Seed Academy Entrepreneurship Training

Seed Academy is offering entrepreneurship training and we highly recommend that you apply to attend if you are in the tech space. They are offering sponsored spaces on the highly regarded “Think. Be. Do programme”. The programme is described as follows:

During the 10 week programme, Entrepreneurs will be provided with access to rich experiential learning. Sessions are held once a week after hours. Support offered for up to 18 months post programme. The concept  of success is that emerging entrepreneurs will be well equipped  to start their own businesses a result of their exposure to entrepreneurship teachings.

Three Reasons Why This Entrepreneurship Training Rocks

  1. Linked to Venture Capital: The Seed Academy is part of an exciting ecosystem that potentially links entrepreneurship to venture capital funding. It is pioneering model of a  early stage accelerator attuned to the realities in South Africa. The training does not promise venture capital funding, but I am certain if you complete the course, have a great idea and emerge as a potentially great entrepreneur, this training may open doors.
  2. Ten Weeks In The Evening: The format of the training looks awesome, with entrepreneurs needing to attend one evening a week for ten weeks. The course is applied one, meaning that after ten weeks you will have taken important steps to starting your business or improving an existing one.
  3. Stuck in a job you hate? Not certain about what to do next? Toying around with an idea for years and not getting anywhere? The training is  commitment for ten weeks, and imagine that in ten weeks you would have taken the next step in building your business. Taking that first step with Seed Academy is a useful, practical and potentially life changing event.

Application Process

The details of applying are shown in the image above, or alternatively use the online application form. Do this quickly as the next course starts in September 2014.
(Editors Note:  Remember that Seed Academy is offering sponsored spaces, but may not be able to accommodate every applicant). 

iKhokha – Payment processing in South Africa

Payment processing in South Africa is a huge issue for many readers of Zapreneur. As readers of Zapreneur will know, I hardly ever provide space for financial products because I believe that our financial institutions are one of the biggest constraints on small business development. Beyond offering critique, Zapreneur will profile alternatives that offer “something” that begins to put the power back in the hands of entrepreneurs.
Today we chat to founders of iKhokha, Ramsay Daly and Matt Putman. A product like iKhokha offers an alternative to the big banks, and offers a way to process both debit and credit cards. This is huge as it allows businesses not wanting to run on credit cards to process debit cards, at reasonable payment processing rates. In sum, iKhokha offers a competitive pricing structure and allows small businesses to begin using new and innovative ways of charging customers. We asked the founders a couple of questions about the product and what it offers.
 
iKhokha looks like an excellent product. Our readers might not know about what iKhokha does. Please give us your elevator pitch? 
iKhokha enables any business formal or informal to be able to process card payments through their smartphone, by inserting our Edge adapter into your phone and downloading the iKhokha app, SME’s can turn their phone into a Smart Speedpoint device. Businesses follow the straight forward online sign up process at www.ikhokha.com, and once approved entrepreneurs and businesses alike will be able to benefit from the additional services embedded in our mobile app. We cater for both Android and Apple devices. The Edge device also has the highest level of international accreditation.
 
(Editor’s Note: The video of Piet the Plumber is worth watching as it provides a cool story of iKhokha in action). 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCXc-QGBYuk
How does this benefit businesses in South Africa?
It allows them to take a secure card payment anywhere, anytime driving additional sales and removing the risk that comes with carrying cash. It also gives them a real time view of all their sales, card and cash.
 
How is it different from products being offered by large banks? 
Pricing is considerably more competitive that the large bank led offerings, i.e 2.75% commission with no monthly fees.  We charge the same rates irrespective of who the merchant banks with and have a dedicated support team focusing on our merchant base. We are a bank agnostic brand that is looking to constantly innovate, bringing real value to our merchant base.
 
APP: 
The intuitive design of the app makes it easy to understand for the end-user and easier for a merchant to process a payment. The business analytics feature allows the business owner to track all their sales very easily, meaning that the SME is empowered with more information at their fingertips that they have ever had before. This is an area that we will continue to focus on in order to provide powerful data to each one of our merchants.
 
VAS
We have enabled all of our merchants to sell value added services through the app to any of their clientele for a rebate, the first phase of this strategy is Airtime sales which will be followed by other digital products. We are creating a product suite which will become attractive to the more informal sector as in essence they will be able to download an app and a suite of products which will earn them a living.
 
Do you have any plans of partnering with larger financial institutions? 
ABSA is the acquiring bank whose license we are leveraging, however we can sign up merchants from all banks irrespective of the provider.
 
What would the ideal business look like to benefit from iKhokha?

