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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.
  • LexNove is almost like Tinder for legal services

    The founders of new South African attorney-to-client match-making platform LexNove have been involved in a couple of online legal-oriented ventures in the past few years. But only after launching LexNove in June did the two former attorneys, Kyle Torrington and Andrew Taylor, decide to leave their day jobs and focus all their energy on shaking up legal services to SMEs. Likened to a blend of Uber and matchmaking app Tinder — but for legal services — the Johannesburg-based startup was launched in June this year and aims to provide fixed prices and high-quality legal services to SMEs. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Julius Akinyemi: Africa needs to harness big data to really innovate

    Africa needs to start using big data to solve its issues. But before this can happen, it needs to understand how to leverage this data to its advantage. That's the word from Massachusetts Institute of Technology-based thought leader Julius Akinyemi, who today spoke about the importance of harnessing big data on the African continent at the SA Innovation Summit in Cape Town. Akinyemi's recently also cut the ribbon to introduce the continent’s latest tech cluster for innovation, Workshop17, of which he is a co-founder. Apart from pointing out the importance of collaboration and communities, Akinyemi spoke about the need to for...

  • Why South Africa really needs to embrace the Maker Movement

    "More so than any other time, we are able to make things that can actually make a difference," Steve Sherman, the CEO of Living Maths and self-proclaimed maker said at the recent Cape Town Maker Conference. Thanks to the internet, people today have access to more information than ever before. And thanks to things like micro computers, 3D printers, and accessible programming languages people can make more, experiment more and become more self-sufficient. Concepts like crowdfunding, for instance, enable people to finance and share their passions more easily. More than 200 000 people recently pledged nearly US$9-million to bring a...

  • Springleap’s Trevor Wolfe talks agencies, startups, and pivots [Q&A]

    For a long time now the line between startups and agencies has been blurring. With tech and product becoming so incorporated into daily operations and often determining revenues, it's not unusual to see a startup act like an agency or the other way around. South Africa's Springleap fits the shoes of a startup-turned-agency rather well. While the company started out as a platform crowdsourcing T-shirt designs, it recently pivoted to leverage its global community of 800 000 creatives to fulfill other agency needs. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • It’s a jungle out there: ValueForest wants to help you find the best online classifieds deals

    A few months ago, software engineer David Kaplan quit his full-time job, stepped out into the wild, and joined an incubator. Today, the 23-year-old spends his days at JoziHub working on his startup called ValueForest. ValueForest is a platform that aggregates deals from South Africa's various online classifieds, such as OLX, Gumtree, Junkmail and bidorbuy. When searching for an item, such as a Xbox One controller, the website will list all of the active listings from various websites. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • M4JAM acquires digital research company Pondering Panda to fuel African expansion

    South African micro-jobbing startup M4JAM (Money for Jam) had a good first year. The Stellenbosch-based company has lured high-profile talents such as Brett StClair from Google South Africa into its den, quickly followed up by investment from media giants Naspers and Tencent through WeChat Africa. This has been accompanied by impressive user growth. Now, adding muscle to its African expansion plans, M4JAM has acquired digital market research company Pondering Panda. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • CiTi shows-off Cape Town’s virtual reality talents

    Anyone up-to-date with the latest trends in tech will tell you that virtual reality (VR) is seriously big. If the hype around the technology at E3 isn't a give-away, then the US$2-billion acquisition of Oculus Rift by Facebook last year surely is. Tech giants like Microsoft, Sony and HTC are all entering this space, each with their own clever offering in the field of VR and augmented reality (AR). Read more: More than just gaming: 3 key takeaways from E3 2015 While most of the commercial hardware products are only set for release within the next year or so, creatives are already...

  • Can these guys ensure that drones really take off in South Africa?

