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UJ hosts successful Blockchain Innovation Bootcamp and Hackathon


With the common goal of enabling enterprise blockchain adoption, UJ Technopreneurship Centre (TPC) in partnership with QuidPro and Crypto Valley Venture Capital (CVVC) hosted the first-ever 3-day blockchain innovation bootcamp and hackathon event at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) from the 20 – 22 July 2022.

The largest Blockchain Innovation Bootcamp and Hackathon in South Africa brought together 200+ students, investors, innovators, developers, experts, decision makers, and academics under the theme “Harnessing the power of blockchain technology through various industry applications” with the support from many other ecosystem partners.

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The winning team Hackchain, a team of first year Business Information Technology students (Caleb Diba, Sabelo Ndlovu, Edson, Madzinga, Kundai Mhandu) from SCiiS were declared the grand prize winner for developing a healthcare solution industry focusing on disease screening (HIV, STIs/STDs) globally.

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The second prize was taken by team FINTR, engineering student (Elijah Djan, Danei Rall) who developed a gaming app that focuses on financial literacy.

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The 3rd prize winner was team Bug Busters which consist of 3rd year Business IT students (Heritier Kaumbu, Zwivhuya Nyambeni, Kenan Kasongo, Surprise Ngoveni, Sanah Rasethaba, Malebo Moleleki, Philiswa Mkhuzo, Tsholofelo Mokheleli, Tsholofelo Mokheleli, Kyle Manganyi) who developed a medical system called DecentraMed which will improve the healthcare conditions in the country.

The event was sponsored by international organisations such as Binance and Polygon which are to date the biggest role players in the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology space.

Hosting this innovation bootcamp and hackathon is in line with the strategic objectives of the College of Business and Economics (CBE) which is to ensure excellence in research and innovation as well as excellence in teaching and learning management.

Ronny Mabokela, Head of the Technopreneurship Centre said, “First, I would like to thank our sponsors, partners, students and mentors for their support and participation. This year’s blockchain innovation bootcamp and hackathon is an excellent opportunity for our students and UJ community at large to leverage the blockchain technology for testing and developing some exciting ideas. We are looking forward to hosting even more exciting innovation hackathons. We observed the enablement of our student’s entrepreneurial mindset and what amazing solutions they have innovated when embracing new-age technologies such as blockchain.”

The main objectives of the event were:

• To promote digital skills development and instill entrepreneurship mindset focusing on blockchain technologies such as application in cryptocurrency and other social challenges.
• To provide an opportunity for UJ community to upskill and re-skill in the era of 4IR.
• Finally, to expose our students to fast-paced problem-solving landscape and develop innovative solutions through blockchain technologies.

TPC is an ideation and innovation hub housed in the School of Consumer Intelligence and Information Systems focused on preparing the communities and the youth for digital future through technology innovation, and digital skills development. TPC blockchain innovation bootcamp and hackathon was a hybrid event with students from various faculties within the university participating physically and virtually.

This event consisted of a pipeline of multiple technical hands-on workshops coupled with keynotes, panel discussions and masterclasses. Innovation hackathon judges and mentors include leaders from ConsenSys, FTX, QuidPro, 3air, Launch Africa Ventures, CV VC Polygon, CVVC, Cranberry AI & Blockchain, Siyafunda CTC, Geekulcha, and ITWeb.

The solutions were meant to use blockchain technology and contribute to solving more societal challenges. Over and above, students were offered the tech resources by sponsors to use in their solution development. Along with that, 19 teams have participated and presented their project solutions which were mainly focusing on healthcare, digital finance, fundraising, education, food sharing, and other social challenges. Competing teams showcased the capability of African youth who are building tomorrow’s future today.

The winning teams were offered amazing prizes including graphic design worth R5000, business consultation, trading capital, fast track access to CV Labs incubation programme worth R2.3m and fast track access to polygon village worth R850 000.

Gideon Greaves, MD of CV VC Africa and CV Labs Africa, said, “CV Labs is committed to encouraging creativity and ambition to drive South Africa’s blockchain technological capabilities and thereby bring about a positive impact on the nation. The hackathon results are inspirational. Projects exceeded expectations regarding how the participants achieved consensus and stellar working concepts. The presented ideas and solutions illustrate what can be achieved by the continent.”

As a leading African university, the University of Johannesburg is incredibly proud to have hosted a 3-day innovation bootcamp and hackathon event. As Africa further showcases its ability to teach the rest of the world about the true use cases for blockchain technology, the eager and willing participation of the continent’s education leaders and its students is evident.

“Hackathons are an exchange of creativity, growth, and ingenuity between different skill sets. This was evident in abundance throughout the three days at UJ. We have witnessed many global hackathons, but this one was special to us as it proved that there is an abundance of deep commitment and determination to succeed unlike anywhere else right now,” said Douglas Webster of Binance.


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