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Township Tech hackathon stars revealed

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Team Tech Khaltsha walks away as the big winner of the Township Tech hackathon.
Team Tech Khaltsha walks away as the big winner of the Township Tech hackathon.

Following the battle to find tech solutions to some of the challenges faced by people in Cape Town’s townships, three entrepreneurial teams were crowned winners of the Township Tech hackathon.

Teams Tech Khaltsha, Basket and Cyberspace walked away as winners, with Tech Khaltsha also winning the “pitch of the day” prize.

An initiative that aims to showcase township tech, the hackathon is a component of the Township Tech project being run by the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi) on behalf of the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism.

It focuses on developing and supporting township technologists and technology solutions in the Western Cape capital city.

Communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams recently lauded hackathons as the ideal way to find tech solutions toaddress service delivery challenges and build what she has termed as a “fourth industrial revolution capable army”.

This year’s Township Tech hackathon focused on three main themes, namely safety and security, reach of services and support, and increased connectivity.

Initially, 40 creatives participated in the hackathon. After a fierce round of competition, six finalists were named and competed in a final pitch competition, which took place as a hybrid event at the Woodstock Bandwidth Barn.

For the safety and security theme, Tech Khaltsha, which was coached by Carrie Leaver from the Allan Gray Makers Programme, won R5 000 and a 10-month entrepreneurial programme.

Team Basket, which was coached by Lara Rosmarin from CiTi, was crowned winner of the reach of services and support theme, winning R5 000 and a 10-month entrepreneurial programme.

For the increased connectivity theme, team Cyberspace, coached by Tyrone Adams from Skywalk Innovations, also won R5 000 and a 10-month entrepreneurial programme.

Tech Khaltsha also walked away with a further R5 000 for “pitch of the day”. The team also won three months of co-workspace and a video production to help launch their business in the market.

“The event was an amazing experience,” says Fezeka Mavuso, general manager of the Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn. “The contestants were excited and they all worked hard to achieve results for their projects. The coaches were dedicated to assisting the teams and ensuring they reach their full potential.”

Zandile Tlhapi, a team member of Tech Khaltsha, states: “Winning is amazing; we are really in need of the capital to move to the next level…this will help us get there.”

Tech Khaltsha’s entrepreneurial coach Leaver adds: “The experience with the overall pitch competition winners was an absolute pleasure. The team was utterly dedicated to their cause as well as to their existing business. They had great communication and time management skills when it came to building their project.”

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