mLab Southern Africa hosts MTN Challenge


The first part of the MTN Challenge took place at mLab Southern Africa in Johannesburg yesterday, introducing the three beneficiary projects selected to develop an application to mobilise parts of their initiatives.

The three projects chosen – each of which will be assigned a team of five young developers and designers – are breast cancer awareness non-profit Pink Drive, youth empowerment platform Love Life and youth development cooperative Diepsloot Kasi Hive.

The event was opened by MTN South Africa Foundation senior health manager Angie Maloka and was followed by presentations from each of the projects, with developers and designers then randomly placed into teams for the hackathon, which takes place on November 14-16. During the hackathon the teams will start building apps for their assigned projects, afterwards entering the mLab accelerator programme for one year to take the apps to market.

“This is a great collaboration that brings together an industry leader like MTN, existing high impact projects and talented and skilled youth to build mobile service extensions. Mobile is a powerful medium to increase the reach and impact of social projects like Pink Drive and Love Life,” said mLab Southern Africa chief executive officer (CEO) Derrick Kotze.

“We also help create three new youth-owned businesses. This is open innovation in action with impact at every level so in the end everyone wins: the network, the change agent, the user and the developer.”


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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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