Coding school WeThinkCode_ and female entrepreneur network OYA Venture are bringing the She Loves Tech startup competition, focusing on women and technology, to South Africa.
The competition, which was started in 2013 by Lean In China in Beijing has quickly spread to over 14 cities across Canada, China, France, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Kenya, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, South Africa and the UAE.
This year it will be holding its inaugural African sessions, with the East African Regional held in Nairobi on 14 July 2018 and the South African Regional held in Cape Town on 3-4 August 2018.
South African hackathon
Given WeThinkCode_’s network of developers and focus on training, the South Africa Regional will take on the format of a hackathon. During the two day event, there will be workshops focusing on how to pitch a business idea, panels of thought leaders, as well as other mentoring sessions.
During the actual women-themed hackathon, teams will be asked to focus on hacking solutions that combat youth unemployment, healthcare, or education – all problems which are deeply relevant to South Africans.
The winning team will win a trip to China for a week-long bootcamp with visits to leading Chinese tech companies and incubators, networking with investors, and cultural visits before the global finals and international conference.
Given China and South Africa’s thriving trade relationship, it is reportedly important to encourage economic and cultural exchange amongst young and ambitious entrepreneurs.
The OYA Venture team believes that supporting female-founded businesses in South Africa is an important element in growing the entrepreneurial ecosystem and businesses that incorporate technology could be game changers on the African continent.
“In our initial work as OYA Venture, we have met so many amazing female founders doing some phenomenal things with limited resources, and really that is what spurns innovation; and a hackathon creates the right environment for such innovation to flourish,” Charlotte Luzuka of OYA Venture.
Virginia Tan, Founder of She Loves Tech, says: “A hackathon is a great format for encouraging teams that normally may not have had the courage to pursue their impactful ideas. We Think Code is not only run by a powerful woman, but is also one of the foremost institutions in encouraging women in STEM, so we knew they were the perfect partner to bring this very important mission to South Africa.”