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Google Balloon crashes down in small Karoo town

Published by on Nov 21st, 2014, 1 Comment

Project Loon

Imagine waking up to a crashed Google balloon in your backyard. They are big, odd-looking and contain pieces of technology that looks like something from NASA. Now imagine you are a sheep farmer from the Karoo, and you wake up to a crashed Google balloon in your backyard – having no idea what in the world it is.

This is what happened to Urbanus Botha, a farmer from the small town of De Aar in the Karoo.

A self-described technophobe, Botha had no idea what the huge, plastic thing was that came crashing down on his farm and gave his sheep (and no doubt himself) a fright.

The Google balloon was unlike anything he had ever seen, and the fact that it was so big caused a lot of confusion.

“The enormous piece of plastic took up the whole of my sheep trailer,” Botha said.

After making the unusual discovery, Botha called over his neighbour, Stoffel Visagie, to come and have a look at the enormous, deflated balloon.  (more…)

Startup Knight 2014 – Winners announced

Published by on Nov 19th, 2014, No Comments

startupknight2014

This year’s Startup Knight competition was truly fierce with various wonderful startups that once again proved the immense talent we have in South Africa.

However, as competitions go, there can only be one winner and on Saturday, November 8th, the winners of this year’s competition were announced.

The final leg of the competition was split over two days. All finalists (8 Startups and 8 Concepts) were required to attend an intensive mentoring session on Friday, 7 November. The mentors comprised of successful tech entrepreneurs who generously committed their energy to coach the finalists. The results of the mentoring were realised on the Saturday when the finalists had to give their all as they delivered their final pitches to the judging panel.

After two adrenalin filled days it was time for the results and prize giving at a cocktail function held at the Radisson Blu in Granger Bay that Saturday evening. The finalists, judges, and mentors were joined by an audience of their partners and well known industry personalities.

Tiger Bytes won in the startup phase category with their Vula Application. Vula is an online learning tool used by staff and students at the University of Cape Town. Tiger Bytes won a prize to the value of R250,000 (R150,000 for software development and R100,000 for public relations and go-to-market efforts.)

1st Runner-up, MediaBox, boasts a hardware device that is similar to the Apple TV, but runs on Android and introduces 3G integration along with more input sources. Their R50,000 prize is dedicated to public relations and software development. (more…)

Local, personal finance startup set to disrupt global financial services

Published by on Nov 10th, 2014, 1 Comment

Bsavi

Nowadays, personal finance management tools are popping up everywhere. Tools to better manage your money while carefully keeping track of your spending. The only problem is that these tools aren’t always integrated, which means you need a bucket-load of tools – or in the case of the digital word, apps – to successfully manage your spending and save money at the same time.

But now there has been a breakthrough innovation on the world of personal finance management that is set to change the way we think and use money – and their local, too.

Bsavi is a new personal finance startup based in Cape Town that is set out to disrupt and reinvent the global financial ecosystem. The company has developed an app that acts as a money management tool that will essentially help people plan their spending and save money on a daily basis.

While there are many conventional budgeting apps available, Bsavi is a ‘spend management’ tool that will show users, in detail, how much they can afford to spend on a daily basis after all of their fixed expenses have been accounted for.

As most of us would know, when pay day rolls around, we are in cloud nine. However, come the 15th of the month, and we’re already panicking about what we’re going to do for the rest of the month because we’re already broke. This is where Bsavi steps in, to minimize (and eventually completely eradicate) this awful panic.  (more…)

SA Startup 8Bit makes the semifinals of PITCH at Web Summit in Dublin

Published by on Nov 10th, 2014, 1 Comment

websummit

Local content discovery platform 8Bit was recently invited to attend the Web Summit in Dublin as an Alpha start-up and later invited to pitch with a select group of 200 start-ups from around the world in the annual PITCH competition. PITCH is described as a battle to crown the best start-up of 2014 and is present by Coca-Cola and Web Summit. The list included only 3 African start-ups alongside other leading start-ups from around the world. (more…)

RSAWeb launches CityFibre – a high-speed, low-cost internet alternative

Published by on Nov 6th, 2014, 5 Comments

RSAWeb

Businesses straight across the country will soon be able to put the woes of slow internet behind them, after the launch of RSAWeb’s CityFibre internet alternative.

CityFibre is an ‘incredibly fast internet connectivity product’ as the company says, and will allow businesses in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban to work at speeds that have previously been unheard of. No doubt that this will be a changing point in the way businesses use the internet.

With CityFibre, internet users can expect incredible speeds of up to 200Mbps for both downloading as well as uploading. To put that into perspective for you, that is roughly 50 times faster than a standard, 4Mbps ADSL line. Are you getting excited yet? (more…)

SA startup creates app to help fight Ebola

Published by on Oct 29th, 2014, 6 Comments

Ebola Care App

As everyone knows, the current Ebola crisis in West Africa is about as serious as things can get. It is estimated that more than 10 000 people have been infected with the deadly virus, and aid workers around the world are doing everything they can to help.

However, these aid workers also need help in managing their response quickly and most importantly, efficiently. And this is exactly where a innovative South African startup comes into play.

Journey is a South African tech startup from Cape Town that has just developed an app that aims to help aid workers in West Africa deal with the increasing pressure in assisting those infected.

The Ebola Care app was developed by Malan and Philip Joubert – the two young South African founders of Journey.

The Joubert brothers recently took their startup to San Francisco, to expand it in Silicon Valley. It is here, in the heart of the tech industry, amidst thousands of other tech startups, that they became aware of the Ebola crisis and just how quickly it is escalating.

They then decided that, with Journey, they could do something to help fight the disease.  (more…)

MTN launches collect call service

Published by on Oct 28th, 2014, No Comments

MTN-640

A new service launched by MTN allows for reversed charge calling on its network.

The service is similar to reversed-charge/collect call services on other platforms.  MTN’s Pay4Me service allow for a MTN user to call another MTN user and have the receiver be responsible for the costs.

(more…)

City of Cape Town unveils new transport app

Published by on Oct 22nd, 2014, 7 Comments

CT TCT App

Cape Town is proving, once again, why it is one of the best cities in the world – no offense to Northerners!

The mother of the Mother City, Mayor Patricia de Lille, unveiled a new transport app designed specifically for Cape Town on Monday, which looks to make traveling through Cape Town as easy as finding the mountain.

The Transport for Cape Town app – or TCT for short – is aimed at making traveling, through public or private transport, easy and accessible for both locals and tourists. De Lille billed the app as the “first of its kind in Africa”, but we have seen similar apps in the past year – like this one. Nevertheless, the app still looks great and will definitely (hopefully) improve traveling in and around Cape Town.

The app has two main functions. The first being a ‘journey planning’ feature which essentially enables the user to plan their trip, in detail, using the various feature and information provided by the app.

One of these features include maps of all scheduled public transport services in Cape Town. These include the MyCiti bus service, Golden Arrow bus service, Metrorail, sight seeing busses and even the UCT Jammie Shuttle.

The app will provide users with these service’s individual routes, stops and the stations that they stop at. In addition, it will also recommend to users which mode of transport – be it bus or train – to take. Or even a combination of the two.

It will also tell users where exactly they will find the closest station or stop in accordance to their current location, and will also give them directions on how to get there as well as the distance from where they are – all through GPS, of course.  (more…)

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