FEATURE: The week in startups 27/10/2013

FEATURE: The week in startups 27/10/2013

Every week HumanIPO talks to technology startups and hubs across the African continent to keep up with how technology is improving Africa and creating jobs. This week’s roundup features startup news from South Africa, Togo, and Kenya.

South Africa

Startup Weekend, an entrepreneurial programme, is set to take place in Cape Town for a fourth time in November. It offers an opportunity for entrepreneurs to enter the Global Startup Battle.

Startups will be able to engage in networking, planning and pitching during the 54-hour programme taking place at the Bandwidth Barn in Woodstock between November 15 and 17.

“Participants will get invaluable access to a vibrant network of people interested in creating startups in Cape Town and those willing to experiment with ideas,” said the non-profit organisation, Startup Weekend.

PwC, the international accounting firm, will be offering free advice for startup companies in Cape Town. The event’s second session addressed payroll and employee tax compliance.

A general information session on business and PwC services to the benefit of tech companies will be presented on November 19 as part of the Global Entrepreneurship programme.

“We believe that by collaborating with the [Bandwidth] Barn we can increase our presence as a key player in this sector,” said Allen Weilbach, a PwC partner.


Woelab is an innovations hub based in Togo, and Koffi Dodji Honou, executive manager, told HumanIPO Togo needs more innovation opportunities. He said this is more urgent than the need for funding.

“Woelab brought a new solution. We are known worldwide because of the imagination and creation from us. For them it is amazing to see we can create stuff,” said Honou.

“Bringing it to the youth or elders, we encourage them to give access to the youth and to follow our example to make companies and to replicate… this kind of space in order to give people the opportunity to work together and create.”

Honou said he was not asking people for money, but rather wants to give people in Togo an opportunity and a space in which they can express themselves.


Chura, the Kenyan-based startup recently launched “Airtime 4 Cash,” which enables subscribers to switch airtime with money and is then sent directly to their mobile money accounts.

Chura created this platform with the aim of solving the problem of money being lost when it is mistakenly converted into airtime.

The Chura team identified a need for the services of Airtime 4 Cash when they ended up with airtime on their mobile phones that they did not intend on using.

DEMO Africa kicked off on Thursday in Nairobi and brought together investors and innovators from across the continent, and provided a platform for technology startups to pitch for funding and technical support.

DEMO Africa, dubbed as Africa’s premier launchpad for emerging trends and technologies, took place over two days and brought together venture capitalists, angel investors, investment fund managers, tech buyers, innovation supporters and entrepreneurs from around the world.

Tanzania’s Ubongo, South Africa’s Anaso Diabetes Online, Egypt’s Vivifi and Nigeria’s Save & Buy were amongst the startups pitching, while South Africa dominated the Enterprise category. A panel discussion featuring 88mph managing director Kresten Buch concluded that a lack of serial entrepreneurship in Africa was a challenge to startup development.


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