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  • SBC Africa calls for last applications to Cape Town accelerator

    Ahead of tomorrow's deadline for applications to its Cape Town accelerator, Startupbootcamp Africa (SBC) managing director Philip Kiracofe has called on startups to apply to the three-month programme. "The deadline is midnight on Thursday, please apply, it takes 15 minutes to apply," said Kiracofe, speaking yesterday (22 May) on the sidelines of Startupbootcamp (SBC) Africa's final pitching event before tomorrow's deadline for applications. The event -- the Cape Town FastTrack -- was held at Old Mutual's offices in Pinelands, Cape Town. Kiracofe said the FastTrack tour -- which included 19 events in 15 countries in Europe, Middle East and Africa -- had been "amazing". "First of all we did...

  • Company Office

    The tech behind Parkfind: Here's how it allows you to find, park, pay [Sponsored]

    Parkfind, an app developed by Street Parking Solutions (SPS), allows users to search for, navigate to and pay for parking anywhere in the Cape Town central business district (CBD) in real time. With layers of technology behind it, have you ever wondered how it all works? It took two years to develop the architecture around Parkfind, the business model and the internally developed parking management system that forms the backbone of Parkfind, says SPS operations manager Josh Lindenberg. “We understand the parking business, we understand parking management and we understand how sensors work,” says Lindenberg. He says the app is unique in that SPS has...

  • Facebook to take on Google in Nigeria with new hub, $20 000 accelerator

    The tech startup scene in Nigeria is hotting up -- with the unveiling today by social media site Facebook of NG_Hub in Lagos, Nigeria and a new Facebook accelerator programme which will offer Nigerian startups $20 000 in equity-free funding. The new hub sees Facebook taking on Google's Lagos-based Launchpad Accelerator, which was launched earlier this year. In a press release today Facebook said the hub -- which it will run in partnership with Nigeria's CcHub -- is Facebook's first community hub in Africa. The launch today (with Ime Archibong, vice-president of partnerships at Facebook pictured above) is part of a week-long celebration by the social network which will bring together...

  • Five SA biotech companies to watch in 2018 [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. Starting a biotech business, like any other startup, is not an easy undertaking. If anything, biotech entrepreneurs appear to face more difficult odds. For example, setting up a simple lab alone can cost more than R5-million. However, despite these barriers to entry, there are a number of SA companies that are doing well, with some even securing customers around the world. Below...

  • Seedstars launches call for African tech startups to enter pitching competition

    One of the world's largest emerging market competitions for tech startups Seedstars World today opened applications to tech startups in Sub-Saharan Africa to apply for its 2018 edition. Local winners will be invited to represent their country at the Regional Summit in Africa and win a trip to Switzerland, to introduce their startup to some of world’s most prominent investors and executives and enjoy the opportunity to win up to $1-million in equity investments and additional prizes. So far Seedstars has held two pitching events in Africa, both earlier this month. In Egypt on-demand home nursing service 7kemma came out tops, while...

  • Don’t assume every market in Africa is the same cautions Zoona co-founder

    Entrepreneurs looking to grow their business in Africa should not assume that the market in every country on the continent is the same. So, says Brett Magrath, the co-founder and chief product officer of domestic money transfer service Zoona. "Everyone will tell you that no market in Africa is the same, and as entrepreneurs we don’t always listen to what everyone says, and you think you can kind of take on the world," said Magrath (pictured above), while speaking at a MEST Entrepreneur Soapbox Session last week (18 May) at the MEST Incubator, In response to a question that the incubator's community manager Victoria Jackson...

  • Swarm Fund aims to raise raise $35m in loans for African farmers with FarmCoin

    Blockchain for private equity the Swarm Fund is likely to raise $35-million in revenue for 87 500 African farmers in the initiative's first year by helping sell their surplus crops, says the co-chairman and founder of commodities exchange platform FinComEco, Hirander Misra. Misra's company is partnering in with the US-based Swarm Fund in a joint venture together with Block Commodities, (formerly African Potash), which is a vertically integrated platform for the mining, production, and distribution of fertiliser. In an email to Ventureburn following the announcement of the initiative last week, Misra said he based the estimates off his organisation's experience in investing $10-million for smallholder farmers in Malawi using traditional...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [21/05/2018]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or brush up on some of your skills? Well, you’ve come to the right place. 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 next week’s, please let us know in the comments below or send us an email. Not all of the events are free and some will require booking in advance. Please click on the event names to find out...

  • ‘Visa Everywhere Initiative opened us up to local innovation’ [Sponsored]

    Access to local innovation -- this has been a key driver of the Visa Everywhere Initiative (VEI), where the global payments processor has spent the last three years working with fintech companies to develop cutting-edge products. Says Visa sub-Sahara Africa senior director for digital solutions Geraldine Mitchley (pictured above): "The highlight of the programme, the great thing is it has opened us up to local innovation". The programme was first launched in the US in 2015, and then rolled out to Europe, Asia, Middle East and North Africa as well as Latin America last year. This year it is running in sub-Saharan Africa...

  • Ekasi Bucks to launch ‘world’s first crypto-mall, bitcoin taxis for townships’

    Just months after a failed initial coin offering (ICO), South African blockchain consultancy Ekasi Bucks plans to launch what it calls "the world's first crypto-mall and on-demand transport service for townships". The two services will be unveiled this Monday (21 May) by the startup in three launches in Gauteng, namely in Mabopane, Soshanguve and Soweto. The launch comes after the Gauteng based startup last year sought to raise R50-million in an ICO to fund a blockchain-based rewards programme for township residents that buy from certain affiliated township businesses. But the ICO raised just R500 000, most of which was returned to investors. Read more: SA’s Ekasi Bucks ICO falls short of R50m target,...

  • China Africa Tech Initiative events aimed at building investor awareness

    A year-old initiative which aims to introduce Chinese investors to African tech startups is currently focused on building awareness by running a series of events in China. The China Africa Tech Initiative (CAT-I) was founded last year by James Da Costa and Stephany Zoo -- who is the marketing head of Kenyan fintech BitPesa and Africa director at She Loves Tech. "Currently we're focused on community building and generating awareness through a series of events in China," Zoo (pictured above) told Ventureburn this week. Tomorrow (19 May) the initiative will host its inaugural China Africa Stories: A New Chapter in Youth Engagement in Beijing, she said. The China Africa Tech Initiative...

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