  1. Any business that currently has a Speedpoint machine, but is paying costly monthly fees or high transaction commission
  2. Mobile businesses that want to be able to accept payment on-the go i.e. tradesmen, graphic designers, website designers, personal trainers, independent consultants, door to door salesmen, musicians, performers, private metered taxis, informal taxis and take-away deliveries
  3. Businesses that want to move away from cash transactions for safety & convenience i.e. as boutique retail outlets, jewellers, medical practices, physiotherapists, chiropractors, optometrists, beauty salons, independent DVD rental outlets, bakeries, deli’s, take away food outlets, hairdressing salons, bars, bookmakers, independent bottle stores, butcheries, pet shops, dry cleaners, and dog grooming parlours

Let’s talk money. What does it cost to get started with iKhokha? How is payment processing charged?
R989.00 once off fee for the Edge card reader (including delivery) OR monthly rental option of R69 a month (plus R160 delivery fee)
2.75% per transaction
 
Is it possible to customise where the headphone connector on the Android iKhokha sits to accommodate some Android phones which have jacks on the bottom left, bottom right and on top?
The Android unit will still technically work with the different orientation on some Smart devices, best to refer to our safe list of tested devices provided on the website. We are also bringing in a cable to assist with Android Smartphone devices with different orientation of the Audio Jack.
 
If possible, could you provide us with a couple of companies that are using iKhokha?
There is quite a spread of companies to name a few, Victor Design, My Renaissance, Courtney Shaw Skin Care and Body Therapy.
 

INVENTORS GARAGE COMPETITION – Closes 1 September

The Inventors Garage Competition closes for entries on the 20 August 2014  1 September 2014.  This competition is open to everyone across all industries! You can enter your invention / discovery / design / creation / model / prototype as an individual, a company, team or group. The competition has an open category and a junior category (below 19 years). The judging criteria is:

  • The WOW FACTOR
  • The ORIGINALITY
  • The NEED
  • The POTENTIAL
  • The PRACTICALITY
  • The CREATIVITY
  • of your invention/discovery/design/creation/model/prototype.

Over R 25 000 cash prizes are available, with the winner taking R 15 0000-00, and the entry with the most votes on Facebook receiving R 5000-00. In addition, the following is on offer:

  • The Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Tokyo, Japan, in Partnership with SA Innovation Summit, offers 1 winner out of qualifying companies will win an all expenses paid trip to Tokyo, Japan to the South Africa-Japan Innovation in Business Forum in October 2014.
  • Ten or more of the BEST entries will be exhibited at the SA Innovation Summit in the SparkLab

OPEN CATEGORY:
An industrial designer or architect can enter a model of a bridge or building; a graphic designer can enter an animation; a scientist can enter his/her discovery or invention (as long as it can be displayed physically for the exhibition); an entrepreneur can enter a prototype of his invention etc.

JUNIOR INVENTORS CATEGORY: Kids below 19 only
You can enter your invention / discovery / design / creation / model / prototype as an individual, a school team or group of friends. This category is brought to you by the ESKOM EXPO FOR YOUNG SCIENTISTS (Visit http://www.exposcience.co.za/ to learn more about it)

The guidance for entries is listed below, and requirements are well within reach of entrepreneurs who have a concept or a prototype:

IT IS EASY TO ENTER:

1) Take a photo of the invention/discovery/design/creation/model/prototype. Please note that your innovation should not have been commercialised yet. The Intellectual Property should belong to you and you should be able to supply proof of ownership on request.

2) Write a paragraph of 150 words maximum about your invention/innovation.

3) Enter the competition online at HERE by completing the entry form between 1 April 2014 and 20 August 2014. No late entries will be accepted.

4) Please take note that the posting of your innovation on the SA Innovation Summit Facebook Fan Page Album, and the subsequent exhibition thereof at the Innovation Summit, will constitute a public disclosure which may preclude you from obtaining patent and/or design protection for your innovation. Innovators are therefore advised to take the necessary steps to protect their intellectual property before such disclosure. For more information, innovators can contact Lodewyk Cilliers at Spoor & Fisher – l.cilliers@spoor.com.

In the entry form:
• Attach a photo of your innovation (please ensure that the photo is in JPEG format and does not exceed 1MB). You are allowed to upload a maximum of three photos. One photo will be chosen to post on the official Inventor’s Garage Competition Entries 2014 Page on the official SA Innovation Summit Facebook Page.
• A title for your innovation and 150 words describing your innovation.
• Your confirmation that you accept the terms and conditions (below) of the competition.
• Your personal and business details.

One of the photos you submitted and your 150 words will be posted on the official Inventor’s Garage Competition Entries 2014 Album on the Facebook page in the photo gallery within 48 hours after you entered the competition.

