Google South Africa has announced the winners of the Google Impact Challenge South Africa.

The competition kicked off in May where Google called on non-profit organisation to submit ideas that solved societal problems using technology. For their efforts, non-profit organisations could stand to win up to $250 000 in funding from Google.

“Many African innovators are doing great work with real impact and Google is keen to shine a light on their work, and also give a financial boost to their projects and ideas,” Google South Africa’s head of public affairs and communications Mich Atagana said.

As many as 1 300 non-profit organisations entered the competition. This number was whittled down to just 12 finalists which were selected by a team of Google partners and Googlers.

Google then allowed the public to vote for the idea they thought was best. On Wednesday evening all 12 organisations pitched their ideas to a panel of judges who voted on which non-profits should win. The organisation with the most public votes won the People’s Choice award.

The four organisations that won $250 000 are:

  • Corruption Watch: BUA MZANSI – An online interactive website to enhance public participation and transparency in policing.
  • Gradesmatch – A platform to serve as a comprehensive career guide, designed to map career data for learners, parents and teachers/mentors to help them make well-informed career decisions.
  • RLabs Zlto Digital Platform – A mobile and blockchain platform that tracks and incentivises positive behaviour in youths.
  • People’s Choice Award: MeMeZa Shout Crime Prevention – Bringing safety to vulnerable people through a Public Community Alarm System

The eight runners up which will receive $125 000 in funding are:

  • Clothes to Good – Helping mothers of children with disabilities to find financial independence in a green eco-system via clothing recycling.
  • GreenFingers Mobile – A digital solution to enable small and emerging farmers to access the market.
  • hearX Group – Ears and Eyes for Education (3E) – an mHealth supported community-based programme.
  • mLab CodeUp! – Matching coders to community startups to build prototypes and gain practical work experience.
  • Quirky 30 NPC – Quirky 30 provides free training in technology skills that are most in demand in the marketplace today (coding, design, cloud, entrepreneurship)
  • Saide’s African Storybook initiative – An offline app to create and publish illustrated digital African storybooks with young children.
  • The Makerspace Foundation – The MakerSpace offers tools, technology, training and physical work space to enable people to make things that improve the world around them.
  • The Youth Employment Service – A business-driven collaboration with government that offers a disruptive approach to South Africa’s youth unemployment challenge.

The funding will be allocated in tranches which will be assigned when an organisation reaches a predetermined milestone specific to its venture.

The winners and runners up also receive support from Google.

Congratulations to the winners and runners up, we hope to see your organisations grow from strength to strength.