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  • The Bob Skinstad startup interview: here’s a taste of what you can look forward to

    Most South Africans know Bob Skinstad for his feats on the rugby field, both as a player and, more recently, as a commentator for Supersport. But the ex-Bok captain also has a serious head for business. Ventureburn recently sat down with Skinstad to talk about how he got started out in business during his playing days, how he got into the technology space, and the philosophy behind his approaches to investing and entrepreneurship. The full interview, including extra videos and a podcast will appear early next week, but for now here's a taste of what's to come:

  • Company Office

    EFTsecure allows merchants to accept more payments, faster than ever

    Callpay’s new EFTsecure allows merchants to accept a wider range of consumer payments leveraging the power of online banking. With only around six million credit card users in South-Africa in a population of 52-million people, EFTsecure provides merchants the opportunity to accept payments from any banking account type (not just credit card) resulting in an overall wider audience on checkout or account payments. "The exciting part about EFTsecure is that merchants instantly open their market to more than 20m online banking users in South-Africa by supporting all four major banks, including Capitec and Investec – providing more options for the...

  • Here are 7 things that SA government can do to help startups

    A new report by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) has outlined a number of ways that the South African government can help small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Several of these recommendations also apply to startups of course, so what can the government do to improve matters. Create a one-stop shop for government interaction The time taken to complete business-starting procedures has doubled since 2015 due to red tape and bureaucracy, the report noted. It added that small business owners tend to handle all government-related processes themselves in a bid to save cash, such as the Department of Labour and SARS. Aside from making these processes,...

  • Efritin MD: Nigeria’s tech space is becoming increasingly competitive

    Gbenro Dara, the newly appointed Managing Director of Efritin.com, a platform that allows Nigerians to buy fairly used products online, has affirmed that the tech space in Nigeria is becoming increasingly more competitive. In a chat with Ventureburn, Dara said this development affirms that the tech space in Nigeria is developing. He however noted the non-existence or lack of essential infrastructure had slowed down the rate of growth of the tech industry in Nigeria – yet he said the prospect is still bright for the ecosystem adding that the decision of the government to focus on diversifying the economy would...

  • Here are the 8 startups that’ll be competing at Seedstars Durban

    When people talk about the South African startup scene, they tend to mention Cape Town and, more recently, Johannesburg. Ask them about Durban and you'll most likely get a blank stare. But there's clearly been enough happening in the coastal city to attract the attention of Seedstars World. The Swiss-based entrepreneurial conglomerate on Wednesday announced the eight startups that'll be competing in the Durban leg of its ongoing South African competition. "After seeing more and more activity coming up from Durban, we decided to put it on the map of our 2016 tour, and so far we are very impressed...

  • Snapt bags R15m for international expansion

    South African startup Snapt has raised a R15-million in capital to fund its international expansion. Led by entrepreneurial veteran Dave Blakey, Snapt provides secure application delivery software to the business space. Launched in 2012, it has some 1 000 global clients representing 10 000 licences. The funding comes from Convergence Partners and follows it decision to open a US sales office last year. "This funding is enormously important in Snapt's bid to become a major player in the US$6.5-billion US market for application delivery software," said Blakey in a statement. In a previous statement, the company expressed plans to...

  • 10 startups set to make waves at Cannes Lions

    The line between digital agencies and startups has been blurring for some time now. Since we first wrote about it back in 2013, it's become increasingly commonplace for agencies to take a startup-style approach to their operations. Perhaps even more significantly, a number of the big agency groups are investing in startups and launching in-house accelerators. And in what may be the clearest sign that the advertising world is 100% into startups, Cannes Lions will once again be hosting its Start-Up Academy, which will take place during Lions Innovation. Led by R/GA and Google Zoo CCO, Patrick Collister, the...

  • Two essential tools for your business toolkit

    Organising two important areas of your business can be made a lot easier by using a couple of simple but powerful tools. Effective Leads Management and Project Management are as essential to many small businesses as they are to large corporations. Fortunately, great brains and expertise have been roped in to develop a couple of tools that make these facets of business easy to do. Sales people will tell you that it’s not enough that you market your product or service effectively if that doesn’t result in quality sales. But the sales also don’t just happen. ...

  • LaunchLab announces Ideas Programme winners

    Earlier this month, the Nedbank Stellenbosch University LaunchLab concluded its latest Ideas Programme with a pitching competition for the eleven aspiring entrepreneurs. On Thursday, it announced the winners across the following categories: Fintech & Big Data, Paid Media, Edutech, Agritech & Food, Cleantech and Exceptional. The Ideas Programme, a bi-annual competition run on all four of the public university campuses in the Western Cape as well as at the technical vocational education training institution, False Bay College is open to all students and other aspiring entrepreneurs from the broader community in the Western Cape. This semester’s Ideas Programme was enabled...

  • 9 lessons running taught me about running a startup

    Since becoming an avid runner and launching my startup, Tripovo, last year, I can't help but notice that entrepreneurship and running have a lot in common. Here's what I've learnt. 1. Start with baby steps You don't wake up one day and run 28k (well, perhaps some super-fit person could do, but I certainly didn't!). You start small, with achievable goals – you see how far you can run in 20 minutes, then 30 minutes, then set yourself bigger goals: 5km, 7km, 10km… up to my new PB (apologies for the fitness language, personal best) of 28km yesterday. You get my message...

  • 8 Lessons for entrepreneurs who want to conquer the world

    I recently had the honour of speaking to Executive MBA students from the University of Columbia when they visited Cape Town for a summer school. I shared with them some of the key lessons I learnt during my first couple of years of running a start-up business. I would like to share my learnings with entrepreneurs looking for some guidance. 1. Data doesn’t tell you everything Most successful entrepreneurs trust their gut and instinct as much as they trust formal market research. Creating a new business is about defying the odds and finding opportunities. It’s about heart and courage as...