MTN SA Foundation Community App Challenge

MTN SA Foundation logo

Entries have opened for the first ever MTN SA Foundation Community App Challenge, a groundbreaking hackathon aimed exclusively at young developers who want to start their own businesses and make a difference in their local communities. The innovative event, hosted by the Foundation together with mobile solutions laboratory and startup accelerator mLab Southern Africa, will take place at the mLab in Pretoria, from the 14 – 16 November 2014.

Fifteen of South Africa’s finest young app developers and designers will be given the opportunity to win some incredible prizes, address local community challenges and eventually start their own businesses.

Explains MTN SA Foundation’s Angie Maloka: “From the initial entries received, 15 developers will be handpicked to participate in our 48-hour hackathon. Divided into three teams of five, each group will be provided with a mentor and the required resources to develop a proto-type application to address three different community-based problems that we have identified.”

Along with fantastic prize giveaways and a certificate of participation for all developers, the hackathon is unique in that each team will be given the opportunity to develop their app into a start-up business, with an initial advertising commitment from MTN SA Foundation valued at R16 500 as an added incentive.

“We believe in building new and sustainable businesses, and this effectively shifts the MTN Community App Challenge from being merely a competition to a business-building exercise with a potential first client,” notes Maloka.

mLab will be instrumental in managing this process and taking the three apps to market. Once ready, they will be evaluated by MTN staff at the group’s head office, who will be encouraged to ‘play’ and interact one-on-one with the final applications. An ultimate winner will be chosen and announced at the annual MTN Business App of the Year Awards in July 2015, South Africa’s premier showcase of app-development innovation and talent.

“We are very excited to be launching the MTN SA Foundation Community App Challenge and hackathon together with mLab,” concludes Maloka. “There can be no better way of sourcing up and coming young talent, whilst simultaneously developing new entrepreneurs in the mobile app development space – and all for the greater good of our communities.”

For more information on participating in the hackathon please contact mLab on 012 844 0240 or visit and register at : http://mlab/mtn-sa-foundation-community-app-challenge-break-new-ground/

For press & general enquiries please contact Nonhlanhla on 011 463 7550 or

Who should enter? This challenge is open to mobile app developers and graphic designers between the ages of 18 – 30. You need to show some experience in app development or graphic design and should be able to attend the hackathon at mLab in Pretoria on 14 – 16 November. You should also be committed to form part of a 5 member startup and take the application to market as a business with support from mLab. mLab reserves the right to select any applicant.

What are the challenges? 3 unique challenges will be shared with the selected teams. Each challenge has been carefully selected by MTN Foundation and mLab and will offer a real market opportunity for your application. Teams will be briefed on the challenges during a briefing session before the hackathon. Challenges will be assigned on the first day of the hackathon by random selection.

When & Where?

Entries open 1 October 2014 on this page (Application form below)

Entries close on 26 October 2014  at midnight.

Short listed candidates will be contacted between 27 – 31 October 2014.

Challenge briefing will take place at mLab on 3 and 4 November 2014.

The Hackathon takes place on 14, 15 & 16 November 2014 at mLab in Pretoria.

Entries Closed