Launched in January 2021, fourteen teams comprising of 3-5 participants worked on developing innovative solutions and concept models aimed at solving operational challenges faced by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMES).
Following the announcement of the top three teams in March, the youth developers were involved in the incubation component of the programme conducted by TheNeoHub. The programme entailed learning sessions with industry experts on various aspect of entrepreneurship and technology dedicated to assisting the young innovators prepare for the world of entrepreneurship. The industry experts came from various parastatals including Local Enterprise Authority, BOCRA, CIPA, and Intellegere Holdings. The training was conducted over a period of 5 weeks and entailed a weekly bootcamp.
“Digitisation is inevitably changing business models, and as a Bank, we are proud to have the opportunity to be an active player and partner in supporting the dreams and aspirations of our youth in the technology space. As an organisation committed to digitally led economic and educational development, it is great to see the local tech community come together and build on their creative ideas. We are constantly looking for digital solutions and ideas to transform and revolutionise our industry as well as support young talent to pursue their ideas,” said Keabetswe Pheko-Moshagane, Managing Director, Absa Bank Botswana Limited.
Subsequent to the incubation programme, the top three teams competed for the ultimate prize and presented their solutions to a panel of esteemed judges. The winners were announced at a virtual event graced by His Excellency, President Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi on 3 September 2021.
“Growing the information and communications technology (ICT) sector remains one of the Government’s focus areas. It is pleasing to see entities such as Absa Bank Botswana commit to supporting and promoting the ICT sector. Your continued efforts in supporting local communities especially the youth are commendable. To all the Hackathon finalists, I hope that you will grab this opportunity with both hands and make the most of it. Take this moment to learn new things and improve yourself and your communities,” said Masisi.
The winners were:
First Place – Team Innovatium (P50 000)
- Botshelo Brandon Tidimalo
- Nametso Matenge
- Onthatile Matswilbilili
Second place – Team BSSR (P30 000)
- Arnold Kesaobaka Kgabi
- Kitso David
- Isaac Leatile Kgabi
- Oratile Masinki
Third Place – Team Code Brewers (P15 000)
- Koketso Morapedi
- Thabang One Saakane
- Stillwell Tshepang Jacob
The first place will also receive a development and maintenance contract of P 100,000. All the finalists have also been provided with laptops, UDEMY licenses for one year, and the necessary equipment to enable reliable internet connectivity.
“Thank you, Absa Bank Botswana, for creating this great platform for young Batswana to showcase their talents. We are proud to be announced as the winners and to have been a part of such a great platform. We are excited and look forward the opportunities that lie ahead,” said Botshelo Brandon Tidimalo, Team Innovateium
“We are deliberate and purposeful in recognising and understanding the needs of our communities. Our purpose is to bring possibilities to life; to help communities dream and aspire to change their lives. We remain committed to implementing innovative projects that bring a positive impact in our communities as well as deliver shareholder value.” Concluded Pheko-Moshagane.