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  • All you need is coffee: innovation in 72 hours

    Innovation isn’t a strategy; it’s a series of orchestrated tactics that solve defined problems, casting aside the status quo in favor of invention and improvement. The magic lies in finding the right idea to take forward. We’ve tried several approaches at my company, but the most effective is the one we use now. We call it “Innovation Sprinting.” What is innovation sprinting? We don’t want to waste time. Our objective is to move from a problem statement to a tangible, testable outcome as efficiently as possible, and we’ve aggressively condensed the time frame to help us achieve this outcome. Over a few...

  • Company Office

    Securing the right investor for every stage of your business

    So you’ve nailed down the big idea, you’ve got the inspiration, and you’ve laid out a savvy business plan - now all you need is the right investor (or investors) to get your startup off the ground. For many new entrepreneurs, this is the hardest part (so far)…it usually requires pitching your idea (and essentially, pitching yourself), to family and friends, and as the business grows, to angel/seed investors and venture capitalists. It requires asking people to place their money and trust in you and your ability to make something out of nothing. For even the most self-assured among...

  • This infographic for entrepreneurs is actually great advice for a successful life

    Being an entrepreneur can be a profoundly rewarding experience. For many, it's a chance to break away from a mundane corporate life and do something truly innovative. But it can also be incredibly challenging and, at times, horribly lonely. As rewarding as leaving corporate life behind might seem, it comes with serious risks, and those can weigh pretty heavily on any entrepreneur's mind. Small wonder then that many entrepreneurs suffer from anxiety and depression. But even for those who aren't clinically diagnosed the road to success can seem more like a mountain traverse. But when everything finally does pull together,...

  • Nigeria’s ‘underperforming’ food apps leave many questions

    It's an open secret that food apps are not as popular as ecommerce and payment apps in Nigeria, despite the love for food uniting the people more than music and sports. A few weeks ago, I heard of the ambitious goal of a re-launched app called Bukka. It's pitched as a person-to-person food app that uses seamless connections to link cooks to their clients, connecting users to all available chefs in their neighbourhood and giving them access to a large variety of cuisine. They likened the way the app functions to the way Uber connects riders with drivers. They're so confident of the new app's success that they claim it would...

  • 5 factors that differentiate fintech in Africa

    Fintech in Africa, as elsewhere in the world, is big business. Investment is flooding into startups providing innovative ways of offering financial services. Startups in the fintech space took on almost 30 per cent of the total funding raised by African tech businesses in 2015. Globally, growth in the sector is huge, with US$19.1 billion invested globally last year, a 106 per cent jump from 2014. But the fintech space in Africa is different to that in developed economies, with a whole raft of opportunities presented by unique factors that are not found elsewhere in the world, says Wim van der...

  • Software startups: here’s how you can succeed before you start

    Starting a business based on a software product is no easy task. If you're an entrepreneur with all the passion for the business aspects of your new endeavour and the promise of the millions in profit driving you on, don’t be deterred by the mammoth task that is software development - one of the most important elements of your venture. Almost daily, our team is asked by individuals with grand ideas (ridiculous, novel or brilliant) on how to get started with a software-based business. Not one to pass up an opportunity to uplift the development community (and tech-related start-ups) we’ve...

  • 5 security tips for anyone wanting to start an ecommerce store

    An increasing number of people with an entrepreneurial mindset are setting up ecommerce sites, thanks to increased access to the Internet and mobile services, a growing middle class and the availability of online tools that are easy to use. A McKinsey & Company report recently revealed that ecommerce could account for 10% of retail sales in Africa's largest economies by 2025. Unfortunately, this growth is also attracting the interest of cyber criminals, ready to take advantage of unsuspecting Small & Medium Business owners. But if you use the right tools - setting up an online store can be incredibly...

  • New mentorship programme aims to empower disabled entrepreneurs

    There's not a whole lot of tech in this one, but we thought it was worth sharing anyway. South African entrepreneurial organisation The Hope Factory has launched a programme aimed specifically at empowering disabled entrepreneurs. The programme, which will be based in KwaZulu-Natal, is meant to help the physically disabled develop personal and business skills to grow and improve their businesses. The 10 entrepreneurs selected for it come from a variety of different fields. "As a Business Mentor, walking hand-in-hand with an entrepreneur on their journey to success and prosperity, through the highest high’s and low’s and ever...

  • 7 of the best SEO training courses to market your startups in 2016

    If you’re a startup, you often need to keep your spending as lean as possible. What better way to do so than to learn the basics of search engine optimisation yourself? These 7 courses, conferences, and guides are there to point you in the direction of some of the great resources out there. Coursera Coursera teamed up with some of the top universities and organisations to provide access to world-class education through online courses. Stanford, Princeton and Yale are just a few of the universities they've partnered with. Interested students have the option of taking courses absolutely for free. It's also possible to...

  • Here’s what young entrepreneurs need to know about managing older employees

    Being an entrepreneur today is very different from the way it was in our parents’ and grandparents’ days. In countries with ‘Western’ cultures, the young adults’ world is also vastly different from that of older generations. But because we often need to do business with older people, this has implications for how we relate to, and work with them. Research into the attitudes and expectations of people born during the second half of the 20th century suggest that they can be categorised roughly into one of two groups: Millennials and Generation Xers. Millennials -- people now in their early-20s to mid-30s --...

  • Cape Town VC Llew Claasen appointed executive director of Bitcoin Foundation

    The Bitcoin Foundation has appointed Cape Town venture capitalist Llew Claasen as its executive director. The appointment was announced during the Blockchain Training Conference in Toronto, Canada, on 20 June. Claasen was elected by a board of directors on 14 June. "I'm looking forward to leading the Bitcoin Foundation going forward.  There is an amazing opportunity for the organisation to help the Bitcoin ecosystem.  In the coming weeks I’ll be working closely with the board, membership, transition team and various stakeholders to create the best plan for success possible," wrote Claasen in a press release on the Bitcoin Foundation website. Claasen is managing partner...