3 Win E180 000 In MTN Hackathon

Three young computer programmers have won E180 000 from the MTN MoMo Hackathon, a social coding event that challenges participants to create new software programs that solve real-life problems.

The winners were announced at the MTN Headquarters Auditorium, after making their final presentations before a panel of judges and officials from MTN’s FinTech department. 

The first prize of E95 000 (US$5 000) went to Thembinkosi Mkhonta and Qhawe Matimela, who designed a FundMoMo, a crowdfunding programme that intends to take people to the next step in finance.

The second prize of E56 800 (US$3 000) was awarded to Sula Mabuza, who created an E-Market, a programme that allows people to purchase food online.

The third prize of E37 900 (US$2 000) was given to Menzi Khumalo, who developed a decentralised Stokvel, a platform that enables users to save and access loans without going through the paperwork and queuing hassle that comes with manual stokvels.

The MTN MoMo Hackathon 2023 edition attracted over 100 contestants who submitted their ideas for innovative solutions using the MTN Mobile Money platform. The contestants went through mentoring and evaluation for the past three months, before the final stage where only three startups made it to the end.

The years’ judges included Simanga Dlamini, Ntokozo Bhembe, Celumusa Thusi, and Similo Makama.

The judges praised the contestants for their creativity and originality and encouraged them to work in collaboration to promote ease of doing business. They also noted that all the innovations were critical in solving life challenges as they provided solutions that are not in place currently.

MTN FinTech CEO, Sam Shongwe expressed his appreciation for the judges and the contestants and said that MTN was committed to supporting young entrepreneurs in the tech and digital space. He said that the young people had a lot of potential but required mentorship.

“From the FinTech point of view, we can build from what the judges have said and improve. We will explore partnering with institutions in this business to make the next Hackathon a better one,” he said.
He added that MTN would reach out to the other contestants that participated in the Hackathon but did not make it to the end, and see how they could help them.

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