Google South Africa Public Affairs and Communications Head Mich Atagana. Photo: Supplied

DURBAN - Google has announced the winners of the first Google Impact Challenge South Africa at an event held in Johannesburg. 

Twelve non-profits and social enterprises were each awarded a share of $2 million (R27,3 million) in grant funding. 

The four winners received $250 000 (R3,41 million each while the eight runners-up will each received $125 000 (R1,7 million). 

The funding will be allocated in portions, to be assigned to each enterprise as they reach a set of predefined milestones specific to each venture. 

Besides the funding, the winners and runners-up also receive support from Google to reach their goals and meet those milestones. 

Google Impact Challenge Africa, a competition to find the most innovative African non-profits and social enterprises using technology to solve societal problems, opened in May and more than 1300 entries were received in South Africa.

Judging to narrow down the 12 finalists was conducted by a team of Googlers and Google partners with expertise in the sector. Voting was then opened to the public from 8 to 26 November. On the night, each entrant pitched their enterprise to a judging panel, which voted on the winners. The results of the public vote determined the people’s choice winner. 

Google South Africa Public Affairs and Communications Head Mich Atagana said, "Many African innovators are doing great work with real impact and Google is keen to shine a light on their work, and also give a financial boost to their projects and ideas". 

She added that they believe that technology can help local and national organisations to better reach their goals and solve some of the continent’s most pressing challenges, and Google is eager to provide support to individuals and organisations using technology in new ways to make a positive difference. 

Winners

1. Corruption Watch: BUA MZANSI 

An online interactive website to enhance public participation and transparency in policing.

2. Gradesmatch 

A platform to serve as a comprehensive career guide, designed to map career data for learners, parents and teachers/mentors to help them make well-informed career decisions.

3. MeMeZa Shout Crime Prevention

Bringing safety to vulnerable people through a Public Community Alarm System 

4. RLabs Zlto Digital Platform

A mobile and blockchain platform that tracks and incentivises positive behaviour in youths.

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE