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All posts tagged "Startups"

  • How Ghanian startups are making an impact on the global stage

    Ross Baird is the executive director of Village Capital who joins digital pioneers Jean and Steve Case along with the Case Foundation from the US in exploring the entrepreneurial ecosystems in Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria. "Startups are the seed corn of the future economy," our partner Steve Case, co-founder of AOL and chairman of Case Foundation, often says. Today, Silicon Valley is envy of the entrepreneurial world, but 50 years ago, Silicon Valley was apple orchards. Detroit, then the wealthiest city in the US in terms of median income because it was the centre of the half-century’s greatest innovation (the car)...

  • How important is Kenya in Africa’s growing startup scene?

    With US President Barack Obama expected to open the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kenya on Saturday, the East African country has seen a lot of attention of late. In a media briefing on Tuesday Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta said about 1 400 delegates are expected at the summit, which runs until Sunday. Much of Kenya's fame has come from mobile money platform M-Pesa (developed in the UK), which has allowed any one, including those in rural areas, to send and receive payments by cellphone. Added to this, a number of accelerators and incubators have cropped up in recent years in Nairobi (the...

  • When do startups stop being startups?

    At Tech in Asia we often come across well-funded companies that have been in existence for a number of years, but began as a startup. Personally, I used to think the term “startup” simply referred to an immature technology business, or a small company starting out on their journey to success. But flying in the face of this logic are world-renowned entities like Xiaomi, Didi Kuaidi, and US companies Airbnb and Uber. They’ve all been referred to as startups, but at some point they clearly managed to graduate to fully-fledged giants. Surely there must be some way we can distinguish...

  • How to make the most of startup life (even if your manager sucks)

    Managers. We all have to deal with some version of them. Even the companies claiming they have a flat organisation structure. There’s always someone you report to. There’s always someone who, if you’re lucky, you look up to. And if you’re not, well, that’s an entirely different story altogether. I didn’t always work at a startup. My first job was at a big corporation and the development team at my location consisted of 100 odd people, divided into teams that reported to a team lead (TL) and TL's that reported to a project lead (PL) and PLs that reported to...

  • 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...