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07/04/2016: Countdown to find Jozi’s top three digital entrepreneurs begins
07 April 2016
Well over 400 aspiring tech-preneurs have submitted their original digital ideas that they believe will make Joburg a better city for the 2016 #HackJozi Challenge. Of these, some one hundred contestants have been selected and are undergoing the first training and mentoring leg of the challenge. 

The #Hack.Jozi Challenge is a boot camp for start-up entrepreneurs that was launched by the City of Johannesburg and the JCSE (Joburg Centre for Software Engineering) at Wits University for the first time last year.

The first chapter of this initiative in 2015, which is now being mirrored by the City of Cape Town, showed how entrepreneurship in the broad area of digital technology can be identified and unlocked by providing meaningful support. In turn, employment and economic opportunities in the City are created.

Ravi Naidoo, Executive Director for Economic Development for the City of Johannesburg says 53 ideas representing teams including 109 people have been selected from the 414 entries. “Over 40% of the entries we received seek to promote economic development in our city; some 22% are ideas around smart infrastructure; 5.5% relate to boosting our public space and tourism offerings; and 30% of the entries are in the general category of the challenge.”

The participants now undergo the playoffs which will select 20 teams, then the final ten and ultimately the top three will be selected.

The first prize is R1-million and there are two runners-up prizes of R350 000 which will be managed by the JCSE together with a business mentor to ensure the prize money takes the winning idea beyond startup into a lucrative enterprise.

Says Naidoo: “We called on the tech-savvy people who live, work and play in the City of Joburg to submit their ideas for using technology to improve our city. The excellent response shows us that our people have great digital and technology ideas. It is important to support accelerating them into viable enterprises.”

“It is extremely encouraging to see how the #HackJozi Challenge has escalated in popularity since its foundation last year. We look forward to measuring over time how many jobs and economic opportunities are created as a direct result of this intervention.”


Note to editors

The time-line for the #HackJozi Challenge is outlined below:
• 8 - 9 April 2016 Training and mentoring (100 selected entrants)
• 16 April 2016 Playoffs (20 candidates selected out of 100)
• 20 - 21 April 2016 Mentoring (20 candidates)
• 23 April 2016 Hackathon (10 ideas selected)
• 25 April to 13 May Demonstration days of ten finalists’ ideas
• 19 May 2016 Final announcement - top three winners

• Visit:
• Twitter: @HackJozi
• Facebook:
• Watch a video clip about the Hack.Jozi Challenge
• Photos are available here:
o Mayor of the City of Joburg Parks Tau, Ravi Naidoo Exec Director for Economic Development City of Joburg, Prof Barry Dwolatzky director JCSE and winner of the #Hack.Jozi Challenge 2015 Desmond Mongwe, MoWallet
o Prof Barry Dwolatzky director JCSE
o Ravi Naidoo, Exec Director for Economic Development City of Joburg
o Winner of the #Hack.Jozi Challenge 2015: Desmond Mongwe, MoWallet

For more information, please contact:

Michelle K Blumenau
Turquoise PR & Marketing Communications
T 011 728 5004
C 083 273 9891
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Last Updated on 07 April 2016