South African entrepreneurs, take a bow: a North American’s perspective

Woman Bowing Jonathan was recently part of a team that traveled around South Africa actively searching for potential investments as they recruited entrepreneurs to the Canadian government’s Startup Visa Program, a scheme to assist qualified entrepreneurs interested in relocating to Canada. Here's his perspective on what they found. In the next five years, South Africa is going to produce successful breakout companies whose exciting stories will be told and re-told as inspiring startup legends. Among them will be some of the 50+ smart, ...


Are startups ignoring the 99%?

Money Jar Most of the economic activity, resources, growth, and innovation is happening in the cities across the world. The global top 600 cities are projected to generate 60 percent of the worldwide GDP by 2025. And it’s for this obvious reason that startup ecosystems are growing in the hearts of cities and not the countrysides. The cities pack all the venture capitalist money and tech founders and employees all into one place. This is great for Europe and Northern America where ...

Africa, Ecommerce, News

African ecommerce set to boom this Christmas as landscape improves

Konga Christmas As we've seen before with Africa's ecommerce landscape, the Christmas season holds the test of time for many startups. With both Africa's consumer base and the number of local online stores growing, customers are increasingly choosing to purchase goods online. While the figures are on the increase, one of the biggest obstacles remains educating potential customers. The popularity of online shopping continues to grow in emerging markets and startups such as Konga, Jumia and Zando are indicative of this. ...


Mining the developer pool: inside SA’s tech recruitment woes

Surprised nerd hides behind a computer keyboard over white background "There is very little loyalty in the developer community," says Alex Martin, CEO of Recruit Digital, a recruitment agency that specialises in tech/digital jobs. In the burgeoning tech ecosystem that South Africa is building, this doesn't inspire confidence. In the last couple of years the world has cottoned on to the fact that Africa has something special and worth looking into, and investing in, especially within the tech industry. Africa is very software and app focussed when it comes to the ...


Dell’s e-waste recycling project: helping East African small businesses grow

ewaste This week Dell announced East Africa’s first large-scale e-waste recycling hub. This initiative will help create the capacity to regulate, curb, and ultimately create jobs for Kenyans and the general East African region. A UN report released in October suggests that e-waste has significant value, especially in developing countries. As such Dell, together with the newly-formed East Africa Compliant Recycling initiative in Nairobi, is running an e-waste recycling programme to further help independent small businesses grow. According to Forbes, more than ...

Emerging Markets, Mobile

Interested in the Thai mobile market? Here’s all you need to know today

Mobile cellular phone over the study book Thailand has 90 million mobile subscriptions among its 66 million people. The smartphone penetration rate is 36 percent, up 17 percent from last year. With the ongoing discussions surrounding the expansion of nationwide 3G and the rollout of a new 4G network, let’s take a closer look at the market. Telenor Group, an international provider of call, data, and media communication services has released a report by TNS’s annual global mobile life study that studied mobile phone consumers in Thailand. Here ...


Turns out digital agency Cerebra’s logo isn’t exactly original

Cerebra logo black Getting bought out by an advertising giant like WPP is bound to get you some serious exposure but, as digital agency Cerebra recently found out, that exposure isn't always for the best. According to the website Logo Thief, it was contacted by designer Rolando Murillo of Murillo Design, who noticed that Cerebra's logo bore a striking resemblance to a design he knocked up for Creative Club of San Antonio in 2001. In all likelihood, the logo was picked up after ...

Africa, Emerging Markets, Innovation

Rise of Africa’s makers: Q&A with HacKidemia founder Stefania Druga

Stefania Afrimakers is the brainchild of ex-Google engineer and founder of HacKidemia, Stefania Druga. The initiative has recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo with the aim to inspire and encourage young participants in Africa to help solve greater social problems. By focusing more on hands-on learning, it encourages and inspires experimentation by giving tech hubs across Africa Maker boxes containing things such as an Arduino, a Raspberry Pi, a Makey-Makey and other exciting tools. Ventureburn spoke to Stefania Druga about ...

Ecommerce, Emerging Markets, News

Ticketland scores $10-million through iTech Capital VC fund

Ticketland iTech Capital, a Russia-based Private Equity and Venture Capital fund, recently announced investing US$10-million in Ticketland which is said to become the largest event ticketing company in Eastern Europe. Company sales channels include 130 retail box offices (owned and partners), web site (booking), call center and e-ticket. Ticketland revenue model includes service charge 10% from customers purchasing tickets. E-ticketing currently provides 15% of the company's overall revenue. For those of you not too familiar with the ticketing landscape in Russia, Ticketland ...


Beyond crowdfunding: be an angel investor with this startup stock exchange

Bigcolors After the rise in popularity of crowdfunding startup products, it was inevitable that the concept would morph into something a bit different. Into this. Bigcolors lets regular people invest in startups and even trade shares in them as if they’re listed companies like Apple or Google. Hong Kong-based Bigcolors, which launched last week to users in its home city, describes itself as a startup stock exchange. Co-founder James Giancotti tells us that startups can raise a maximum of US$100 000 for ...