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  • Umbono: Google launches new African tech incubator

    Google has chosen Cape Town as a pilot for a new technology incubator called Umbono which aims to bring together seed capital, Google mentorship, angel investors, local tech stars, entrepreneurs and business leaders. If successful in Cape Town, Google may take the model to other parts of the globe. Google says it chose Cape Town because the city is in “the process of positioning itself as a hub for innovation and technology”. The search engine expects that successful funders will move to Cape Town and work “onsite” to take advantage of the opportunity. The search monolith says the incubator is “in...

  • 10 YouTube best practice tips for business

    Video provides a powerful tool for any business to promote its products and services. YouTube, however, is particularly useful for small businesses as it is free, easy to use, and reaches a mass market audience. The concept of filming, editing and uploading video can be very intimidating for someone with no experience with the medium, but creating video for YouTube is not as difficult as you might think and there are plenty of user-friendly tools and tips out there to help you on your way (more below). Some ways in which YouTube can help you run and promote your business...

  • The sleeping giant of Asian mobile internet

    The latest statistics from the Mobithinking’s Mobile Guide to Japan have entranced the West’s mobile providers who are keen to advantage on the massive Asian expansion in mobile internet usage. The future of mobile web lies in Asia and this trend shows no signs of shifting. With advanced mobile markets like Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, the region’s first-world infrastructure is ripe for expansion: The technology-hungry developing countries in the region are huge with growing populations and low PC penetration. The mix is ripe for mobile phone and service providers. It also opens the door to questions of best...

  • Angry Birds takes flight as Rovio aims high

    Rovio, the makers of the sensationally popular Angry Birds app, have been very busy of late. Apart from tearing down the ever tricky structures of the evil green, egg-stealing pigs with hordes of ‘fowl-mannered’ feathered armament, the company has huge plans to catapult its signature game even higher, starting with a live public offering. With more than 100-million downloads worldwide and over 40-million active users, Angry Birds is the most popular mobile game to date. Rovio now has plans to launch a real-time, media-rich multiplayer platform level for the addictive puzzler. And best of all, it will be free. Well,...

  • Facebook hopes to offer better mobile experience with Snaptu buy

    Facebook confirmed on Monday that it is buying Snaptu a startup that specialises in software that connects any type of mobile phone to leading online social networks and other sites. The London-based Snaptu was founded in 2007 and has offices in Tel Aviv and Silicon Valley. According to the startup its goal is to provide “useful and innovative services to the 95 percent of mobile users that don’t have access to advanced smart phones.” Something it hopes to do more of with the aid of Facebook. The sale to the social network giant, which is rumoured to be somewhere between...

  • 8 venture capital sources for your startup

    Raising funds in emerging markets may not be a walk in the park, but the process has become easier. Though some have complained the current economic environment is not favourable to startups, the current mindset is favourable to good ideas – no matter where they are. For startups with global vision based in emerging markets, here are eight sources of capital to consider. Venture Partners The US-based Venture Partners (USVP) has helped build great companies in the last three decades. Since its inception in 1981, USVP has invested more than US$2.7-billion in about 450 companies. After the investment the company’s...

  • Our lives are digital curation tools

    As our lives become increasingly digital curation tools can provide a good way to document our activities, capturing a snapshot of key events and moments. For example, the South by South West Interactive conference that took place in Austin, Texas attracted a lot of people, sharing lots of ideas, conversations, product launches, and more. Take at look at MobyNow’s real-time aggregation of all the social media at SXSW and you’ll see what I mean, the masses of tweets, photos, etc. And that’s what aggregation is good at — finding everything that’s relevant or related is easy. But aggregation isn’t that great at...

  • Avusa joins the daily deals game with Zappon

    South Africa’s group buying market adds another contestant with the launch of Zappon.co.za, just two and a half months after project initiation. The startup, owned by South African media company Avusa Media, joins many other Groupon like deals sites in the country. The only difference is it comes into to the game with the backing of Avusa’s brands. “The daily deal space is on the cusp of maturing in South Africa,” says Zappon creator and General Manager of Avusa Media LIVE, Elan Lohmann. “Other players – both local and international entrants – have been working to create the beginnings...

