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All posts by Staff Reporter

  • Exploding 7 myths about venture capital

    The venture capital investment industry is laden with myths and misconceptions, often causing entrepreneurs to lose faith in funding and enthusiasm for their business. Andrea Bohmert, chairperson of South Africa's Cape IT Initiative’s Board of Directors and director and co-managing partner of Hasso Plattner Ventures, helps demystify some of the more destructive fallacies. 1. There is no money The first common misconception is that there is no money to fund entrepreneurs. This idea exists largely because so many business plans are declined, and so few are accepted. The first thing that counts against an applicant is failing to take...

  • Smoke and mirrors at new start-up Smokoo.co.za

    A new start-up, Smokoo.co.za, has found a unique way of publicising their upcoming launch in South Africa. They're not telling anyone what they do. Instead, the company has begun marketing themselves with a competition where people have to guess what kind of company Smokoo is going to be. The person who comes closest, wins an iPad. The only clues on their homepage are their logo, an iPad and a clock that's counting down towards the launch date of 1 August 2010. They also have a Twitter account and a Facebook page where you can try and extract some more clues about what...

  • Emerging markets drive mobile subscriptions over the 5 billion mark

    Last week marked yet another milestone in communications when the five billionth mobile subscription was added to the count, thanks largely to emerging markets like China, India, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. New data released by Ericsson this week reveals that the main drivers of growth continue to be Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, which together accounted for 80 percent of global subscription net additions in the first half of 2010. Today there are 450 million mobile subscriptions in Africa as compared to the year 2000, when there were about 16 million subscriptions, less than the amount of users in Ghana today. Mobile...

  • Mocality aims to be ‘largest’ mobile business directory in Africa

    If you’re in downtown Nairobi before the 4th of August, be sure to pop in to the Barber Q Hair Studio and get yourself a free head massage. The studio is on the 2nd Floor of El-Roi Plaza, close to the Odeon Cinema. This is just one example of the thousands of snippets of information that are at the heart of Mocality, a free-to-list, hyper-local mobile business directory in Nairobi, Kenya. Mocality offers a free business suite of tools to all listed businesses, such as the ability to upload customer mobile numbers into the Mocality platform, a free mobile website...

  • FNB CEO on Twitter, entrepreneurship, iPad: The Memeburn interview

    Michael Jordaan is the 42-year old CEO of First National Bank and a confirmed technophile. The company recently hit international headlines when it teamed up with Paypal to bring the service into the country. Memeburn.com caught up with the successful banker to get his views on starting a company, doing business in Africa, and why he tweets. Memeburn: What in your view does it mean to be an entrepreneur? Michael Jordaan: To be passionate about an idea/concept and to take the risk associated with making it fly. It certainly is not about money, although that can be a side-effect of good...

  • Huge growth reported in emerging market mobile advertising

    Growth in the world-wide mobile advertising market is up dramatically, and is particularly strong in emerging markets, says global mobile media company BuzzCity. South African mobile advertising shot up by an impressive 65% in the 2nd quarter of 2010 -- the fourth highest, behind Kenya who recorded a massive 243% growth. Vietnam grew at 273%, and Ghana showed a staggering 654% growth rate, although this is "off an admittedly very low base". BuzzCity reports...

  • Saul Klein: Price of SA broadband an ‘absolute disgrace’

    One of South Africa’s most successful exports, web entrepreneur and venture capitalist Saul Klein, has labelled the cost of broadband in his home country “an absolute disgrace” and urged the members of The Silicon Cape to function as a pressure group in lobbying for cheaper broadband. Klein, who was born in Johannesburg and is married to a South African, currently manages a $2.5-billion venture capital fund, and is a “massive believer” in early stage venture capital. His CV reads like a greatest hits of the Internet over the last 10 years, from early work at Blogger, last.fm and Betfair then...