This competition  is brought to you by the East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ). Visit http://www.elidz.co.za/ to read more about ELIDZ.

Startup Grind and Tech4Afrika Brings Affordable Events to Entrepreneurs

Startup Grind and Tech4Afrika are doing something useful – bringing down the cost for entrepreneurs to attend high quality conferences and seminars.   Tech4Afrika for instance outlines its mission as:
 

We think that the best tech ecosystems in the world have regular events which bring together people in tech to learn, meet new people and have lots of fun.

We don’t like suits and ties, there are no plenaries, committees and chairpeople. We focus on great content and value for all who attend, free wifi, coffee all day, fun at night, and an electric atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else.

Startup Grind is part of an international network that provides events for entrepreneurs. They have lots of interesting videos.  (Warning: It is a bit of a time sink). The Cape Town and Johannesburg events should prove interesting and affordable.
Over the next few months, they have events running, including:
 

  • Tech4Africa Cape Town – 28 August 2014 – R500,00 excl
  • Tech4Africa Johannesburg – 8-9 October 2014 – R500,00 excl
  • Strartup Grind Cape Town hosting Groupon CEOs – 28 August 2014 (18:00) – R100,00 excl

To learn more about the event with Groupon CEOS, please click here.
To learn more about Tech4Afrika events, please click here.
Please note that the cost of lunch is not included at the Tech4Africa event, and is for your own account. For two days of talks from some interesting speakers, we however think the R 500-00 price is fairly priced. (More so because we often get request to profile events targeting entrepreneurs that cost over R 3000-00 for a single day. We simply do not profile these events, not just because of price, but because they are akin to cheerleading.)
(Editors Note: Zapreneur does not write sponsored posts. If we think an event is valuable we will profile it). 

702 and Cape Talk Small Business Awards

The 702  and Cape Talk Small Business Awards are looking for awesome and amazing small businesses. If you have experienced great service from a small business, or you feel that they are passionate and determined to achieve tell them about this business.
To nominate  Gauteng based 702 awards, can be accessed by clicking here.
Western Cape nominations forms can be accessed by clicking here.
The nomination process is extremely simply requiring a couple of minutes.  If you are a customer and have received exceptional service please nominate them.

Prizes

  • 1st place: Sage One, supported by Sage Pastel and VIP, will award both of the winners with a laptop with free access to Sage One Accounting and Sage One Payroll software, including one year’s worth of software support, and a training course or seminar of their choice. An airtime package to the value of R250 000 on Talk Radio 702/ 567 Cape Talk and one month’s advertising exposure on the Google Display Network to the value of R25 000 will also be awarded to the winners to further promote their businesses.
  • 2nd place: The two runners-up will receive Sage One Accounting and Sage One Payroll software. They will also receive a free training course or seminar of their choice, as well as a year’s worth of software support. An airtime package to the value of R150 000 on 567 CapeTalk will also be awarded to the two runners-up.
  • 3rd place: The two runners-up will receive Sage One Accounting and Sage One Payroll software. They will also receive a free training course or seminar of their choice, as well as a year’s worth of software support. An airtime package to the value of R100 000 on 567 CapeTalk will also be awarded to the two runners-up.

Lessons

I just could not help myself and clicked through to websites of several of last year’s finalists. A couple of lessons:

  • Websites matter:  Many of the finalists have simple but very effective websites. This is no longer exceptional, but a basic requirement of doing business. Amongst the finalists are a couple of companies using free website services, and do not even have a unique domain name. The important lesson is that you do not need to have lots of money to get a website online. Almost all have links to social media sites, and many are actively engaged on these platforms.
  • Service matters: Anyone running a small business knows that costs of marketing is extremely expensive. Getting a couple of minutes of airtime on a popular radio show matters a great deal, as does the recognition that comes from being a finalist. The wonderful aspect of this competition is that it is customer driven and can have lasting impacts on your business. Last year’s winner Roof Rats, for instance has grown employment from 11 to 44 people,  and has expanded from a home business in a backyard Wendy House into a formal company with offices and a factory.

 
 

Technology Fast50 Africa Programme

Technology Fast50 Africa programme offers established technology companies an important vehicle to profile their business, and receive recognition for surviving and thriving in an extremely uncertain economy over the last five years. The competition is organised by Deloitte, with several companies partnering on this programme. The programme is billed as:

The Deloitte Technology Fast50 Africa Programme is the region’s most objective industry-ranking to focus on the technology field, recognising technology companies that have achieved the fastest rates of revenue growth in Africa over the past five years.

