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All posts by Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter

Jacques Coetzee: Staff Reporter
Keen to take over the world, Jacques grew up in Stellenbosch, South Africa. He also studied International Relations (BA) at Stellenbosch University with an interest in innovation and initiatives and how they could contribute to the benefit of society. He has always been interested in both politics and development and started becoming more and more intrigued with how technological development could contribute to society. He loves arts and more specifically the art of writing. His interests in writing and journalism grew more over the last few years with a keen focus on current trends in technological innovation and social development.
  • Bitcoin’s first killer app? Bankymoon lets you pay your utility bills in digital currency

    We’re living in a world where everything’s being labeled as smart. From our phones to watches and even our cars. But something that’s really being taken for granted is our utility grids — including gas, water and electricity. And while the majority of the world might be migrating onto the so-called smart grids, they are still filled with a lot of dumb problems. The biggest being payments. South African bitcoin startup Bankymoon is boldly taking on this industry. That’s besides having a killer name for a bitcoin startup. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Me&you mobile is South Africa’s first lean ecommerce mobile network

    If you’ve been taking the Gautrain in Jozi recently or followed the #BeUnordinary hashtag, you’d have come across these orange banners with the winking cartoon face, tempting you to reconsider your mobile contract. The campaign is the workings of me&you mobile — a new mobile network in South Africa which plans to officially launch 4 May as South Africa’s first ecommerce mobile network. “We operate completely online, sign-up via the website takes only a few minutes — including RICA and number porting — and even customer service can be done via consumer friendly channels like Whatsapp,” me&you mobile CEO Brett...

  • Recast opens its doors, lets you tune into your favourite radio station’s playlist online

    People get really attached to their radio stations. Each one has its own personality and unique music taste. The only problem is that they’re filled to the brim with ads and chatter, which doesn’t float well in a world where people have also become spoiled with on-demand music services like Spotify or Rdio. Having just launched alongside its iOS app (you can also tune in online), the savvy Cape Town, South African startup seems to have managed to find a sweet spot in between a radio industry playing catch-up and a highly competitive music industry ruled by record labels and...

  • Memeburn goes behind Gyft’s big Bitcoin ecosystem plan

    Bitcoin has no intrinsic value. Unlike platinum which has an industrial use case for, say, the automotive industry, there are none that exists for bitcoin today. The price is determined in the market based on supply and demand, which today is driven by just the speculators. “Bitcoin is a commodity, not a currency,” Gyft founder Vinny Lingham told the audience at the Bitcoin African Conference 2015. The popular digital gift card startup is hoping to change this within the near future. “Our vision is to use bitcoin as a platform for secure digital gift cards,” the serial entrepreneur said. In essence,...

  • Report Xenophobia maps real-time insights through SMS, social media

    Kenyan non-profit Ushahidi and online publication iAfrikan have developed Report Xenophobia to help better understand the landscape of the violent attacks taking place against foreign nationals across the rainbow nation. Ushahidi was first popularised as a tool when it crowdsourced and mapped violent attacks during the Kenya’s 2007 elections. The open-source software was soon rolled out to be used during the Haiti earthquake in 2010 as well as Chile and many other humanitarian disasters. Similar to Ushahidi’s other platforms, the system provides a real-time reporting and alerting tool for incidents of xenophobia across the country. Information is collected from the...

  • Brothers for All: the inspiring school teaching underprivileged people how to code

    This week, Brothers For All is starting its first pilot project in two of South Africa’s Western Cape prisons, equipping underprivileged people with valuable coding and entrepreneurial skills. A first of its kind on the African continent, Brothers for All is a spin-off of the non-profit Mothers for All, a local organisation that supports women in Botswana and South Africa, and the award-winning prisoner initiative, Group of Hope. Just 25 weeks after setting up in October last year, Brothers for All has over 170 students from underprivileged backgrounds, who are all learning essential coding languages like HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The...

