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  • 6 ways to save your business from difficult customers

    No business, big or small, has the right to brazenly and publicly offend customers just because of their religion, nationality, or skin colour. There are always consequences to your business with this extreme behaviour, and even though we may not like their behaviour, we need them more than they need us. A recent example in South Africa was the forcible eviction of a customer from one of SA’s leading gyms because he was wearing an inflammatory T-shirt. Amongst others, the message was to promote a boycott of Israel that other customers at the gym found offensive. The management team apparently...

  • RetroEpic Software talks us through growing a game studio in SA

    Ventureburn recently had a chance to sit down with one of South Africa’s older game development studios, RetroEpic Software. We spoke to co-founder Niki Boshoff (pictured top left) and Brand Manager Megan Hughes (bottom middle) about the company, their business model, and product pricing. Game development in South Africa has never been the easiest of undertakings. Many developers don’t focus solely on their own game and take on contract work for other brands. RetroEpic is one of those developers and shows the industry how it’s done.

  • MMI’s Jaco Oosthuizen on innovation, what corporates can learn from startups [Q&A]

    A little while back we told you about the Startupbootcamp Insurance Accelerator Programme, launched with the support of JSE-listed MMI Holdings. The accelerator programme, is open to startups from all over the world, with the only caveat being that they focus on different areas within insurance, including consumer, re-insurance, back-office efficiency and new risk models. The insurance programme comprises Fast Track days, an Insurance Hackathon and an Insurance Lounge. Fast Track days are sessions that take place over a six-month period where ten startups in various venues across 12 countries are given five minutes to pitch their insurance related business idea...

  • 5 crucial reasons startups tend to mismanage their finances

    Financial Management is one of the main reasons many startups fail. And, sadly in many cases this is caused by the entrepreneur themselves, making them the biggest enemy to their own businesses. Financial mismanagement is mostly as a result of all or some of the following reasons: 1. Lack of financial education and aptitude Lack of financial education may cause entrepreneurs to live from hand to mouth i.e. cash is accounted for and is spent as it comes into the business. Financial education allows the entrepreneur to know in advance how the business is doing financially and to be able to take...

  • From startup to fintech empire: WiGroup sells stake to Investec for ‘R400m’

    It’s not often in the entrepreneur world that you hear of investments from banks, but here is one such story involving a very successful South African company that has rapidly grown from startup into a sophisticated, multi-million rand, 90-person-string fintech success story. In August this year, Investec Asset Management bought a “significant” stake in South Africa’s mobile transaction company WiGroup, in a deal which is believed by the industry to be worth just under a whopping R400-million. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • How online food delivery startup Food-i-like is making it outside of Lagos

    The last time I was at the offices of African Internet Group (AIG) in Nigeria’s tech capital city of Lagos, I noticed that there were more members of staff manning Kaymu Nigeria and Jovago Travel sections. The startup that had the least number of employees was the group’s online food ordering platform, Hellofood. This observation made me think about the likelihood of such a surviving outside of Lagos without the support of AIG. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Everything you need to know about the South African startup ecosystem [2015/2016 Update]

    Update: Are you a venture capitalist or an angel investor looking to invest in a company? Are you an entrepreneur looking for capital or other opportunities? Are you an aspiring startup owner looking for assistance? Well, you have come to the right place. Ventureburn presents an updated guide to South Africa’s startup scene. This article is the most comprehensive guide for anyone who wants to get involved with, or have a better understanding of the country’s fast-growing startup space. It is a part of a series of articles we will pilot, which will also include the West African and East...

  • Why deep dives into SA’s townships could change fintech innovation

    The marked increase in activity around the disruption of digital currency and fintech in South Africa is partly due to two factors: firstly, large banking is waking up to the fact that more nimble and versatile finance platforms will soon start eating into their bottom line, and secondly, the very real needs experienced by the man on the street are driving developers to find clever and innovative fintech solutions to meet those needs. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • SweepSouth weighs in on experience at Silicon Valley’s 500 Startups accelerator

    SweepSouth is a having a good first year. Just after the South African on-demand domestic cleaning startup secured its first investment, it got accepted by the prestigious 500 Startups accelerator in Silicon Valley (a first for South Africa). If that wasn’t enough, the Uber for domestic cleaners achieved monthly double-digit growth within its first year, and shows no signs of slowing down.

  • 11 ways to spot a big-time Silicon Cape startup guy

    You can spot a big-time Silicon Cape guy or gal from a mile away. And it just so happens that we here at Ventureburn have seen our fair share of them. Whether it’s the copious amount of skinny lattes, the regular fireside chats at tech conferences or just constantly debating whether or not South Africa’s Cape Town is really the next Silicon Valley, we know who you are.

  • Here’s why SMEs should be wary of information security

    If you run a small business, you may think that data breaches and cybercrime are concerns mostly for big banks, retailers and telecoms companies. But in the worst case scenario, a data breach or a loss of customer information can be expensive to rectify, result in your business losing customers, and hurt your company’s reputation for years to come.

  • Patrick Kayton on Cognician’s revamped self-coaching platform [Q&A]

    Cape Town, South Africa-based self-coaching platform Cognician recently launched a new version of their software, entitled C3, which helps users collect and organise their thoughts. The company has received local and international recognition in the Cape Town Activa Awards, Seedcamp Johannesburg, Seedcamp London, and being named one of Eurpoe's top 11 startups at the TechCrunch Europas Awards. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Ventureburn chats with Simon Hartley on WumDrop’s R1m-plus investment [Q&A]

    On the back of just raising over R1-million and winning the prestigious MTN's Best Enterprise App and Best Overall App of 2015, Ventureburn sits down with WumDrop co-founder Simon Hartley (pictured above with 'anonymous' developer) to catch up with what the trendy, on-demand courier and delivery startup is up to these days. Hartley co-founded WumDrop together with Roy Borole in May 2014. Since then, the South African startup achieved fast growth and prompted other players like the Tencent-backed Picup to enter the market, both seeking to disrupt the local courier industry and beyond. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • 8 steps to consider before investing in a web-based startup

    Web-based startups can offer phenomenal returns on investment without the need for a large staff or expansive physical infrastructures to make them happen. A few years ago, a friend told me he’d found a website that generated US$50 000 in annual revenue. He claimed no more than 10 hours of work a week were needed to operate it; he landed the site for a steal. He was excited for its potential -- and excited he’d made a solid investment. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • The not-so-obvious reasons for South Africa’s entrepreneurship dilemma

    Many entrepreneurs need assistance in areas overlooked by some established companies and enterprise development agencies. Established businesses therefore have a vital role to play in increasing enterprise development in southern Africa through encouraging and nurturing the creative thinkers within their own companies as well as external startups.