 

Why participate in Technology Fast50 Africa programme

 
The benefits of participating include:

  • Receiving industry recognition for achieving sustainable success over the last five years, a time which has seen economic instability and uncertainty; and
  • An abundance of free local and regional publicity and marketing; and
  • A boost in your company image to employees and clients; and
  • Recognition for industry sector and regional winners; and
  • An exclusive invitation to the winners awards ceremony; and
  • Automatic entry into the Deloitte Technology Fast500 EMEA, a ranking of the 500 fastest-growing technology companies in Europe, the Middle East and Africa over the last five years.

In an increasingly competitive space, being successful in this competition provides credibility to businesses seeking to expand.
 

Criteria

In order to be eligible for the Technology Fast50 Africa recognition, companies must:

  • Be in business for a minimum of five years (on or prior to December 31, 2008).
  • Have base-year operating revenues of at least USD 70 000 and a current year operating revenues of at least USD 500 000.
  • Have headquarters within the African continent (subsidiaries do not qualify).
  • Be majority owned and run by African citizens.
  • Own proprietary intellectual property or proprietary technology and it must be sold to customers in products that contribute to a majority of the company’s operating revenues.
  • Using other companies’ proprietary technology or intellectual property in a unique way does not satisfy this requirement. Consulting companies, professional service firms, resellers, and others are not eligible unless a majority (greater than 50%) of the company’s operating revenues is derived from product sales that incorporate the company’s proprietary technology, exclusive of related service revenue.

Start Ups?

We asked  Jonathan Houston, one of the leads in South Africa, if they had any intentions to consider small businesses and startups. The encouraging response from his was:

We are focussing on the established companies as at this stage we are not providing seed funding or cash investments to organisations. As the Fast 50 grows we would like to drive the entry criteria down to make the programme more inclusive; but at this stage we are only focussed on the established companies. We want to reward and recognise them for their efforts of surviving and thriving in the current economy.

It is thus important to continue following this initiative as in future years, the criteria may benefit those of us starting out. Nonetheless, it will be extremely useful to learn which companies qualify and to learn lessons from them.

More information

All the information you may need to enter this competition is on the Fast 50 Africa (Click Here)  .  Contact information for regional contacts are available, by clicking here.
 

Youth owned businesses receive R 2,7 billion funding

Youth owned businesses are exciting, but the chances of them becoming established businesses (i.e. in business and profitable after 36 months) are remote. As the debate has raged on whether to fund young entrepreneurs, or older entrepreneurs a range of opportunities have opened up for both. The latest opportunity  fund valued at R 2,7 billion and jointly funded by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and the small enterprise finance agency (sefa).
Details on the exact rules covering the fund are sketchy however several indicators on the direction are provided:
 

  • Loan finance: IDC chief executive Geoffrey Qhena says the corporation has set aside R1-billion at prime less 3% to fund youth-owned businesses that will create jobs. Similarly,  SEFA will provide loan finance for start-up and expansionary businesses contributing R1,7 billion.
  • Business support: The NYDA Chief Executive Khathu Ramukumba has indicated that they will provide pre-investment business support in the form of grants, mentorship, and access to their voucher programme.

To find out more about this funding opportunity, please contact the following organisations:
NYDA
Call centre: 0800 52 52 52
E-mail: info@nyda.gov.za
Twitter: @NYDARSA
Facebook: National Youth Development Agency
www.nyda.gov.za
IDC
Call Centre: 086 069 3888
E-mail: callcentre@idc.co.za
www.idc.co.za
SEFA
Call Centre: 086000 7332 (sefa)
E-mail: helpline@sefa.org.za
www.sefa.org.za
NYDA Cape Town Office
Shop P 18A Piazza
Golden Acre, Adderley Street
Tel: 021 415 2040
E-mail: stephen.curry@nyda.gov.za
IDC Cape Town Office
Suite 2817,
28th Floor ABSA Centre,
2 Riebeeck Street, Cape Town
Tel: 021 421 4794
Email: lizon@idc.co.za
sefa Cape Town Office
9th Floor, FNB Building,
2 Long Street, Cape Town
Tel: 021 425 6774
E-mail: violan@sefa.org.za

Shift Questions with Allon Raiz – 15% Discount

Raizcorp is one of the organisations doing amazing work supporting entrepreneurs. Their training materials are also amongst the best in the South African market. The new programme they are about to deliver is called ” Shift Questions”. Hosted by Allon Raiz, the one day workshop is meant to shift the way you think about your business. They are offering Zapreneur readers a 15% discount to attend the workshop if you book before the 31 August 2014.
shift questions with raizcorp