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All posts tagged "Startups"

  • Exit stage left: lessons from reporting Africa’s tech scene

    In the last four years I have learnt a lot about technology, innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa. I have met Africa’s brightest and its bravest. I have walked the path of its past and seen the clearly marked walkways of its future. Erik Hersman from the iHub once told me that once you have been to deepest darkest Africa, it’s hard to ignore the opportunities for innovation. He was right, and you don’t have to search to far to find the opportunities. From Madagascar to the beautiful red sunsets of Tunisia, the opportunities lindy hop for anyone who will see...

  • African women in tech: Ethel Cofie on why men are seen as ambitious and women bitchy

    "I spent years not speaking up because my career was just starting and I didn’t have anything of consequence to say, I remember going to a meeting once and being mistaken for my bosses PA/Assistant." -- Ethel Cofie Where are the women in tech? Who are the women building technology or working in technology in Africa? These questions and many more are asked on a daily basis. When it comes to technology in Africa, the general consensus is that women are not present. We beg to differ. Africa has a range of women working and building cool technology for the continent...

  • PWC’s Danie Fölscher chats to Ventureburn about the winning formula for African startups and innovation

    If you've been taking a sabbatical from Ventureburn within the last few weeks, you've probably missed out on the news of PWC's Vision to Reality Awards. A first for South Africa, the startup accelerator saw 10 tech startups partake in a three-month mentorship programme and showcase their ideas. Impressive transaction authentication service Entersekt came up top. The Vision to Reality Awards in South Africa is merely the tip of the iceberg. Brewing below is an ecosystem with internationally acclaimed innovations as well as those that fit into the unique local environments. Ventureburn had a chat with PWC Partner in Charge...

  • African women in tech: Rebecca Enonchong on concealing her role as founder

    "For a long time, to obtain enterprise customers, I concealed the fact that I owned the company. I never lied about it, but I never volunteered that information. My business card didn't even have a title" -- Rebecca Enonchong. Where are the women in tech? Who are the women building technology or working in technology in Africa? These questions and many more are asked on a daily basis. When it comes to technology in Africa, the general consensus is that women are not present. We beg to differ. Africa has a range of women working and building cool technology for...

  • 3 key insights SA’s tech ecosystem can take from Israel

    Mind-set, connectedness and government support are everything when it comes to building and sustaining a far reaching tech culture set to breed innovations across the globe. If it is a key imperative for tech businesses to replicate their business models and product innovations on an international scale, some key insights and lessons can be learnt from Israel, dubbed ‘the start-up nation’ who has successfully built an intimate tech culture and community with a far reaching global impact. 1. Connectedness Everyone in the tech world in Israel is connected. They talk, they engage and they discuss – it is essentially one big community...

  • 14 innovative Korean companies you need to know about [GMV]

    Think Korea’s tech scene extends only as far as Samsung and LG? Think again. We’ve already told you about how instant messaging platform KakaoTalk managed to accumulate hundreds of millions of users and shown you some of the startups from that country trying to disrupt their way onto the world stage, but there’s plenty more innovation coming out of the East Asian country. One attempt to highlight this is the GMV Innovation Awards, part of the Global Mobile Vision conference in Seoul. The awards were judged by a panel of international journalists (including this writer) across a variety of categories...

  • Disrupt everything: 11 Kenyan exciting startups worth your time right now

    We love Kenya. So much so we recently headed to the East African country for some fun times with startups. So ahead of the trip, we thought we will list some startups that caught our eye in the last while. How do you pick 11 great startups to write about? You reach out to the community. And the community delivered. By no means is this the definite list of Kenyan startups, these are the ones that we are aware of right now and our community loves. These guys are disrupting and changing the way tech is used in businesses and...

