It was a busy year again for Ventureburn — with Bitcoin going crazy, Google opening an Africa accelerator, entrepreneurs coming forth with bizarre solutions to Cape Town’s drought and Spur founder Allen Ambor telling how he didn’t take nonsense from no one.
Here then are five of Ventureburn’s more interesting reads of 2017:
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Former Rocket Internet man tells how he cloned firms, from Cape Town to Bangkok (30 August): Cape Town born Tauriq Brown always wanted to be an international businessman. He may claim to be an entrepreneur. But the 28-year-old former Rocket Internet employee is just one of the hundreds employed by massive venture-builder companies to clone and run companies for them. Read more here.
Spur founder Allen Ambor on selling shares, that incident (21 June): Spur founder Allen Ambor told a Startup Grind event in Cape Town that he still owns shares in the restaurant franchise he started in 1967 — despite an announcement the previous month by the company that he had sold all of the almost 3.1 million shares he held at the time, totalling R100-million. Read more here. In an accompanying story he describes how he was like “Jekyll and Hyde” when dealing with customers, staff.
Is Durban man’s Airwater solution to Cape Town’s drought really that water-tight? (13 September): It sounds like a breakthrough solution – producing water from condensation in the air. But in his bid to solve Cape Town’s water crisis, a Durban man could be knowingly wasting thousands of litres of water. Read more here. His idea might sound bizarre, but a Cape Town bottling plant has just opened with one of his industrial machines. He’s not the only one who has big ideas — high-school dropout Grant Vanderwagen from Cape Town has a plan to develop “fog farms” to tackle the city’s water shortage. Read about it here.
‘I couldn’t sleep for three years,’ Nigerian says entrepreneur (20 April): Nigerian entrepreneur Dayo Elegbe was feeling good. He’d worked with big names in the UK and his latest idea to give away a car on a Nigerian game show looked like a money spinner. Little did he know that he was one move away from losing thousands of dollars. Click here to read more.
How Pretoria guy made a million at 22 but still stays with parents (14 June): A millionaire at 22. That’s the story of Pretoria property entrepreneur Albert van Wyk, who last month launched a book detailing how he made his first million. But like all stories there’s more to it than meets the eye. Read more here.