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  • 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.

  • 3 African countries that show investment promise as global tech hubs

    Over the past decade, countries such as South Africa, Kenya, and Seychelles have emerged as Africa’s tech hubs. Kenya is increasingly touted as the Silicon Savannah, owing its position to technologies like M-Pesa and Ushahidi being exported worldwide. Chances are that Kenya and South Africa will hold onto their leads in the African tech industry in the near future. However, with the growing focus on mainstreaming information and communications technology, Africa is creating new tech hubs that are worthy of consideration by investors. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Entrepreneurs shouldn’t be afraid to code: here’s why

    Many entrepreneurs are afraid of code. They see coding as magic — something that requires a degree in computer science to even begin to understand. Some think they’re not smart enough or mathematical enough to learn to code, so they decide it’s easier to hire a developer or find a technical co-founder — all because they’re too afraid (or think they’re too busy) to learn. Even entrepreneurs who express an interest in coding have a hard time figuring out where and how to start. Coding boot camps are often prohibitively expensive — they can cost more than US$10 000...

  • Q&A: How Kaymu is helping thousands of Nigerian SMEs move to the cloud

    Ecommerce is a big deal in Nigeria. Several SMEs are considering it as an option to reach bigger markets without expanding their office space. But the complexity of the technology behind running an efficient ecommerce platform, in addition to the high cost of marketing, make ecommerce a future pain for SMEs. But Kaymu, an online marketplace, makes it possible for SMEs to realise their ambitions. Over 40 000 SMEs in various parts of the country are already on the platform, and thousands are joining each week. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • 8 tips for marketing your startup on a shoestring budget

    While success has many fathers, failure is considered as an orphan. Sailing your entrepreneurial stint to success has its own challenges. Most startups fail within their first two years of operation. Of those, 75% fail due to pre-mature scaling. This means that startup companies spend too much money on aspects such as marketing, hiring and so on before the business has secured further sources of financing. As an entrepreneur, I have seen many failures. At the same time I have managed to sail a couple of projects to the top. 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.

  • What can brand researchers learn from startups?

    Startups are trending. But it’s not only because they’re seen as cool. Rather, it’s their ability to go from an idea or concept to a fully-working product so quickly. When you adopt lean principles, you can start to see the flow from concept to draft to execution and, most importantly, the process of testing and improving a product or service. Brand researchers are catching on. In today’s diverse consumer market where consumers are more powerful and well-informed than ever before, the ability to trial their campaign, product or service in a manner that's open to change holds huge potential. Read more on...

  • 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.

  • SA’s Geek Crate delivers games, comics and merchandise to your doorstep

    Brand new startup Geek Crate based in Cape Town, South Africa, looks to bring a range of geek products to the masses. It’s an idea sure to take off during the current Geek Chic trend, made popular by properties such as The Big Bang Theory and Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. The company has been founded by full-time UCT students and friends, Grant Meeser and Jordan Lambis. What they lack in years of experience, the pair have in vision, foresight, and drive.

  • Startup owner? Here are 4 ways to empower your developers’ creativity

    There’s an old saying about service delivery: Your options are good, fast, and cheap -- pick two. For entrepreneurs trying to get ahead and stay ahead in the rapidly evolving tech industry, this aphorism rings true, and it’s why multi-skilled employees who are able to deliver two and a half out of those three are so highly prized. One of these is the rare “designoper” -- a developer with design knowledge. These all-stars are able to make decisions from both an aesthetic and a practical point of view, striking a balance between code-heavy visuals and simplicity while reducing the time...

  • 5 lessons on globalising your self-funded business

    Founded in 2012, Consilia is an independent ICT consulting firm that carries no debt and which has been largely self-funded since it was established. Group CEO Johan Botes looks at how his company has grown into an international operation over the past year. Over the past three years, we grew our organisation into a healthy South African business, before spreading our wings with our offshore expansion plan. Today, we have practices in the UK, Middle East and Australia, with plans to expand to the US next year. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • 7 ingenious merchandising ideas for your ecommerce site

    Ecommerce conversions is a vast field of discussions with a mind-boggling variety of factors contributing to the eventual bottom line of a store. Store merchandising, or the way you display items in your online store, plays a vital role on how well your site attracts and retains shoppers’ fickle attention. Below we discuss seven winning ideas to take your store merchandising to a whole new level Read more on Ventureburn.

  • 5 lessons on Nigeria’s ecommerce space from HouseholdMax

    Last Friday, I attended the official launch of HouseholdMax Online, Nigeria’s premier domestic item ecommerce site. It was an entirely new experience for me to see a Nigerian homegrown ecommerce company launching big. It made me realise there are some serious lessons for startups and ecommerce stakeholders in the country and by extension, other parts of Africa. For those who don't know, HouseholdMax is not a conventional African ecommerce startup. It doesn't complain about having no money to spend, few investors and the usual rhetoric. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Unique market, unique startup – what can we learn from the UAE’s gurus?

    Every country has its fair share of small businesses and startups. This trend is only increasing as more people become equipped with the knowledge, tools, and specific skills required to run their own businesses. While starting your own business is considered a spectacular idea, one of the fundamental steps you need to take is to ideally come up with an original idea and develop a competitive advantage.

  • Nigeria’s Talking Bookz wants to become Africa’s top audiobook store

    Last week was a great one for Nigerian startups -- for the second year in a row, they filled up more slots at DEMO Africa than any other African country. If that wasn't enough, one of the eight startups representing Nigeria at the continental event quickly followed up with seed investment from the co-founder of one of Africa’s leading hotel booking platforms, Jovago. Read more on Ventureburn.