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  • 5 things entrepreneurs can learn from playing Fallout 4

    I know what you’re thinking: how on earth does a post-apocalyptic survival game have any lessons for those running a real-world startup, or maturing as an entrepreneur? To which I would reply, “plenty.” Fallout 4‘s a great game (if you’re interested in a review, Gearburn’s got your back), but it’s also a rather good teaching aid if you take the time to study it.

  • Taking your startup global? Here’s how to harness the power of an international network

    It’s one thing having to establish a reputable and trustworthy brand in the country of origin, but doing so on an international level is a daunting task, even for the most adept business owner. Building sustainable business relationships in an international market often proves to be a tricky task, even for those with access to their own private jet and having the luxury to travel abroad every couple of weeks. Howard Blake has found ways to navigate these difficulties and has come out on top, having built a powerhouse international network that supports and believes in his business.

  • Streamlining processes: how to improve business relations

    The cool thing about streamlining your business is that, well, you can make more money if you do so. You can save yourself time and labor. You can move to a more automated system that allows for growth and you can keep your customers satisfied. All in one fell swoop, as they say. Is this some magic formula that’s been kept in a vaulted dungeon somewhere all these years? Is this some basic business principle that’s been around forever and is now just been given a fancy, new name? Is this just a way to sell you some software?

  • Entrepreneurship training for African startups? Stakeholders disagree

    While entrepreneurship is an essential aspect of the economy of most African countries with entrepreneurs acquiring knowledge from different sources, tech entrepreneurs in West Africa that desire to get empowered and supported to build their products and launch into the market desire to do that at either of the region’s two leading tech entrepreneurship incubators — the Co-Creation Hub (CcHub) located in Yaba area of Lagos, or Accra-based Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST).

  • What does success mean for women in Africa?

    Over the last few weeks, Nigerians have taken to Twitter to discuss what it meant to be a woman in Nigeria. The conversation highlighted the various issues women in Nigeria face on a daily basis, including prejudice, stereotypes and having to prove themselves. The tweets ranged from the morbidly horrifying to the questionably unfair. Nigerian women it seems have it hard, but the truth be told women all over the world have it hard. Often we talk about the way African women are treated in life and in business, we discuss how African women are not moving forward at...

  • Special Podcast: Ventureburn survey, are startups thriving or struggling?

    This week we bring you yet another special podcast edition, as the Burn team delve into the results of the recent Ventureburn Startup Survey. Stuart Thomas together with Jacques Coetzee, Graham van der Made and Andy Walker chat about some of the interesting findings, from most founders being based in the Western Cape to service-orientated startups more likely turing profits and little benefits offering to employees. The Ventureburn Startup Survey partnered with First National Bank (FNB), investment advisory firm Clifftop Colony and analytics company Qurio to poll just under 200 tech startups from South Africa. Each of the startups were asked...

  • Art of the Deal: 6 steps to closing that next investment

    The world is ablaze with high-growth startups that are making headlines and raising millions. With the world economy in the state that it is, governments and private sector role players all know that global growth will need to be driven by young companies that find new ways of solving problems through innovation and technology. Private investors have also caught on, with the amount of angel and venture investors that are snapping up high potential companies increasing. Locally, heavyweights like Michael Jordaan and Vinny Lingham are paving the way and peaking interest in investment in successful local startups.var vglnk={key:"cc324b6567a9637aa0ff15bc9564b2a5"};!function(e,a){var t=e.createElement(a);t.type="text/javascript",t.async=!0,t.src="//cdn.viglink.com/api/vglnk.js";var n=e.getElementsByTagName(a);n.parentNode.insertBefore(t,n)}(document,"script");

  • DRC’s JobWangu connects job seekers to companies

    In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), job seekers and companies use different paths to go about their daily lives, but now any inherent roadblocks for finding a job is about to end thanks to JobWangu, DRC’s new online and mobile portal. JobWangu is a platform for job seekers and companies alike, and aims to ease the strenuous task of finding a job in DRC. This is the first site in the DRC where job seekers can post their CV’s online and companies can post job descriptions to attract applicants. The job portal is trying to address the issue of young...

