Township tech innovations provide real-world solutions

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Team Captured created a social and business networking mobile app.
Team Captured created a social and business networking mobile app.

Following a three-day online hackathon to shine the light on township tech solutions, three top-performing teams emerged as the winners of the challenge, held by digital innovation hub Africa Beyond 4IR (AB4IR), in collaboration with Liquid Intelligent Technologies.

Winning teams – Captured (first place), Ubunifu (second) and My Universe (third) scooped the top three awards, taking home R15 000, R10 000 and R5 000 respectively for their innovative digital solutions.

The objective of the hackathon, which took place in April at the Tshwane South TVET College, was to encourage the youth to participate in finding solution-driven technologies to solve current challenges and enhance digital entrepreneurship in the townships.

Captured developed a social networking application that incorporates more than one media platform into one – a social and a business-focused platform. Ubunifu created a mobile app that enables content creators to upload their content, increasing their visibility on the platform and connecting them with brands. The My Universe app connects users to artisanal and professional service providers.

“We were impressed by the energy and depth of knowledge of the participants. They showed dedication, and we are proud of the outcome and potential showed by all participants,” says Ben Roberts, group technology and innovation officer at Liquid Intelligent Technologies.

“It was amazing to interact with and unleash raw talent as they sought to craft new solutions to grow the creative industry and foster creativity in township communities.”

The event attracted a pool of more than 250 registrants, from which 20 participants were chosen and separated into groups to participate in the challenge.

Katlego Matshwi, one of the members of team Captured, says: “This event was an exceptional learning platform for me. It allowed me to interact and collaborate with brilliant like-minded innovators to develop solutions that could have a positive impact on growing the creative sector and contribute to the economy. I believe that anyone who wants to find viable solutions for the creative industry, or any industry problems, should participate in the AB4IR hackathon.”

“We are proud to be one of the few digital hubs in Gauteng to host a hackathon for digital innovation, particularly looking at advancing the creative industry,” says Kelebogile Molopyane, CEO of AB4IR.

“Initiatives such as these foster engagement and collaboration between students, professionals and institutions, to develop innovative and cost-effective real-world solutions and enhance more collaborations in the creative industry. The hackathon initiative focused not only on the current challenges in the creative industry, but it also focused on developing solutions for the future.”

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