  • Google throws weight behind new media in Africa

    Google this year will bring four speakers and trainers to the influential pan-African journalism gathering, Highway Africa, to be held in Grahamstown at the start of July. Andrew Bangs, Community Marketing representative at YouTube will speak about the rise of citizen journalism across the globe, and the significance of the internet in enabling free expression and ground-breaking reporting. Participants will be able to attend training workshops on Google Search and other useful applications to aid their information-gathering, including Google Scholar, Translate, Books, News, Trends and more. The workshops are being run in collaboration with Izak Minnaar of the SABC,...

  • Social networks, blogs account 22% of all time online, say Nielsen

    Visiting social networks and blogs now account for every four and a half minutes spent online, according to the authoritative Nielsen Company, a leading online analytics and trending company. Publishing on their official blog, nielsenwire, they report that the popularity of social media has now become "undeniable". According to the analytics company three of the world’s most popular brands online are now social-media related: Facebook, YouTube and Wikipedia. Nielsen says that the world now spends more than 110-billion minutes on social networks and blog sites, equating to 22% of all time online. WORLD’S* MOST POPULAR BRANDS ONLINE / April 2010 Brand % of...

  • Vuvuzela iPhone app now a world-wide top seller

    A Dutch mobile development company has shot to fame (or notoriety depending on your point of view) for building a Vuvuzela iPhone app that has quickly become the number one downloaded app in many parts of the world. Love them or hate them -- everyone will agree that the Vuvuzela has made the FIFA World Cup in South Africa the loudest in the tournament's history. Everyone has caught onto the Vuvu bandwagon, and sales around the world are skyrocketing. In the UK, Tesco’s recently reported sales of one Vuvuzela every 20 seconds during one of the recent England games. But...

  • Financial Times crowdsources growth strategy with SA company

    The London-based Financial Times, a leading global newspaper specialising in financial and business news, has commissioned a South African company to help it crowdsource ideas on how to increase the number of new subscriptions to its online offering, FT.com. The financial broadsheet approached the Cape Town-based Idea Bounty with the task -- a local community site that allows brands to tap the collective intelligence of creatives all over the world. While crowdsourcing ideas is not a new concept, Idea Bounty claims it is one of the first in the world to award prize money for ideas alone. The newspaper is facing...

  • African Google Doodle winner squares off against international competition

    Young artists from all around South Africa have been have been hard at work creating Google doodles for the search giant's "Doodle 4 Google" competition, this year themed on "I love football". Since the competition began in April, more than 35 000 children across 17 countries have submitted their designs. Now it’s time for South Africans to rally behind their local winner as the competition enters the global voting stage. Last week, South Africa’s...

  • Hitler on those blasted Vuvuzelas (Just had to happen)

    It had to happen. Following the great tradition of parodying a particular excerpt from the Nazi movie Downfall where Hitler and his generals have a heated exchange -- here's yet another parody. This particular Hitler excerpt deals with the controversy surrounding the trumpet-like Vuvuzela at the Fifa World Cup. The South African instrument has become a topic of conversation world-wide to the extent that it has been trending since the start of...

  • Free student tickets up for grabs for major web conference

    Financial services group, Old Mutual, is offering 17 complimentary scholarship tickets to the Tech4Africa Conference 2010 to students studying in the information technology, Web, technology or digital fields. Tech4Africa, to be held in Johannesburg on the 12-13 of August, has managed to attract some major heavy-weight international and African speakers. One of the world’s leading thinkers and writers on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies Clay Shirky will be headlining the...

  • New Google doodle by 13-year old to celebrate world cup

    Google on Friday sported an interesting new "doodle" on its South African web presence to celebrate the kick-off of the Fifa World Cup. What made the doodle even more special is that it was created by a 13-year old. Nikisha Lalloo from Port Elizabeth was crowned the national winner of the Doodle 4 Google ‘Love Football’ competition. Nikisha is now one step closer to being a global winner, emerging as the top young South African artist to enter the competition. Nikisha's logo design was displayed on the Google South Africa homepage on Friday. In addition to her doodle...