It’s that time of the year again, where we celebrate the best of South Africa’s startups. Each year, Heavy Chef casts the net out for nominations on who we believe to be the most exciting young businesses in the country. Across all sectors, whether it’s finance, education, bio/med, agriculture, e-commerce, AI, machine-learning, VR, product, logistics or software, we’re looking for your thoughts on who you think is going to change the world.
Three fintech startups have received a boost of R23 million in supplier development loans from AlphaCode, Rand Merchant Investment Holdings (RMI)’s incubation, acceleration and investment vehicle. Zande Africa and Bright On Capital have been associated with RMI for some years now and have been awarded R10 million in supplier development loans each, while Livestock Wealth has been granted R2 million.
Last week, the newly-hatched Heavy Chef Foundation collaborated with Nedgroup Investments to bring one of Silicon Valley's brightest stars to South Africa. Niket Desai started his first company in college and sold it to Google before his 25th birthday. Niket now presides over a $120b fund for the University of California. In this fascinating interview, Heavy Chef CEO chats to Desai about the early days of startup life to the heady period of rapid scaling.
Niket Desai is a poster child for the international entrepreneur spirit. At just 30 years old, he has already lived the life that only the new generation of business superstars can. Niket sold his startup Punch’d to Google, the worked at FlipKart, as Chief of Staff and Product, where he presided over one of the fastest growing companies in India’s history. Now, Desai will appear on stage at Heavy Chef, with Valter Adão, Head of Deloitte Digital in Sandton on the 11th of July.
Kinay Ventures is a Dakar and Abidjan-based innovation and investment platform, co-founded by two inspiring African entrepreneurs, is coming to South Africa. Kinaya Ventures is donating The Heavy Chef Guide to Starting a Business to 160 emerging entrepreneurs in Khayelitsha. Find out how you can get involved by attending one of the meetups, in Cape Town and Johannesburg, in June 2019.
With the Cape Town Coffee Festival around the corner, we were excited to remind you of Heavy Chef’s favourite barista, Sikelela Dibela. His story is a special one. Siki used to be a lead trainer for Vida e Caffe in London, then decided to return to his home - a poverty-stricken township of over two million people outside of Cape Town, South Africa.
Are you an African startup looking to grow your business on a larger scale? Moka Smart City is inviting you to participate to their first ‘Grand Challenge’, targeting African startups. Moka Smart City Mobility, the organisation behind this challenge, aims to make entrepreneurs aware of business opportunities within the green mobility space. Based in Mauritius, Moka Smart City is launching the Grand Challenge in order to identify start-ups that can offer smart, eco-friendly solutions.
Heavy Chef, in partnership with Nedgroup Investments and Xero, recently hosted the master of scale, all the way from Silicon Valley, Gabriel Luna-Ostaseski. Gabe has invested in over 30 Silicon Valley companies and was one of the original consultants to Uber in their early days of starting up the business. Gabe founded Modernize, which became one of the fastest growing companies in Silicon Valley, and now heads up Upshift Partners, a Venture Capital firm that invests in high impact startups. In an exclusive masterclass for Heavy Chef community members, Gabe taught us the secrets of scaling a business/project, and it turns out most of us have been doing it wrong the whole time.
If you were able to attend the Heavy Chef ‘Scale’ Masterclass with the legendary Gabriel Luna-Ostaseski on Thursday 6 December, I’m sure you took note of how important storytelling is. Talking to Fred Roed, founder of Heavy Chef, Gabe emphasised on how delivering a compelling narrative leads to successful storytelling, which then leads to sales. Luna-Ostaseski was one of the early consultants at Uber and was instrumental in creating the ‘Uber Rush’ programme, which led to Uber’s legendary growth over a short period of time. Luna-Ostaseski shared 8 core modules/steps that result in a compelling narrative when followed attentively in sequence.
The FUTURE HAMBURG AWARD provides international startups with the opportunity to benefit from the city’s thriving digital scene and to expand their European business. Startups with a focus on digital business models can submit their applications until 5 January 2019. The winning teams will gain access to one of Hamburg’s most exclusive coworking spaces for up to six months.
2018 has been a tumultuous one, in the the entrepreneurial sector. We have seen several startups grow from concept pitches into well-respected brands in their fields and others shutter their doors. To celebrate the achievements of a long, hard slog of a year, on the 1st of November, Heavy Chef and Nedgroup Investments opened a public poll for nominations of SA’s Most Exciting Startups of 2018, and the response we received was outstanding. The event on Tuesday 4th December 2018 at Workshop17 to showcase the winners was even more outstanding.
Last week, accelerator programme AlphaCode, awarded entrepreneurial packages valued at R16 million to eight of South Africa’s most promising financial services startups. The entrepreneurial packages consist of R1 million in grant funding and R1 million in support, which includes mentorship, monthly expert-led sessions, exclusive office space in Sandton, marketing, legal and other business support services - as well as access to the broader RMI network. Click to read more about the eight winners.
Sikelela Dibela is a regular Heavy Chef contributor and participant. Since he was young, Siki has been passionate about contributing to an empowered and integrated community in his hometown, Khayelitsha in Cape Town. Two years ago, he was able to bring this ambition to fruition through creating a coffee culture, which served to unite people around their love of coffee. Now, Siki is set to take the next step of his entrepreneurial journey.
The Grindstone Accelerator is a structured entrepreneurship development programme that assists high-growth innovation-driven companies to become sustainable and fundable. Grindstone supplies 10 companies annually with knowledge, networks and funding readiness through growth measurement, gap analysis and deep interventions designed to build a foundation for growth, transfer skills, create relevant business networks and enable these companies to take advantage of market access opportunities. Click to learn more and how to apply to the Grindstone Accelerator Programme 2018.
When starting a business, there are a host of basic legal mistakes to avoid. By identifying, recognising and avoiding these mistakes, you can avoid the common stumbling blocks that so many young businesses fall over. Heavy Chef identifies the 8 biggest traps that entrepreneurs continually get caught in - you can't afford not to scrutinise this list (3 minute read).
Heavy Chef CEO, Fred Roed talks to Joffy Senekal, the entrepreneur behind 1 For The Road. Joffy spent over 20 years in the liquor industry working with the world's best-known brands, He then took a decision in 2010 to leave it all behind to start 1 For The Road, a project close to his heart after having spent decades at networking events where alcohol was on tap and available in abundance to everyone in attendance.
On Thursday 14th December, entrepreneur community platform ‘Heavy Chef’ and Huawei Mate10 Pro revealed SA’s top 5 most exciting startups as nominated by industry peers. The keynote speaker on the evening was Silicon Valley’s ‘Unicorn Whisperer’ Zach Coelius, who also led a business Masterclass earlier in the day.
In this seminal talk from 2009, serial entrepreneur Vinny Lingham, one of South Africa's best business personalities, took to the Heavy Chef stage to share his views on how to raise funds for an online business. Vinny relates his story of the website building business Yola.com and how he generated the startup capital to make the venture one of the fastest growing in its category.