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  • Book flights from anywhere with relaunched Travelstart app Flapp

    Ecommerce travel venture Travelstart has relaunched its flagship flight-booking app Flapp. It has been expanded beyond its initial Cape Town and Johannesburg flight paths. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, Flapp now offers flights anywhere in the world. Customers are able to book any domestic or international flight from the app. This includes airlines such as Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, and Delta Airlines. "Flapp is like having Travelstart in your pocket – we have invested considerable resources in distilling the form and function of our website into an app environment and with 50 000 downloads across iOS and Android devices so...

  • Company Office

    Be good at being wrong… and getting it right quickly

    Even the best entrepreneurs get things wrong from time to time. Launching a business is a learning process, and you are bound to go down dead ends and change direction here and there, says CEO of Nomanini, Vahid Monadjem.  One of our investors, Esther Dyson, has the words “Always make new mistakes!” in her email footer. Being wrong is pretty much unavoidable when you’re doing something new. You have to work with a mixture of facts and assumptions. You don’t have a crystal ball, but you have to take a view. And even if a solution or a strategy is...

  • 20 big reasons why startups fail [infographic]

    Startups fail all the time. For the founders of these businesses, it can be heart-breaking. But if the right lessons are learned, it can also be a profoundly insightful experience. Of course, the best possible outcome is not to fail at all and build a successful, scalable business. And the best way to do that is to know what common pitfalls to avoid. Don't get us wrong, there's still room for failure in that model, but it's at least the right kind of failure. Forewarned is, after all, forearmed. The infographic below provides some useful insight around what you should look...

  • Trading radio for ocean-cleaning drones: Richard Hardiman’s new adventure

    If you're a native Capetonian, you probably know Richard Hardiman as a radio DJ -- he was a host on commercial radio station KFM for the best part of 16 years. And if you're in the South African tech space, you might be familiar with his involvement in online radio station 2OceansVibe. But now the guy once known as "the party man" is on a mission to clean up the world's oceans and waterways using autonomous drones. For the past couple of years, Hardiman has headed up a startup called Ranmarine with the ultimate goal of building what are...

  • MoveThisStuff: the startup helping you find the right mover for your budget

    Moving, whether it's down the road or to the other side of the country, can be pretty damn stressful. Quite aside from the pain of leaving somewhere you may have come to regard as your home, there's the hassle of finding movers who'll treat your stuff with respect. One company trying to make the second of those things a little easier is MoveThisStuff. Headquartered in Johannesburg, the startup helps people find movers based on factors including how far they're moving, what kind of stuff they're looking to move, and what kind of movers they're looking for. Once they've put...

  • Student Hub to launch new elearning service for students

    Educational ecommerce platform for buying, selling, and renting textbooks, Student Hub is launching an elearning component. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, this new addition will allow students at institutions to access study support tools. The startup already facilities a range of students at educational institutions in South Africa and Africa, meaning the service will offer greater benifit to students. "The delivery of learning information at tertiary educational institutions and the ease of learning the content shouldn’t come at premium prices," says managing director and founder, Hertzy Kabeya. He goes on to say: "We do this by helping with learning support. And...

  • Entrepreneurs, want a high-funded crowdsourced product? Make a board game

    Over the past decade or so, board games have been making a serious comeback in the mainstream. These aren't your typical Monopoly or Cluedo titles, which is now a cliche to say, but in-depth, strategic, and beautifully crafted products of enjoyment. Looking at the list of most-funded projects on crowd-funding website Kickstarter yields some interesting results. Sure, there's a range of electronics, video games, and even music, but in between those are board games. Those collections of cardboard and plastic tokens can net you a tidy funding amount. You many have an 'original idea' for one; maybe it'll be the next...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [25/04/2016]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or scratch up on some of your skills? Well, you’ve come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we’ve rounded up to make your life a bit easier. 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...

  • Beyond tech: using all your senses in business

    Human beings love to interact – it’s part of who we are. But as we’ve become increasingly consumed with screens, we’ve started to lose touch with our most basic ability to connect with one another. Rather than handing out gadgets to each of my sales employees and letting machines do the work, what I’ve found consistently yields better sales results is human interaction. Technology enables us to be more efficient, but it shouldn’t define the entire sales experience. We’re already fully equipped with what we need to acquire a customer – our five senses. A natural, positive interaction boils...

  • What a Rwandan motorcycle taxi startup can teach Uber

    With its relentless expansion, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Uber is an indomitable force. But there's another transport market, African motorcycle taxis ('motos'), where Uber will have to go a long way to beat the leaders in the field -- Safemotos -- a fast moving startup based in Kigali, who were recognised in the 2015 NT100. I was lucky enough to meet with Nash and Peter, a passionate and dynamic founder team, while visiting Kigali. Other than the obvious financial potential of the SafeMotos, they explained how it's addressing a clear social need for improving motorcycle...

  • African fintech startup goes past $1bn in transactions

    African fintech startup Zoona this week announced that, since going live in 2009, it has processed more than US$1-billion in transactions. Playing in the highly competitive mobile payments space, the service operates predominantly in Zambia and Malawi. Using a network of entrepreneur agents, the Zoona allows ubanked consumers access to money transfers, bill payments and other financial services. According to a press release sent to Ventureburn, the company’s entrepreneur agents serve more than one million customers every 60 day, across close to 1 500 locations. "Zoona was born from an idea in a text message," says Zoona CEo Mike Quinn....