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  • IBM programme opened my eyes to new possibilities, says tech entrepreneur

    Being part of IBM's enterprise development programme for the past year has "opened" his eyes to new growth possibilities, says Kuben Naicker, the founder of IT Aware. "It has pretty much opened our eyes on how to grow our product... to look for new subscribers," says Naicker, whose 17-year old IT firm conducts skills and job profile assessments on behalf of the country's Skills Education and Training Authorities (Setas). Naicker, who is due to exit the programme at the end of this month, has benefited from both training as well over R400 000 in software and hardware support. It includes a new server, access...

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    The impact of mobile technology on business

    Mobile technology has had a massive impact on business, allowing you to cut the cord but still be as productive as if you were sitting in an office the entire day. When it comes to setting up a small or medium business, or even venturing out as a freelancer, there are devices that can help make your life easier. Smartphones Smartphones have become the Swiss Army knife of technology, having replaced multiple devices. In the past, businesses didn’t allow you to bring your phone to the office, however now; your phone has the potential to be your most vital tool. One of the most...

  • Unicef Innovation Fund opens call for VR and AR startups to join its latest cohort

    An innovation fund of the UN Children’s Fund, Unicef has opened a call for startups developing virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) tech to apply for its next cohort by 17 September. The Unicef Innovation Fund is offering equity-free seed funding of between $50 000 and $90 000 to promising startups from around the world developing virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) applications that have the potential to significantly improve children’s lives. Unicef Innovation Fund will offer selected startups equity-free funding of up to $90 000 To qualify, startups should be registered private companies in one of the Unicef's programme countries and have...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [21/08/2017]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or catch up on some of your skills? Well, you've come to the right place. There are loads of competitions, networking sessions and workshops happening around South Africa and the rest of the continent (namely Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana) that we've rounded up to make your life a bit easier. This article is part of a weekly series that highlights all the top startup competitions, networking sessions, workshops and conferences around South Africa, and the greater region. If you have any event recommendations for us to add to the list, or...

  • HealthTech app, platform builders face legal hurdles in SA, hear delegates

    HealthTech app and platform developers in South Africa are being held back by rules and regulations, which has seen at least one locally developed platform shift its focus to Kenya, delegates heard at a healthtech seminar held in Cape Town yesterday. The seminar was hosted by law firm Bowmans and venture capital company Havaic at Bowman’s offices in the city. Neurosurgeon David Roytowski, who is based at Tygerberg Hospital, noted that patients have become more willing than before to accept health-care advice via digital platforms rather than by way of face-to-face advice. But he pointed out that health-care legislation in South Africa remains a major...

  • Show your work, don’t just share ideas, Capitec innovation head tells startups

    Entrepreneurs should be ready to show their work and not just share their ideas, says Capitec bank's manager for innovation Francois Dempers. In an interview with Ventureburn, Dempers -- who oversees innovation in the bank's digital solutions division -- says tech entrepreneurs who want to sell their ideas for apps or platforms to the bank should remain open and honest about what their product can and cannot do. "Do not oversell your product or service and get straight to business. Leave your business guy at home and bring your techie instead. We prefer authentic experiences right from the start of a relationship," says Dempers. 'Capitec prefers authentic experiences...

  • Work with startups or become redundant says Startupbootcamp InsurTech head

    If insurers don't embrace startups they could find themselves in trouble cautions Startupbootcamp InsurTech global managing director Sabine VanderLinden. VanderLinden (pictured above, centre) was speaking at a networking event held last night by Startupbootcamp InsurTech, following the Cape Town leg of the organisation's InsurTech FastTrack. She said some insurers fear that startups might disrupt their companies and make them redundant. She pointed out an example of startup companies that were opting to work with retailers and not insurers. “Startups with platform-based solutions may do that (make insurers redundant), some are ready to go to market. Some of these startups may decide to become insurers themselves, corporates are going to...

  • You don’t need to be super wealthy high net individual to be an angel investor

    The outlook for the South African economy may be grim. The Reserve Bank forecasts that the economy will grow at just 0.5% this year. Yet the one thing that looks hot right now is the tech startup sector. While the number of investors taking advantage of a new tax incentive has picked up of late, a whole list of SA startups have recently been acquired by foreign companies, bringing healthy returns to investors. Read more: Investors clamouring for 12J VC incentive following tax hike – fund managers Read more: Are these the 10 all-time biggest exit deals for SA startups? And you don't...

  • Can employers legally deduct damages or losses caused by an employee?

    May an employer make deductions for damage or loss caused by employee? The basic answer is yes they can. But for such a deduction to be lawful an employer has to meet several requirements. If an employee has caused an employer harm due to the employee’s fault (for example an accident with a company car), the employer would in principle have a claim against the employee. It does not make practical sense to sue the employee. However, the employer may not simply go ahead and deduct the amount from the employee’s wages. 'A discussion with the employee that results in an acknowledgement of debt,...

  • SA bookings site Afristay aims to take on AirBnB following R7m funding injection

    One of the hardest things to get right when running an accommodation booking site is how to grow the number of listings of establishments, while maintaining quality-control and ensuring accurate real-time availability, to avoid double bookings, says Afristay CEO Rupert Bryant. Yet under Bryant (pictured above) the company -- formerly known as Accommodation Direct -- looks to be getting it right -- and now aims to take on better resourced booking platforms like AirBnB. Last week the company unveiled its new name Afristay. It follows funding of R7-million Bryant and his two fellow directors -- his brother Oliver and Ric Meulemans -- raised in April (22% of which was from...

  • XTC 2018 deadline extended to 31 August

    Tech entrepreneurship contest the Extreme Tech Challenge (XTC) has announced an extension of the application deadline to 31 August. Tech startups interested in entering the fourth annual edition of the contest will have two more weeks to apply, the initial application date was set for Tuesday this week (15 August). In a press release, the organisers said the deadline had been extended because a record number of applications had been submitted. XTC now in its fourth annual year, will see the top ten entrepreneurs showcase their startups at CES Las Vegas The challenge is headed by entrepreneur Richard Branson and Consumer Technology Association...