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CUT Student’s Win $1 Million At POTRAZ’s Hack 4 Sustainable Smart Cities Hackathon

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Students from Chinhoyi University of Technology walked away with $15 000 for themselves and $1M for their university’s innovation hub after winning POTRAZ’s inaugural Hack4SmartSustainableCities.

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The team consisting of Christopher Chinyamakobvu, Gordon Muneka, and Elvin Kakomo developed an emergency response application that allows users to call for medical services after a car crash.

The application has a panic button that users can hit for minor accidents. In the case of more serious emergencies which incapacitate the driver and passengers, it then uses the sound of the car crash to automatically trigger the panic button. The team has managed to develop an algorithm that can differentiate the sound of a head-on car crash from something like a car crashing into a trash can and

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From the $1 million going to CUT, $200k will be used to further develop the trios application, whilst each member of their group will walk away with $5000 each.

In second place was the University of Zimbabwe, who developed a system that allows households using solar power to provide power to the national grid. The system will have” smart meters” which can allow households to sell their excess electricity at different prices depending on the demand for electricity at that particular time of the day.

They will also get $200 000 -from the university’s 700k -to further develop the idea, and the 3 students from UZ will share $12 000.

HIT came in third, with their students pitching Lifeline Medical – a database that they hope will be used to improve local healthcare. The database will compile accurate statistics of diseases affecting citizens along with storing health records for zimbos. Lifeline’s concept is similar to a project that the government recently announced will be carried out locally by experts from the UAE and Cyprus.

The Harare Institute of Technology’s innovation hub will get $500 000, $200 000 of which will be used to develop Lifeline Medical. The 3 students behind the innovation will get $9000 they’ll share among themselves.

The Hack 4 Sustainable Smart Cities is part of POTRAZ’s innovation drive and one of the more encouraging signs was POTRAZ finally sharing how much finalists are getting to develop their ideas – something they didn’t do in the past.

The hackathons are a great platform to encourage local development of solutions and by offering these 3 teams 200 000 to develop their solutions, they’ll ensure that the issue of raising funding to get off the ground is something these students don’t have to battle with.


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15 thoughts on “CUT Student’s Win $1 Million At POTRAZ’s Hack 4 Sustainable Smart Cities Hackathon

  1. The emergency services app already exists, developed by Zimbabweans for Zimbabwe, admittedly it doesn’t have crash detection but it has existed for 3 years. Look for help247 on the Google play store and apple app store, I have used the app successfully a number of times. DPA/Econet already has smart switches but Zesa is not playing ball. Loads of health databases exist. None of these are innovation, they are just rehashes at best

    1. Let them rehash, be given the funds to scale their idea and if they fail the lessons from those will be seen by those coming after them. Then they’ll innovate. You say there are loads of health databases. Why then did the government two weeks ago give the contact for such a database to the UAE & Cyprus?

      1. It’s plagiarism in reality, they are rewarding plagiarism. The government gave the contract to Cyprus and UAE because it was for free

        1. Data isn’t free, in fact data is one of the most expensive things right now so if you’re suggesting that the government did the right thing because they won’t have to pay for these systems then you’ll find that you (if you’re Zimbabwean) will end up paying by giving your data away to not one but maybe two foreign countries in this case. Fantastic deal!

      2. These are students in a university they should have done their research first. Seen what’s already out there. Not just used things that have been on the market for years. It’s plagiarism. We should expect better from university students.

        1. You’re missing some of the fundamentals of how these hackathons work. These students were presented with the problem statement on Thursday 6 February and presented solutions on Friday 7 February. Forgive them for not coming up with an earth shattering idea in 24 hours Juno

        2. Want to know a secret about the Tech Community. You don’t invent nothing new, when WhatsApp came around … SMS was already there… Facebook came around but MySpace was already there … Microsoft released a GUI environment after Apple had already did. It’s not about bringing a new idea, it’s about bringing an idea that is scalable, practical and can be implemented in a way better than anything that already exists. i.e if something already exists

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