SBC AfriTech to host corporate-focused hackathon for startups in Joburg

Featured image: Paul Scott via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Is your startup looking to run pilots or proof of concepts with the likes of Old Mutual, RCS, BNP Paribas Personal Finance, Nedbank and PwC ?

Startupbootcamp (SBC) AfriTech will on 2 and 3 May run a corporate-focused hackathon in Johannesburg. SBC AfriTech said in a statement last week that the hackathon will be hosted by Old Mutual.

The aim of the hackathon is to enable startups and scale-ups to directly engage with corporates. Attendees of the hackathon, SBC AfriTech said, have the potential to lead pilots or proof-of-concepts with the relevant corporates should they be able to demonstrate that their solution is valid and relevant to the challenges posed.

For the hackathon, SBC is seeking later stage startups and scale-ups that already have products on the market

Commenting in the same statement, Old Mutual head of strategic partnership and alliances Anton Kleingeld said the firm is “delighted” to host the hackathon and looks forward to an exhilarating few days.

“Our support of SBC initiatives reflects our commitment to building a growing ecosystem of partners that will help us to deliver innovative solutions and sustainable financial well-being for our customers and the broader community,” added he added.

Kleingeld said that Old Mutual is particularly excited to work with scale-up firms that can rapidly help to solve Old Mutual’s existing problem standards.

He explained that in the organisation, it is vital that the company builds a portfolio of early-stage startups across a variety of sectors.

“This certainly creates value for our customers and our business, not only over different time horizons, but also across various elements of our value chains,” said Kleingeld.

The hackathon will focus on four target areas or themes, namely:

  • Big data, dashboards and predictive analytics
  • Healthtech. sensors and health data analytics
  • Process automation and simulation
  • Retailtech, augmented reality, computer vision and sensors

Startups or scale-ups with solutions solving any of the target areas will be given an opportunity to work directly with the key business stakeholders and technical gatekeepers from SBC AfriTech corporate partners Old Mutual, RCS, BNP Paribas Personal Finance, Nedbank and PwC.

At the event, Amazon Web Services (AWS) will set up a secure development environment to protect data sets the code brought to the event.

Each corporate partner will open selected data sets particular to the target areas and hackathon attendees will rapidly adapt their existing products or solutions in order to demonstrate how it could solve the challenges for the corporate partner and their customers.

SBC AfriTech programme director Nsovo Nkatingi said the accelerator is looking particularly for later stage startups and scaleups that already have products on the market.

“These solutions should be products that can be quickly modified to solve for the specific challenge areas. It is important to note that there are no costs or obligations for the participants, so it’s truly a dream opportunity to showcase your innovative tech directly to key stakeholders,” explained Nkatingi.

SBC AfriTech co-founder and CEO Philip Kiracofe said over the last three years, the accelerator has helped its corporate partners develop their internal capacity to engage with market-ready disruptive startups and scale-ups.

He explained that the hackathon’s four themes were chosen because they represent clear and immediate challenges. He added that accelerator’s partners will be bringing datasets and API’s to the hackathon for testing.

“SBC is constantly experimenting with new ways to help corporates expand their boundaries and we are very excited for this latest demonstration of corporate startup collaboration,” he said.

Those looking to register for the event can do so here.

Featured image: Paul Scott via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)



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