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  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [27/03/2017]

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

  • Company Office

    Barclays accelerator announces latest participants in African programme

    Barclays Africa Group and Techstars today released the names of 10 financial-technology (fintech) companies selected to participate in the second Barclays Accelerator programme, powered by Techstars. The successful companies, all focused on providing fintech solutions in Africa, will participate in a 13-week growth acceleration programme at Barclays Africa’s Rise fintech innovation hub in Cape Town from mid-May. The 2017 programme participants are: Flexpay (Kenya), Howler (South Africa), Spatialedge (South Africa), Abe.ai (USA), The Sun Exchange (South Africa), Byte Money (South Africa), Avenews-GT (Israel), FOMO Travel (South Africa), Kapitalwise (USA) and eCOIDA (South Africa). Yasaman Hadjibashi, chief creation officer at Barclays Africa Group, said:...

  • Visa launches its first African Innovation Bootcamp [update]

    Payments technology giant Visa has partnered with global accelerator and early-stage tech investor, Nest to launch its first Innovation Bootcamp in Africa. The bootcamp aims to empower early-stage startups within the fintech space and will conclude with a Demo Day scheduled for 27 March 2017. The bootcamp saw a pool of 122 applicants from 12 countries which include Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ghana, South Africa and many others. From applicants, only 10 were selected to take part. "The finalists will get the opportunity to gain knowledge and insights from experts at Visa, as well as gain access to Visa API’s and tools, and Nest’s resources...

  • 12 edtech startups teaching South Africans [Digital All Stars]

    Digital All Stars is a series of articles which aims to celebrate the best of South African digital. The articles, which will appear on Memeburn and Ventureburn, recognise and celebrate South Africa’s best digital entrepreneurs, business people, advertisers, and media professionals among others. The All Stars listed in the articles are compiled using a combination of our editorial team’s own knowledge, that of experts in the fields covered by each article, as well as public vote. Education is a problem in South Africa, whether it be under-funded schools, a lack of teachers, or collapsing buildings. There are private organisations trying to...

  • Tony Elumelu Foundation selects 1000 African entrepreneurs for programme

    The Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF), has announced the selection of 1000 African entrepreneurs to join the third cohort of the foundation's USD$100-million TEF Entrepreneurship Programme. According to TEF, the programme saw over 93 000 entrepreneurs from over 55 countries applying, which was double the amount of applicants in 2016 and four times the amount of applicants in 2015. The selected entrepreneurs will be trained and mentored over the next nine months to develop a solid business plan. Following their training, the cohort will be eligible to receive seed capital of up to US$10 000. The TEF will aim to facilitate the development of...

  • Why did 22seven founder leave Old Mutual? [Exclusive]

    News broke earlier this week that 22seven would finally be absorbed into Old Mutual, following the app's acquisition in 2013. It was also confirmed that co-founders Christo Davel and Kenny Inngs would be leaving the business as a result. Now, Davel has explained the reason for his departure in an interview with Ventureburn. "It was just a differing of long-term strategies, mostly..." Davel explained in a telephonic interview, confirming that it was a mutual agreement. "Oh yes, it was a very amicable agreement between us and Old Mutual." Davel confirmed that 22seven was looking for buyers last year, elaborating on the process. 22seven co-founder Christo...

  • Fincluders Startup Challenge heads to Amman

    The very first SANAD Fincluders Startup Challenge to take place outside of Europe is headed toward Amman, Jordan to find innovative SMEs spreading financial inclusion in MENA. SANAD, an SME fund serving MENA, has modelled their challenge after the European Fund for South East Europe (EFSE) Fincluders which was held in Berlin last year. The Amman instalment of the challenge is scheduled for 3 to 4 May 2017 with a cash prize of up to USD$15 000 with SANAD securing the support of Oasis 500, a local fintech accelerator. SANAD's technical assistance facility are offering finalists a trip to Jordan as well as accommodation for the duration...

  • Old Mutual brings 22seven in-house, founders leave

    Old Mutual made headlines back in 2013 when it acquired personal finance app 22seven for an undisclosed sum. At the time of the deal, both companies said that 22seven would be absorbed into Old Mutual's plans to deliver digital support for customers. Now, the parent company has announced that it will be "bringing its wholly-owned 22seven operation closer to its in-house digital strategy without interrupting the current online offering to customers". However, the move will also see co-founders Christo Davel and Kenny Inggs departing the business. In a press release to Ventureburn, Raymond Berelowitz, Director of Customer Solutions at Old Mutual, elaborated on the news. "We are...

  • Why we rejected $100k in funding when we had next to nothing in the bank

    I started my first business at the age of 16, selling products door to door. Since then, I have acquired over 10+ years of experience in entrepreneurship, marketing, and businesses dev across industries like EdTech, E-commerce, and many others. And now, in 2016, with a renewed focus, me and my team have founded a fashion tech startup, GetNatty, that provides an online platform to represent the creative and hidden talent of young and emerging fashion designers so we can make designer fashion affordable for the masses.Earlier this year, my team was offered US$100 000 (or INR 6 million) in funding...

  • Innovate For Life announces three winning startups

    The Innovate For Life campaign held by AMREF Health Africa in partnership with Takeda Pharmaceuticals and Nailab has found three winning SMEs. The programme called for SMEs offering unique solutions to address the issue of maternal mortality and infant loss (in Africa and also across the globe). It received 117 applications which were narrowed down to just 15 -- these company founders then attended a two-day hackathon. It's from this hackathon these winners emerged: HelpMum -- A social SME that focuses on preventative measures, using mobile technology to reduce infant mortality. Chanjo Plus -- A mobile service which offers a platform for users to manage their vaccinations...

  • SA ranked as a top entrepreneurial nation [report]

    According to the newly issued Entrepreneurial Ecosystem of South Africa: A Strategy for Global Leadership Report, SA is one of the top countries in Africa for entrepreneurship. SA was ranked number two out of 30 countries in the sub-Saharan African region. It was also ranked 55 out of 137 countries surveyed globally, which was followed by Namibia, Gabon, and Ghana. The report was created by the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute (GEDI) and SEA Africa. It was commissioned by the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation and the South African Breweries (SAB) Foundation. According to the press release, the report was not only issued in...