Virtual Hackathon Challenge winners announced

The University of Johannesburg’s Technopreneurship Centre partnered with the Pan African Information Communication Technology Centre (PAICTA) to host a virtual Hackathon Challenge that took place on 28 November 2020.

The official winner of the Hackathon Challenge, Young Innovators Tech presented a cutting-edge interactive solution that won the judges’ vote. 

 Winners announced for the Hackathon Challenge hosted by UJ’s Technopreneurship Centre and PAICTA

The university students who participated in the Hackathon Challenge were separated into 13 groups of five to eight participants each. The students were instructed to create a tech-driven innovative solution to solve challenges within the agriculture sector. 

Students were mentored by experts in the related fields of study to fine-tune their innovations and design process. The 13 groups presented their innovative solutions to a panel of judges.  

In an official press release, Mr Sonwabo Mdwaba, President of PAICTA comments that the students who participated in the Hackathon Challenge provided hope for the future of digitisation in Africa. 

“The high level of thinking and the professionalism that went into presentations by the students serve as a reassurance to PAICTA that the digital future of Africa is in good hands.”

The winners

Young Innovators Tech’s team of innovators presented an interactive solution to the judging panel and displayed a vast understanding of the problem statement they were given in which they had to solve. The winning team also successfully identified the needs of the market. 

Prizes that were issued to the winning teams were from Software AG, Siyafunda CTC, Mecer, Huawei, and Deviare. All students that participated in the Hackathon were offered free training courses from the CISCO Networking Academy

Charity Ruvurashe Chichichi, a second-year student in BSc in Information Technology in Computer Science and Informatics, was awarded the title of the best female hacker for originality in thinking.

The Rising Star award was awarded to Tinashe Makamure, a BEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering Science student.

Yoosuf Haffejee, fourth-year BSC Computer Science and Informatics student, won the GeekHack Star for demonstrating creativity and innovativeness in answering the questions of the judging panel.

Mdwaba explains that the participants of the Hackathon Challenge will be considered for future competitions.

“We are going to keep the details of all the students who participated on our database for consideration for entrepreneurial development. We will prepare them to enter an idea for a competition early next year, where the winners will have an opportunity to present their idea or prototype to potential investors.”

Some of the winning ideas presented by the participants will experience incubation to assess viability for potential commercialisation. The incubation process aims to build students into potential entrepreneurs before they complete their studies.

Ronny Mabokela, Head of the University of Johannesburg’s Technopreneurship Centre explains that the students of Africa are displaying high levels of potential. 

“The success of this Hackathon is a demonstration of the power of collaboration, and more importantly, the amazing potential that we have in the country. These young people have proved that they are ready to disrupt the marketplace.”

Some of the students that participated will be given the opportunity to undergo incubation to build on their idea and prepare for future commercialisation.

Read more: UJ Technopreneurship Centre hosts Hackathon Challenge
Read more: FSAT Labs to host incubation programme in 2021

Featured Image: Christina Morillo via Pexels



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