Windhoek-With the aim to stimulate innovativeness and creativity amongst young software developers and future entrepreneurs in Namibia, Standard Bank in collaboration with the Namibia Business Innovation Institute (NBII) and other sponsors challenged bright minds to come up with an app that will aid in solving the housing shortage amongst low to no-income communities in the country through a Hackathon competition, affectionately re-phrased ‘App-a-thon.’
From the 6th to 11th of October, seven teams consisting of 43 students were tasked with developing an app that would assist in raising awareness and funds for the bank’s flagship Buy-a-Brick initiative, benefitting the Shack Dwellers Federation of Namibia to build more brick houses for the less fortunate.
Over the course of three days the youngsters bravely applied their minds and talents innovatively to challenge each other to create and present their app prototypes in front of a panel of judges. This was followed by the top three teams presenting their app applications to the chief executive of Standard Bank Vetumbuavi Mungunda and Professor Pio Lumanga, NBII caretaker and director of Innovation Design Lab at the Namibia University of Science and Technology.
The overall winning team was Code Masters that scooped the grand prize of N$20,000. The 1st runner-up went to Team Money that won N$15,000 and the 2nd runner-up was Team Mean Syntax that walked away with N$7,500.
After viewing the presentations, Mungunda expressed his excitement and gratitude to the youngsters for having put so much work and effort into the initiative.
“I am really pleased to see the thinking behind and potential outcome of what this can do for Namibians. Through Buy-a-Brick we are currently building 60 houses a year, and with these innovative ideas we can scale it up to 1,000 houses a year or even more. One of the biggest challenges in Namibia is housing, which is a real social challenge in our country. I am really passionate about people growing and I encourage you to take your learning forward to make us greater and better people. Winning is about learning and skills,” said Mungunda.
NBII’s caretaker Professor Pio Lumanga expressed his gratitude to Standard Bank for engaging with young people by harnessing their innovative potential in the bank’s Buy-a-Brick initiative
“The ability to deliver a tangible result or solution is what I think a character of a good entrepreneur is and we need to harness this innovative potential. It is all about teamwork, leadership and the ability to learn from each other,” said Lumanga.
The Hackathon which took place at NBII’s facility in Windhoek brought together the following participating teams: Team Mean Syntax, Team Code Bridge, Team Code Masters, Team Cylon, Team Pay Coding Academy, Team Money and Team House Coders.