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  • 12 days left to submit proposals for the Open Innovation Challenge

    The Swiss Embassy in South Africa, in collaboration with The National Research Foundation, the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute and the University of Basel, are calling for proposals for the Open Innovation Challenge. The deadline for the challenge will be on  Monday 31 July 2017. Accepted submissions need to be feasible and must be at least in the proof of concept stage. The challenge brief states that the organisers are looking for entries in the following areas: waste disposal, water access, affordable environmentally friendly building materials, affordable renewable energy, sanitation and hygiene. Innovators behind the chosen submissions will get to participate in the Swiss-South...

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    B2B ecommerce's untapped potential: How innovative companies can capitalise on the massive gap for growth

    Cape Town, 25th January, 2016: Ecommerce in South Africa – while still just a slice of the overall retail pie - is growing as much as 35% per year*. However, of this, the lion’s share still operate in the B2C space, suggesting that B2B companies – those that use the web to sell goods and services to other businesses - have yet to cotton-on to its very lucrative potential. So says Charlie Stewart, CEO of digital marketing agency Rogerwilco and co-author of Business to Business Marketing. A Step-by-Step Guide (Penguin). “B2B is perceived as the less sexy sister of B2C,...

  • Don’t rush to get backers, African Innovation Foundation head tells hubs

    Those running tech hubs in poor areas of Africa should not rush to get corporate and government sponsors, but should rather grow their hubs organically and produce success stories before getting outside partners, says entrepreneur Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais. Speaking on the sidelines of the 2017 Innovation Prize for Africa event in Accra, Ghana, Bastos de Morais, who is also the founder of the African Innovation Foundation, detailed his new project, an innovation hub in the Cazenga slum in Luanda, Angola. The 49-year-old Swiss entrepreneur founded Fabrica de Sabao, a former soap factory, in 2015. It includes a co-working space, a MakerSpace with equipment such as...

  • LinkdPro completes projects worth R2.5m on its freelance marketplace

    Members who have used LinkdPro, a South African digital platform for consultants looking for contract and project-based work, have completed projects worth more than R2.5-million in the almost year since its launch, says co-founder and CEO Scelo Makhathini. “We are seeing a growing demand for industry sector experts and management consultants as investment and private equity firms look to these professionals to help assess investment opportunities and up-scale or create value-add teams on-demand,” Makhathini (pictured above, left) told Ventureburn. Makhathini, who refers to the platform as the "Uber for consulting”, added that since the platform's launch in August last year the site's 600 members have generated a combined revenue in...

  • Second round call for Innovation Summit’s Pitching Den, Inventors Garage

    The SA Innovation Summit has announced round two of their call for applications for the Pitching Den and Innovators Garage competitions. The final round for submissions will now be open until Monday 31 July. In an earlier press release, summit director, Audrey Verhaeghe said the Pitching Den competition was aimed at high growth tech startups that had innovative solutions that could significantly impact Africa's growth. Winners of the Pitching Den will win PR exposure worth R500 000, acceleration and business networking opportunities. Additionally they will get an opportunity to compete for a $1-million investment prize at the 2018 Startup World Cup grand finale in San Francisco. Winners...

  • 6 drone startups in South Africa to look out for [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. In this piece we take a look at some interesting startups involved in developing drones and drone software solutions. Aerobotics Aerobotics was started in 2014 by Benji Meltzer (pictured above, left) and James Paterson. Using artificial intelligence (AI), Aerobotics deploys drones to help farmers in South Africa, Australia and the UK to collect data and to detect leaks and determine whether crops are receiving too little...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [17/07/2017]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or catch 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...

  • Seven days left to apply for #cocreate2ACCELERATE 2017

    There are seven days left to apply for the #cocreate2ACCELERATE initiative, with this year's deadline falling on 24 July 2017. #cocreate2ACCELERATE is an initiative by the Kingdom of the Netherlands through the Dutch Consulate General in South Africa. The programme will focus on five sectors this year, in the form of agritech, bluetech, fintech, healthtech and edutech. The programme will be held between 28 August 2017 and 8 September 2017 in Cape Town. Successful applicants will also be able to participate at the Innovation Summit. Last year's winning participants covered video games, application development and agritech. Read more: Five tech startups chosen for Dutch #cocreate2ACCELERATE challenge Cocreate SA stated...

  • PeaceTech Accelerator looking for more startups for its next cohorts

    PeaceTech Accelerator, a Washington DC based cloud innovation centre and scale-up programme devoted to peace technology, is looking for more participants for its next cohort starting on 8 September with the third planned for January next year. PeaceTech Accelerator was launched earlier this year by tech investment firm C5 Accelerate and PeaceTech Lab , a peace building non-profit, in collaboration with cloud computing service provider, Amazon Web Services, and has since graduated its first cohort. It runs eight week programmes for companies and non-profit organisations involved in the development of innovative technologies that promote peace and build stronger, safer societies. Dimitra Hatzudis, external relations coordinator at C5 Accelerate,...

  • Q&A: Karoo Tech Hub hosting developer handling $1 billion a month in spend

    A tech hub in South Africa's Karoo has already attracted 20 to 30 people since launching nine months ago -- including a team of developers who have developed software that handles transaction of over $1-billion a month for clients. "They (Rubberstamp.io) are managing over a $1-billion of spend each month for companies all over the world," says Karoo Tech Hub founder Priscilla Kennedy, of the team that is building and marketing an innovative software that helps companies control their expenses. Rubberstamp.io is currently managing over $1-billion in spend a month for firms all over the world, says Karoo Tech Hub founder Ventureburn asked Kennedy to tell us more about the tech...

  • ‘Percentage of women in tech sector has declined from 40% of professionals’

    The percentage of women in the local IT sector has declined from a level of 40% of professionals in the 1980s claims Cape Town entrepreneur Lorraine Steyn. A 2014 survey by the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) of 711 IT practitioners revealed that only 21% of ICT jobs are held by women. "If we're cutting out 50% of the population from those career opportunities, well I'm pissed off, I want to see the girls in there," said Steyn, speaking at a Startup Grind event at Workshop 17 in Cape Town last night. Steyn, the CEO of Khanyisa Real Systems (KRS), challenged businesses to be more flexible...