• BURN MEDIA
    • Memeburn
      Tech-savvy insight and analysis
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!
  • France bound: Five SA startups selected for the 2017 Young Enterprise Initiative

    Five South African tech startups have been selected to travel to France for the week-long Young Enterprise Initiative acceleration programme which takes place this November. Romain Petit, innovation manager at the French Embassy in South Africa, told Ventureburn that the five will leave for France in the week of 13 November. During this time they will spend two and a half days in Paris attending training and business to business-to-business (B2B) meetings. Thereafter, they will be assigned a partner incubator which will assist them on finding the right partners for research and development. Read more: Is seven days enough time for startups to be...

  • Company Office

    Don’t let expansion ruin a great company culture

    As a young company that primarily serves informal markets, we have quickly expanded into new regions on the African continent. While South Africa remains a key focus – and our base – we have invariably needed to establish a presence in other fast growing markets. In practice, this has meant that our management team spends a great deal of time away from the rest of the team – and working remotely. Without a doubt, this scenario is impacting the culture of the business – as the core structure shifts from a centralised management system to a more distributed model....

  • Being strategic on cost cutting in a downturn can help startups to stand out

    In any downturn, operational expenses are the first thing that needs attention as businesses go into survival mode, however while curbing unnecessary expenditure is important, business owners need to balance this with tactics that enable them to grow and thrive on the upside. By being strategic and targeted on what you cut back and what you don’t, businesses can stand out from their competitors. A Harvard Business Review study on the impact of a downturn on businesses shows that those that use a combination of defensive and offensive strategies have a higher probability of survival. Finances and cutting expenses Many businesses go into crisis mode by...

  • Chivas Regal calls on entrepreneurs to distill their ideas in a $1-million pitch

    Keen on taking a shot at a share of $1-million in funding? Whisky brand Chivas Regal is calling on South African entrepreneurs to apply for its global pitching competition The Chivas Venture 2018. One entrepreneur will be selected from each of the participating 29 countries to take part in an accelerator programme early next year after which over the course of three weeks of online voting, the public will decide which entrepreneur gets the first allocation of $200 000, Chivas Regal said in a press release today. Applications for The Chivas Venture 2018 close on 29 October The South African finalist will be...

  • SA startup Custos announces role in new anti-piracy solution for ebooks

    South Africa tech startup Custos Media Technologies has announced its participation in a new blockchain-based anti-piracy solution for ebooks, following the recent news that content protection giant Digimarc and ebook publisher Erudition are joining forces. The new collaboration debuts the combination of Digimarc Barcode for digital documents and Custos’ infringement detection technology, Custos said in a press release today. This provides a more effective, reader-friendly way to combat ebook piracy. Erudition and Custos have worked closely together over the past year. The Stellenbosch-based media protection company provides technology that adds Bitcoin deposits to ebooks. These digital bounties enable Custos to rapidly detect piracy...

  • Don’t tell Santam in pitch that you’re the first, unless you really are first

    So you have a great product you want to sell to a big corporate but sometimes you feel like you are number 1365 in the queue. How are you going to get that big company to notice you? When you talk to other startups you realise this is no easy process…. or is it? As Santam’s head of digital business, I’ve been working with startup companies for a number of years now. As a large insurance business, we recognise that innovation has become the only constant in a world where we’ve barely begun to comprehend the full implications of accelerated...

  • Switzerland’s F10 launches call for fintech, regtech, insurtech startups

    Swiss accelerator F10 today launched a new call applications for its P2 programme. The call is open to all startups in fintech, regtech, and insurtech. Potential candidates for next years first round of P2 have until 15 December this year to submit their application to the accelerator, the accelerator said in a press release. The programme will start on 5 March 2018 and will run until 23 August the same year. The accelerator said this year's programme has proved to be an "enormously" successful year, with many of the startups graduating with flying colours. Swiss accelerator F10's call is open to all startups in fintech, regtech, and insurtech Markus Graf...

  • Solve real problems and never retire says Fundamo’s Hannes Van Rensburg

    When it comes to running a tech startup Hannes van Rensburg has seen and done it all. He even wrote a book called Cash in, Cash out, which documents the story behind Fundamo, the mobile payment platform which he sold to Visa in 2011 for $110-million. Van Rensburg (pictured right), who is also a trained nuclear physicist, gave some further insights on entrepreneurship at last week’s StartupGrind event held during the SA Innovation Summit at Cape Town Stadium. Here are his seven top insights: 1. Starting a business is not something to do likely, seriously, it can take a toll on you so do it...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [11/09/2017]

    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...

  • Cryptocurrencies won’t see adoption like credit cards did – Hannes Van Rensburg

    It's a been a torrid week for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, following China's decision on Monday to ban all initial coin offerings. Now former South African entrepreneur Hannes van Rensburg has entered the fray by questioning the sustainability of cryptocurrencies for wider use by consumers. Van Rensburg in 2011 sold his payments platform Fundamo to Visa six years ago for $110-million. Speaking at a StartupGrind Cape Town event at the Cape Town Stadium last night, he said cryptocurrrencies that utilise the blockchain won't see the same kind of adoption as credit or debit cards because of the impracticalities of settling payments on the blockchain. “The way that cryptocurrency has...

  • I’M IN Accelerator finally under way, here are the startups in the first cohort

    After a short delay in finalising applications, IDF Capital's I’M IN Accelerator has kicked off with 10 startups having been selected, IDF Capital executive director Polo Leteka told Ventureburn. The programme aimed at building high growth black-owned tech startups. The three-month long programme kicked off this month and participants are currently undergoing a needs analysis and assistance in developing a growth strategy. I'M IN Accelerator will offer seed funding of between R150 000 and R160 000, in exchange participating startups will give up between 1.25% and 6% equity stake The programme includes two rounds of funding. In the first round participants will receive a minimum of R150 000 and each...