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  • Bitcoin’s first killer app? Bankymoon lets you pay your utility bills in digital currency

    We're living in a world where everything's being labeled as smart. From our phones to watches and even our cars. But something that's really being taken for granted is our utility grids -- including gas, water and electricity. And while the majority of the world might be migrating onto the so-called smart grids, they are still filled with a lot of dumb problems. The biggest being payments. South African bitcoin startup Bankymoon is boldly taking on this industry. That's besides having a killer name for a bitcoin startup. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Should budding entrepreneurs share their ideas?

    There's a general school of thought among a number of new entrepreneurs that one should not share their business idea with anyone else. The reasoning behind this is that you need to protect your ideas and what you regard as your intellectual property. On the face of it all it sounds like logically sound argument. A business is after all quintessentially an idea that has been executed into a product which hopefully has a large enough market to sustain its expenses. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Recast opens its doors, lets you tune into your favourite radio station’s playlist online

    People get really attached to their radio stations. Each one has its own personality and unique music taste. The only problem is that they're filled to the brim with ads and chatter, which doesn't float well in a world where people have also become spoiled with on-demand music services like Spotify or Rdio. Having just launched alongside its iOS app (you can also tune in online), the savvy Cape Town, South African startup seems to have managed to find a sweet spot in between a radio industry playing catch-up and a highly competitive music industry ruled by record labels and...

  • Key lessons startups can take from Domino’s Pizza’s massive foreign expansion

    Not too long ago, US pizza chain Domino’s Pizza established a South African presence. To date, there are eleven stores spread across Cape Town, Gauteng and Durban, with plans to open even more in future. Success in this market is very lucrative -- a Euromonitor report estimated that fast food sales in South Africa topped R24-billion in 2012. A key to success for international brands entering new markets is a proper knowledge and deep understanding of the target market. Investing time and resources into understanding the local customs, preferences and tastes is often what separates the successful brands from...

  • Brothers for All: the inspiring school teaching underprivileged people how to code

    This week, Brothers For All is starting its first pilot project in two of South Africa's Western Cape prisons, equipping underprivileged people with valuable coding and entrepreneurial skills. A first of its kind on the African continent, Brothers for All is a spin-off of the non-profit Mothers for All, a local organisation that supports women in Botswana and South Africa, and the award-winning prisoner initiative, Group of Hope. Just 25 weeks after setting up in October last year, Brothers for All has over 170 students from underprivileged backgrounds, who are all learning essential coding languages like HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The...

  • The new normals in retail: are you keeping up?

    I don’t know too many people who are immune to the charms of retail therapy. Whether in malls or online, they be men or women, there’s always something that each of us enjoys buying. Or at least window shopping. It’s engaging, it’s interactive and it’s social. What’s not to like? Thanks to technology, every few months we have these fascinating new advances that take our consumerist culture’s favourite sport to the next level. Let’s take a look at the most promising ways in which technology is changing the way we shop. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Nigeria gets localised website that helps you locate leisure spots

    Several months ago, Oyewole Kayode was in Ibadan, the ancient yet trend-setting Nigerian city located in the Yoruba-dominated southwestern part of the country. While he was there, a female friend called him and asked if they could hang out at a "very cool" place. He began a frantic search for a place the woman would love -- a place that was also cheap and within his lean budget. “So I went online and realised there was no single platform that chronicled details of cool places and how much it was going to cost me,” Kayode said. In the end, he couldn't hang out with the woman. Read...

  • #RhodesHasFallen: 10 startup mistakes South African statues made

    #RhodesHasFallen at University of Cape Town and the graffiti is on the wall for many other South African statues as we struggle to contextualise the past and define a shared future as a nation. Other recently defaced statues include Paul Kruger in Pretoria, King George in Durban, Louis Botha in Cape Town, Mahatma Gandhi in Johannesburg and Queen Victoria in Port Elizabeth. If some local statues were startup entrepreneurs, 10 mistakes they made could have avoided their downfall… Read more on Ventureburn.

  • SnapScan rolls out ‘frictionless’ payments feature called SnapBeacons

    SnapScan is today announcing its first major update since its QR code payments feature was popularised in 2013. The new payment channel feature, called SnapBeacons, is meant to provide users a frictionless alternative payment solution. Instead of just being able to pay scanning a QR code, customers can simply tap a button in the app to initiate the payments transaction. A message on the customer’s phone will alert them when the option is available. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • 5 lessons African startups can learn from Nigeria’s president-elect

    It’s no longer news that Nigeria has a new President-elect, what is however new is the fact that he is actually the first person in the history of the country’s democracy -- and since independence -- to defeat an incumbent president. Even though he is more than 70 years old, his emergence as Nigeria’s new president from 29 May is filled with numerous lessons for startups in Nigeria, other parts of Africa and perhaps globally. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • The real state of ecommerce in South Africa: 9 things you need to know today

    Ecommerce in South Africa is still very much in the infant stages by global standards. The rate of growth globally has increased rapidly with large investments being made and new players joining the game constantly. Online retail in the developed world makes up 10-12% of total retail while SA is barely breaking 1% of the total market for consumer goods. In South Africa there are a few common would-be barriers expressed by potential buyers: Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Jottr is a bold startup trying to create a new window to your web

    The way we consume the web is flawed. Information comes across as noisy and messy. Why? Because we are limited by gatekeepers such as Google, Twitter and Facebook which are all forcing websites to conform to savvy search engine optimisation strategies on the one hand or pay up for ads on the other. This is something that Jottr plans to fix. Stopping off for lunch at the Waterfront in South Africa where the product was partly conceived, founders of the 15-month-old content discovery startup, called Jottr, are meeting each other in real life for the very first time. The trio...

  • The Rise of iFix: one of Africa’s largest specialist repair services

    Alex Fourie has always been an entrepreneur. His ambitions were kindled in 2007, when the iFix founder wanted to solve his own problem and fix his iPod. Eventually his friends had the same problem, and he soon started repairing devices out of his dorm room in the South African town, Stellenbosch. Fast forward eight odd years, and Fourie is today cutting the red ribbons of two new iFix branches: one in George and the other in Nelspruit, raking up the total to 11 stores across South Africa. Scattered across Johannesburg through to Cape Town, these shops are repairing over an...

  • How SA consumers are really driving omni-channel retail

    South African retailers are increasingly feeling the same, pressing consumer demand for ubiquity that has shaped and developed omni-channel retailing in more mature markets, says Nic Robertson, head of new business development for Media 24 Ecommerce. It’s a monumental consumer challenge that is driving completely new business models for the retail industry. What buyers expect is seamless, intelligent brand touch points across the multiplicity of devices that they use and the plethora platforms where they interact, be they off-- or online. And, they want to engage with a brand or retailer, whenever they choose. Read more on Ventureburn.

  • Why it’s important for SA startups to adopt a social impact mindset

    South Africa doesn't have the biggest startup scene in the world. As was recently made clear by CodeX founder Elizabeth Gould's brilliant article on why Cape Town will never be Silicon Valley, the country's tech hubs have their own flavours, and we should all come to terms with that. Better yet, we should take advantage of that. Reiterating what Lumkani's David Gluckman told Ventureburn a little while ago when the startup won a social entrepreneurship award: "There’s an engine that operates in an entrepreneur from an emerging market that’s super unique and exciting." Read more on Ventureburn.