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All posts tagged "Startups"

  • No surprise: funding the biggest hurdle for SA’s startups

    Over the past couple of years, there have been plenty of funding successes for the South African startup scene to celebrate. Just this year, WooThemes exited to WordPress holding company Automattic for a rumoured US$30-million and bike radar company iKubu was bought out by Garmin for an undisclosed sum of money. But within the context of the space as a whole, those big deals are few and far between. What about the smaller companies? Is there enough funding for them to survive and thrive in a country that isn't always seen as friendly toward small businesses? The results of the 2015 Ventureburn...

  • Startups need a problem, not a solution

    If you have an awesome idea for a new startup, stop. Write down your solution, put it away and start by identifying the problem that you’re trying to solve. Contrary to popular wisdom to “Always focus on the solution not the problem” building a startup is not about knowing what you want to build up front. It’s about knowing what problem you want to solve and constantly evolving the solution to better fit that problem. The surest way to fail at building a startup is to try and build a product. Chances are, no one is going to really want it...

  • Silicon Valley network could help boost South Africa

    To boost small business and innovation in their own countries, emerging economies should make better use of entrepreneurs from their diaspora -- particularly those located in Silicon Valley. Hundreds of thousands of South Africans live overseas. Professor Jonathan Crush of Queens University in Canada and Cape Town University estimates the South African diaspora to number more than 600 000. Figures by the Migration Policy Institute for 2013 reveal that about 102 000 South Africans are in the US. So involved are South Africans in the US technology industry that a large proportion of the Silicon Valley Business Journal’s Executive of the...

  • Venture Bus opens for applications to build 40 impactful startups in Africa

    Ampion is back. This year, five Venture Bus tours will travel across a total of 14 African countries on a mission to join participants from the global entrepreneurial tech community to build impactful startups. Traveling through the East, West, North and Southern Africa from September to December, a group of developers, coders and designers will be supported by experienced mentors from leading tech centres in Africa and abroad to help build meaningful startups. Each bus route will climax at some of the continent's biggest tech conferences like DEMO Africa in Nigeria, AfricaCom in South Africa and Rwanda's Transform Africa Summit. Startups...

  • Wella Health: Charting course for digital health startups in Nigeria

    In Nigeria, very few professionals enjoy job security like doctors. This is why it is not every day that you meet someone no longer thrilled by the intrigues of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in the emergency room or the beautiful sights of couples hugging their newborn baby. It is not easy to leave the hospital environment to become an entrepreneur, armed with nothing but an idea and hoping to attract enthusiastic users and endear investors with big bucks. This is exactly what Ikpeme Neto did when he took off his ward coat, boxed his stethoscope, bought a one-way ticket to Nigeria and decided to...

  • Vinny Lingham hopes to boost SA startup investments with Series Seed initiative

    Prowling for investment just got a whole lot easier for South African startups. Last night at StartupGrind Cape Town, serial entrepreneur and South African Dragon Vinny Lingham announced the launch of Series Seed -- a series of free, standardised term sheets that can help SA startups get investment more easily by helping them cut back on legal fees. Speaking about the real behind-the-scenes of the reality show Dragons' Den, Lingham noted that the experience of fact-checking and due diligence with the pitching startups was "painful". He and fellow venture capitalist Llew Clasen were then prompted to sit down and find a way...

  • Why it’s important for SA startups to adopt a social impact mindset

    South Africa doesn't have the biggest startup scene in the world. As was recently made clear by CodeX founder Elizabeth Gould's brilliant article on why Cape Town will never be Silicon Valley, the country's tech hubs have their own flavours, and we should all come to terms with that. Better yet, we should take advantage of that. Reiterating what Lumkani's David Gluckman told Ventureburn a little while ago when the startup won a social entrepreneurship award: "There’s an engine that operates in an entrepreneur from an emerging market that’s super unique and exciting." This has mainly been the reason I write...

  • 5 important trends that show Africa’s venture scene is on the rise

    New data from VC4Africa, a startup funding platform, revealed that startups are contributing more to job creation while the investment scene is steadily growing. The data also reiterated the fact that South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya are the startup hotspots on the continent. South Africa has the largest investment per startup (average investment) at US$250 000 average, and Nigeria has the largest mass of startups (investments tracked) in its ecosystem, at 24 (startups), while Kenyan startups have received most funding from the platform (sum of all investments) at US$4.7-million. The data proves one thing. The African ecosystem is growing both economically...

  • Western Cape Funding Fair sees record 600 startups apply for R10m funding

    At the inaugural Western Cape Funding Fair yesterday, 34 startups were chosen out of 600 applicants to pitch for a minimum of R10-million in funding. Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Economic Opportunities opened the event at the CTICC in Cape Town, South Africa. "I have a vision of a different ecosystem for entrepreneurs in this province," he said. "And this is the platform where everything starts to change, and money starts to flow to the entrepreneurs. It is initiatives like these, and the good stories that will come out of them, that make us the place where people want...

  • DEMO Africa 2015 startup competition opens for applications

    The major pan-African startup competition, DEMO Africa 2015, is upon us and startups are encouraged to apply now. The application window is open until the end of May. Since 2012, DEMO Africa applications have increased each year. Harry Hare, executive producer for DEMO Africa adds in a press statement: "We expect these numbers to go up again this year which is extremely encouraging as it clearly shows that more and more African entrepreneurs are getting enthusiastic about being part of Africa’s entrepreneurship revolution." Read more: Religion on the go: has PrayerBox found a real sweet spot in Nigeria? Ben White, co-founder and...