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  • Seedstars to launch hub in Cairo, kick off first Seedstars competition pitch

    Seedstars, a Swiss-based organisation that supports startups in emerging markets, will open its first hub in Egypt, Seedspace Cairo this Friday (4 May). The announcement was made in a press release last Thursday (26 April). Seedstars said Seedspace Cairo will have a co-working area, offering a wide range of membership plans, from single-desks areas to private offices for larger teams. The hub will have a co-living area, an accommodation alternative for those wishing to visit and live in Cairo. Romulo Navarrete, head of operations at Seedspace, described the move as a "strategic step" for Seedstars which will help the organisation to get closer to the community that...

  • Company Office

    Sureswipe POS LITE helps Impello provide services to small businesses, startups

    Impello Coworking Space provides startups and small businesses with office space, facilities, services, training, and access to fellow entrepreneurs, as well as experts in order for them to gear up for growth and success. "My vision was to create an ecosystem and stimulating environment in which startups and entrepreneurs could develop and have access to a network of like-minded individuals, mentors and services during their early years, which is a critical, make-or-break period for any new business," says Ondina Pires, founder and CEO of Impello Coworking Space. Based in Greenside, Johannesburg, today Impello Coworking Space has become just that. The co-working space has a...

  • Investors biased towards expat founders says American behind Kenya’s M-Shule

    Foreign investors who invest in African startups are biased towards funding expat founders, says a US-born entrepreneur running an edtech startup in Kenya. Claire Mongeau, who is originally from Boston in the US and is the co-founder of M-Shule, reasons that what is behind the bias is that many foreign investors favour entrepreneurs that pitch and hold meetings "like they do". "There is a big challenge when it comes to startups in many places in Africa, that the funding and the investment is very often coming from outside -- from US or European investors -- and I think they have a bias definitely towards those that look and...

  • Impact Dakar launches its first early-stage incubation programme Incuberation

    A month after its official launch, Senegalese entrepreneur hub Impact Dakar has launched its first incubation programme for early-stage startups, Incuberation. The incubation programme -- which is run in collaboration with international strategy consulting firm Dalberg, and is funded by entrepreneurship platform Suguba -- kicked-off earlier this month and will run until December. Suguba co-founder and MD Fayelle Ouane told Ventureburn in an email that the platform had invested €60 000 into the incubation programme in addition to the €100 000 it plans on investing in Impact Dakar this year. Impact Dakar's inaugural cohort includes four women who were selected from an applicant pool of 60...

  • Test product, gauge demand before seeking funding says SkillsRus founder

    It is crucial to first test products and gauge the demand for them before seeking funding from potential investors, says Kgotso Kobo CEO and founder of graduate placement portal SkillsRus. "If the market responds positively to it, then it will be easier for you to acquire funding and clients," Kobo says. The two-year-old startup is aiming to tackle a problem that President Cyril Ramaphosa last month described as South Africa's "greatest and most pressing" challenge. Kobo's advice has served his startup well. Early last year, the startup secured an undisclosed investment from Cape Town-based angel investment firm Snowolf, in return for 29% equity. The Johannesburg-based company...

  • Nigerian startup TradeDepot scores big with $3m in funding from Partech

    Nigerian web platform TradeDepot has received $3-million in funding from Partech. It's the global investment firm's first commitment from its €100-million Africa fund launched earlier this year. The announcement was made in a press release yesterday. The Lagos-based company's platform helps retailers in the fast-moving consumer goods sector to distribute goods in Africa. Partech said the funding will support the expansion of TradeDepot’s footprint in Nigeria and development in other countries. Since its founding in 2015, TradeDepot has developed what it calls a "360-degree solution", integrating all participants in the trade value chain: manufacturers, distributors and retailers. The solution has been deployed across Nigeria in distributors’ warehouses. Partech's...

  • Will fashiontech make Africa more competitive in the global fashion sector?

    What are you wearing today? Odds are your clothes were not designed or made in Africa. According to the African Development Bank Group, sub-Saharan Africa represents just under one percent of global fashion exports. Could the fusion of tech and fashion --fashiontech -- make Africa more competitive in the fashion industry? Mustapha Zaouini, who runs a Johannesburg-based tech startup studio, says the market for fashiontech solutions in Africa is as yet unquantified, but adds that it is growing. He points to the McKinsey Global Fashion Index which forecasts that industry sales are expected to nearly triple between 2016 and 2018, from 1.5% to between 3.5% to 4.5%. Last Monday (16...

  • French South African Tech Labs opens applications for third cohort

    The French South African Tech Labs (FSAT Labs), a Cape Town-based incubator and accelerator, has opened calls for application to its third cohort. Applications are set to close on 27 May. Launched last year, FSAT Labs' six-month long programme aims to assist tech entrepreneurs turn their ideas into minimum viable products and, ultimately into sustainable businesses. The incubator and accelerator -- which works in partnership with the Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) and international technology firm Methys -- mainly focuses on digital innovation around smart cities, education, commerce, smart homes and smart media. French South African Tech (FSAT) Labs' third cohort is...

  • AfricArena expecting 1000 investors this year, adds Africa tour in run up to event

    International tech conference AfricaArena is back for a second edition which is set to be held between 15 and 16 November at Century City Conference Centre in Cape Town. AfricArena founder Christophe Viarnaud made the announcement today in Cape Town at a press conference held in partnership with Wesgro and Silicon Cape. Viarnaud (pictured above, far right) said he expects at least 1000 international investors to attend this year's event. Last year's inaugural event was attended by over 450 attendees including over 100 investors and more than 80 startups representing over 25 countries. He added that last year's budget of R3-million has been doubled...

  • Startups should tackle real problems, not ‘stupid stuff’ says Michael Jordaan

    South African venture capitalist Michael Jordaan says South African startups should focus on helping solve some of the country's many social and economic problems, rather than develop the "stupid, stupid stuff" that entrepreneurs often pitch him. Speaking last night at an event hosted by the Creative Leadership Collective and held at the Naspers building in Cape Town, the former FNB head said more startups should seek to solve "real problems". The collective is a members-based organisation that aims to facilitate greater innovation capabilities within large corporates. "The wonderful thing about South Africa are these problems you have, because they are all opportunities," said Jordaan. "Instead the stuff I...

  • Startup culture one of the most powerful things one can have – Michael Jordaan

    Startup culture is one of the most powerful things any society can have says SA venture capitalist Michael Jordaan, who adds startups can help solve many of South Africa's challenges. "I hate to say it but the Americans get so many things wrong -- including their president, including gun control and so on -- but what they did get right is how they view startups, how they view failure that that's a good thing and you can learn from that and start over, how corporates will sometimes buy small startups to sometimes get the talent inhouse," says Jordaan. Presenting a talk last...

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