What would you do with $10 000?

It’s not something that we’ve had to worry about, but it is now on the minds of three Wits University students, who were recently awarded the sum as a prize for their solution in SITA Air Transport Community Foundation‘s local competition.

Conducted in conjunction with the Tshimologong Precinct here in the Johannesburg CBD, the trio of Jules Ntumba, Tso Mello and Fiona Ndlovu won for their solution that targeted 50-year-old first time travellers to Africa.

Their group, called Team One Exceptional, sought inspiration for their idea as older travellers often have a more difficult time finding their way around new areas than their younger counterparts.

“Young people don’t usually have difficulties navigating around an airport, but an older, potentially illiterate traveller will experience challenges. It gets more difficult for them because they are not as tech-savvy as younger people. Our research showed that in Africa one out of three people above the age of 50 can’t read and we wanted to cater to them,” noted Mello.

As for what’s next for the trio, they’ll be using their share of $10 000 (~R134 740) to begin their own startup company.

They have not gone into detail as to what the company will do, but given their respective backgrounds, it could be in the aerospace field as all three recently receivied their BSc degrees in Aeronautical engineering.

Team One Exceptional were not the only ones to be recognised by the SITA Air Transport Community.

“Due to the high-caliber of ideas submitted for the competition, SITA decided to award two additional prizes for the runner ups,” said Dr Lerato Masisi, lecturer at Wits and one of the judges for the competition.

The other teams to be acknowledged where Team Ava (Alice Yang, Sean Morrow, Linda Khumalo and Muhammed Chand) and Team Wits Elites (Rachel Mohlomi, Nqobile Mhlanga and Takatso Molekane), with each team getting a cash prize of $1000.