CodeJam 2013: Apps that Matter

What is <code_jam> 2013?

CodeJam 2013 is focused on developing young, local talent in the mobile apps space. It aims to build capacity in both the development and appropriation of mobile technology for socio-economic advances/benefits.

CodeJam 2013 is designed as an educational, yet competitive space for young people to demonstrate their acquired skills and know-how in translating innovative solutions for real-life challenges into mobile apps that make a difference.

In addition, CodeJam offers a collaborative platform for a diverse group of stakeholders from business, government, academia and civil society to contribute to and participate in the skills development of our local talent in the areas of social innovation and mobile technology.

CodeJam 2013 contributed in particular towards:

  • The development of skills in mobile application development on the iOS, Android platforms and Prototyping

  • The development of skills in social innovation (ideation) aimed at addressing local socio-economic challenges

  • Translating the innovative ideas (solutions) for these problems into mobile applications (Apps that Matter)

  • The development of a collaborative platform where a diverse group of stakeholders can participate in and contribute towards the development of skills and know-how of our local, young talent in translating innovative solutions into mobile apps that matter can make a difference

  • What is meant with Apps that Matter?

  • The stakeholders identified various real-life “challenges” that require innovative mobile apps that can address the challenge. Challenges were stipulated in five categories (see challenge document). Students from various disciplines were invited to develop innovative solutions that can be translated into mobile apps to address these challenge, – hence – Apps that Matter.

See “Challenge” for more information on the specific challenges sponsored by the stakeholders

Who participated?

  • Young people between the ages of 18 – 25 (not in formal employment) from the Western Cape.

  • One hundred and ten young people registered for the competition: almost equal gender representation.

2013 Process and Statistics

  • About hundred students participation in the idea-generation phase – 200 odd ideas were proposed to solve the challenges put forward

  • Sixty-three (63) students progressed from idea generation to the presentation of a solution translated into a mobile app. (multi-disciplinary: geographys, Comp Sci IFS, Finance/Business, Law)

  • 20 Students from UWC and CPUT trained in iOS development

  • 30 Students trained in prototyping

  • 30+ students trained in Android

  • 80 students participated in the ideation afternoon in collaboration with stakeholders

  • 63 students participated in business training: developing an idea into a solution, accompanied by a business case. (entrepreneurial approach to problem solution)

Categories and Winners

Prizes were awarded in five categories (addressing a particular socio-economic challenge) and on 3 mobile operating platforms (iOS, Android and Prototype).

Category 1: Start-Up Companies (Sponsor: Cape Town Activa)

Three teams participated in this category: Social Planner; The appreneurs and Business Graph. Two teams were selected as winners and will participate in the next phase of the project under the condition that they collaborate to grow the ideas


StartApp is an application that helps startups and owners get the right information needed to survive the business they have chosen. An example is, a person who wants to start dairy farming needs to have knowledge of the full processes of how to take care of cows and find the right location which isn’t far from the targeted market. StartApp will link this new farmer to a mentor who is already an existing farmer or has expertise in the field

Team members: Chungu Mwelwa; Kalanje Kagulura


This is in essence a business analytics app showing the store owner how their business is doing during the day and at the end of the day. It shows the daily analysis via a graph specifically on the x,y plane. It will make it easy to see peek buying times and will be used from store to phone making it easier to run a store. Owners can use the app to predict how much money or profit they will make in future.

Team members: Khomotho Mohala

Category 2: Employment Seekers

Two teams participated in this category: Landed the Interview and Matrix Go Smart. Category winner is:

Matrix Go Smart

This app is aimed at high school learners to help them choose the relevant subjects for their career choices. The app will also include available institutions where they can study towards their career choices. It will also include the available bursaries as well as tertiary institutions entry requirements.

Team members: Nigel Chisinga, Neliswa Valashiya, Varoline Tah, Ntombekhaya Jalobe

This team is also the category winner for the best “Prototype” submission

Category 3: Maths/Science App for learners

In this category, 2 teams submitted ideas and apps namely One Hit Wonders and LitMa. The winner of this category is One Hit Wonders but the sponsor (UWC) awarded a further development period to LitMa too as they regarded this idea as worthwhile for further development.

One Hit Wonders

Our idea is for an app that helps students with questions and helps them with concepts they don't understand. It connects students with "Guru’s that can answer any questions they have. Students can post questions in specific topics, search for previously answered questions or ask a "Guru" directly. Students can choose preferred "Guru’s" (that their questions will be notified about their questions). Students can access resources such as textbooks through the app or summarized sources about any topic.

Team members: Tlholgelo Mphahlele, Luke Scholtz, Andre Muller, Darren Jody van Roodt, Reuben Claassen

This team is also the winner of the best Android app

LitMa for Kids

Firstly our application is geared for children, this application will work to highlight and support the national educational issues children face when it comes to mathematics and literacy. Our application will become a tool for both foundation phase educators, parents and children to play as a game whilst learning. This game will display true South African flair by having translations of maths and literacy into some of our prominent languages i.e. isiXhosa

Team members: Vuyiswa Nomlala, Noncedo Madubedude, Yonele Dyonase

Category 4: Public Service

Six team submitted ideas in this category, namely FindersKeepers, GREENiT, Pedestrian Safety, CPT Green Pages, Hike Buddy, BeachMobi. Further period for development awarded to GREENiT.


The App allows the user to understand the need to save energy, save water and recycling. But more so how to save money or rather make money by going the green route, connecting companies, communities and households. By providing information about recycling, waste that was once thrown away could now be used, reused and recycled around your home.

Team members: Amber Arendse, Tasneem Khan, Robin George, Lanielle Hartzenberg

Category 5: Transport

Three teams submitted ideas/apps in this category: My Varsity Club, UCNF and Team Find Me. The category winner is My Varsity Club.

My Varsity Lift Club

Lift club application for varsity students. whereby a registered driver inputs his location (meeting point) , destination, and other students can see this and click to join by reserving a seat for themselves and therefore forming an informal lift club to and from campus. The application will work in real time and students looking for lifts will be able to communicate with the driver beforehand , view his intended plotted route and view his transport fee.

Team members: Yvonne Braaf, Stephen Cloete

Best Platform Categories

Best Prototype: Matrix Go Smart

Best Android app: One Hit Wonders

Best iOS app: UCNF


Our idea is for an integrated transportation App, which allows the user to find the shortest and/or cheapest route from their location to their desired destination. The app plans the route across multiple transportation service providers such as metro rail and the UCT Jamie shuttle, as the App is currently only targeting UCT commuters, with possible up scaling at a later stage.

Team members: Kurt Jacobs, Motse Lehata, Melissa Johanessen, Jarred Martin, Janet Mudilo (UWC/UCT team)

Way Forward

The sponsorship of stakeholders (Cape Activa and GTP in particular) for the category winner, entail support for a two-month period to further develop and refine the idea, put a business plan together in view of preparing the idea/team for incubation. During this “support” period, the students will have access to senior people from various disciplines to guide and coach them through the process.

We are currently in the process of defining the nature of the “pre-incubation” period in collaboration with the sponsors and Bandwith Barn. The focus of CodeJam 2013 is not just on mobile apps development but on social innovation and development of an entrepreneurial attitude and skills.

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