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London calling cyber start-ups

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Cyber London (CyLon), Europe’s first dedicated cyber security start-up accelerator and incubator, is inviting cyber security start-ups to apply for its third programme. Applications are welcome from teams across Europe and further afield.

Cyber London’s cyber security accelerator consists of a 12-week programme where entrepreneurial teams with innovative business ideas are provided access to professional training and guidance from an accomplished network of mentors, investors and CyLon Alumni. At the end of this programme, the companies will present their solutions to potential customers, investors and partners at an in-house Demo Day. The Demo Day for CyLon’s second cohort recently took place, and saw the teams pitching to over 150 key stakeholders. In addition to training, mentorship and fully-furnished office space, the teams selected to participate in the programme will receive a £15,000 investment in their businesses in return for 3% equity.

Applications for the next Cyber London programme are now open at https://www.f6s.com/cyberlondon3cylon/apply. Participants may include the very earliest stage teams, through to established companies seeking support to accelerate development and reach new customers and markets. Entrepreneurs working on any technology with security applications and with the ambition to build a successful business are encouraged to apply.

Kirsten Connell, MD of Cyber London said: “We’ve had such diverse and interesting members in our previous cohorts, I’m looking forward to seeing what the next group brings to the industry. The breadth of talent we’re seeing and the success our previous cohorts have had reinforces the value Cyber London provides to entrepreneurs and the wider economy. We’ve learned a lot from our first two programmes and look forward to helping this next cohort build and establish their brands and technologies.”

Paul Manister, CTO of cohort two start-up Fabric commented: “CyLon has been absolutely amazing in terms of the quality of mentors, staff and of course the commercial relationships and reach that has been extended to us. We’ve learned a lot, benefitted greatly and are now ready for the next stage of the company’s evolution. Thanks to being involved in the CyLon Programme we have already raised a substantial portion of the current funding round, which looks like it will be over-subscribed. I am in no doubt that a large part of this is thanks to the kudos CyLon brings.”

Closing date for cohort three applications is Sunday 27th March 2016 with the programme running from Tuesday 3rd May until Saturday 23rd July.

Arts and Entertainment

Deezer to host Hotstix’s Mandela tribute playlist

Deezer is celebrating Nelson Mandela on the centenary of his birthday by hosting a tribute playlist created by music legend Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse.  

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Mabuse, a legendary figure in African music, first rose to prominence in the 1970s with his band Harari and later developed a name for himself as a solo artist. One of his best known songs was the global hit BurnOut in the 1980s.

The playlist takes the listener on a captivating musical journey through the life of Nelson Mandela.  It was compiled by Mabuse, who consulted with Mandela’s family and friends to ensure that the music would be relevant and accurate. The playlist also features commentary by Mabuse, which was recorded in his Soweto home.  

“I have tried to tell the story of the music that Madiba loved,” says Mabuse. “The Playlist excludes the time in prison obviously, as Madiba would not have had exposure to music in that time.  We have focused on the music we know he loved before and after that period. This recording was really an emotional journey for me, but an incredible opportunity to document these memories.”

The playlist features the music the young Mandela loved, such as The Manhattan Brothers, Solomon Linda, Brenda Fassie and Miriam Makeba.  It includes struggle songs from Chicco, Johnny Clegg, Hugh Masekela and Yvonne Chaka Chaka.  The playlist also includes Mandela by Zahara, one of the younger artists who caught Madiba’s ear.

Mabuse also offers stories of his own songs, such as Shikisha, a song greatly beloved by the former President.

“I was delighted to share my thoughts and hope the listeners enjoyed the musical journey,” says Mabuse. “Madiba did enjoy music immensely and we all have a purpose wherever we are in the world to celebrate culture and to learn from different cultures and music forms and styles.”

This playlist was inspired by the Nelson Mandela 100 campaign, calling on corporates and individuals to act as sources of inspiration and engage in conversation and action.

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Sports streaming takes off

Live streaming of sports is coming of age as a mainstream method of viewing big games, as the latest FIFA World Cup figures from the UK show. Africa isn’t yet at the same level when it comes to the adoption of sports streaming, but usage is clearly moving in the right direction.

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England’s World Cup quarter-final against Sweden was watched by just under 20 million viewers in the UK via BBC One. While this traditional broadcast audience was huge, it was streaming that broke records: the game was the BBC’s most popular online-viewed live programme ever, with 3.8 million views. In Africa, the absolute numbers are lower but the trend towards streaming major sports events on the continent is also well under way.

According to DStv, live streaming of sports dominates the usage figures for its live and recorded TV streaming app, DStv Now. The number of people using the app in June was five times higher than a year ago, with concurrent views peaking during major football and rugby games.

Since the start of the World Cup, average weekday usage of DStv Now is up 60%. The absolute peak in concurrent usage for one event was reached on 26 June, during the Nigeria vs Argentina game. The app’s biggest ever test was on 16 June with both Springbok Rugby and World Cup Football under way at the same time, resulting in concurrent in-app views seven times higher than the peaks seen in June last year.

The World Cup has also been a major reason for new users to download and try out the app. First-time app user volumes have tripled on Android and doubled on iOS since the start of the tournament.

“While we expected live sports streaming to take off, it’s also been pleasing to see that the app is really popular for watching shows on Catch Up,” says MultiChoice South Africa Chief Operating Officer Mark Rayner. “Interestingly, some of the most popular Catch Up shows are local, with Isibaya, Binnelanders, The Queen and The River all getting a significant number of views.”

With respect to app usage, the web and Android apps are the most popular way to watch DStv Now, with Android outpacing iOS by a factor of 2:1.

“We’re continuing to develop DStv Now, with 4k streaming in testing and smart TV and Apple TV apps on their way shortly,” says Rayner. “The other key priority for us is working with the telcos to deliver mobile data propositions that make watching online painless and worry-free for our customers.”

The DStv Now app is free to all 10 million DStv customers in Africa. The app streams DStv live channels as well as supplying an extended Catch Up library. Two separate streams can be watched on different devices simultaneously, and content can also be downloaded to smartphones and tablets. The content available on the app varies according to the DStv package subscribed to.

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