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  • AgriProtein: the company using flies, our waste to keep the planet from eating itself

    The fly makes the world go round. While many find these critters repulsive, they actually play a very important role in how we get our food we eat. For starters, by eating decaying materials, the fly helps speed up the nutrient cycling which helps generate richer soil for plants and vegetables. It's also a protein food for some animals -- a lot of which, people eat. As much as we might hate it, it's actually nature's filthy little farmer. The problem with nature is that it is slow. Way too slow for our overpopulated, capital-driven world of today. But if AgriProtein...

  • Company Office

    Netflix: What do South Africans think?

    With the announcement of Netflix launching in South Africa a few months ago, it might have seemed like a belated Christmas gift from America. But has the novelty seemingly worn off quicker than one would expect? There are plenty of reasons why the excitement of Netflix in South Africa seems to have died down. For one, there are not many South Africans who are fortunate to enjoy the luxury of cable TV, never mind Netflix. There is also the added hurdle of using the streaming service with limited to no access to the Internet for many and data bundles that do...

  • 5 questions you really need to ask about startup growth

    Mobile startup expert Olga Steidi gives an insightful list of the right questions to ask and the ways to implement growth in your startup Travelling across four Southeast Asian countries (Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand) in the last month, I met early-stage CEOs to talk about the way they see internationalisation and growth for their startups. From incubators and company builders to stand-alone startups, every one of them puts growth in the spotlight and understands how critical it is to focus on numbers. Unfortunately, many of them ask (mainly themselves) the wrong questions when it comes to growth. To help founders...

  • Organic online shop Faithful to Nature bags R10m from Silvertree Capital

    Are you a fan of organic products? Well, finding them at the right price at the right time might soon just become a tad easier for South Africans. South African online shop Faithful to Nature, which specialises in organic products, has completed a round of funding from Silvertree Capital valued at over R10-million. The deal, which was facilitated by global boutique investment advisory firm U-Start, includes financial investment to grow marketing spend and expand operations beyond consumer-focused online sales. In addition, Silvertree and other companies within the Silvertree portfolio will support Faithful to Nature on topics including online marketing, IT systems, logistics...

  • Zapacab relaunches as white-label solution to save SA taxi companies from Uber

    Uber's disruptive nature in South Africa's taxi sector is more heated than ever before. So much so that it just prompted the relaunch of a white-label product which taxi companies can use to compete with the San Francisco-based multi-billion dollar company. "Taxi companies need to be able to compete with Uber, as currently they are unable to," says Mark Allewell who -- together with undisclosed partners -- bought the Zapacab IP from the original founders. Zapacab offers independent South African taxi companies to create their own branded mobile app so they can compete with the likes of Uber. "There is a huge...

  • BizSpark’s Dream Big campaign sets out to inspire startup culture in SA

    The South African government’s National Development Plan outlines that 90% of new jobs will be created through entrepreneurship and the expansion of companies by 2030. Microsoft trying to help drive this vision. Supporting small business with access to tools and mentorship, Microsoft BizSpark SA programme has around 1 665 SMEs under its wing. Of those, six companies have been chosen to become part of the Big Dream programme, which hopes to inspire a culture of entrepreneurship among the country's youth. "The Dream Big campaign is really there to highlight entrepreneurial success stories from all different backgrounds," explains Alex Fraser, one of...

  • 4 reasons investors should seriously look to Africa for tech

    In recent years, Africa has become a hotbed of technological innovation. The spread of mobile technology has spurred new companies, such as delivery service MamaMikes, which allows dispersed family members to send gifts, and energy provider M-Kopa Solar, which now provides energy to a reported 150 000 homes across East Africa. This shift has transformed Africa’s investment landscape. African developers will continue generating cutting-edge technology in the coming years, and investors who jump on these new opportunities will reap the rewards. Here are four reasons to source your next tech product from Africa: 1. Mobile Tech Boom Smartphone penetration continues to increase as...

  • Q&A with Francesco Signoretti from lastminute.com group on emerging markets

    Feature photo: Seedstars Cape Town judges during a startup's pitch Francesco Signoretti is the CEO of lastminute.com group, a European leader in the online travel and leisure industry. The Group has an impressive portfolio of well-known brands such as lastminute.com, Bravofly, Rumbo, Volagratis and Jetcost, with websites and mobile apps in 15 languages across 35 countries. As an official partner of Seedstars World, lastminute.com group has agreed to power a Travel Investment Track that will award US$500 000 in equity investment to the best travel startup. Signoretti was with the Seedstars World team at the Cape Town event to help source...

  • On the hunt for Holy Grails, Unicorns, VC funding and other fabled creatures

    This article may be a little controversial but it is part of my mission to guide our entrepreneurs to success -- and if we can stop our founders from wasting time doing things that will never bear fruit, then we are doing our job. New venture founders are massively overly focused on VC-sourced funding – which may initially seem appropriate as lack of money is a problem that most startups face at sometime. However, there is undoubtedly a disproportionate amount of time and resource dedicated to seeking VC funding which will remain for most, a holy grail. In the UK there...

  • Bidvest Media snaps up digital agency Retroviral

    South Africa's Retroviral Digital Communications has just been purchased by Bidvest Media, a division of the JSE-listed Bidvest Group Limited. Revealed in a recent press announcement, Bidvest Media has purchased a majority stake in the five-year-old digital agency. This adds to its growing digital marketing arm which consists of sports marketing and sponsorship agency MSC Sports as well as airport’s media company Create. Retroviral co-founder Mike Sharman retains an interest in the company under the Bidvest Media umbrella and is committed to remain at its helm together with its employees. Co-founder Murray Legg has exited from Retroviral. The agency will retain current clients...

  • Efinity case study: how an ecommerce ‘star was born’ in 24 hours

    Like many of us, Angie Mokoena has a passion project that has great potential as a small business. What has been standing in her way is the triad of familiar reasons why more of us don’t convert our great ideas into viable start-ups -- finances, know-how and time. Last year, Angie launched an image consultancy to help others appreciate themselves and enhance their self-confidence. She is a firm believer in beauty on a budget, and that you don’t have to spend vast amounts of money to look great. With her natural flair for design and eye for detail, she hoped to...