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Winning hackathon entry curbs cell tower battery theft

25 November 2019 News

The fourth annual TADHackJHB was held at MTN’s head office in Fairland, Johannesburg, on 12 and 13 October, with a cell tower protection app emerging as the winner.

The theme for the 2019 global TADHack was ‘Localised and Contextualised – Battle of the Bots’, in which participants were required to develop technology solutions to address challenges facing communities in South African townships. A duo calling themselves ‘#1632’ pocketed the prize of $1000 (approximately R15 000) for their winning solution CharOn, which allows individuals to report suspicious activity within the vicinity of cell towers. If the app collects enough data of the same case being reported, authorities will be notified.

“Hackathons such as the TADHack serve as an invaluable incubation hub where innovative and scalable solutions that address some of the socio-economic challenges are created. At MTN, we are proud to provide young people with the platform to showcase their creative talent and to leverage the power of technology to develop home-grown solutions. We believe that by supporting initiatives such as TADHack, we are contributing positively to the growth and development of the app development industry, and we are positioning our youth to play a meaningful role in the Fourth Industrial Revolution,” said MTN’s executive: Information Technology, Phinda Ncala.

The submissions were evaluated by a panel of judges with industry experience. This year’s edition attracted 200 participants, making TADHackJHB the largest location globally with a high number of participants who submitted 47 projects vying for the top prize.

TADHack runs simultaneously in more than 30 locations and encourages young creative minds to build solutions to problems using telecoms and other application programming interfaces (API).

According to statistics from Hackathon.com, the largest online hackathon community worldwide, 5636 public and internal hackathons were organised in 2018 globally, nearly 40% more than in 2016. Hackathon.com noted that 64% of hackathons in 2018 were public hackathons where companies tap into the expertise of the developer and startup ecosystem. The organisation also found that other industries are beginning to realise the importance of hackathons as sources of innovation.

“This format is gaining more popularity as 18% of financial services institutions, 17% of manufacturing and 16% of retail companies ran internal hackathons this year (2018), as they are profiting from using internal expertise to foster intrapreneurship and boost cross-team collaboration to develop business solutions in order to remain competitive and improve overall working processes,” Hackathon.com noted.

For more information visit tadhack.mtn.co.za




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