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      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
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      Startup news for emerging markets
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      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!


  • Ecommerce in South Africa – a growing movement

    Ecommerce in South Africa faces many challenges. From the consumer perspective, these include reluctance to pay delivery costs, confusion around payment and the need for a credit card, security, and the ability to return items or get money refunded. The reality from the ecommerce providers’ perspective is that many of their sites are inadequate in addressing these issues, but also add the burden of poor usability. Given that many major retailers haven’t yet gotten this right, there is little example for small business owners and entrepreneurs to follow. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Teachings from Helsinki’s Slush 2015: the cosmic egg of global startups

    In the last ten days, this American-turned-adopted-South African was honoured to participate in the Global Impact Accelerator run by Slush, a 15 000-plus person strong tech conference in Helsinki, Finland. codeX, along with two other SA startups, HearScreen and GEM Project (both founded by fantastic entrepreneurs, invest in them!) were the South African delegation in a group of 30 entrepreneurs from all around the world. We’d worked hard to get there. mLab, the mobile app accelerator, ran a rigorous pitching process that included an application, a live pitch in Johannesburg, a video submission as to why we’d benefit from attending,...

  • Why Cape Town has emerged as the biggest startup hub on the African continent

    Cape Town is fast cementing itself as the biggest continental hub for tech startups. It’s a growing trend, confirmed by a number of research surveys and articles over the past decade. The Mother City is rightfully living up to monikers such as “The Silicon Cape” and the “Digital Gateway to Africa“. However, the reasons why the South African city is ranked where it is are a bit more complicated, and therefore debatable.

  • 3 ways China’s position in Africa is good news for other foreign investors

    Nothing good can come from Chinese investments in Africa — at least that’s what naysayers would have you believe. Critics suggest that China’s African projects lay the groundwork for neocolonialism and leave poor communities vulnerable to exploitation. But as a recent Quartz article put it, when it comes to Africa, “Chinese investment is everywhere.” And with polls showing more than 50% favourability of China in a number of African countries, many people on the continent don’t think that’s a bad thing.

  • A winning company culture: An imperative for business success

    CEOs like to say that their employees are the business, but a healthy business actually adds up to more than the sum of the skills and talents of each individual it hires. Underlying the success (or failure) of the business is the culture that determines how the people in the team interact with each other, clients, and other stakeholders, as well as how they behave and perform in the workplace. Whether the leadership team tries to actively shape the culture or not, each organisation develops a set of values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviours shared among most people in its extended...

  • Everything you need to know about the West African startup landscape [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 West 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 region’s fast-growing startup space. It’s the second of our inaugural series, with others focussing on South Africa and East Africa.

  • ‘It makes all the sense in the world’ — former PriceCheck CEO on Naspers sale

    Last week emerging markets media and internet giant Naspers sold its award-winning South African price comparison site PriceCheck back to original founder Kevin Tucker and Silvertree Internet Holdings. Launched in 2006, the price comparison website was quickly snapped up by Naspers four years down the line. Under the leadership of renowned entrepreneur and ecommerce expert Andre de Wet, the platform has grown to become Africa's largest sites of its kind. It's grown its staff to over 40 members, expanded to Nigeria and is clocking in 25 million unique annual visitors. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • 3 ways investors can navigate Africa’s mobile markets

    As investment opportunities go, Africa’s mobile market is about to have its day in the sun.Two-thirds of the sub-Saharan population own mobile devices, and 86 percent of Kenyan households use mobile financial products. The number of smartphones in the African market is expected to grow from 67 million in 2013 to 360 million by 2025, unleashing new possibilities in data and information access for consumers while easing reach to potential markets by entrepreneurs. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • 5 ways entrepreneurs can stay focused this holiday season

    It’s been a long year. No-one is taking that away from you. But as the silly season fast approaches and more tourists start to flock to South Africa's beauty for some R&R, we SA-based entrepreneurs need to do our utmost to remain focused so that we keep the fires burning successfully into 2016. Here are five ways to keep your business’s momentum going as the year winds down: Read more on Ventureburn.

  • 5 tips on how entrepreneurs can take control of their cash flow

    Cash flow management is the discipline of ensuring that more money is coming into to your business than you need to pay out each month. Cash flow will be tight in the early months and years of your startup’s life, so you must monitor it closely at all times. Here are a few tips about how you can optimise your cash flow. 1. It begins with budgeting Too many small business owners wing their finances when they should be spending time upfront on budgeting and forecasting. Drawing up a budget and forecasting your cash flow for the month or year isn’t voodoo...

  • Entersekt: SA’s fintech gem making it safe for millions to bank, shop online

    All those times you pay your monthly rent online or buy those must-have blue jeans through Superbalist, you're probably doing so without worrying about your identity or money getting stolen. Little do you know, however, you most likely have South African fintech company Entersekt to thank for that peace of mind. Over the past few years, the fast-growing company has been operating behind the scenes to safeguard millions of people around the globe against fraudulent attacks online. On the day we met up with Entersekt CEO Schalk Nolte, a sweltering heatwave hit the Cape and the company's air-conditioning units were...

  • The IoT Focus: 9 African startups shaping the continent’s IoT industry [Native Content]

    The Internet of Things (IoT) industry as a whole has been touted as becoming a US$7.1-trillion giant by the year 2020. And around the world companies are more and more looking to this sector in becoming the next trend-setters of our world's true data revolution. An everyday, easy-to-understand example of IoT in action would be the Apple Watch -- a fashionable device that's strapped to your wrist and tethered to your smartphone. With a tiny display, you can send emails, hail an Uber, track your heart rate and do all sorts of cool things unimaginable a decade ago. Also unimaginable...

  • Top tips on how your startup can attract the right clients

    Building and maintaining a client base is an on-going, and often full time job; particularly for startups that are finding their feet and testing the waters in their industry. A report released by PwC earlier this year on South Africa's emerging companies found that 22% of entrepreneurs find having access to markets and customers as their primary challenge. Here are a few top tips on how your startup can attract the right clients: Read more on Ventureburn.

  • 10 ways to make your startup’s workforce happier

    If your employees enjoy high levels of job satisfaction, you’ll have a competitive edge in the market. It’s easier to retain happier employees than disgruntled ones, which can help you drive down the costs of recruitment and training. People who are satisfied in their jobs also tend to be more productive and motivated, which can help boost company performance and improve customer service. Many companies imagine that the elusive concept of job satisfaction is largely or even mostly about money. But even though there are a few people who work purely for financial reward, most employees also look for purpose, achievement...

  • Meet Karma, ex-rugby star Clyde Rathbone’s controversial people-rating startup

    Clyde Rathbone made his name in rugby; first as part of Jake White's 2002 Junior World Cup winning team and then, following a highly publicised move to Australia, as a pivotal member of the Brumbies Super Rugby team. Now though, he's looking to make a mark on the online startup space with a new play called Karma. Founded by Rathbone, his brother Dayne, and Monish Parajuli, Karma can be thought of as a kind of Yelp, or TripAdvisor, for humans. On its website, Karma describes itself as "a wiki of open letters and reviews about people" and "a social...