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Startups

  • Guns and Rain: an art gallery that inhabits the contours of online space

    Ann Gollifer, Ntlo, Pelo, Mosadi Guns and Rain founder Julie Taylor's oldest art memory is of drawing dinosaur stencils. That memory, wrapped up as it is in the imagination of a child, re-imagining creatures that are extinct and inking them back to life, is in part what inspired her to establish the contemporary online art gallery. Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Guns and Rain sells artwork by artists from across Southern Africa, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Botswana, online . The gallery's curatorship is slanted towards young and emerging artists, but it does not shun work by established artists. Taylor tells...

  • How to value your startup? This podcast by StartUp tells you all about it

    The five-year-old ride-sharing app, Uber, is valued at US$40-billion while the three-year-old photo messaging app, SnapChat, is worth an estimated US$10-billion. The latter only recently started introducing some revenue-making features and was worth billions to Facebook last year. How do startups determine their value? Especially when they don't have a regular income. In this insightful podcast, simply called StartUp, renowned radio journalist Alex Blumberg and business partner Matt Leiber share their first-hand experiences on how to value a startup. Each episode of the "podcast startup documenting the launch of a startup" Gimlet Media takes listeners through the company's growth pains and...

  • Euphoria Telecom: the startup that’s bringing cloud calling to SMEs in style

    With the popular David and Goliath theme of a hungry tech startup looking to disrupt, Cape Town, South Africa-based VoIP (voice over internet protocol) service provider Euphoria Telecom hopes to change the way business owners think about and run their communications. Business telephone systems are outdated, especially in South Africa. Making a conference call or setting up a digital receptionist can be strangely complicated and unintuitive; so much so that most people end up opting for Skype or just sticking with email. For business owners keen on cutting-down unnecessary costs and gaining insight into their daily operations in real-time, a...

  • 3 ways to go about hiring foreign skills for your SA startup

    Even before I was involved in the tech entrepreneur scene in SA and before I ran an immigration and visa services firm, I noticed during my tech recruitment days that companies simply didn't understand how the work visa system in South Africa functioned. And because they didn't understand it, they were afraid of it. The plain truth is that it's very simple. Either you can hire that foreign skill, or you can't. But if you can, then there is no reason (unless perhaps financially) why you shouldn't. In fact, the most recent visa regulations, which came out in May 2014,...

  • Vouch wants to change the face of mobile advertising in SA

    South Africa's mobile space is becoming more and more exciting. With a growing middle class and cheaper hardware diversifying the market, the country should take a healthy slice of Africa's mobile ad market, which is expected to reach a massive US$1.3-billion by 2016. Whether this bulk of cash will be dominated by a few digital giants or by the many upcoming startups remains to be seen, however. In an attempt to get in on the action, South African mobile ad startup Vouch is on a mission to change the way brands engage with customers. It wants to do this by...

  • Africa Twenty10 accelerator is calling for first intake of savvy startups

    The Africa Twenty10 accelerator programme is looking for local startups that would help solve the problem of fragmentation and small market sizes on the continent. In its effort to create a more competitive environment, the accelerator will provide a three-month intensive programme for the first intake of startups, which will enable them to launch in multiple countries and access bigger market sizes. The initiative hopes to find a fair balance of female-led startups, social enterprises along with other profitable and impactful startups. The programme is supported by Microsoft4Afrika Initiative, Appfrica Venture Capital Fund, Expand HR Services and innovation spaces across Africa including iSpace...

  • BirdLasser mobile conservation app takes tweeting to the next level

    There's such a vast range of mobile apps on the market, all aiming to provide that one kick-ass, differentiating service. Over on Gearburn, we recapped a few apps that us journos rely on on a daily basis, but what if you're not a journalist? What if you're a budding conservationist or bird-lover? Well, there's even an app for you. BirdLasser is the brainchild of South African duo William Harris and Henk Nel -- two avid birdwatchers who wanted to bring the convenience technology offers into their favourite pastime. The app is intended to make birdwatching more interactive, while improving conservation efforts...

  • Meet the WooCommerce plug-in improving the way thousands of people shop online

    Last year we wrote about how South African-based company WooThemes and its popular online retail theme WooCommerce were making waves in the online world. At the time, we termed it a true WordPress child revolutionising ecommerce the world over. Since then, WooCommerce has grown up – quite a lot actually. In fact, these days it is helping give other businesses a leg up. Started by Robert Elliott and Nick Pentreath, Cape Town-based company Graphflow is a big data and predictive analytics startup that is available in WooThemes' official store, and is adding to the latter's vision of making online shopping tools available to the...

  • Artists.Clothing wants to bridge the gap between designers and merchants

    The internet is a wonderful thing. Besides giving us the ability to watch Gangnam Style over a billion times, it allows creative ideas to become businesses, and supplies to meet demands with fewer barriers. Take Artists.Clothing for example. This startup has created a DIY platform that enables the supply of creatives to meet the demand of sellers. Besides having a bad-ass domain name, Artists.Clothing is a Cape Town, South Africa-based marketplace for designing and selling T-Shirts. Freelancers can upload their graphics to the site, and merchants can then buy and download unique designs to sell shirts. "Freelance designers struggle to get...

  • Big Inja is the startup hound that wants to barcode your business

    We've seen some exciting developments happening in the QR space, with the likes of SnapScan and its competitor Zapper having injected a fresh sense of purpose and experimentation in South Africa's mobile payments scene. Now -- trying to find the holy grail in the B2B space -- Big Inja (meaning big dog in Zulu) thinks it's up to the task of automating business processes, using its cloud-based barcode and QR code scanner app. In a nutshell, Big Inja's app barcodes your business from head to toe; stock to staff. From asset tracking, event management, stock control and attendance monitoring, the app's...