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Johannesburg, South Africa

Hackathon Hack Jozi Challenge

An annual competition for start-up entrepreneurs located in Johannesburg.

In South Africa, the development of ICT is seen as a lever for improving productivity and green growth in an urban environment. In 2014, Johannesburg council launched a hackathon to elicit innovative ideas in digital formats to resolve the challenges of the city.

It is a capacity-building programme to support the creation of jobs and entrepreneurial development, particularly of small businesses. The ten winning participants are selected following a competition during which they have access to mentoring, technical support and networking. The first prize is 1 million rand (almost 70,000 euros); the following two are 350,000 rand each.

This initiative grew in partnership with the University of Witwatersrand (Wits), the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) and Seed Academy business school.

Lessons learnt

By creating the opportunity of a hackathon event and emulation by seed funding, the city of Johannesburg helped revitalise the local ecosystem of start-ups.


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