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  • Green Pioneer Accelerator Program launches in Kenya, South Africa

    A new startup accelerator program was today launched in Nairobi, Kenya, and will target green entrepreneurs with ambitious ideas in Africa. Dubbed the Green Pioneer Accelerator Program, the venture is primarily developed for early-stage companies with desires to scale, focusing specifically on green or earth-friendly initiatives and products. Impact Amplifier, Nairobi-based accelerator Growth Africa, VC4Africa and Hivos have joined forces to "offer a comprehensive program that will take businesses from ‘market proof’ to ‘ready for investment’." The program will aim to nurture startups by "getting their financials and pitch deck in shape, and preparing them for fundraising conversations with investors," and involves...

  • At R50 a pop, this site wants to be the marketplace for all skills and talents

    What are you willing to do for R50? "I will design your book cover ... for R50", "I will install WordPress so you can build your own website ... for R50" or design your business cards and so forth. These are all micro-jobs people are willing to do on For A Fifty -- a new site that hopes to change the way people distribute their skills and businesses outsource tasks. Launched on 25 August 2014 by Noleen Mariappen, For A Fifty is an online marketplace where people can offer services, skills or knowledge for R50 (about US$5). It currently seems to...

  • Meet Africa’s top 10 exciting tech startups to represent at Dublin Web Summit

    The Dublin Web Summit has announced its favourite startups that will be representing the continent, predominantly from Nigeria and South Africa, from 4 to 6 November 2014. The annual summit is massive to say the least. The 20 000 expected attendees will be entertained by 400 speakers and 2 000 startups exhibiting over the weekend. Some notable keynote speakers from across the world of tech and business include John Sculley, Former CEO of Apple, Peter Thiel of Founders Fund, Werner Vogels, CTO of Amazon, Jay Bregaman, Founder of Hailo and Anna Patterson of Google. The Web Summit describes the significance of diversity among the top...

  • 5 bright startups lighting up the African continent using solar power

    From warding off lions in rural areas to allowing a child to study a few hours longer into the night, many startups in Africa have a unique edge as they try to tackle real social problems. A good example of this is energy – though the continent has a wealth of energy resources (particularly the sun),  Sun Strides says that 70% of the African population does not have access to electricity. There are too many areas on the continent that suffer from inadequate power distribution. It’s a problem that alternative energy sources could solve, with solar energy being the most talked-about –...

  • SA’s Snapplify eyes other emerging markets as it expands to South America

    South African ebook distribution startup Snapplify recently announced that it's taking its electronic retail platform to other emerging markets, starting with South America. The company hopes its unique knowledge of the South African market will help drive ebook adoption in other countries with similar characteristics around the globe. In a blog post, Snapplify Founder Wesley Lynch explains the attractiveness of the South American expansion, saying that there's a definite market gap in emerging markets: "Many publishers will try to employ models for ebook distribution and sales that work in the US and UK, but these will not necessarily work in emerging economies...

  • SA’s MySidekick wants to be the shopping assistant in your pocket

    MySideKick is a new app for South Africa's shoppers. The free app claims to give easy access to specials, promotions, sales, products and coupons of some of the country's major retailers based on your location. Recently launched by entrepreneurs Leonard Brewer, Mark Pratt, Charles Guise-Brown, Ian Banneman and Corinne Lategan, the startup wanted is developing an app that saves South African's time and money. So far, a number of leading retailers have already linked onto the network and form part of the MySidekick App ecosystem, including BT Games, Edgars Club, Incredible Connection, Midas, Spar KZN, Tiger Wheel & Tyre...

  • Machine on the verge of an exit, but to whom?

    Machine, the integrated digital agency founded by Adrian Hewlett, is on the verge of being bought up. A source close to the deal confirmed that an acquisition was in the works and could be completed by as early as the end of the week, but could not give any detail around who the innovative agency might be selling to. There have however been rumours floating about that the buyer could be French advertising giant, Publicis. Both it and WPP have been on something of a buying spree in South Africa over the past couple of years. Most...

  • 6 tips for giving your startup’s customer service efforts a good spring-cleaning

    We always enter spring with a renewed sense of optimism and hope, and it’s a time of rebirth, renewal and new growth. While you are putting away your winter clothes and cleaning out all the accumulated dust from winter, make sure to take time to do some spring cleaning around the office or business too. Spring’s a great time to re-energise your startup and a good time reorganise and spruce up what your customers experience. Here are six top tips to revitalise the experiences that they have: 1. What bugs are lurking in the corners affecting your customers – and your...

  • Redefining bootstrapping: it’s all about developing a sustainable plan

    Given the current global startup environment, I believe a re-definition of the term bootstrapping is in order. I believe bootstrapping is more than just an adverb and should be viewed as a comprehensive strategy for tech startups. What is bootstrapping? Historically, bootstrapping has been a term used to describe the efforts made by individuals to overcome a nearly impossible obstacle or to improve oneself through self-sustaining efforts requiring no assistance from others. The saying, “to pull oneself up by one’s bootstraps” has been a common Western expression during the previous two centuries. In modern business language, bootstrapping has primarily meant founding/starting a...

  • Evernote dubs Kenya’s Chamasoft winner of African Innovation Award

    Earlier this year, Evernote traveled through Africa from Nigeria to Kenya and then South Africa in search of a promising tech startups that could compliment its app ecosystem. The US productivity software company then teamed up with the African Technology Foundation and scouted the continent's tech hubs in search of a promising startup to pitch at the Evernote Conference in Silicon Valley. Now Kenyan financial recording company, Chamasoft, has been announced as the winner of the African Innovation Award. Chris Traganos, Evernote’s Director of Developer Relations commented: "We are excited to show the Evernote community Chamasoft’s financial tools for community-based savings....