The TownshipTech hackathon and pitch competition, hosted by the Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative, in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT), created an opportunity to shine the spotlight on innovative technology solutions from young entrepreneurs to everyday problems faced by people in our townships.
At the hackathon, about 40 creatives convened, collaborated and ideated and after a fierce round of competition, 6 finalists made up of technologists, entrepreneurs or innovators were named and competed in a final pitch competition yesterday at the Woodstock Bandwidth Barn.
The exciting battle took place as a hybrid event and was live-streamed from the Woodstock Bandwidth Barn on the Khayelitsha Bandwidth Barn Facebook page.
“The event was an amazing experience”. Says Fezeka Mavuso, General Manager at 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 throughout the pitch competition.”
After a tough and very close deliberation between the judges, including Ian Merrington from the Cape Innovation and Technology Initiative (CiTi), Bianca Mpahlaza from the Department of Economic Development & Tourism (DEDAT), Faith Kolala from the City of Cape Town, Charmaine Lambert from ABSA and Ndithini Tyhido from the Khayelitsha Development Forum, the winners were announced as follows:
For the Safety and Security theme, Team Tech Khaltsha, coached by Carrie Leaver from the Allan Gray Makers Programme, won R5000 and a 10-month Entrepreneurial Programme.
For the Reach of Services & Support theme, Team Basket, coached by Lara Rosmarin from CiTi won R5000 and a 10-month Entrepreneurial Programme.
For our Increased Connectivity theme, Team Cyberspace, coached by Tyrone Adams from Skywalk Innovations, won R5000 and a 10-month Entrepreneurial Programme.
Team Tech Khaltsha walked away with a further R5000 for winning the Pitch of the Day. They also won 3 months of co-workspace and a video production of their business or product to help them launch in the market.
Zandile Tlhapi, a team member of the overall pitch winners for the day, Team Tech Khaltsha said “Winning is amazing, we are really in need of the capital to move to the next level and get their business sorted with connectivity – this will help us get there.”
Carrie Leaver, Team Tech Khaltsha’s entrepreneurial coach that also won Coach of the Day, added “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.” Carrie was most impressed by their team cohesion and how efficiently they worked together. Team Tech Khaltsha complimented each other with their various skills and they were open to feedback and suggestions.
The Township Tech Pitch competition is a component of the TownshipTech project being run by the Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative for the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT). DEDAT’s Technology Ecosystem project is promoting the uptake of technology in the Safety-, Screen-, Financial-, Township- and 4IR-technology sectors in the Western Cape. Prizes for the finalists and the Pitch of the Day were proudly sponsored by ABSA.
“The Tech Township Hackathon is a fantastic initiative that shines a light on the incredible entrepreneurial ingenuity that is thriving in township communities all across our country. Absa is proud to support it and the young technologists as they look to solve critical challenges within their communities.” Andrew Davies, Digital Partnerships Ecosystem Lead at Absa Group.