  • Apple feels pressure to remove ‘gay cure’ app from iTunes

    Apple is facing increasing pressure to remove a so-called “gay cure” application from its iTunes shop for software for iPhone, iPad, and iPod devices. More than 110 000 people had electronically signed an online petition at a change.org website calling for Apple to remove the Exodus International application from iTunes. Exodus, a Florida-based Christian group that advocates freeing oneself from homosexuality through religion, has publicly condemned the petition as an assault on free speech and an improper spin on the application’s purpose. On its site it claims that “Exodus International is the world’s largest ministry to individuals and families impacted by...

  • Hoaxes and revolutions: Twitter’s fifth anniversary

    Today marks the fifth anniversary of the very first Twitter update by Jack Dorsey (@Jack), co-founder of the mircologging site. On the 21st of March 2006, that first tweet went out sending our world into a digital spiral consisting of 140 characters thought patterns. Twitter was born. The tweet that began it all simply read: “inviting coworkers.” With its present valuation said to be approaching US$10-billion, the Twitter of 2006 is perhaps a touch different from the Twitter of 2011. I am sure it’s much more than what Dorsey and fellow creators saw then. Dorsey posted conversation between himself...

  • Cloud computing for disaster prone areas

    With the very real threat of a nuclear meltdown following the devastating earthquake and tsunami on the 11 March, the focus of the world shifts to Japan as the industrial giant braces itself for its worst disaster in history. From an economic perspective, stabilisation will depend on the recovery process and, if not implemented soon enough, could impede the country’s future growth. Considering that Japan houses some of the world’s largest entities in technology and is the third largest national economy with a labour force of around 66-million workers, recovery strategies are, of course, already in place. Most of Japan’s cloud computing data centers...

  • Meme list: From Rebecca Black to Casey Heynes parodies

    It’s been a fun week for memes with budding pop stars sensationalising the inner workings of the teenage mind on a Friday, to a bullied schoolkid unleashing a motherload of fury against his assailant with some signature Streetfighter moves, to blocking Charlie Sheen – because frankly, we’ve had enough of Charlie Sheen, tiger blood or not.  Here’s our list of the top 5: Rebecca Black – Friday Amateur YouTube musician, Rebecca Black soared to fame for her music video “Friday”. The video clip, originally posted on YouTube in February 2011, quickly gained notoriety last week after popular blog The Daily What posted the video on...

  • SXSW breakthrough of 2011? Group messaging services

    Every year sees one or two companies come away from the annual South By Southwest tech-fest in Austin, Texas knowing that they are on their way to immortality. In 2009, it was the turn of Twitter and in 2010 it was Foursquare and Gowalla. This year is a little different but it seems that the title (King of SXSW) is being given to the concept of group messaging and the various companies providing that service. Group messaging is an effective way of for groups of friends to chat while on the move, and it provides a service that established...

  • Groupon SA CEO talks group buying

    Like a real tech entrepreneur, Wayne Gosling rushes into Vida apologising for being late. It’s only a few minutes after 2pm. He plunks himself down, looks at me as says “can I get you another coffee?”. The lunch time rush is just dissipating as we settle in for “our chat” as the Groupon South Africa CEO refers to it. Gosling is a little frazzled. Two mobile phones in hand, both ringing nonstop, “I will just turn these off,” he says. “Things are mad right now.” Of course. Groupon SA is the newly formed branch of the group buying giant...

  • The ‘Big Five’ social media tips for property professionals

    With social media affecting the way that we talk, think and do business these days, property professionals are looking to include this powerful tool in their marketing strategies. But how do you turn the theory into a reality that will have an impact on your business? The key to social media is to understand that this way of interacting is fast becoming a part of daily life. Social media is not a novelty or a gimmick – it’s an extension of how and why people interact with each other. When you’re planning your digital strategy this is the most...