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      Startup news for emerging markets
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      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!


  • 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.

  • SnapScan’s Kobus Ehlers on keeping up with SA’s ever-changing payments landscape [Q&A]

    Kobus Ehlers is behind one of South Africa's top-ranked apps, and arguably the only successful startup to have made mobile payments relevant in the country. Even though multinational telecom giants like Vodacom struggle to get mobile payments off the ground in the country, SnapScan today boasts over 20 000 merchant clients, ranging from parking marshals to restaurants. While user numbers aren't disclosed, it's growing much faster than the merchant clients'.

  • Q&A with AgroInfoTech on building real tech solutions for Nigeria

    No one doubts the booming status of the tech ecosystem in Nigeria, but taking a closer look at where the action is happening would reveal that much of the noise is being made by players in the ecommerce space, followed by education, and so on. Strangely though, little is really happening in the agricultural space. That was until I met Oluwajoba Ayo Okediji, the founder and director of AgroInfoTech. In an interview, we spoke extensively on what is happening in the agricultural-tech space, the prospects and ongoing plans to launch Nigeria’s incubation hub for agriculture-focused tech startups. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Don’t do a startup, build a business

    "If we do invest, we will do it for half the price and double the equity" Tech in South Africa is interesting. We have a relatively sizeable and connected (at least via mobile) population, which makes any internet or web based service relatively accessible. We have a large English speaking population and thus can immediately download and use the latest apps and web startups churned out by Silicon Valley before they are actually “internationalised”. We also have an active financial services and corporate sector (traditionally big buyers of tech products and services). Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Tripling the bottom line: 5 keys to unlocking massive jumps in profit

    In today’s economy, making a profit is tough and maintaining profit is even harder, but doubling and tripling it is a whole other ball game. We know it’s not all about the money, but without money you cannot realise any of the dreams that you have for your business. We have managed to more than triple our bottom line profit from the previous period within the first half of this year. Our team is now applying the keys and practices that enabled this growth to our clients’ companies with similar success. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • How an invoice facelift can boost your startup’s productivity, customer service

    Many entrepreneurs and small business owners fail to recognise this central fact: invoices represent a crucial second opportunity to make a positive impression on the customer. I say second opportunity because your first opportunity resulted in the sale of your product or service. In this sense, your company’s invoice is actually an opportunity to reinforce this relationship between your company and your client rather than damage or ignore it. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • 3 ways to improve teamwork in your business

    You can never do anything worthwhile alone without the help of your team. In order to thrive, a business needs team collaboration at its highest levels. This is why we need to build great teams at work. But what does it take to build a better team? Is team building an art or a science? Ask that to any management guru or business leader, the answer would be almost similar. It is a bit of both. Assembling different team members, motivating them and keeping your team members happy is easier said than done. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Q&A: What Africa needs to do to build the next Facebook

    I recently sat down with Seedstars World’s Marcello Schermer (pictured middle) and Gregory Pepper (pictured left). We spoke extensively about the startup pitching competition and how it's supporting emerging companies from all over the globe. We then dissected the startup ecosystem in Africa, focusing on what it will take for Africa to launch the next Facebook. Sourcing tech startups from around the globe, Seedstars World is currently making its rounds through 16 African countries. The top company from each country will stand a chance of winning a US$500 000 equity investment in Switzerland next year. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • 13 things I wish I’d known before starting a startup

    I have been blessed to own several businesses in my time, working across industries and sectors, from sports to hospitality and property development. I have a family of entrepreneurs. My mother has a financial planning business, my dad had a recruitment business, my uncle owns a large logistics company and family in Australia own retail stores and supermarkets. So the path to becoming an entrepreneur was a relatively easy decision and was met with loads of support and encouragement. Here are 13 things I’ve learnt along the way that will hopefully save you some time and a lot of heartache Read more...

  • 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.

  • Building merchant-consumer trust is vital for ecommerce success

    Trust: It may be a two-way street regarding interpersonal relationships, and challenging enough to maintain between human beings. But shift this intangible quality to the digital arena, especially sites through which money changes hands, and this immediately places trust at risk of becoming exploited. When considering cybercrime​, trust between online collaborating parties is the new modern currency. So, how rich is your business in trust currency, and how can you obtain more of it? Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Who will win the battle of Nigeria’s online classifieds?

    First it was ecommerce with Jumia and Konga fighting neck-to-neck, then the attention went to the online marketplace space with the likes of Kaymu, this is followed by learning -- remember PrepClass, Tuteria, Tutor.ng, NearTutors. It now appears that the latest space that foreign-founded companies are eyeing in Nigeria is the classified ads. In other words, the battle to create Nigeria’s Craigslist is on. Classified ads are not entirely new in Nigeria thanks to the popularity of Craigslist in the country -- especially among the early internet savvy demographic. Read more on Ventureburn.