Thu. Jul 2nd, 2020

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Capitec To Host First-Of-Its-Kind Hackathon In SA

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South Africa’s leading digital bank, Capitec Bank, is hosting a first-of-its-kind hackathon to source dynamic tech solutions for a post-COVID-19 South Africa. As a pioneer in tech and innovation, the bank is creating a platform to formulate solutions with the country’s biggest thinkers. The virtual hackathon will take kick off from Monday, 29 June with a live stream. South Africans are encouraged to take part by visiting the online portal. Teams will be mentored by top tech innovators, with a grand prize of R100 000 for the winning solution.

Francois Dempers, Innovation Manager at Capitec, says, “This initiative focuses on finding new tech and new talent to help solve many of the collective challenges we’ll be facing post-COVID-19. South Africans are famed for our ingenuity. We want to harness this to foster the collaborative creativity required to help our people live better in the aftermath of this pandemic.”

Dempers says business unusual is the new normal. “We know the world is going to be changed by COVID-19. This is about Life 2.0. Adapting in smart ways with intelligent, tech-led solves. For us, it’s about providing a platform to let our brightest minds lead the way. The solution does not need to be banking related and all intellectual property remains that of the inventors.”

This is a hackathon with a difference. The event is limited to ten teams of up to five members each. To enter, teams need to demonstrate a functioning tech solution – but not everyone on the team needs to be a developer! Dempers says the bank is looking for curious minds across all sectors of society, “We want innovators and entrepreneurs. Artists and philosophers…” The solution can benefit any facet of society – it doesn’t need to be limited to the banking industry. 

Teams will be mentored by some of the best in tech, including Baratang Miya, CEO of GirlHYPE; Annette Muller, founder of FlexyForce; Charl Greeff, Head of Engineering at One Day Only; Stuart Ntlathi, founder of the Stuart Ntlathi Science, Engineering and Technology Institute; Tumi Sineke Head of OfferZen Foundation, Luvuyo Rani Founder of Silulo Ulutho Technologies and Francois Dempers, Innovation Manager at Capitec.

From the start of the hackathon, teams will have 21 days to develop their concepts, with daily feedback from their mentors. On Friday, 10 July, the teams will pitch their solutions to the judging panel, with the winners announced on 17 July.

Dempers concludes, “We urge you to enter! If you have a solve to a collective challenge that we’ll all be facing post-COVID-19, we want to hear from you! This is your moment to make a serious impact. Capitec is committed to making life simpler and better for all South Africans. We are proud to be bringing the country the first ever hackathon of this nature. COVID-19 will change life in ways we have yet to predict. This is one way we have chosen to give back. We believe it has the potential to make a massive difference and to unite us at a time when we all need to come together.”

To enter, teams need a computer; webcam and mic; and fast, stable internet connection. Teams can enter by emailing hackathon@capitecbank.co.za, with a description of the team, the motivation behind entering and the big idea.

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