

Microsoft awards 7 more African startups with Innovation Grants

microsoft 4afrika alt Microsoft 4Afrika has announced the second round of startups that will have access to the tech giant's Innovation's Grant, the latest in a series of initiatives we've seen this year as it looks to fast-track African innovation. The grant will help each startup achieve their unique needs whether that be skills, funds or networking. Fernando de Sousa, General Manager of Africa Initiatives at Microsoft notes how critical it is to support Africa's future industry leaders: “The world is looking for the ...

Entrepreneurship

Dragons’ Den SA episode 2: the dragons come into their own

Dragons Den SA 2 By anyone's standards, the first episode of Dragons' Den South Africa was something of a mixed bag. Outside of the random assemblage of people calling themselves entrepreneurs and pitching ideas they'd thought up during the week (these are the same people who believe they can win Idols based on their solo shower performances), there were a couple of promising ideas, one that was "too polished" and a single actual investment. The second episode delivered more, not least because the dragons -- ...

Entrepreneurship

Quitting my corporate job to follow my startup dream worked out, but not in the way you think

Golden Hamster I was inspired to write this after reading an article by Ali Mese, where he discusses how quitting his job in order to chase his startup dream stuffed up his life. I found myself in a similar position not too long ago, and I want to share my story with those of you who may be contemplating doing the same thing. The startup journey begins In 2011 I was working for one of the top engineering companies in South Africa, a job ...

Africa, Startup news

Zimbabwean Wi-Fi startup SaiSai wins SWELL Innovation Award

SaiSai Wi-Fi distribution startup Saisai has been announced as winner of the SWELL Innovation Award at DEMO Africa. SaiSai will receive an all-expense paid trip to Silicon Valley as part of the SWELL Innovation Tour, which includes the exclusive participation in SWELL’s intensive soft landing programme in California. The Zimbabwean company provides a bandwidth redistribution wireless mesh network consisting of free access wireless hotspots in public areas, including public transportation. SaiSai explains that many companies have large periods of time when their internet capacity ...

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