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  • How to access Goodwell’s €20m fund for African startups

    Amsterdam-based impact investor Goodwell Investments last month announced that it had raised €20-million to invest in high-growth African startups. Do you fit the bill and want to get in on that funding? Goodwell Investments marketing and communications director Nico Blaauw (pictured above) gives Ventureburn some insights on how entrepreneurs can go about accessing the funding. Is your business model aligned with Goodwell's objectives? In a statement announcing the fund, Goodwell Investments stated that it invests in businesses "that offer products and services to under-served people to meet their increasing demand for affordable and quality basic products". Blaauw told Ventureburn the investor looks for startups with business models...

  • Company Office

    Fast tracking entrepreneurial growth is key to SA tackling economic woes

    Entrepreneurs boost economic growth. Entrepreneurship is non-partisan -- anyone can become an entrepreneur and even an uneducated person can build wealth via a successful business venture. Entrepreneurship is the engine of economic growth, so it should come as no surprise to learn that the US is top of the list. In the US, 6.02% of the population owns their own business and the US is in the number one spot for cultivating entrepreneurship -- as per the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Institute (GEDI). In the UK, the number of entrepreneurs has risen by 6.4%, according to LinkedIn research. The UK is number...

  • South Africans have under three days left to apply for MEST 2019

    South African applicants looking to join MEST Africa's one-year entrepreneurial training programme have until Thursday (15 February) to apply. The graduate-level programme -- which will kick off in August this year in Accra, Ghana -- will cover business and software development. Training also includes extensive hands-on project work and the opportunity to be mentored by successful entrepreneurs, CEOs and other executives from Silicon Valley and Europe. As part of the programme, participants are provided with free housing and a monthly-stipend for the duration of the programme. The programme culminates in a final pitch where selected participants stand a chance to receive seed investment...

  • Vehicle Energy Harvesting System inventor wins SA Chivas Venture IV

    Engineer and inventor Clement Mokoenene on Friday (9 February) won the South African leg of the Chivas Venture IV competition, walking away with R350 000. A judging panel consisting of Lucas Radebe, Unathi Msengana and Stafford Masie selected Mokoenene ahead of four other social entrepreneurs for his electricity generation solution, the Vehicle Energy Harvesting System (VEHS). The winner will now attend a week-long accelerator programme at Oxford University. Thereafter, in May, he will represent South Africa at the global finale of the Chivas Venture 2018 in Amsterdam, where he will compete against 28 other entrants for a share of US$1-million. Read more: Meet the five...

  • Here’s why Kenyan startup BitPesa bought Spanish remittance platform

    Nairobi-based fintech startup BitPesa has acquired a Spanish international money transfer service TransferZero. The blockchain payments platform made the announcement on its Twitter account last week Thursday (8 February), a day after BitPesa CEO Elizabeth Rossiello spoke about the acquisition in New York at the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit: Crypto. The deal will see TransferZero -- which handles international remittances, payments and collections in more than 200 countries -- retain its name and continue to operate in Spain. Focus on building infrastructure across Europe and Africa Rossiello said setting up such infrastructure across Europe and Africa has "always been a focus of ours" and...

  • Top startup events in South Africa, Africa you should know about this week [12/02/2018]

    Looking to get into the South African startup scene or brush up on some of your skills? Well, you’ve come to the right place. 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 next week’s, please let us know in the comments below or send us an email. Not all of the events are free and some will require booking in advance. Please click on the event names to find out...

  • Silicon Cape: Ellen Fischat and Alexandra Fraser resign

    Ellen Fischat has stepped down as managing director of Silicon Cape, while another long standing member of the organisation's leadership team, director and board member Alexandra Fraser has also resigned. Fraser said the two resignations are unrelated. In a phone call earlier today, Fischat (pictured above) confirmed that she had resigned from the organisation on Monday (5 February). She said she had taken the decision to pursue "a few other opportunities" and that she would be staying in the local tech innovation space. Fischat joined the organisation in May last year, becoming Silicon Cape's first permanent managing director. Read more: New Silicon Cape head pledges to make sector’s...

  • Wealth Migrate set to launch public sale of WealthE coin on 14 March

    Global real estate platform Wealth Migrate is set to launch the public sale of its WealthE coin on 14 March. The South African company launched a token presale of WealthE in December 2017. Read more: Wealth Migrate launches pretoken sale to ‘democratise investing’ "We are in the process of finalising our presale in order to ensure that we have all the safety precautions in place in terms of security for contributors and plan to launch the public sale portion of the token sale on March 14th," Wealth Migrate CEO Scott Picken told Ventureburn in an email. "As you have published before, ensuring that...

  • Endeavor continues expansion in Sub-Saharan Africa as it launches in Nigeria

    Endeavor, a non-profit organisation that supports high-impact entrepreneurs around the world, has launched a new office in Lagos, Nigeria. The organisation announced the launch on Wednesday (7 February) in a statement on its website. Through a partnership with non-profit Omidyar Network, Endeavor Nigeria will aim to support entrepreneurs that have passed the initial startup phase and have potential to scale. The board of Endeavor's Nigeria office includes IBTC Bank founder Atedo Peterside (who will serve as chairman), and Chapel Hill Denham CEO and Nigeria Infrastructure Development Fund CIO Bolaji Balogun (who will be the office's vice-chairman). Eloho Omame will lead Endeavor Nigeria as...

  • Startupbootcamp to kick off global FastTrack World Tour in Cape Town

    Innovation accelerator Startupbootcamp Cape Town will kick off the 2018 Startupbootcamp (SBC) FastTrack World Tour in Cape Town on 19 February and has opened applications to join the event. The global accelerator conducts the annual tours as a way to scout for top-tier startups from around the world. During the informal events, SBC teams, mentors and sponsors meet early-stage companies interested in joining the accelerator's 2018 programme. The FastTrack world tour, comprised of 19 FastTracks, will be held between February and May. Startups that attend a FastTrack World Tour event have a 20% likelihood of getting invited to the final selection day The Cape Town...

  • Sanofi In Africa Challenges: Global pharma calls for African health solutions

    Global pharmaceutical company Sanofi is calling on African innovators within the medical and healthcare sectors to enter the Sanofi In Africa Challenges. The Sanofi in Africa Challenges -- of which there are three -- aim to identify, reward and support startups with innovative and adaptive solutions with the potential to disrupt Africa's health sector. The first focuses on solutions that can diagnose non-communicable diseases. The second challenge focuses on telemedicine solutions with mobile payment integration. While the third centers around multi-device and multi-channel solutions that can both educate and inform health professionals on non-communicable diseases. Applications to the Sanofi in Africa Challenges close on 15...