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IBM offers 6-week boot camp to SA start-ups

IBM South Africa, together with Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, have announced the launch of a startup accelerator taking place from 8 October 2018 to 16 November 2018. 

IBM South Africa, through its Equity Equivalence Investment Programme (EEIP) together with Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct, have announced the launch of a startup accelerator taking place from 8 October 2018 to 16 November 2018.  The Startup Accelerator is designed to enable the development of Growth Stage Tech and Digital Startups, using a bootcamp format that will run over six weeks. Business owners or management must be black, and the company must already be generating revenue.

The bootcamp will focus on enablement and development through a series of short, intensive and rigorous modules. Each module is specifically selected to address skills, resources, infrastructure and technology growth within the startup.  The bootcamp culminates in an investment proposal and pitch whereby the winning participants stand in line to win up to R500k in required products and services.

“Growing technology startups has long been a focus of the Precinct and we are pleased to partner with IBM SA to further develop this vital segment of the market. This bootcamp is centred on investment, one of the critical elements of any growing business. We look forward to working with the teams to make a bottom-line investment in tomorrow’s future technology leaders,” says Shaun Randles, Enterprise Development Manager, Tshimologong Precinct.

The Startup Accelerator is an initiative of the Enterprise Development Programme (EDP), one of 3 streams of the IBM SA Equity Equivalence Investment Programme (EEIP).  The EDP is focused on the enablement of entrepreneurs and businesses with a highly specialised ICT focus in globally relevant areas of technology such as Big Data Analytics, Cloud Computing, Internet of Things and Cybersecurity, amongst other things.

To win the investment, the tech startups need to demonstrate how the investment will be used to accelerate the business. The growth trajectory the investment will yield must be based on tangible outcomes simulating financials and thus demonstrating an increase in revenue or job creation.  The investment must include their technology requirements for both internal operations and product scaling.

The startup will pitch its reasons why IBM should invest in the development of the business at an awards evening at Tshimologong Precinct taking place during Global Entrepreneurship Week 2018. The evening will be attended by a panel of industry thought leaders and influencers.

Interested participants need to ensure the business has a minimum of one-year trading as a CIPC registered business. The Growth Stage Tech Startup should be Black South African owned and managed. Turnover needs to be between R120k to R50 million per annum and the owner must be actively involved in the business. See the full list of eligibility criteria as well as other pertinent information by visiting www.tshimologong.joburg/programs/ibm-bootcamp/.

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Eugene Kaspersky posts from 2050

In his imagined blog entry from the year 2050, the Kaspersky Lab founder imagines an era of digital immunity

In recent years, digital systems have moved up to a whole new level. No longer assistants making life easier for us mere mortals, they’ve become the basis of civilisation — the very framework keeping the world functioning properly in 2050.

This quantum leap forward has generated new requirements for the reliability and stability of artificial intelligence. Although some cyberthreats still haven’t become extinct since the romantic era around the turn of the century, they’re now dangerous only to outliers who for some reason reject modern standards of digital immunity.

The situation in many ways resembles the fight against human diseases. Thanks to the success of vaccines, the terrible epidemics that once devastated entire cities in the twentieth century are a thing of the past.

However, that’s where the resemblance ends. For humans, diseases like the plague or smallpox have been replaced by new, highly resistant “post-vaccination” diseases; but for the machines, things have turned out much better. This is largely because the initial designers of digital immunity made all the right preparations for it in advance. In doing so, what helped them in particular was borrowing the systemic approaches of living systems and humans.

One of the pillars of cyber-immunity today is digital intuition, the ability of AI systems to make the right decisions in conditions where the source data are clearly insufficient to make a rational choice.

But there’s no mysticism here: Digital intuition is merely the logical continuation of the idea of machine learning. When the number and complexity of related self-learning systems exceeds a certain threshold, the quality of decision-making rises to a whole new level — a level that’s completely elusive to rational understanding. An “intuitive solution” results fromthe superimposition of the experience of a huge number of machine-learning models, much like the result of the calculations of a quantum computer.

So, as you can see, it has been digital intuition, with its ability to instantly, correctly respond to unknown challenges that has helped build the digital security standards of this new era.  

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M-Net to film Deon Meyer novel

A television adaptation of Deon Meyer’s crime novel Trackers is to be co-produced by M-Net, Germany’s public broadcaster ZDF, and HBO subsidiary Cinemax, which will also distribute the drama series worldwide. 

Trackers is an unprecedented scripted television venture and MultiChoice and M-Net are proud to chart out new territory … allowing local and international talent to combine their world-class story-telling and production skills,” says MultiChoice CEO of General Entertainment, Yolisa Phahle.

HBO, Cinemax, and M-Net also launched a Producers Apprenticeship programme last year when the Cinemax series Warrior, coming to M-Net in July, was filmed in South Africa. Some other Cinemax originals screened on M-Net include Banshee, The Knick and Strike Back. 

“Cinemax is delighted to partner with M-Net and ZDF in bringing Deon Meyer’s unforgettable characters and storytelling—all so richly rooted in the people and spectacular geography of South Africa—to screens around the world,” says Len Amato, President, HBO Films, Miniseries, and Cinemax.    

Filming for Trackers has already started in  locations across South Africa and the co-production partners have been working together on all aspects of production 

Deon Meyer, whose award-winning crime novels have been translated into more than 20 languages, with millions of copies sold worldwide, serves as a supervising screenwriter and co-producer; British writer Robert Thorogood (Death in Paradise) is the showrunner. The team of South African writers on the project includes the Mitchell’s Plain playwright, screenwriter and director Amy Jephta (Die Ellen Pakkies Story) and local writer/directors Kelsey Egen and Jozua Malherbe. 

The cast for the six-part miniseries includes Ed Stoppard, Rolanda Marais, James Alexander and Thapelo Mokoena. 

Trackers will make its debut on M-Net 101 in October 2019 and will also be available on MultiChoice’s on-demand service, Showmax. The six-part drama series is produced by UK production company Three River Studios as well as South Africa’s Scene 23. 

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