    After herding the cows off the field, it was all systems go. About a dozen or so South African drone enthusiasts gathered around to race, play and learn about flying machines at a demarcated zone in Bergvliet, just outside of Cape Town. The event was the culmination of local makers initiative Curiosity Campus' first Drone Academy -- a course that teaches budding unmanned aerial vehicle (or just UAV) geeks all about the trending technology. "We want to help satisfy South Africa’s curiosity about this new technology, and show them that it’s more accessible than they think," Neil Bekker from Curiosity...

  • Driving Change: how self-driving cars could revolutionise our world

    Self-driving cars are the talk of the day. From Google (latest model pictured above) to the German automakers, who’s making the most headway? How is this going to change the way we view ownership and insurance? Back in 1939, industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes painted the sci-fi future of self-driving cars at the New York World Fair. The American futurist envisioned that 20 years later, the world will start using autonomous vehicles, locking themselves onto freeways so the driver could relax.

  • Driving change: How tech has unlocked the power of ride-sharing

    Transportation is probably the most interesting industries to witness undergoing change. A century-old invention seems like it's finally on the cusp of changing the way we go from point A to B. From the internet and GPS to 3D printing, Driving Change is a four-part series that covers the most powerful technologies moulding 21st century transport as we know it. Whatever belongings you have that aren't being used while you read this, are being wasted. Think about that for a second. That old pair of running shoes lying in your closet could be on a budding athletes's feet while you...

  • Meet NicheStreem: SA’s curated streaming service for music lovers

    Just two blocks up the road from where she pitched her latest startup at Seedstars World recently, sits the headquarters of NicheStreem -- entrepreneur Catherine Lückhoff's curious South African music streaming service Nichestreem. Launched in March this year, NicheStreem has developed a technology that enables it to cater for unique, curated music streams for specific markets around the globe and looks set to make waves in the global online music industry, one niche community at a time. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Machine learning startup DataProphet hones in on profitable call centre industry

    Machine learning is a complicated subject. First experimented with by computer scientist Arthur Samuel back in 1956, the American eventually managed to build a program that could beat him at a game of checkers. As badass as that was, it doesn’t really compare to the advancements we’ve witnessed over the past few years. Today, tech like Google’s self-driving cars and Microsoft’s near real-time voice translation are frequently making the headlines on tech sites. A rebranded form of artificial intelligence, these intelligent pattern recognition algorithms could revolutionise the way we work in practically every industry. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • How are you spending your #67minutes this Mandela Day? Here are a few savvy pointers

    Mandela Day is a call for South Africans and people around the globe to honour the legacy of former president and statesmen Nelson by giving 67 minutes of their time to worthy causes. If you're still looking for something to do, we've compiled a list of tech-based resources that should help. Technology -- coupled with some ingenuity -- is connecting specific, mutually beneficial parties with each other more than ever before. From seamless payments to forming communities, these tools are making real differences on the ground. Donate While you probably won't be sharing 67 minutes, a few bucks to any charity could...

  • Donald Trump accidentally tweets Nazi soldiers in campaign poster

    If you imagine a campaign poster for any 21st century presidential candidate with some Nazi soldiers on it, alarm bells would probably go off. US billionaire Donald Trump -- together with his profound facial expressions, hairpiece and controversial statements -- tweeted a rather strange campaign poster to his 3.2 million followers recently. He then went on to lead the polls for the 2016 US presidential race. The low-budget looking poster, apparently slapped together by an intern, is a montage of Trump's face, the waving Stars and Stripes, with an acute reenactment of Nazi soldiers marching around. Because 'Murica... We've seen a lot...

  • Does iGrow Academy have what it takes to help educate the masses on a budget?

    The youth bears the brunt of of South Africa's unemployment crises. Ranked third highest in the world, a 2014 report by the World Economic Forum reckons that more than 50% of young South Africans between 15 and 24 are unemployed. Founder of iGrow Academy Jared Koning estimates that one of the main reasons for this discrepancy is due to a disconnect between the primary and tertiary education sectors. The entrepreneur estimates that there are over 400 000 matrics each year of which 67% do not have the access to higher education. Read more on Ventureburn.