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Startup Digest News: Johannesburg - Issue #3

Issue #3 — View online — Suggest a link

The personalized insider newsletter for all things startup in Johannesburg.

A key event in the SA startup ecosystem is the SA innovation summit. This event was technically a Cape Town event but it was accessible online. I wasn’t sure if I should list the CT events in here as well but after thinking about it, I realized that there are going to be many events that are technically not Johannesburg-based but accessible to anyone because many are still online. So I’ll probably start including those events in here if they are big enough or of interest to the larger community.
In other news, there’s been a lot of buzz around the Startup Act proposal in South Africa. The event was held earlier in the month and if you want to know more then you can head over to
According to the site, it is “…essentially a component of policy or legislation that aims to make it easier for startups to establish, grow and scale.” More regulation comes with both pros and cons, so feel free to join and add your voice to the conversation. With a few acquisitions and the growing number of incubators/matchmaker/investment readiness products out there, it would be prudent to get some of these structures in place. Feels like everyone is starting some incubator-type programme. I’m all for helping entrepreneurs get access to great mentorship and the skills needed to grow their startup but it also opens the doors for a lot of scam artists trying to take advantage of startups. Be careful and remember that there is a lot of good AND free information out there. Y-combinator, Techstars, 500 global(as they are rebranded), and a number of other startup organizations make tons of information available. That being said, good mentorship is more than just a youtube video or article link. Before joining any programme, do your homework, get reviews, etc. It’s your company after all.
Like before, I’ll also showcase or share about a local startup to provide a spotlight on local products in the market. Not all news has to be about who has raised a round and how much they have raised, sometimes just learning about a product that is adding value to the market is good enough news to share. However, since I didn’t get the time to get in touch with one of the startups I wanted to feature, I’m going to use one of the products I was part of. So easy to interview yourself as well. :)
But before that, here are some of the events that to consider. 

Raising Capital | Howler
Expanding Your Business Internationally - 22 On Sloane
See Paystack Presents: Honest conversations on the challenges of building a startup at Startup Grind Johannesburg
Startup: Tribe Rewards
What is it?
Tribe rewards is a digital wallet to store your loyalty and rewards cards on your phone. Created in South Africa for South Africans and free to use, the app helps keep your wallet a little lighter and clean up your phone so you don’t need an app for every loyalty card/rewards program you join. 
How does it add value to the market?
There are a lot of loyalty and rewards cards out there. A lot of organizations are taking too long to go digital and for many, having to download yet another app for a digital card you rarely use is not very practical. Tribe lets you scan in your physical cards or capture custom digital ones into your phone. This can then be presented at the till, no more having to do the loyalty card shuffle trying to find the right card at the till. This can also be used to scan in your vouchers that use a barcode.
Are there other apps like this?
Yep, the most popular is probably Stocard. Stocard is great but its focus is shifting towards payments in the European market and US market. While these options won’t be available in the SA market, it means the app’s focus does not serve the local landscape. Tribe is purely focused on the local market and thus has a much faster experience compared to apps with features that you will not use. Besides this, Tribe’s user experience can go toe-to-toe with these larger brands and it doesn’t hurt to support local. How else will we get the hero’s of the SA tech scene if we don’t start supporting them?
Where is the app available?
You can get it on the google play store or on the App Store. Or visit
How can this community help support the product?
One way is by using the app. If the app is adding value to you then it’s likely to add value for others, so share the app and get others to use it. Don’t be afraid to try local products, there is a lot out there to be proud of.
Techstars Startup Digest Johannesburg is curated by:
Jarrod Jarrod
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