TechnoVera, a startup that aims to develop smart lockers for patients to collect chronic medication at primary healthcare facilities, has been selected as one of the top 10 of the 2016 #Hack.Jozi Challenge.

Potential tech-preneurs were called on earlier this year to develop technology solutions to everyday Jozi problems and enter the #Hack.Jozi Challenge, a boot camp for startup entrepreneurs which aims to foster skills, innovation and entrepreneurship in the broad area of digital technology.

The top one hundred entrants, all start-up entrepreneurs, attended a special entrepreneurship and business training boot camp geared to helping them develop their great digital ideas into possible business opportunities.

The top 20 selected received additional business mentorship and the top 10 will enjoy a one-year free membership to the well-known ICT Hub in Braamfontein, which is a Wits University initiative under the leadership of Professor Barry Dwolatzky.

The programme is an initiative in association with the City of Johannesburg and the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE).

According to TechnoVera, their smart lockers are intended to cut patient waiting times when collecting their medication from hours to just a few minutes.

“We use technology to address the challenge of long waiting times for chronic stable patients that are currently spending hours every month queuing when they need to refill their script. We want to improve patient care by ending the indignity of long queues,” said TechnoVera.

The other businesses who made it to the top 10 of the #Hack.Jozi Challenge are offering a variety of solutions, ranging from ways for parents to reduce screen time for their children, a free pick up and drop off laundry service and an online platform to upload or download building plans for quicker approval by local authorities.

“The 2016 shortlist of 10 finalists is an impressive list of young people with new and innovative ideas in the digital arena. After a rigorous process that has been playing out over the past six weeks, we now have ten superb businesses which have fought through three rounds of the competition and have been judged on the technical feasibility of their venture, scalability and the wow-factor,” said Executive Director for Economic Development for the City of Johannesburg, Ravi Naidoo.

A demo day will be held on Friday, 13 May when all 10 tech-preneurs will present their ideas that they have developed further with their peers and mentors during the course of the challenge.

“We are also pleased to see that other government agencies such as the City of Cape Town and the Department of Water and Sanitation have taken a cue from the City of Joburg to embrace the digital era in their environments and encourage technology innovation as a way to address relevant problems and promote entrepreneurship,” said Naidoo.

Judges will decide which aspiring business will win R1 million, and two runners up which will win R350,000 each. All three will be supported by a business mentor who will guide them on how best to use the prize money and further develop their idea into a successful profitable enterprise.

The top three winners of the 2016 #HackJozi Challenge will be announced on Thursday, 19 May 2016.

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