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All posts tagged "Startups"

  • Tech startups crucial to Pick n Pay’s technology strategy says executive

    South Africa retail giant Pick n Pay has in the last year worked closely with "at least" 10 startups on various projects that have been delivered into the business, says the retailer's deputy CEO Richard van Rensburg. "Tech startups are crucial to Pick n Pay’s technology strategy," Van Rensburg told Ventureburn last week, in a set of emailed responses. He says over half of the retailer's spend on innovation is with startups. "We have recently completed re-platforming all our systems across the group , from in-store point-of-sale (systems) through logistics and distribution, buying, customer loyalty and finance. Our core business systems are up to date and...

  • Pitching to Woolworths? Not just about idea, but team behind it – online head

    Do you have an idea for an app or platform that you want to pitch to Woolworths? Getting the retailer's attention is not just about how strong your idea or solution is, but comes down to the potential of the person or the team that is involved, says the retailer's head of online Liz Hillock. In a Q&A below, Hillock responded to questions from Ventureburn on what to prepare yourself for as a tech entrepreneur looking to sell an innovative solution to Woolworths. It’s difficult for any corporate to invest in an idea that is untested. Consider getting a proof of concept...

  • Startups, have an app or web platform you want to sell to Old Mutual?

    Have an insuretech product? Startups should spend more time getting to know the challenges insurance companies face before approaching a corporate. So says Stanley Gabriel, head of innovation at Old Mutual Personal Finance. In addition startups should know their story and understand Old Mutual's constraints and limitations, while remaining flexible on how these can be addressed or overcome. "Don't engage on a proposed partnership unless your product or service is ready for testing -- this only leads to disappointment for all parties involved," says Gabriel. Startup shouldn't engage on a proposed partnership unless their product or service is ready for testing says Old Mutual innovation head Ventureburn spoke to...

  • Still stuck in school — NITDA’s awkward romance with Nigerian startups [opinion]

    When many Nigerian founders of startups are asked to list their major challenges, they often mention the lack of support from the Nigerian government. While this is a widely accepted position in the country’s startup ecosystem, government officials and politicians at all levels believe the industry is getting more than enough support from the government -- which set up the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA). The agency has been tasked with developing the country’s ICT industry. How it perhaps started So how did it come about? The theory is that some years ago some international tech experts visited Nigeria's then president Olusegun Obasanjo at the...

  • New approach needed for SME finance that looks at data not outdated processes

    Small business growth is being hindered by a lack of access to finance as entrepreneurs struggle with antiquated bank assessments that rely too heavily on outdated manual processes and criteria. In the 2016 National Small Business Survey business owners revealed that lack of funding or insufficient cash flow was the number one obstacle holding back their growth. Of those surveyed, 25% had applied for some form of finance in the past 12 months, typically for growth, working capital, or equipment finance. Is this perhaps why in a recent study only one percent of SMEs that started with fewer than five employees were found to have...

  • Three days left to apply for SA Innovation Summit’s pitching den, inventor’s garage

    Startups and small businesses with high-growth potential have until midnight on Sunday (9 July) to apply to pitch at the SA Innovation Summit's Pitching Den competition in September. A competition for inventors, also to be run at the summit, also closes this Sunday. In a press release on Monday, summit director Audrey Verhaeghe said the competitions are an important part of the summit, with finalists and winners exposed to a large number of investors. Judges will select 25 finalists by 24 July to take part in the Pitching Den, which is set for 6 and 7 September. The overall winners will be announced at an...

  • SA downgrade ‘nearly irrelevant’ to startups – Michael Jordaan

    South Africa’s downgrade to junk status earlier this month by two rating agencies may have depressed Michael Jordaan, one of the country's most respected venture capital (VC) investors, but he believes the downgrade is "nearly irrelevant" to startups. "In this tough economic climate it is useful that one of the advantages of startups as opposed to big business is that the macro economics are nearly irrelevant as it is far more important for the startup to first succeed in its narrowly defined micro-market," said Jordaan in an email to Ventureburn. However, in a wide-ranging interview, the former head of First National Bank, now the...

  • 9 things we learnt at Startup Grind Cape Town

    The latest Startup Grind Cape Town event took place on Friday, featuring Monique Woodard of 500 Startups. The fireside chat covered a wide variety of topics, such as black entrepreneurs, her personal journey and more. Interestingly enough, the finals of the 500 Startups/Geeks on a Plane Africa pitching competition took place at Startup Grind as well. Here are all the notable quotes and happenings that took place at the event. FinChatBot won US$1000 for pitching competition FinChatBot walked away as the winner of the pitching battle (winning US$1000), with DroneClouds in second place and Mobenzi in third. The other two finalists received...

  • ‘Shortage of VC funding, not of black entrepreneurs’

    The US has no shortage of black entrepreneurs. The shortage rather is one of funding for black entrepreneurs, says Monique Woodard of 500 Startups. Woodard, speaking at Startup Grind Cape Town last week Friday as part of a fireside chat, made the statement in response to a question from an audience member who asked why there was a shortage of black entrepreneurs. "So, I don't think there's... comparatively, in the space... there's not a huge shortage of black entrepreneurs. There's a shortage of black entrepreneurs getting VC funding," Woodard told the audience. The 500 Startups representative and Black Founders co-founder expanded on the topic. Monique Woodard of 500 Startups says...

  • Geeks on a Plane looking for 10 startups to pitch in Cape Town

    Following last week's announcement that startup programme Geeks on a Plane is coming to Africa in March, 10 startups will also be able to pitch their startup at the Cape Town event. Each startup will only have five minutes to pitch their business. Those selected will receive mentorship and feedback from the 500 Startups team, which consists of startups, investors, and executives, as well as angel investors and other players part of the tour. The programme is looking for startups that are generating initial revenue, along with building scalable tech-enabled companies for local and international markets. Those in the seed and idea stages will...