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Tshimologong, Conlog launch blockchain incubator

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Kendal Makgamathe, head of marketing, Tshimologong Precinct

South African start-ups’ interest in blockchain is increasing, with the firms looking to create new businesses around the technology. With that said, more start-ups are rolling out blockchain incubations and innovative technology programmes.

Conlog, has partnered with Wits University’s Tshimologong Precinct to launch a blockchain programme and incubation.

With a strong focus on blockchain and smart city solutions, Conlog approached the Precinct to assist in developing and promoting innovation, skills development and entrepreneurship within South Africa through its newly established Reapele programme.

Hosted and run by the Tshimologong Digital Innovation Precinct in Braamfontein, Reapele will be delivered in seven phases and aims to innovate and nurture technology businesses, digital products and ideas, turning them into viable businesses: “We are excited to launch this new project, which will assist in developing Conlog’s open innovation capability in smart connected metering technology,” says Kendal Makgamathe, head of marketing, Tshimologong Precinct. “The programme will enhance Conlog’s business transformation journey by forging technical advisory partnerships with Wits University faculties and its research students.”

Designed to meet a variety of technology goals, the first phase of the programme calls for aspiring junior software developers and technologists to participate in a meet-up event, following which an online assessment will serve to identify the top performers using custom coding assessments in relevant programming languages such as Java, JavaScript, C++ or Python, C#. Once the successful candidates have been identified, the candidates will be trained on the core principles and foundations of coding using Blockchain.

Subsequent to the coaching, the candidates will use their new coding skills in a 3-day Hackathon, which is aimed at challenging the candidates to develop a Blockchain Proof of Concept in partnership with BlockStarters. The Hackathon will provide an opportunity for top technologists to win the grand prize of R20 000, while a Design Sprint, which consists of a five-day intensive design thinking programme enables the candidates to address their new technology with real customers.

Furthermore, Reapele, offers an intensive incubation period for the incumbent software developers that have developed an existing Blockchain solution. Limited to a set number of individuals, the incubation will provide a platform for the Proof of Concept (POC) to be developed further, culminating in live demonstrations of the blockchain technology to potential clients. The incubation will also assist in developing a validated marketing plan and a tried and tested business model.

“Conlog is world renowned for providing innovative solutions to everyday challenges. Disruptive design thinking and innovation are forged into our spirit which has enabled us to retain our position of leadership in the industry, whilst remaining relevant to the market. We are extremely motivated by the formation of the Reapele programme and look forward to working with Tshimologong Precinct to develop tomorrow’s future Blockchain experts,” says Lance Hawkins-Dady, Head of Engineering, Conlog.

Hawkins-Dady says that Conlog is passionate about solving challenges with innovative technological solutions and considers Blockchain a key part of digitisation innovation: “Reapele will assist in developing much needed skills while also encouraging a startup mindset for software developers.”

Edited by Neo Sesinye
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