Hackathon aims to inspire socially impactful solutions – ITWeb

Western Cape-based digital initiative Silicon Cape, in partnership with the US Consulate General Johannesburg, is calling on innovators and creative thinkers to hack for tech-driven solutions to address the rising climate change challenge.
This, as the organisations mark the fourth and final instalment of the Building Community Hackathon series under the “Changing Climate Change” banner.
In a statement, Silicon Cape says the hackathon, taking place virtually on 19 and 20 March, will allow participants to meet industry experts, and come up with innovative and socially impactful digital solutions to prevent and combat climate change in South Africa.
In addition to the hackathon, a virtual boot camp will take place from 22 to 25 March, for participants to learn more about prototyping, design thinking, sustainability and pitch practice.
Silicon Cape co-chairperson Dr Sumarie Roodt says: “Hackathons such as this help change the lives of real people, through finding solutions to real problems. Climate change continues to have an effect across the world, and we hope to see solutions that can tackle its impacts in Southern African communities. The hackathons are great ways to develop skills, and mental models, which they can apply in other areas of their lives.”
Silicon Cape is a non-profit organisation that connects tech entrepreneurs, developers and creatives with angel investors and venture capitalists.
The ecosystem enabler has developed initiatives that help minority group-led start-ups to become an active part of the tech sector in South Africa.
Emerging software developers, IT professionals, civil society organisations, academics and professionals in relevant fields of climate change and technology are encouraged to take part in the hackathon.
Participants will pitch their ideas to a judging panel on 26 March, and the team with the winning solution will have access to funding, mentoring and the infrastructure to make their idea come to life.
The winning team will receive R25 000, with the runner-up receiving R15 000. There will also be spot prizes of R5 000, says the statement.
Silicon Cape will help bring the winning team’s solution to life as they’ll have access to developers, angel investors and venture capitalists.
The winning team will have access to the low-cost, easy-to-use infrastructure needed to scale and grow, through the Amazon Web Services (AWS) activate programme.
This includes $10 000 worth of AWS promotional credits, valid for two years; AWS business support valued at $5 000, valid for up to one year; and a solution architect technical white-boarding session.
Consul general Vincent Spera, based at the US Consulate General in Johannesburg, notes: “Millions of people have been and will be adversely affected by climate change. This hackathon will raise awareness about the choices that individuals can make to contribute to the slowing down or even reversal of the effects of climate change.
“As Nelson Mandela said, ‘may your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears’. We look forward to the solutions that the participants will offer to help citizens make positive choices that benefit the environment.”
To participate in the climate change hackathon, click here.
To register as a climate change and/or technical expert to provide mentoring skills, click here.

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