Bandwidth Barn News & Discussion Board

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Google visits the Barn …..

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A few months ago, a representative of Google paid a visit to the Bandwidth Barn. Evaluating whether or not to start a Google incubator in Cape Town, the first stop was the Barn. A few entrepreneurs and some of the Barn and the CITI’s (Cape IT Directors) Directors sat in on the informal chat one Friday afternoon. Cape Town has seen many innovative companies launch successfully, thus the need for a visit.

The talks were interesting, ranged from what the barriers to entry were for most entrepreneurs to the usual “where can we find funding” topic. The Google representative posed many interesting questions which the panel could answer.

Will anything happen as a result of this visit? Who knows? What we do know is that Cape Town is becoming a hub for entrepreneurs and the Bandwidth Barn was (and continues to be) an enabler, by offering various development programmes to entrepreneurs which help develop businesses.

If you have an idea or have a business and need some guidance on where to next, contact us. We have various programmes on the go as we speak, targeted to you specific needs. Visit our website – http://www.bandwidthbarn.org or email ansi@bwb.org.za for more info.

In other news,  The Bandwidth Barn was featured in the ITWeb for the possiblity of creating an Angel Fund. The fund would revolve around control the finances, monitoring company performance and protect investors’ monies. Sounds amazing. Now to make it happen. Watch this space.

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Benefits of incubation (and mentorship) ….

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This word “incubator” sounds complicated, or does it? Taking the literal meaning “incubator: apparatus consisting of a box designed to maintain a constant temperature by the use of a thermostat; used for chicks or premature infants” source: Princeton University, we can apply it directly to a start-up business:

“apparatus consisting of a box” the Bandwidth Barn office space

“designed to maintain a constant temperature by the use of a thermostat” the mentors and peer-facilitation sessions held at regular intervals

“used for chicks or premature infants” businesses in idea phase or start-ups

Bring it back to business, what are the benefits of starting your business in an incubator?

  1. Incubators encourage the development of new businesses and foster local development.
  2. Incubators help entrepreneurs create new businesses from innovative concepts and technologies, and in the process create new jobs and opportunity.
  3. An incubator environment facilitates the development of a business from creative technology or idea, to innovation and commercialization of a product or service and, ultimately, to market success.
  4. More than 80 percent of incubator graduates stay in their communities and continue to provide jobs and support to their region.

But the most significant benefit of starting out in an incubator, is the support you will be surrounded with. Mentorship and resource support is available to the tenants of the incubator. It adds a new dimension to your new business having a mentor who can guide you through the starting phase. It also helps having someone give you a push when you need to get out of the rut or become despondent.

If you’re considering starting a new venture, consider going the incubator route. Not only will it save costs, but it will help you network your business in the time it needs it most.

For more info, visit our website or contact the Barn on 021 409 7000.

We’re back and ready to roll with our 2010/2011 business development programmes

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We’ve been scarce on the blog front as we draw the 2009/2010 programmes to a close, in preparation for the 2010/2011 round. If you’re not sure what this entails, here is a summary:

The Bandwidth Barn hosts various business development programmes over a six-ten month time-frame focusing on the ICT Industry. This year, we have opened the programme up to accepting Design Industry applications as well. The programmes start this month (July) and will run until early next year.

Types of progammes available are (previous programmes completed are listed below):

ACCEL: 2009 – The Bandwidth Barn
For start up businesses, refining a financial and operational strategy that identifies KPIs that take the business forward.

VELOCITI: 2007, 2008, 2009 – The Bandwidth Barn
PEERPOWER collaborated with CVP to create an integrated and focused training and mentoring program for early start up businesses.

MY BUSINESS GROUP: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 – The Bandwidth Barn
We have successfully run this programme for the Bandwidth Barn every year since 2005 and have assisted over 80 ICT business owners to think strategically about their business , focusing on their results and being held accountable for achieving those results.

WOMEN IN ICT: 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 – The Bandwidth Barn, The Cape IT Initiative, Innovation Hub.
The forum provides a platform for women building ICT businesses to share resources, network, discuss specific issues they face and deal effectively with challenges.

PEER ADVISORY BOARD: 2007, 2008 – Nokia Mobile Leaders Society
PEERPOWER was contracted by Nokia through their Mobile Leaders Society to provide a Peer-to-Peer mentoring forum where business people create deep relationships with other business people and assist each other in achieving their key objectives.

