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  • So what kind of entrepreneurship is South Africa really trying to promote?

    Backing high tech innovative entrepreneurship is the only way forward for our country, but requires commitment from the private sector and skills development “Entrepreneurship” is on everyone’s agenda. Primary schools are running entrepreneurship days, while companies run hackathons and challenges to find and support budding entrepreneurs. Summing up its key priorities, after the recent ANC National Policy Conference, the organisation’s treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize set as a priority, the development of “entrepreneurial skills” among all South Africans as a way of stimulating what it calls “radical economic development”. While this growing interest in entrepreneurship is very encouraging, we need to be cautious not...

  • Company Office

    Zapacab Releases the Simplest App to Order a Taxi

    Cape Town mobile taxi ordering startup Zapacab has released native apps for Android and iOS devices. This is in response to passengers demand for “clever, easy to use apps”. Zapacab initially launched their product on mobile browsers to allow all passengers the easiest access to ordering a cab. With the majority of users being Android and iPhone users, the requests for a slicker app-based experience have been numerous. Chief executive officer (CEO) Rupert Sully says they will continue to offer the web based service for Blackberry users, but felt it was strategic to launch the native apps. "It is the sort...

  • Startupbootcamp InsurTech fasttracks head to Johannesburg, Cape Town

    Europe’s leading accelerator programme Startupbootcamp is getting geared up to showcase South Africa’s entrepreneurial talent in the global market through the third series of Startupbootcamp InsurTech FastTrack days. The 2017 FastTrack tour will be coming to Johannesburg on 14 August and Cape Town 17 August 2017. These sessions are free of charge and are aimed at giving young InsurTech startups the opportunity to engage with industry experts, Startupbootcamp said in a press release. FastTrack days give startups an opportunity to present their insurance technology related business idea to the Startupbootcamp InsurTech team and industry experts. Sessions are open to innovative early-stage startups specialising in insurance related areas: virtual and augmented reality, blockchain,...

  • XAfricaMart.com marketplace launches with a transaction fee of just 1.2%

    Online B2B marketplace XAfricaMart.com was launched yesterday in Johannesburg, with its CEO Stephen Oehley claiming that the marketplace has one of the lowest transaction fees in the market for suppliers. The marketplace which is aimed at small and growing businesses, will offer sellers and customers a secure payment platform that mitigates online trading risks and non-delivery. Sellers are charged a 1.2% sales success fee. This compares to Amazon which charges a fee of 3.9% for international transactions, eBay which charges a fee of 3.5% or 10% depending on the number of goods listed on the site and Alibaba which charges a 5% fee. XAfricaMart.com also seeks to network businesses up...

  • Seedstars, Enel seeking energy entrepreneurs for Africa Energy Prize

    Global startup competition Seedstars  in collaboration with Enel Group, a global power company, have announced the creation of the Africa Energy Prize. The competition, which is aimed at African startups, is looking for startups that focus on increasing energy access. The collaboration, which was announced on 7 July, will form part of the existing annual Seedstars World Competition.  Seedstars and Enel representatives will evaluate startups' business models and the Enel team will announce the top finalists in December at the RES4Africa event. The winner will be announced at the global Seedstars Summit in Switzerland in April next year, whereupon they will enter Seedstars' three-month growth...

  • ‘Ghana’s impressive track record helped it secure 2017 IPA competition’

    An impressive track record -- that's what helped Ghana to secure the hosting of this year's Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA), says the competition's director Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl. The event, run by the African Innovation Foundation, takes place in Accra, Ghana on 17 and 18 July. "Ghana's leadership have put innovation at the centre of the country's development agenda, and there is a clear commitment towards consolidating a thriving national innovation ecosystem. This is demonstrated by a commitment to dedicate one percent of gross domestic product (GDP) to innovation," Mujawamariya told Ventureburn yesterday. Singling out several innovation hubs in Ghana, she said the West African country is...

  • Q&A: Cape Town entrepreneur Lorraine Steyn laments shortage of women in tech

    Software development is a well-paying career and more women should be involved in the sector, laments Cape Town entrepreneur Lorraine Steyn. "I'm very sad about the falling number of women in software development, particularly. It is a well-paying career, requiring creative and analytical skills," says Steyn co-founded software development company Khanyisa Real Systems (KRS) in 1987. Steyn, KRS's CEO, will be in conversation with Guillaume de Smedt tomorrow at the next Startup Grind event, Women in Tech, in Cape Town at Workshop 17. Lorraine Steyn says she's sad about the falling number of women in tech Ventureburn caught up with Steyn to pick her brains on a...

  • Five ways to save money on your tax filing

    The 2017 tax season opened for individuals on 1 July and taxpayers need to start gathering all the supporting documents needed to submit tax returns accurately and on time. If you own a startup or small business, nearly any purchase that helps generate income is tax deductible. While you need to be careful to ensure that these expenses are genuinely claimable, some of these are commonly overlooked and could save you money come tax time. Here are a few tax deductions that you shouldn’t forget, as well as some tips that could save you money in the long term. 1.Home free Many entrepreneurs...

  • Kenyan startup M-Shule gets investment from Engineers Without Borders

    Canadian seed-stage investor Engineers Without Borders Canada (EWB) yesterday announced a cash investment worth $40 000 in Kenyan edtech startup M-Shule. M-Shule is an SMS and web-based learning management platform which makes use of artificial intelligence to design tailored learning experiences. It was designed to handle 144 million primary school students across Sub-Saharan Africa and was launched in January in Nairobi, Kenya by Claire Mongeau. In an email interview with Ventureburn, Mongeau said although they currently operate in Kenya, they intended to expand into East Africa by 2019 and throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia in subsequent years. "We are excited and thrilled to work...

  • SA’s Rehive launches Shopify-type platform for fintech apps

    South African fintech startup Rehive -- which aims to become the Shopify for small companies to build their own fintech apps -- has launched a new platform and series of off-the-shelf products. Rehive's platform allows developers to build, launch and scale their own fintech applications without needing to build the core technology from scratch. Speaking to Ventureburn last week, the US registered startup's co-founder, SA-born Helghardt Avenant, (pictured above, right, with co-founder Michail Brynard) said the startup hosted two hackathon events in Cape Town last month, which attracted about 25 participants in all. The startup plans to continue hosting a hackathon a month for the rest of the...

  • HAVAÍC to undertake a R5m capital raise for SA company Digital Cabinet

    Cape Town venture capital (VC) company HAVAÍC today announced it would undertake a R5-million capital raise for local paperless cloud solutions company Digital Cabinet. The raise includes the conversion of the convertible loan, extended in July last year, into equity. In a press release HAVAÍC said the company had mandated the VC to undertake the capital raise, which is based on the company's estimated valuation having doubled in the intervening period. Read more: VC HAVAIC invests in expanding Digital Cabinet cloud solutions Speaking to Ventureburn, HAVAÍC executive director Grant Rock did not want to disclose Digital Cabinet's current valuation. However he was able to say that the VC firm...