Ten finalists have been selected for the 2016 version of the #Hack.Jozi Challenge, with the digital solutions to problems in Johannesburg-based communities facing off against each other for up to ZAR1 million (US$64,000) in prize money.
Over 400 applications were received for the #HackJozi Challenge, a bootcamp for startup entrepreneurs launched last year by the City of Johannesburg and the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) at Wits University, and now being mirrored by the City of Cape Town.
These were narrowed down to a field of 100 earlier this year, with the field now cut to the last 10. Judges will decide which aspiring business will win the ZAR1 million top prize, while two runners up will win ZAR350,000 (US$24,000) each. The winners will be announced on Thursday, May 19.
The finalists include find-a-tutor mobile app Tuta-Me, screen-time issue solver TimeWize Parental Control, online marketplace Mensch, edtech solution LCERT, laundry service Spotless and financial advisory platform Advicement.
The list is completed by due diligence portal DUEPROP, building planning platform eSubmit, multiple choice marking system Gradrr, and smart locker designer TechnoVera.
Ravi Naidoo, executive director for Economic Development for the City of Johannesburg, said the organisers had been overwhelmed by the number and quality of entries for the #Hack.Jozi Challenge.
“The 2016 shortlist of 10 finalists is an impressive list of young people with new and innovative ideas in the digital arena. After a rigorous process that has been playing out over the past six weeks, we now have 10 superb businesses which have fought through three rounds of the competition and have been judged on the technical feasibility of their venture, scalability and the wow-factor,” he said.
“We are also pleased to see that other government agencies such as the City of Cape Town and the Department of Water and Sanitation have taken a cue from the City of Joburg to embrace the digital era in their environments and encourage technology innovation as a way to address relevant problems and promote entrepreneurship.”