Cash to tempt SA developers

2013-06-11 13:00
Google's Android mobile operating system has grabbed three out of four smartphones sold in the world in the first quarter of 2013. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Google's Android mobile operating system has grabbed three out of four smartphones sold in the world in the first quarter of 2013. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Local developers are being offered cash prizes for their ideas as companies race to innovate on technology platforms.

IBM, Nedbank, Deloitte Digital South Africa and Tech4Africa have partnered to offer developers R35 000 prize money at events dubbed Developer Days (or DevDays).

Developers will have to demonstrate their skills at solving real-world problems in a short space of time.

"This initiative will manifest in a challenge that will see the winning contender walking away with R35 000 in cash compliments of Nedbank," said the organisers.

The days will be held in Johannesburg at Deloitte Digital in Woodmead on 19 July and in Cape Town at the Bandwidth Barn on 26 July.


Organisers said that participants can expect that the competition will be a test of their abilities.

"Developers can expect the problem set to include tech which requires a mobile frontend using HTML5, Android app and/or feature phone; a web based backend with a web datastore; and messaging API’s which do push and pull requests."

There is a R250 entrance fee and this includes a discount of the same amount to the Tech4Africa conference in SA.

Several organisations have set up incubator hubs in SA, most notably BlackBerry, in recent times.

Incubator hubs are focused on delivering technology solutions that cater to the emerging African economy.

"We believe in the great market opportunity of investing in start-ups targeting emerging market Africa. South Africa is the biggest and most developed market in Africa with high number of high net worth individuals who will be key for funding early stage mobile web start-ups in Africa," 88mph managing director Kresten Buch told News24 about the need for local incubators.

He hinted that funding start-ups is an expensive exercise but it has big payoffs if a few companies are successful.

"My goal is to hit about 50 investments by February next year. Then I will look at the portfolio to ascertain if this model is working for me. Initially I have set aside about a $1m for this very early stage funding."

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