The Tshimologong Precinct in Braamfontein, which means A place for starters in Setswana, will be turned into a grinding mill to produce some of the country’s finest creative talent never seen before in the information and communications technology (ICT) ecosystem.
This was the message at a gathering of creative minds in the sector which was hosted by the Red Bull Basement programme, which is an ICT-driven project that focuses on using technology to solve community, country and African problems, such as environmental issues.
The Red Bull Basement concept is built around a hacker residency project which is a space with free workshops, monthly lectures, and an annual festival at the end of a two-month residency programme for the hackers – a set-up that will offer guidance and grow core innovative ideas from the prototype stage and, at the same time, help seek funding for the projects.
Programme facilitator Mixo Ngoveni, who is also a brand manager at Red Bull, said they were looking to take in five creatives in the ICT sector for a two-month residency in September, with mentors to help them fine-tune their software projects and grow their ideas into viable business projects that will be highly attractive to potential funders and investors.
“The idea is to fast-track some of the projects that you already have or that are already out there but only need a lift to take them to new heights. There will be continued support for the projects beyond the two-month residency workshops. We want to ensure we take your innovations to another level,” Ngoveni said.
Known as ‘hackers for good’, Ngoveni said coders selected for the residency programme will have to devote a lot of their time and energy on the project as there will be mentors, lectures and workshops. “With lecturers coming from the various universities, we don’t want to waste anyone’s time. We want committed people who have the ambition to succeed and see their project raised to another level.”
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The Red Bull Basement project was conceptualised and founded in Brazil in 2015, and said to have spread around many parts of the world like wildfire, including South Africa, which is set to spearhead the tech revolution to the rest of the African continent in a bid to solve many local and community problems afflicting Africans as a whole, and take the continent and its countries forward.