  • Tuning fork: lessons from Cadence’s failed Kickstarter campaign

    Making music is like solving a puzzle. There are structures and rules you need to follow. But unlike puzzles, music requires you to apply the right-side of your brain instead of your left. Stir these two together however, and you just might find something special. Cadence is an open-ended puzzle game brought to life by Made With Monster Love — a Cape Town, South Africa-based company that’s been trying to make it big internationally with its intuitively fun PC and Mac game. Read more on Gearburn.

  • City Soirée is SA’s crowdfunding site for live music, creatives

    It’s a Tuesday night at the The South African Slave Church in Long Street, Cape Town where about 200 people gather to support trendy local artists Toya Delazy, Fever Trails and Nakhane Touré. The get-together is one of many driven by City Soireé, an initiative that’s been crowdfunding live music acts for the last three years across the country. The concept of crowdfunding has stretched people’s imaginations — resulting in the funding of anything from freakishly popular potato salads to smart watches. It’s enabling creatives, entrepreneurs and social causes to find alternative channels to not only raise capital and exposure, but get...

  • First four Game of Thrones season 5 episodes leak online, HBO plants facepalm

    The latest episode of one of the world’s most watched series have just premiered after a year’s long, long wait. While television broadcasters may have gone the extra mile to curb piracy, illegal copies of HBO’s Game of Thrones season 5 have still managed to hit popular torrent sites like a Dothraki khalasar on steroids. Millions of paid subscribers across the globe sat glued to their screens to watch the first episode of GoT. Others flocked to popular, free torrent sites which are hosting the first four episodes of GoT season 5, weeks before their release. The shows are available...

  • SnapScan rolls out ‘frictionless’ payments feature called SnapBeacons

    SnapScan is today announcing its first major update since its QR code payments feature was popularised in 2013. The new payment channel feature, called SnapBeacons, is meant to provide users a frictionless alternative payment solution. Instead of just being able to pay scanning a QR code, customers can simply tap a button in the app to initiate the payments transaction. A message on the customer’s phone will alert them when the option is available. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Jottr is a bold startup trying to create a new window to your web

    The way we consume the web is flawed. Information comes across as noisy and messy. Why? Because we are limited by gatekeepers such as Google, Twitter and Facebook which are all forcing websites to conform to savvy search engine optimisation strategies on the one hand or pay up for ads on the other. This is something that Jottr plans to fix. Stopping off for lunch at the Waterfront in South Africa where the product was partly conceived, founders of the 15-month-old content discovery startup, called Jottr, are meeting each other in real life for the very first time. The trio...

  • The Rise of iFix: one of Africa’s largest specialist repair services

    Alex Fourie has always been an entrepreneur. His ambitions were kindled in 2007, when the iFix founder wanted to solve his own problem and fix his iPod. Eventually his friends had the same problem, and he soon started repairing devices out of his dorm room in the South African town, Stellenbosch. Fast forward eight odd years, and Fourie is today cutting the red ribbons of two new iFix branches: one in George and the other in Nelspruit, raking up the total to 11 stores across South Africa. Scattered across Johannesburg through to Cape Town, these shops are repairing over an...

  • 5 April Fools’ pranks that would’ve made weird SA that much more interesting

    With additional reporting by Lethabo Mokgatle If the world — like a broken record — got stuck on 1 April 2015, there would have been too much weird and wonderful to go round for everyone to enjoy. Shoprite got smart GPS shopping trollies Shoprite announced a shopping trolley with GPS that would direct consumers fast and effectively, also alerting them to discounted products and promotions while in store. While retailers have been trying to adapt to the rise of online shopping across South Africa by adopting omni-channel strategies and the like, Shoprite is sticking to what it knows best: trollies. The trolley pairs with...

  • 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.” Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Trevor Noah to succeed Jon Stewart as The Daily Show host

    The Daily Show is about to get a lot more South African. Some big big shoes to fill for South African stand-up comedian Trevor Noah who has just been announced as the new show host for The Daily Show in the US. The New York Times reported that Noah is to Succeed Jon Stewart on Comedy Central’s satirical comedy show. “I’m thrilled for the show and for Trevor,” Stewart said in a statement to the New York Times. “He’s a tremendous comic and talent that we’ve loved working with.” He added that he “may rejoin as a correspondent just to be...