  • What Steve Jobs can teach us about hacking charisma

    Olivia Fox Cabane makes her living by teaching people the skills needed to be charismatic, influential and persuasive. During her career, she’s been invited to speak at Harvard, MIT, Google and the United Nations. And through her new book, The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism, Cabane wants to change the way you think about charisma. While most people think charisma is so something you’re either born with it or you’re not, Cabane believes that charisma is nothing more than a set of attitudes, skills and behaviours that can not only be practiced...

  • Alan Knott-Craig Jr on birthing World of Avatar, sealing the Mxit deal

    In the third and final extract from his book "Mobinomics", South African entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig Jr details how he took World of Avatar from concept to company. As was the case with some of his previous ventures, there were speedbumps along the way. At one point Knott-Craig had less than R2 000 to his name and kept the business afloat with emergency loans. Slowly though, things began to turn around, until he was ready to make another play for Mxit: Africa's largest social network. Things began to move at the speed of lightning. Pete’s development team moved to Stellenbosch, bringing...

  • What does running a startup feel like?

    Someone recently asked what it felt like to run a startup. It's an interesting question, because you constantly get peppered with advice on how to choose your partners, what sins to avoid committing, and what events to go to but never get told how you'll feel. It's not an easy subject to tackle with any brevity -- emotions are, after all, complex -- but I've given it my best shot. First off, it's very tough to sleep most nights of the week. Weekends don't mean anything to you anymore. Closing a round of financing is not a relief. It...

  • Alan Knott-Craig Jr on missing his first shot at Mxit, founding World of Avatar

    In the second in a series of extracts from his book "Mobinomics", South African entrepreneur Alan Knott-Craig Jr reflects on the first encounter he had with Mxit founder Herman Heunis. At that stage the company was worth a lot less than Knott-Craig would eventually end up paying for it. He also describes the bits of luck, opportunities, cups of coffee, and marital difficulties that put him on the path to leaving wireless broadband company iBurst and starting World of Avatar -- the group of startups that would come to include Mxit in its list of properties. ...

  • Crowdfunding: It’s more than just having an idea and collecting the money

    Thousands of great ideas flounder at the point where they need to become reality; when great thinkers and idea generators turn to the age-old problem of raising funds to kickstart their new ventures….too often they fail and give up. Getting investment is a whole different ball game to developing products and services. So when the idea of crowdfunding first emerged, (crowdsourced fund-raising) it was embraced by entrepreneurs like sweet words of love from Juliet to her Romeo. Surely this was it, the easy answer to getting enough capital to fund your idea from like-minded individuals, without having to do...

  • Run a startup, travel the world, defy convention: Q&A with Chris Guillebeau

    Building a startup on-the-go while you travel the world may seem unlikely. The status quo would have us believe it borders on the impossible. Thing is, Chris Guillebeau has done just that. Oh and he also writes books and evangelically spreads his unconventional ideas on entrepreneurship and startup communities. The word "unconventional" is actually a pretty accurate description of Guillebeau. The American entrepreneur reckons you can build a startup for less than US$100 and even wrote a book explaining how. His popular blog, The Art of Non-Conformity, focuses on travel and personal development topics and meshes with his personal mission...

  • South African entrepreneurs are punk rock

    Like most people who grew up in America, I really had no idea what to expect when I first travelled to South Africa (besides gazelles and lions). My first trip was to Johannesburg two years ago to open a new office, and I have been back several times since, most recently Cape Town. Of all the places I travel for our company, South Africa is one of my favorites. After I overcame the shock of there not being any gazelles or lions, but instead razor wire and "taxis" crammed with people, the first thing that struck me was how...