Joburgers love to complain, if it’s not about load shedding or traffic, it’s about the potholes or city billing issues. Well, here’s your chance to do something about the city’s problems. The #Hack.Jozi Challenge wants to pay you for your ideas that will turn Jozi into the city that we all want to live in.
Zolani Matebese, the head of broadband at the City of Johannesburg, explains “Your digital solution to a problem in Jozi could be the ticket to launching your start-up. With prizes valued at R5 million at stake, the #Hack.Jozi Challenge wants to find the most innovative digital ideas to enrich the lives of the people of Joburg.”
You don’t need to have technical experience, but this is an opportunity to formulate partnerships. #Hack.Jozi may assist you to find tech partners but it is important to have those skills to move forward to the next round, should your idea be selected. Application takes the form of a YouTube video and online application form. The deadline for entries is 6 March 2015.
Issues that can be addressed include everything from access to healthcare to affordable education. “If you have an idea about how you can use technology to help your community, we want to hear from you,” says Matebese.
The #Hack.Jozi Challenge is an initiative between the City of Johannesburg and the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) at Wits University. Award winners will leverage IBM’s Bluemix, a cloud-based platform which is an open-standards platform for building, managing and running apps of all types such as web, mobile, big data and smart devices, provided as-a-service in the cloud.
Matebese continues, “The #Hack.Jozi Challenge is a boot camp for start-up entrepreneurs and our aim is to contribute towards fostering skills, innovation and entrepreneurship in the broad area of digital technology,”
Applicants can be individuals or teams, must live in the Johannesburg area and have a valid South African ID. Government employees are not eligible. The deadline for submissions is Friday, 6 March, which will be followed by a strict pre-screening to be conducted by a technical team. A committee will select the winners.
The winners will be whisked away to Jozi’s digital hub in the heart of Braamfontein, where they will have access to various resources, mentors, advisors as well as partners to make their vision of helping their community a reality. This will also entail a month long process of intensive business training, technical hackathons and a demo day where the winners will be required to demonstrate their business value proposition.
Once selected, award winners will receive membership to Jozi’s digital hub plus a cash amount. Technical support and mentorship will also be provided. The final award winners will also receive one year free hosting credit for their business applications from IBM.