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  • M4JAM acquires digital research company Pondering Panda to fuel African expansion

    South African micro-jobbing startup M4JAM (Money for Jam) had a good first year. The Stellenbosch-based company lured high-profile talents such as Brett StClair from Google South Africa into its den, which was quickly followed up by investment from media giants Naspers and Tencent through WeChat Africa. This has been accompanied by impressive user growth. Now, adding muscle to its African expansion plans, M4JAM has acquired digital market research company Pondering Panda. Founded in 2011 and also operating from Stellenbosch, Pondering Panda has over the years established itself as a reputable research brand and, leveraging popular digital channels such as Mxit and...

  • Company Office

    How to find a strong mentor to guide you to business success

    Why every entrepreneur needs multiple mentors… While the challenges of being an entrepreneur have been well-documented, reports often fail to describe the feelings of self-doubt, loneliness and isolation that tend to plague aspiring entrepreneurs at every stage of their journey. No amount of angel funding, slick technology or strategic business consulting can really assuage the feelings of doubt that accompany starting a brave new enterprise. Yet this is where strong mentorship can play a critical role – and in fact can prove to be far more valuable than landing an investment deal or angel fund backing. Mentors can keep tired...

  • What can big data do for small startups?

    Starting and continuing to run a successful business has always been a difficult task for any entrepreneur. While you may have a great idea, your business might not get the kick start it deserves due to issues either in or out of your control. With the age of data upon us, businesses need to go back to the basics of what they see on paper, instead of relying solely on intuition and gut feel. Before thinking about how to use Big Data effectively, ask yourself if your business even uses data effectively. In other words, apart from your financial...

  • Convergence Partners announces $20m investment to stimulate tech in West Africa

    Pan-African investment management firm Convergence Partners has announced an investment of US$20-million for a minority stake in Venture Garden Nigeria (VGN), a tech investment holding company operating in the West African country. VGN is dedicated to support companies that provide innovative, data-driven, end-to-end technology platforms. Its portfolio currently consists of education company EduTech, software developer Splashers Technologies and gifting platform SureGifts, among many others. Read more: SureGifts is Nigeria’s premier gift card startup targeting the corporate world Founded in 2006, Convergence Partners is an investment management firm focused on the telecommunications, media and technology sector in Africa. The firm has played leading roles...

  • Seedstars World competition heads to Abidjan for its next leg

    After its a successful round in Ghana, Seedstars World is heading towards Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. On 12 August, the competition looks to find the best startup in the country, which will go on to compete for a US$500 000 equity prize in Switzerland. Partnering with Microsoft, Google, and MEST, Seedstars World looks at fast-growing and pioneering startups in an effort to support regional businesses. "Seedstars World is a platform connecting investors to the next generation of startup entrepreneurs pulling the spotlight from Silicon Valley and Western Europe. We honestly think the best way to have an impact in emerging countries is...

  • SA’s Geek Crate delivers games, comics and merchandise to your doorstep

    Brand new startup Geek Crate based in Cape Town, South Africa, looks to bring a range of geek products to the masses. It's an idea sure to take off during the current Geek Chic trend, made popular by properties such as The Big Bang Theory and Marvel's Cinematic Universe. The company has been founded by full-time UCT students and friends, Grant Meeser and Jordan Lambis. What they lack in years of experience, the pair have in vision, foresight, and drive. The concept driving Geek Crate is very simple, and is one that we've seen before: each month customers pay a set...

  • After the Dragons: how one big TV investment changed SA Florist [T4A]

    Ecommerce store, SA Florist may not have received the largest investment from Dragons' Den South Africa, but it was one of the more interesting stories. For one, all five of the Dragons came in on the deal, a rarity on the show. Founders Nicholas Wallander and Fraser Black were also made to sweat for it, going through one of the longest pitches in the show's global history. Prior to the show, the ecommerce site had quietly chugged along for a couple of years as a neat little money turner for its partners. It had one full-time employee and did about R1-million...

  • Nic Haralambous: entrepreneurship is an addiction and there’s no cure [T4A]

    Entrepreneurship is addictive and it's as difficult an addiction to get over as any other. That was the message from Nic Haralambous during his keynote at the Cape Town edition of Tech4Africa. Despite the best intentions of his parents, who wanted him to have a steady career, Haralambous told the audience that he could never imagine doing anything else other than running his own business. This despite the fact that his experiences have left him as bruised and battered as any harmful drug. The son of Cypriot immigrants, the former Motribe founder turned online men's outfitter has been running businesses in...

  • Startup owner? Here are 4 ways to empower your developers’ creativity

    There’s an old saying about service delivery: Your options are good, fast, and cheap -- pick two. For entrepreneurs trying to get ahead and stay ahead in the rapidly evolving tech industry, this aphorism rings true, and it’s why multi-skilled employees who are able to deliver two and a half out of those three are so highly prized. One of these is the rare “designoper” -- a developer with design knowledge. These all-stars are able to make decisions from both an aesthetic and a practical point of view, striking a balance between code-heavy visuals and simplicity while reducing the time...

  • Seedstars World names church admin app Ghana’s best startup

    Global seed-stage startup competition has been making its rounds across the African continent, giving exciting tech startups a chance to pitch on the global stage for a shot at US$500 000 equity investment. After kicking-off in Mozambique, startup winners were announced in South Africa and, soon after, Nigeria. Now, at Impact Hub Accra, Seedstars World has named Ghana's church administration app Asoriba the country's top startup. Asoriba is described as a web and mobile application that enables effective church administration for leaders, and seamless engagement with members. Nana Opoku, the CEO of Asoriba, told Seedstars World: "This is completely unexpected for us. We...

  • What can we learn from the successful Start-Up Chile accelerator?

    Today is demo day for the top 20 startups from the 12th generation of one of the world's most talked about business programmes -- Start-Up Chile. Tonight at 7pm Santiago time the 20 will present their ideas to national and international investors to raise funds to grow their businesses while they are in Chile. The batch were selected from among 70 other companies from the programme's 12 generation. Demo Day is guaranteed to prove nerve-wracking as the chosen few will have just five minutes to convince investors that their idea is worth funding. Judges will choose the winner, who will get a free flight to...