Over 100 people have been chosen to participate in a two-day #HackJozi Challenge training and mentorship bootcamp, bringing them one step closer to the R1 million grand prize.

More than 400 entries were received for the City of Joburg-lead entrepreneurship competition, which aims to source and fund outstanding ideas that can make the city a better place.

“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 city’s Executive Director for Economic Development, Ravi Naidoo, said in a statement. “The excellent response shows us that our people have great digital and technology ideas. It is important to support accelerating them into viable enterprises.”

Applications for the second edition of #HackJozi opened in February, with calls for entries in the following categories:

  • General
  • Public spaces/tourism
  • Smart infrastructure
  • Economic development

According to the City of Joburg, 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,” Naidoo added.

From tomorrow until Friday, the group will have a training and mentoring session. Thereafter, the 20 semi-finalists will be chosen to go through the next round.

The winner, along with two runners-up will be announced on the 19th May.

“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,” Naidoo said.