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  • Entrepreneurs, prepare yourselves: Dragons’ Den SA judges revealed

    Looking super serious and full of criticism, Dragons' Den South Africa has revealed its five judges. Local entrepreneurs will have to pitch their business ideas to Polo Leteka Radebe, Lebo Gunguluza, Vusi Thembekwayo, Gil Oved and Vinny Lingham. Popularised by the British namesake, and sponsored by Telkom Business the Dragons' Den TV show will start 23 September where participants will have the chance of getting funding or mentorship. Radebe is CEO of business advisory group Identity Partners and Director of South African Venture Capital Association. “We talk big about SMEs but we have done nothing to address their funding...

  • CodeX aims to nurture Africa’s growing tech demands

    Recently launched by industry veterans such as tech journalist and TV producer Elizabeth Gould, former FNB CEO Michael Jordaan, serial entrepreneur and engineer Dave Weber and Cara Turner, CodeX wants to bridge the gap for Africa's growing demand for coders. "It’s critically important for our up-and-coming talent to learn what the industry demands, in real time," said Chairman Michael Jordaan. "The best way to do that is to build the curriculum in close collaboration with the people doing the hiring." For those seeking a job in the tech industry, CodeX will consist of a 9 to 5 apprenticeship programme...

  • Your startup can make magic experiences for nothing: here’s how

    We have moved to a place in the business world where our customers are always looking for something different. In many industries, they have literally hundreds of choices of suppliers, all offering the same commodities at the same prices. How do you stand out as different and distinct in such a hard environment? What can you do to be unique – but without getting the financial director to start grumbling? There are a number of choices, and they include … Producing unique, exclusive and desirable products that people will pay just about any price to buy. Constantly and continuously coming up with...

  • SA’s popular site Gumtree joins Project Isizwe in free Wi-Fi crusade

    Project Isizwe seems to be raking up partners its grand mission to provide free information to low-income communities across South Africa. To help the startup achieve its vision, it will be partnering with one of South Africa's most popular online classifieds sites -- Gumtree. A bit more than a week ago, Project Isizwe, boldly announced it will be rolling out more than 200 new hotspots across the City of Tshwane, South Africa. The partnership between the eBay-owned site and Project Isizwe, founded by former Mxit CEO Alan Knot Craig, see both ventures and the City of Tshwane commit to make...

  • M4JAM: the new startup that uses micro-jobbing to solve SA’s biggest problem

    When the founders of the startup M4JAM (Money for Jam) secured a rare meeting with legendary banking innovator and investor, Michael Jordaan, he threw down a challenge to them. He encouraged them to stop the talk and build their product in 90 days. Just 105 days later, the company's new micro-jobbing platform is now set for launch, with more than 100 000 jobs lined up, supported by more than 10 brands. M4JAM has lofty ambitions, aiming to solve one of South Africa's biggest problems. We all know that South Africa's economy is unique; its crop of entrepreneurs even more so....

  • Could more mentorship programmes help push up the number of female entrepreneurs?

    Anyone who's attended a South African startup event in the past few years is all too aware of the fact that there's still a massive gender disparity in the space. A 2013 survey by the Silicon Cape initiative revealed that among tech startups, some 80% of people involved in the space are male. That's slightly worrying given that, on the whole, female entrepreneurs are closing the gap on their male counterparts. According to the most recent Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report, some 58% of South Africa's entrepreneurs were men and 42% women. The report also suggests that, “female entrepreneurs...

  • Innovation Prize for Africa seeks creative pioneers across the continent

    Have an ingenious invention hidden in a lab or your garage? If so, listen up. The African Innovation Foundation (AIF) is currently looking for entries across the continent for the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2015. The fourth edition of this initiative seeks to encourage Africa's pioneers to present creative technologies and ideas that could solve some of the region's biggest problems. In turn, the AIF will provide a sum of US$150 000 to selected innovators in order to support sustainable development. The prize also pushes private equity investors and governments to invest across sectors and build environments contributive...

  • 3 very important things you need to know about recruiting for a startup in South Africa

    After a heck of a long time spent in recruiting for large corporates, and then spending an almost equally hectic period in startups and smaller companies, I'm amazed at how people hire staff and look for new employees. Why am I amazed? Well, to be sure, in a small company the recruitment of new skills is fundamentally key to success. Get the wrong programmer on board and your entire product line could come crashing down. Hire a bad salesman and you may lose all the clients you have. Even the wrong coffee machine could have dire consequences. Jokes aside, there are...

  • Tech4Africa conference coming to Cape Town 28 August

    Tech4Africa has just announced that it will be running its first ever Cape Town event on 28 August. The popular South African annual tech conference has been running for the last five years in Johannesburg, and this year decided to include the Mother City in the mix. Tech4Africa focuses on deep technical workshops and sessions for practitioners, and then engaging talks which impart knowledge, perspective, African context and inspiration. The unapologetic vision for Tech4Africa is that the best tech ecosystems in the world have regular events that bring together everyone in tech to learn, meet new people and have lots of...

  • Standard Bank highlights US investment opportunities in Africa [Infographic]

    According to recent research done by Standard Bank in South Africa, the greater continent offers US multinationals a compelling trade and investment opportunity thanks to the rapid economic growth rates across the continent, along with burgeoning population growth and increasing urbanisation. This nifty infographic below gives a comprehensive, colourful overview of US -- Africa's trade and investment opportunities: Click on image for actual size. As also found by an Ernst & Young report earlier this year, Foreign Direct Investment has increased together with Sub-Saharan Africa's attractiveness to investors. As shown in the infographic above, economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa has exceeded five...