Local Clothing Brand Goes Big In Japan

Updated on 19 July 2017

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Today's Top Entrepreneurship and Business Stories (19 July)
Holmes Brothers, the Afrocentric surfer style menswear brand that originated in Durban, has successfully launched in Japanese retailer The Freak’s Store. The Bros, as the brand is affectionately known in Durban, enjoyed a knock-out launch at the flagship store in downtown Tokyo, with Holmes Bros garments selling out within a week.

Holmes Bros grew out of a love for the ocean and the South African community. Founders Gary and Laurie Holmes are active Durban surfers which is where their inspiration comes from. According to the company, it aims to avoid the mainstream and mixes a classic surf approach with vibrant tones that shout ‘Africa’ from the rooftops. All Holmes Brothers garments are 100% locally-made in South Africa. In addition to their apparel, they also produce a range of surfboards.

The brand’s entrance into Japan began when The Freak’s Store contacted the brothers and expressed interest in the offering. Laurie explains, “They had researched us, the history of our brand and they knew more about us than we do. It was a real pleasure to work and hang out with such smart, refreshing, and enthusiastic people.”

Gary comments on the trip, “We arrived at their flagship store in downtown Tokyo at about 2pm and it was chaos from the word go. We sold more than half the stock in one afternoon. Every customer wanted their picture taken with us and wanted us to sign catalogues, stickers, and their t-shirts that they had just bought. Japan had not seen anything like Holmes Bros.”

Holmes Brothers also has its own store in Marseille, France and supplies independents in France and the UK, proving that SA fashion has plenty of appeal in the international arena. For local shoppers, there are Holmes Bros stores in Cape Town (Lifestyle Centre, Kloof Street), Johannesburg (Rosebank’s the Zone) and in Durban (La Lucia Mall and Water Crest Mall) and Holmes Bros gear is also stocked online and in select independent stores throughout South Africa.

The Holmes Bros are now working on a range with The Freak’s Store for the summer of 2018 and their Japanese agent Kaori, is about to launch a Holmes Bros website specifically for Japan.

Startup Tel Aviv South Africa Names Best Startup
Multifractal Semiconductors has been announced the winner of the 2017 Startup Tel Aviv South Africa, an Israeli startup initiative geared towards SA entrepreneurs.

The startup won an all-expenses paid trip to Israel to participate in the Tel Aviv DLD festival, meet angel investors, and learn from leaders in the startup ecosystem in Israel.

Ambassador Arthur Lenk welcomed guests and finalists to the event which took place at the Innovation Hub in Pretoria.

“This is the fourth time we found South Africa’s best startup via our Start Up Tel Aviv South Africa contest. Israel is proud to add value to the local startup ecosystem and share some of Israel’s startup nation culture,” he said.

Multifractal Semiconductors was created by Nishant Singh and Piotr Osuch in a research group at the Carl and Emily Fuchs Institute of Microelectronics at the University of Pretoria.

It is a startup that has developed complete transmission systems on a silicon chip. These systems will increase efficiency and throughput and will be an enabler of the huge amounts of data that will be transmitted in the future.

“We are so grateful to win this amazing opportunity. South Africans can benefit greatly from the Israeli ecosystem and we look forward to creating partnerships at the DLD festival in Israel and learn from other entrepreneurs from all over the world,” said Singh.

The runner-up was Aerobotics and third place went to Nibit.

InsurTech startups Stand To Win Big In 2017 Startupbootcamp InsurTech FastTrack Tour
European accelerator programme, Startupbootcamp will be giving young InsurTech startups the opportunity to engage with industry experts and showcasing South Africa’s entrepreneurial talent at the third Startupbootcamp InsurTech’s FastTrack. The event will be taking place on 14 August and 17 August 2017 in Johannesburg and Cape Town respectively.

FastTrack days are a series of events hosted all over the globe by Startupbootcamp, where startups are given an opportunity to present their insurance technology-related business idea to the Startupbootcamp InsurTech team and industry experts. FastTrack sessions are open to innovative early stage startups specialising in insurance related areas: virtual and augmented reality; blockchain; artificial intelligence and machine learning; internet of things and wearables; drones and robots; cyber security; data analysis and big data; life science and genome; MedTech and digital health; and customer experience.

Startups can expect one-on-one mentoring sessions with local industry experts in the insurance, investment and entrepreneurship industries who will answer questions and provide startups with real, life-learned advice on how to improve products, services, business models as well as pitching skills. After the FastTrack tour, Startupbootcamp InsurTech will select 10 startups to take part in a three-month intensive insurance acceleration programme in London.

Successful startups join the watch list, an opportunity to be selected for the Startupbootcamp InsurTech accelerator programme as well as:

  • Extensive mentorship from 400+ entrepreneurs, investors, and partners
  • Access to top markets in London, Europe, and Asia-Pacific
  • Three+ months’ free office space
  • €15K in cash per team
  • €450K+ in partner services
  • Invitation to Startupbootcamp global alumni network

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