  • $400m for the startup scene in Lebanon raises more questions than it brings solutions

    How to be innovative in a country where two decades of civil war and rather noisy neighbours such as Syria keep the focus of media on bombings, turmoil and refugees is a tall order. This is the task the Central Bank of Lebanon tries to answer with its circular 331, which put US$400-million on the table earlier this year, just for startups. This is one percent of the GDP and, as attractive as it may look, it doesn't go without a lot of skepticism as well. Let's zoom back to know how such a big bet finds its place in...

  • Ecommerce is changing: where to from here?

    Like any industry, eCommerce is just beginning to mature, so what are the next opportunities for disruption? The barriers to entry are no longer technology or software Most retailers now understand that a multi-channel approach is the minimum required, and have a technology stack, where some will be better than others. Most smaller businesses will outsource this cost, most medium businesses will have in-house teams, and the very large will have a combination of in-house, outsourced and agency teams all working on their eCommerce proposition. The emphasis on constant adaptation will increase as the competition heats up, so stagnant websites will...

  • Mobile. Video. Data: the future of journalism and news [GEN]

    The business of media is changing. Journalism is changing along with how we define news and how it is packaged. On the back of these new developments around news, journalism and storytelling there are many conferences that aim to interrogate their future. Journalism is at a pivotal point, facing challenges and concerns around the power shifts that come with social media and user-generated content. This year, it seems GEN (Global Editors Network) Summit wants to bring together industries best and brightest to address and perhaps come with viable answers to these challenges. The event touts some heavyweight speakers that will discuss...

  • A case for successful startup clones: it’s all about adapting and executing

    Some bumper sticker wisdom: “You shouldn’t really worry when the competition’s trying to copy you, you should worry when they’re not.” You’ve seen them, right? The so-called Facebooks or Amazons of Africa. Notoriously known as clones, emerging markets have their fair share of them, each with its own degree of success and unique challenges. If you think about it, isn’t it only natural for a working solution to be applied elsewhere? Are they then as bad as their reputation holds them to be? Many of these startups initially start off with a borrowed idea, and by adapting it to its local...

  • The West African startup landscape: it’s not just about Nigeria

    We have been working on getting you up to date with the different startup ecosystems in Africa. We began this with South Africa and then moved on to East Africa. People have been asking us about other parts of Africa, such as the West and if we could put together a comprehensive guide for that region as well. We have heard you and done as you have asked, this time putting our focus on West Africa. As an entrepreneur, trying to make your mark in Africa can be hard. Making the right connections, talking to the right people and meeting the...

  • Naming your startup: fun, friendly or just plain hipster?

    If your startup name can’t potentially be used as an everyday verb or doesn’t end with “ly” you’ve probably missed the trend train. Geekatoo, LOOKK, Ordrin, Wowzer, and of course Lettuce, are a handful of startups featured on 500 Startups who have joined the ongoing Web 2.0 fab of quirky naming schemes for their businesses. But there’s a thin line between having a brand name that shows your startup’s fun, friendly and innovative and one that screams “hipster!” Read more on Ventureburn.

  • SA startup to publish Arabic ebooks in deal with major regional online player

    Snapplify, a service that transform PDFs into company branded mobile applications, has signed a deal with Kotobarabia, an online e-book store that specialises in Arabic content. The deal with the South African-based startup has apparently been signed in a bid to make Kotobarabia's content available to a wider audience. In part this is because it's easier to make Snapplify's mobile apps available to a wide range of devices and also because conventional e-publishing...

  • 3 up-and-coming Asian startups to keep an eye on

    It's a crowded marketplace for startups, but there are quite a few companies who are doing something interesting. Hopeful startups battled it out in pitch sessions at the recent Echelon 2012 event in Singapore, hoping to walk away with the title of the top startup and a smattering of prizes. Builk, a niche social network for construction industry professionals, eventually came out on top, but some of the other finalists are just as innovative. Here are three startups working in the cloud storage sphere, developing HR solutions for businesses and streamlining consumer rewards. PayrollHero This payroll management software from the...