The organisers of the Wits Campus Personal Navigator Challenge have announced that the deadline for applications has been extended.
The Challenge calls on innovators and entrepreneurs across Johannesburg to come forward with digital solutions that will help people with visual and physical disabilities to navigate their way around large built-up areas such as Wits University’s sprawling campuses.
Professor Barry Dwolatzky, director of the Joburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) at Wits University, says the Challenge presents a unique opportunity for inspired and creative thinkers to put their ideas into action. “The Challenge is about transforming great ideas into viable solutions, while at the same time making a very real difference in the lives of hundreds of disabled people.
“The solution proposed could be a simple standalone device that attaches to a walking cane or wheelchair, or even be a wearable device. It may provide visual or audible directions to navigate a campus,” he adds. “We might even see someone come up with a robotic guide-dog.”
Entrants will not only be mentored and supported in developing a technical solution, they will also be assisted in turning their idea into a start-up business in the incubator at Wits University’s Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Braamfontein.
Led by the JCSE with sponsorship from the Carl and Emily Fuchs Foundation (CEFF) the Challenge is open to any innovators and entrepreneurs, SMEs, professional developers, students and bright sparks alike.
An initial group of entrants will be selected to take part in a weekend-long hackathon. After this the top ten entrants will each be given three months’ membership in the Tshimologong Precinct incubation programme, and the top three an additional seven months’ membership. The ultimate winner of the Challenge will be funded to send two team members to spend four weeks at one of the Tshimologong Precinct’s international partner hubs located in the UK, Canada, USA, Netherlands or India.
Those interested in participating in the Wits Campus Personal Navigator Challenge can submit their entries at www.tshimologong.joburg/challenge before applications close on the extended deadline of Friday, 24 March 2017.