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SA start-up climate measured

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Ventureburn – in partnership with First National Bank, investment advisory firm Clifftop Colony, and data gathering and analytics company Qurio – has launched the Ventureburn Startup Survey 2015, which is looking to uncover the nuts and bolts of the startup sector.

Ventureburn, part of the Burn Media group, is an authority on recording the wild growth of startup and entrepreneurial activity in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.

The survey answerers questions like: What are the major challenges facing the country’s entrepreneurs? What do South Africa’s startup founders look like? What sectors are startups more prevalent in? What types of funding are startups securing, and where are they getting their money from? Why do people choose startup life over comfortable corporate life? Why are people flocking to startups to work there?  Where is the most startup activity happening in South Africa?

“We explore, in depth, real data on the startup community, and interpret and publicise the survey data in the form of a series of articles on Ventureburn and the wider media. With the data that we release to the country, we will create a case study, publish an infographic and present the insights at various associated conferences,” says Jacques Coetzee, who heads up Ventureburn.

It’s not just about startups. Big businesses have also stepped into the spotlight. First National Bank recently invested over R3-million in the Silicon Cape initiative. This collaboration will further help foster technology in the Cape Town region. Clifftop Colony meanwhile has raised close to R750-million in equity and equity equivalents for South African high growth technology companies since the firm was founded in 2012. MTN and the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business recently announced a R15-million deal to help foster innovation.

On the government front and in the spirit of the National Development Plan 2030, the City of Johannesburg has dedicated millions of Rands to support entrepreneurs through the Green City Startup Challenge. In the Western Cape, the government recently announced that it has dedicated over R45-million this year to support entrepreneurship and business development.

Who qualifies? Am I startup? If you are a technology-based startup, small business, SMME with annual revenues of between R0 and R30-million and/or staff numbers of anywhere from 1 to 50, we want you to participate in the survey.

What can I win? By completing the survey, you are guaranteed to win a Startup Goodie Bag to the value R4300. In addition to that, you stand the chance to prizes to the value of R170 000, including an iPad mini 16gb with wifi & cellular worth R7 799, courtesy of Digicape.

Alright, I am keen already! Tell me who, what, where, hen, and how: To participate in the survey simply visit the Startup Survey page and follow the instructions:

http://www.ventureburn.com/startupsurvey

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CES: So long, and thanks for all the beer!

Last week, the Las Vegas expo showed off its fun side with state-of-the-art technologies for enjoying beer, writes BRYAN TURNER

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From craft beer-making machines to robots that pour beer, CES had more beer than usual in Las Vegas last week. And even free beer if you found the right stand. Stampede’s saloon-style booth offered beer to visitors who tried out its latest drones, virtual reality, and other gaming products. No beer tech, though.

Here are some of the beer technologies that stood out:

LG HomeBrew – Craft beer made at home

LG’s HomeBrew craft beer-making machine,  debuted at CES 2019, brings the brewing process home thanks to single-use capsules,  a self-cleaning feature, and an algorithm optimised for fermentation. 

Like a Nespresso coffee machine, the beer maker uses capsules, which contain malt, yeast, hop oil and flavouring. At the press of a button, LG HomeBrew automates the whole procedure from fermentation and carbonation to ageing. A companion app lets users check HomeBrew’s status at any time during the process, from their handsets.

The beer machine not only offers a simple way to make craft beer, but also enhances the quality of beer it makes. The fermentation algorithm intelligently controls the fermenting process with precise temperature and pressure control. It automatically sanitises itself, using nothing more than hot water, ensuring everything is hygienically clean for the next batch.

Designed with discerning beer lovers in mind, HomeBrew allows for in-home production of batches of more than 4 litres of beer in a variety of styles. The following five distinctive, flavoured beers are available now: 

  • Hoppy American IPA
  • Golden American Pale Ale
  • Full-bodied English Stout
  • Zesty Belgian-style Witbier
  • Dry Czech Pilsner

The only catch? It takes about two weeks to make, depending on the beer type.

“LG HomeBrew is the culmination of years of home appliance and water purification technologies that we’ve developed over the decades,” said Dan Song, president of LG Electronics Home Appliance & Air Solutions Company. “Homebrewing has grown at an explosive pace, but there are still many beer lovers who haven’t taken the jump because of the barriers to entry, like complexity, and these are the consumers we think will be attracted to LG HomeBrew.”

Click here to read about the party speaker that holds beer and robots that pour beer.

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CES: Alienware gets Legend-ary

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At CES in Las Vegas last week, Dell’s Alienware released a family of high-end, thin, light, and affordable machines for both amateur and professional gamers – and a new identity.

Alienware marked CES 2019 as a brand milestone with the debut of a new design identity, Alienware Legend. It aims to set a new bar of excellence for what gamers want most – performance and function. Alienware says it evaluated multiple concepts and chose one that was the biggest and boldest departure from its current look.

Alienware Legend, says the company, stays true to the brand’s core design tenets, taking cues from its deep roots in sci-fi culture and its early industrial designs, to distinguish the brand from the rest of the industry. The new Legend design is optimised with cutting-edge thermal cooling technology to achieve and sustain overclocking power, improved AlienFX lighting, and ultra-thin screen borders. It also unveiled a new “three-knuckle hinge” design that reduces the overall dimension while creating a stronger assembly, all combining to yield a better gaming experience.

“We’re excited to come to this year’s CES with some truly groundbreaking products, next-gen software and strategic partnerships that will bring more people to experience PC gaming and advance the industry,” said Frank Azor, vice president and general manager of Alienware. “The legend design answers the call for more and better from our gaming community, and the new G Series laptops will make PC gaming even more accessible to those looking for high-performance gaming at a cost they can appreciate.”

Click here to read about Alienware Legend in action with the Area-51m and m-series laptops

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