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  • 5 important things I learned from closing down my business

    I owned and ran my own company not too long ago. I had managed to escape the shackles of everyday corporate slavery and venture out on my own. After a few years, the dream came crashing down harder than a 50 mega tonne nuclear warhead. The dream had ended, but, as I found out, it wasn't truly over. During the process of closing down my business, paying back those that still required money, and trying to make people happy, I learned a few important things. Here are the five key points I learned from my experience. The money you don't have There's a good chance...

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    Netflix: What do South Africans think?

    With the announcement of Netflix launching in South Africa a few months ago, it might have seemed like a belated Christmas gift from America. But has the novelty seemingly worn off quicker than one would expect? There are plenty of reasons why the excitement of Netflix in South Africa seems to have died down. For one, there are not many South Africans who are fortunate to enjoy the luxury of cable TV, never mind Netflix. There is also the added hurdle of using the streaming service with limited to no access to the Internet for many and data bundles that do...

  • Stores use music to boost sales, this startup applies the concept to online retailers

    There’s a clear, demonstrated effect of music on sales performance, with the right kind of tune helping stores significantly increase footfall and influence purchase decisions. Research from Gensler (PDF Link) also shows that the use of music can help businesses create emotional engagement around their product and strengthen their brand. And, as almost every marketer will tell you, consumers buy experiences and products from brands they personally identify with. With so much of the world’s commerce shifting to online channels, why not apply the same principles to internet companies? That’s the niche Israel-based righTune aims to tap into. The startup works...

  • Venture Bus Tour aims to bridge the Cape Town and Johannesburg startup divide

    The Venture Network Big Bus Tour has come and gone, and while it only lasted for three days, there are big things to come from this initiative. Founded by friends Abu Cassim and Wayne Berger, the programme was created in order to bridge the divide between the startup communities in Johannesburg and Cape Town. The plan is to connect startups, investors, and spotlighting players to the VC community. Another point to the tour was to connect with like-minded individuals and to learn from previous success and failures. "Each ecosystem has a unique profile and set of strengths, through collaboration we can draw on the...

  • What are the benefits of ecommerce for your business

    Ecommerce is the activity of doing business activities on the Internet. It refers to buying and selling products and services on the Internet through a website. Ecommerce is short for electronic commerce. Also known as an online store, an ecommerce website has features that make it easy for customers to browse for products, pick them out, put them into a trolley, and then pay for them at checkout. Many people are moving from physical stores to buy goods and services on the Internet. Today, 60% of shoppers in developed countries go to the Internet to buy goods and services. This...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [29/03/2016]

    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...

  • Solving global problems is the best way for Nigerian startups to scale globally

    Nigeria’s tech ecosystem is getting attention from within and outside Africa even though the ecosystem is less than a decade old. The successes of ecommerce giants, Jumia and Konga, were an eye opener to the potentials of the tech market in Nigeria yet few startups are profitable, very few are scaling up and expanding to other markets. Simeon Ononobi, Founder and CEO of MyAds.ng, an advertising platform that recently expanded to India and plans to roll out in more countries outside Africa, believes that the chance of Nigerian startups growing to become ‘unicorns’ such as Google, Facebook and Twitter...

  • GroTech raises R62m for disruptive tech entrepreneur investments

    Section 12J Venture Capital company GroTech has raised an attractive R62-million in its first round of capital raising for disruptive tech investments. GroTech is looking to invest in entrepreneurs with disruptive businesses. These companies need to be scalable and looking for growth capital in order to disrupt the likes of traditional banking, insurance, and retail industries, among others. In a press release sent to Ventureburn, CEO of GroTech, Clive Butkow, says there is funding ready for businesses, though they want to look at disruptive models within tech. Wealth and management business Cale Capital has invested a significant, though unspecified amount, in GroTech for this...

  • 10 must-have cloud software programs for your startup

    There are many great programs that can work for your business right now but some of the best are cloud-based ones. These are programs that you can access through any device at any time, thus giving you more control over a variety of business functions. Here’s a look at a few of the top choices that you can use right now. 1. Adobe FormsCentral Adobe FormsCentral lets you create forms or upload content from existing forms online. This works for when you’re trying to create forms for customers to fill out online but what’s even more important is that FormsCentral helps...

  • Solar startup The Sun Exchange uses Bitcoin to fund green energy

    Crowd-lending solar energy project startup The Sun Exchange will be using Bitcoin for solar energy investment. This is a first for the Bitcoin industry. Achieved last week, the startup is able to use Bitcoin as a transactional mechanism for investing in a solar energy. The Sun Exchange is now hosting a campaign to solar power a school in Stellenbosch, South Africa. "What makes our platform unique is that investors can finance solar energy using Bitcoin and the electricity generated by the solar installation can be repaid to the investor using Bitcoin wherever they are in the world," says founder of The Sun...

  • Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme selects 1000 entrepreneurs from across Africa

    From the 45 000 odd entrepreneurs that applied for the second round of the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme (TEEP), a list of the selected 1000 entrepreneurs has been released by the Tony Elumelu Foundation (TEF). The highest numbers of applicants came from Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Uganda, and Cameroon, with representation from all five of Africa's regions. Organisers said applications were received from applicants in 54 African countries and the number of entries this year were more than twice the number that applied for the maiden edition in 2015. TEEP is currently Africa's largest philanthropic initiative devoted to entrepreneurship and represents a 10-year,...