The SAB World of Beer hosted Africa’s first Hack the World hackathon this weekend, bringing together about 100 innovators to develop apps and other technological solutions that will encourage responsible drinking and improve road safety.
The teams, consisting of up to five members each, worked on their solutions non-stop from 9am on Saturday 29 July until the submission deadline at 11am the next day, some coding through the night to complete their projects.
The winners were team Vanta Nox, who developed an app called IDecide, a mentor-to-student chat and education platform allowing young people to ask alcohol-related questions they can’t necessarily discuss with their parents – for example: “What do I do if my friends dare me to down a drink?”
The winning team, which walked away with R20 000, iPads and a year’s supply of Flying Fish beer, comprised four students from coding school WeThinkCode_: Tyler Maclachlan (20), Gary Odendaal (28), Lance Chance (18) and Vaughan Langman (19).
They couldn’t hide their surprise and excitement when they were announced as the winners, since they only started studying two months ago, had never taken part in a hackathon before, and one of the Hack the World mentors “destroyed” their initial idea on Saturday morning. “Everything we’ve done, we did in the last 36 hours,” said Vaughan after the prize-giving ceremony.
Lee Dawson, vice-president: solutions at AB InBev Africa, said he was impressed with the entries. “It’s absolutely amazing – the minds, the talent, the ideas and how you [the participants] brought it to life. We’re only starting the journey in Africa in terms of hackathons, innovation and creativity, [but] this is a journey to be continued,” he said.
Zachda Prinsloo, associate director: innovation community at AB InBev Africa and organiser of the hackathon, said the competition was strong. “It was amazing to see how people worked together, how open-minded and innovative they were,” said Prinsloo.
AB InBev holds Hack the World hackathons worldwide to connect with the most talented minds across the globe when it comes to creativity, technology and innovation to address major business challenges, one of which is ensuring that consumers enjoy beer responsibly.
Hack the World also provides a platform for innovators, entrepreneurs, students, data scientists, software developers and engineers to achieve their dreams and career aspirations through an extended working relationship with AB InBev, which is the world’s largest beer manufacturer.
“It was an honour to host this group of young, innovative minds for the first-ever Hack the World hackathon on our continent. The ideas they came up with were absolutely brilliant and the best part is that their apps provide people with practical tools for responsible alcohol use, something that lies close to our hearts,” said SAB World of Beer general manager Tony Rubin.