Hackathon crowns titans of township tech

13 May 2022 in Where We Govern

A month-long battle to come up with solutions for local challenges saw four teams crowned the winners at the online Township Tech Hackathon, an initiative from the City’s growth coalition partner, the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi).

The platform aims to ignite innovative solutions and promote industry growth while exposing new businesses to potential investment opportunities.

‘It is because of organisations such as CiTi, which receives funding from the local government, that Cape Town has gained a reputation as Africa’s start-up capital. Through initiatives such as the Hackathon, we engage young tech entrepreneurs who come up with bright ideas for the unique challenges of people in our communities,’ said Alderman James Vos, the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Growth.

The Hackathon started on 1 April 2022 and participants were given the opportunity to solve problems in three categories with a specific focus on how to apply them in township environments.

These categories were: Open Innovation, FinTech/Commerce and EdTech Solutions, with a bonus category for the EdTech Pitches. Selected finalists then attended three entrepreneurial workshops and mentorship sessions to prepare them for the pitch competition on 6 May.

Winners were judged on the effectiveness of their solution, how easily it can be implemented, and the overall utilisation of tech creativity to support the product. The prizes were: R20 000 for the winner in each category and R10 000 for the runner-ups, while the Pitch of the Day round winners bagged an extra R10 000. Each participant also received R2 000 for their pitch, extra business mentorship and a promotional marketing video for their businesses.

The Young Innovators Movement bagged the top spot in the first category for their product, Me2You, which addresses the problem of food wastage in South Africa. The group also won the Pitch of the Day.

Team Basket e-Commerce won the second category for their app, which aims to connect informal traders directly to fresh produce farmers.

Team Intlantsi were hailed the EdTech solution winners for their Intlantsi Tech Learning product, which seeks to offer users an opportunity to learn in the language of their choice.

inOgital took the gold in the bonus EdTech Pitches category for their solution that addresses the digital divide by focusing on the pillars of software, upskilling of educators and hardware.

‘Through the ideas of community-based entrepreneurs, real solutions can be found for some of the most pressing challenges.

‘Very well done to all the winners and every team that participated. It is wonderful to witness these Capetonian tech gurus putting their experience, community knowledge and ingenuity to creative use. As a City, we are proud to again support the TownshipTech hackathon and the various other initiatives from the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative that helps us to develop the leaders of tomorrow,’ said Alderman Vos.