Parenting app wins SA childhood development hackathon

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Parenting app Nappi Daddy emerged the winner from the Hackathon for Early Childhood Development (ECD) in Cape Town over the weekend, walking away with ZAR10,000 (US$750) to further the app’s development.

The hackathon was organised by Western Cape startup support network Silicon Cape and social innovation fund Innovation Edge, and took place at the SA Innovation Summit.

The winning app, developed over 24 hours, was NappiDaddi, an app that looks to encourage fathers to be more involved in the early care of their children.

Designed with the game-loving, tech-savvy millennial father in mind, NappiDaddi challenges users to perform various childcare tasks, after which they are rated on their performance by the child’s mother. Fathers can move up the leaderboard and get bragging rights on their accomplishments on social media.

Team member Kanya Msila told Disrupt Africa the team – all members of which are farmers – was excited to win the hackathon and would use the prize money for further development.

“The app is so good because it was made by fathers. That made it to be relevant to us, we understood as fathers what is needed in the app, we shared our ideas very well to come up with the good app,” he said.

“There is an intention to launch the app, our intention is to have the minimum viable product within six months. One of the things we would like to test is how best to make it available in the market.”

Second place was taken by Music Garden, a mobile app designed to incorporate the power of music into the early development of young children, while 4 Musketeers was third with its digital solution to stimulate caregivers and practitioners.

Programme leader of the Innovation Edge Sonja Giese said she believes the advances in technology offer exciting possibilities for addressing challenges within the early learning space.

“We are excited by all of the solutions offered up the participants at the #SAISHack and we are encouraged by the creative thinking being applied in the space of ECD,” she said.

“Silicon Cape has been involved in hackathons since 2012. We have seen traction and integration between communities and it highlights new ways to come up with innovative solutions to specific challenges. The #SAISHack focuses on early childhood development which is a cornerstone topic that South Africa currently faces. We hope to enable, connect and inspire the next generation of hackers in critical thinking,” said Silicon Cape vice president Lianne du Toit.

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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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