There are a few spaces available for business owners/freelancers in the Design Industry, if you need support, then apply today! It takes five minutes to complete the application (http://filesocial.com/827fkgs) which should then be emailed to Ansi (ansi@bwb.org.za).

Even though these programmes are free to you, it is made possible by the Bandwidth Barn’s fund raising expeditions from various private and government sources.

Visit our Facebook page and view the comments from past delegates and feel free to leave a comment as well. We love hearing from you. Please feel free to engage with us via Twitter or comment on various articles we blog about. Should you have any queries regarding any of the programmes, please visit the PEERPOWER website or contact Ansi on 021 409 7000.

Good luck! BWB Editor

PC Shipments Drop For First Time Since Dot Com Crash

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For the first time since the dot-com bust of 2001, the PC market will see a contraction in unit shipments in 2009, according to a new report from research firm iSuppli.

The research firm blames falling IT spending and plunging desktop computer sales — shipments of which are likely to decline by 18.1 percent, or to 124.4 million units from 151.9 million units in 2008. Overall global PC shipments for 2009 are expected to decline by 4 percent, to 287.3 million units, from 299.2 million units in 2008.

“An annual decline in unit shipments is highly unusual in the PC market,” said Matthew Wilkins, a principal analyst with iSuppli.

“Even in weak years, PC unit shipments typically rise by single-digit percentages. The last decline — in 2001 — was a 5.1 decrease in unit shipments due to the extraordinary impact of the dot-com bust, which caused inflated IT spending levels from the previous years to collapse,” Wilkins continued.

iSuppli includes entry-level servers in its definition of PCs, and units shipped are expected to fall by 9.5 percent, from 7.7 million in 2008 to 6.9 million units in 2009.

However, notebook ships are expected to rise by 11.7 percent, to 155.97 million units — up from 139.6 million units in 2008. Netbook numbers, in particular, are expected to climb.

“Mobility is winning out in the PC market,” said Wilkins. “Businesses and consumers continue to embrace notebook PCs because of the benefits of mobility and the near-equal performance and feature set. This is cutting into desktop PC shipments.”

Tightened IT budgets, however, are “hitting desktop and server sales particularly hard,” he continued.

While 2009 numbers will ultimately be weak, compared to 2008, iSuppli expects an improvement in the third and fourth quarters. The firm expects second quarter 2009 PC shipments, which it is now correlating, to be just 0.1 percent above first quarter numbers. In the third quarter, however, shipments are expected to rise by 11 percent, and in the fourth quarter 8.9 percent.

In iSuppli’s global PC shipment forecasts going forward, 2009, with its -4.0 percent annual percentage growth (APG), completes the bottom of the slump. APG for 2010 is expected to be 4.7 percent, with 2011 crawling to 6.3 percent and 2012 to 7.0 percent.

http://www.eweekeurope.co.uk/news/pc-shipments-drop-for-first-time-since-dot-com-crash-1389

Written by bandwidthbarn

July 17, 2009 at 6:37 am

Posted in General

Ensuring A Product Lives Long After A Start-Up Dies

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As the number of start-ups shutting down continues to grow, consumers are wary of investing their money and time on products and services that have the risk of being discontinued. So how does a start-up ensure customers that its product will live on if the company doesn’t?

Read full article:  http://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2009/05/13/ensuring-a-product-lives-long-after-a-start-up-dies/

Written by bandwidthbarn

May 14, 2009 at 8:26 am

Posted in General

ITWeb :FNB banks MXit

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[ Johannesburg, 12 May 2009 – First National Bank (FNB) and MXit have teamed up to release a mobile banking solution geared towards more than 13 million youths. The bank’s customers will now be able to purchase MXit Moola for themselves and others, using cellphone banking.

“As the youth is becoming more aware of cellphone banking and the ease of using virtual credits, like Moola, we’ve focused our attention on the banking sector,” says MXit CEO and founder Herman Heunis.

Read full article:  ITWeb :FNB banks MXit

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Written by bandwidthbarn

May 12, 2009 at 6:25 pm

Posted in General

ITWeb :Ministers who impact on the ICT sector

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[ Johannesburg, 11 May 2009 – Apart from communications there are a number of other cabinet ministers who will have some impact on the ICT sector as their departments either control large IT budgets or are responsible for formulating policy that does. These include Public Enterprises, Public Service and Administration, Science and Technologyand Trade and Industry…

Read full article:  ITWeb :Ministers who impact on the ICT sector

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Written by bandwidthbarn

May 12, 2009 at 6:16 pm

Posted in General