Hack The Normal online hackathon to explore how tech can spur sustainable living, economic development in Africa

Home appliances brand Defy is set to host the Hack The Normal online hackathon with the aim of exploring how technology can be leveraged for sustainable living and economic development in Africa from March 5 – 7, 2021.

Supported by Defy sister company, Beko, the hackathon participants will have the opportunity to develop new products, services, and business models with commercialisation potential to address one of the following challenge areas:

  • Financial Solutions: With Africa rapidly becoming a key player in the global economy, the continent must prepare itself for a surge of commercial activity with all the supporting services necessary for trade. Attendees will be asked to put forward solutions that could improve financial inclusion and liquidity in the sub-Saharan region; solve the hard currency problem between countries involved in trade; address business challenges faced by individuals and companies; or create shared economic systems between companies and individuals.
  • Sustainable Living: As the continent is expected to double its population by 2050 from 1 billion to nearly 2.4 billion inhabitants [according to UN], this will be accompanied by challenges such as access to potable water, food, and even constant supply of electricity. With this in mind, hackathoners will need to design solutions for a more sustainable future for the average African household and the planet in general. Alternatively, they will need to come up with a way for creating sustainable impact in areas ranging from food waste to energy and water consumption.
  • Healthy Living: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increased focus on hygiene and health. To help ensure a healthier future for the continent, solutions that have a positive impact on sustaining healthy living conditions in African homes will need to be supplied. Additionally, solutions that contribute to the health of individuals and families, focused on areas such as nutrition, personal care, sleep, exercise, and personal hygiene are also sought.

Over the three-day hackathon, participants will be trained in a myriad of areas ranging from problem discovery and solution development, to prototyping and storytelling. Plus, they will get the chance to refine their ideas with the help of expert coaches and mentors from the fields of business, technology, and design.

Projects that meet Defy’s impact, applicability and commercialisation criteria will be selected for further development. Not only will those behind the projects gain access to sales opportunities, investment networks, and the ecosystem in general – they will also have the opportunity to participate in acceleration and incubation programmes.

Applications close on February 28, 2021 and will be accepted from both individuals and teams that have ideas or projects which address the hackathon’s challenges. Following a pre-evaluation process, successful participants will be notified by March 3, 2021 via email.

“We invite people from across multiple disciplines to come together to innovate new solutions to ensure a sustainable life in Africa, stimulate economic growth and improve the state of our world,” concludes CEO of Defy Appliances Evren Albaş.


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