• Motorburn
      Because cars are gadgets
    • Gearburn
      Incisive reviews for the gadget obsessed
    • Ventureburn
      Startup news for emerging markets
    • Jobsburn
      Digital industry jobs for the anti 9 to 5!


  • The importance of digital finance for financial inclusion in South Africa

    The Banking Association of South Africa defines Financial Inclusion as a development that improves the “range, quality and availability of financial services and products focusing on the unserved, under-served and financially excluded. Principles of financial inclusion include: access, affordability, appropriateness, usage, quality, consumer financial education, innovation and diversification, and simplicity.” According to Bank SETA, 53% of the country’s adult population is unbanked. The reasons vary, including the fear of exploitation, an inability to access physical bank buildings, strict FICA requirements and the steep fees. But factors like the lack of trust in the traditional banking sector, concerns about safety and...

  • All you need is coffee: innovation in 72 hours

    Innovation isn’t a strategy; it’s a series of orchestrated tactics that solve defined problems, casting aside the status quo in favor of invention and improvement. The magic lies in finding the right idea to take forward. We’ve tried several approaches at my company, but the most effective is the one we use now. We call it “Innovation Sprinting.”

  • Amplify hopes to strike gold in Nigeria with recurrent payments

    2016 is fast becoming a payment-focused year in Nigeria’s tech ecosystem considering the numerous updates in the ecosystem and the launch of new platforms, services, and the rejuvenation of old ones. The question being asked by many stakeholders is “what’s it about payment in Nigeria?” Earlier this month, yet another payment startup launched in Nigeria to offer payment services, it’s called Amplify and its uniqueness is that it is focused on recurrent payment. The startup was incubated and enjoying the support of MEST Incubator. In an exclusive interview with Segun Adeyemi, Co-Founder of Amplify, he said in spite of the...

  • Digital entrepreneurs need to embrace data

    In the digital world, a new breed of entrepreneur has been created – one that is able to capitalise on an Always-On environment. This entrepreneur has grown up as part of the connected generation, and this is reflected in the way that their start-ups are born and operate. For them, using technology is not something that is forced but rather a component that is completely integrated in all aspects of their lives. It is therefore completely natural for their start-ups to be digital first. As such, access to data needs to happen around the clock. Data has become the bedrock on...

  • Is EFT the new payment comeback kid?

    Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT) may be one of the older payment methods on the block, but thanks to fraud and crime they are experiencing a revival. As technology platforms evolve to make EFTs more easily managed by users and merchants alike, they are growing in popularity. EFT payments are also more cost-effective and break down significant barriers to entry. A recent 2015 Ipsos survey examined some of the drivers and barriers that impacted online shopping around the world. The survey found that 22% of South African internet users have made purchases using EFT as their preferred payment, with this figure...

  • Testing assumptions at every step is key to MVP success

    To create the best and most relevant product, start-ups need to understand the value of testing all possible assumptions early – even if that results in the product not being what you originally thought it would be. This testing of assumptions may show you that your solution really does solve a problem out there – or it could show you that your perceived need for a solution is really just a perceived one, and that it’s not worth pursuing. This is a tough lesson, sure, but one worth learning before you’ve invested all your money (and the money of everyone...

  • 3 tips to ensure your communication objectives are aligned with your business vision

    I’ve seen technology companies shifting their business goals three to four times within an eighteen-month period. This is understandable, as economies change, markets become more competitive or are disrupted by startups, new investors come on board, target audiences change… no matter the reason, being forced to shift business goals can be taxing on your business. While you are focusing on business strategy and product enhancements or new product developments… consider how your communications team can support this process? How can they back the product and sales team and provide peace of mind when you are ready to go to market?

  • Do you love startups? Ventureburn is looking for a startup writer

    Ventureburn.com is seeking a talented and driven web-savvy startup writer who is passionate about the online media and all things startups. We’re looking for someone young, dynamic and dedicated to become part of our exciting startup company based in Cape Town, on a full-time basis. Go ahead and tell your friends, family and followers. Applicants to mail their CV and cover letter to matthew@creativespark.co.za.

  • Why going paperless can make you more money — and save some too

    The environment and saving costs when moving a business to a paperless office are the two most popular benefits. While these two are important, there are many hidden positives that tossing paper can do to help small businesses to reinvent and simplify their endeavour – leading to increased profitability. Despite these benefits, businesses seem hesitant to digitise the contents of their filing cabinets and change the way they do business.

  • How to scale your startup’s infrastructure from the inside out

    When considering the most exciting elements of entrepreneurial life, you probably don’t immediately think of the word “infrastructure.” Foundations, wiring, plumbing — surely, these aren’t the things that provide a startup with the innovative spark it needs to grow. But infrastructure goes way beyond pipes and wires; it’s your startup’s internal road map. It’s your HR systems, sales processes, and marketing protocols. It embodies some of the most vital and creative parts of your operation, and it helps you achieve your biggest goals. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Different types of workplace culture – which one is right for your startup?

    Workplace culture is a unique sociological construct. While it may work in much the same way as any other type of culture does in a community (say, ethnic or religious culture), it differs in one major respect: it is inherently multi-cultural. In South Africa this is particularly true, with the average workplace containing employees of all races, genders, religions, political affiliations and many other differentiating factors. This makes the creation and maintenance of a positive and unifying workplace culture all the more difficult – and all the more important.

  • Efritin MD: Nigeria’s tech space is becoming increasingly competitive

    Gbenro Dada, the newly appointed Managing Director of Efritin.com, a platform that allows Nigerians to buy fairly used products online, has affirmed that the tech space in Nigeria is becoming increasingly more competitive. In a chat with Ventureburn, Dada said this development affirms that the tech space in Nigeria is developing. He however noted the non-existence or lack of essential infrastructure had slowed down the rate of growth of the tech industry in Nigeria – yet he said the prospect is still bright for the ecosystem adding that the decision of the government to focus on diversifying the economy would...

  • Two essential tools for your business toolkit

    Organising two important areas of your business can be made a lot easier by using a couple of simple but powerful tools. Effective Leads Management and Project Management are as essential to many small businesses as they are to large corporations. Fortunately, great brains and expertise have been roped in to develop a couple of tools that make these facets of business easy to do. Sales people will tell you that it’s not enough that you market your product or service effectively if that doesn’t result in quality sales. But the sales also don’t just happen. Successful sales is a...

  • 3 fundraising trends to help your startup

    Hammer pants. Frosted tips. Fanny packs. Some of you bought into these flavours of the month. Others, well, lucked out. At one time, for better or worse, following these ‘fads’ meant you had your finger firmly on pop culture’s pulse. Because they come and go at a moment’s notice, trends get a bad rap. But being trendy can serve a broader purpose. Trendsetters and followers are looked at as experts and generate buzz wherever they go. That’s the aim of every cash-strapped startup: to garner enough attention, credibility, and cash to live up to its potential.

  • 4 tips to release employee-driven innovation

    Increasingly, companies are recognising that innovation doesn’t only happen through investment in Research and Development. Businesses stand to gain a competitive advantage by involving people across the company in identifying and acting on innovation opportunities. One such example is British Airways who introduced an online suggestion box for employees to propose how the airline could further reduce emissions and fuel costs. One of the 200 ideas submitted was a suggestion to descale aircraft toilet pipes which led to the airline saving over R13 000 000 through weight reduction and improving the performance of inflight conveniences.