CV Labs Africa has announced its partnership with the University of Johannesburg for an inaugural three-day innovation bootcamp and hackathon event. Competing teams will highlight the capability of African youth who are building tomorrow’s future today.
As Africa further showcases its ability to teach the rest of the world about the true use cases for blockchain technology, the eager and willing participation of the continent’s education leaders and its students is evident.
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The winning team called “Hackchain’, a team of first-year business information technology students, devised an innovation for the healthcare industry focusing on disease screening.
Nineteen qualifying teams were tasked with identifying and tackling real-world African problems using blockchain technology. Participants focussed on creating new and viable solutions to increase the accessibility and inclusivity of healthcare, digital finance, fundraising, education, food sharing, and many other industries on the continent.
With blockchain technology as an enabler to improve socioeconomics, the UJ Innovation Hackathon encouraged participants to efficiently harness the potential of blockchain to elevate industries, income, and well-being.
Gideon Greaves, managing director of CV VC Africa and CV Labs Africa, said, “CV Labs is committed to encouraging creativity and ambition to drive South Africa’s blockchain technological capabilities and thereby bring about a positive impact on the nation. The hackathon results are inspirational. Projects exceeded expectations regarding how the participants achieved consensus and stellar working concepts. The presented ideas and solutions illustrate what can be achieved by the continent.”
The 200 participants at the UJ Innovation Hackathon collaborated 24/7 over 3 days, enhancing their technology and business skills. The hackathon was further supported by QuidPro, Binance, Polygon, and Geekulcha.
Under the guidance of mentors and masterclasses given by speakers and panellists, which included ConsenSys, FTX, QuidPro, 3air, The Delta, Standard Bank, Launch Africa Ventures, CV VC, and many other pioneers, participants were exposed to the exciting world of blockchain technology. The presence of many supporting founders, such as those from African start-up Sodaworld, reflects the ethos of CV Labs which is by founders for founders.
“Hackchain” received the grand prize – incubation consulting services to prepare the team to apply for CV Labs Africa’s three-month incubation programme. Other prizes included “swag” from sponsors, graphic design resources, grant application consulting to Polygon Village, and trading capital from Binance.
The hackathon is an example of the many projects CV Labs Africa has initiated to develop and enhance the country’s blockchain talent.
“Hackathons are an exchange of creativity, growth, and ingenuity between different skill sets. This was evident in abundance throughout the three days at UJ. We have witnessed many global hackathons, but this one was special to us as it proved that there is an abundance of deep commitment and determination to succeed unlike anywhere else right now,” said Douglas Webster of Binance.
Reaching unicorn status
Janade du Plessis of Launch Africa Ventures added, “What’s interesting for me is that the time it takes African companies to reach the unicorn status is decreasing at a faster rate than the global scene.
Michael Jordan of Polygon described hackathon a portmanteau that combines the words “hack” and “marathon.”
He said, “The ‘hack’ in hackathon means a clever way of doing something in a better way rather than the often scary connotation of hack/breaking in. Ironically, most hackathons are often where developers devise ways to prevent unauthorized computer or data access. Over the past days, we have witnessed the power of humans to code in a way that will transform not just the security of data but the core of how data valuation and validation can create endless solutions to old-world problems of mistrust.”
The University of Johannesburg’s Technopreneurship Centre was commended for creating such an educational and engaging event for its students. The students that participated in the hackathon did so with pride, passion, and tenacity.
Ronny Mabokela, head of the Technopreneurship Centre at University of Johannesburg said, “The Technopreneurship Centre is an ideation and innovation hub where industries’ most pressing unresolved challenges can be addressed, researched, and solved by our students.
“With support from exceptional academics in collaboration with industry partners, such as CV Labs Africa, Geekulcha and those who sponsored the blockchain innovation hackathon. Over the three days, we observed the enablement of our student’s entrepreneurial mindset and what amazing solutions they have innovated when embracing new-age technologies such as blockchain.”