Red Bull Basement 2020 seeks innovators

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C4Me creators, Siphamandla Mqcina and Philanjalo Ndlovu
C4Me creators, Siphamandla Mqcina and Philanjalo Ndlovu

Red Bull Basement 2020 is open for entries. The competition is seeking student tech innovators who want to make a positive impact on their campus, and potentially the world.

The programme, originally launched in 2015, is expanding to more countries, encouraging young entrepreneurs to look at all aspects of campus and community life and imagine creative ways to do things better.

Red Bull Basement aims to tear down one of the greatest barriers to innovation: passive

acceptance of “it’s that way because it’s always been that way”.

The programme provides resources such as mentors, workshops and networking events, both online and on participating campuses. These activities all lead up to the Red Bull Basement 2020 Global Workshop, where thought leaders, entrepreneurs and visionaries from around the world will support students from more than 35 countries in bringing their ideas to life.

To enter, currently enrolled university students aged 18 and older need to visit the Red Bull Basement website and upload a 60-second video that communicates their idea. Public voting will take place from 26-29 October.

The top-voted ideas from each country will make it to the judges’ round. A panel of judges will then select the best idea to represent each country, based on creativity, feasibility and impact. Each country’s finalist team will then further develop their idea – with access to workspace and some funding – prior to the Global Workshop. Previous Global Workshops were held in Berlin and Toronto. This year’s Global Workshop format will be unveiled soon.

Last year in Toronto, Siphamandla Mqcina and Philanjalo Ndlovu represented South Africa. The Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) students developed a solution for the visually impaired, C4Me.

The idea for the project came when someone who was visually impaired walked into Ndlovu and Mqcina on campus, leading them to consider how technology could help. C4Me’s mapping system will use sensor data and voice to help the user navigate and can warn them of obstacles.

To participate in Red Bull Basement 2020, visit and upload your video.

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