TechSmart Business News sponsored by the Huawei Global Developer Programme
HyperionDev, Southern Africa’s largest tech educator, announced the winners of their #ChangeWithCode scholarship competition this week. HyperionDev launched the competition to offer inspired South Africans the chance to share their great tech ideas, and win one of three coding bootcamp scholarships to the total value of R45 000 each.
Winners were chosen by a judging panel of top tech South Africans and pioneers in their respective fields: Wesley Lynch of Snapplify, David Torr of UCOOK, Justin Norman from The Flip Africa, Andrew Smith of Yuppiechef and Sam Wright @TechGirlZA. The panel had the tough task of deciding on the top three ideas to win this fantastic opportunity.
“It was really fun and inspiring to see so many great ideas and audacious individual participants,” noted Justin Norman, The Flip Africa. The competition saw nearly 100 valid entrants, with a plethora of forward-thinking ideas. “The competition has shown off the immense talent in South Africa and the hunger of both young and old to solve everyday problems with tech. It’s inspiring and exciting, especially at a time when innovation and creativity is so desperately needed to solve issues like unemployment,” says Riaz Moola, founder and CEO of HyperionDev.
The judges had to score out of five, on three criteria:
- Community impact – how powerful is the idea’s capacity for changing its community?
- Feasibility – how easily can this idea be created and implemented?
- Scalability – how well can this idea be extended to other communities, or include more features?
“The breadth of submissions has been incredible and spans everything from biodegradable drones to coding software for the disabled,” explains Moola. He says that the judges were given a list of the top 10 submissions to choose from.
Following a substantial amount of deliberation, the three official winners of the #ChangeWithCode competition are:
- Virtual education platform with gamification by John-Paul Robert Andrew aka @JPAndrew
A platform that uses gamification techniques to get learners hooked on the reward feedback loop which ensures they play more and therefore, learn more.
- Accessible credit scoring platform by Justin Swart aka @JustSwart
A platform that offers South Africans access to a credit scoring platform, which is fundamental to accessing affordable financial capital.
- Payment, chat and scheduling app for Metrorail by Regan Jansen aka @reganjansen33
Named ‘Trainbuddy’, the app hopes to alleviate the long queues for ticket purchasing and GPS tracking to see exactly where specific trains are located on the route.
“The top two ideas for me were the Metrorail App and the Education app. Both aren’t necessarily new concepts but they are concepts that I think we need in South Africa. I thought the Metrorail app was the best of the bunch and something that would make a difference in many lives. Just an online update on delays would go a long way. I thought the education via gamification app was clever and easy to execute as well,” said Sam Wright, @TechGirlZA.
Moola says he’s excited to award these scholarships to these three ambitious individuals and be part of their study and careers paths. All three candidates have the option to study on campus in either Johannesburg or Cape Town or correspond online.