Managing Director, Joren Communications
Rendani Nevhulaudzi is 29-year-old entrepreneur and founder of Joren Communications - a web development and design company based in Midrand Johannesburg. Rendani is passionate about crafting of great websites and this is the reason that led him to found his own company.
Today Joren employees 7 young people from previously disadvantaged communities and the company is helping to bridge the lack of skills through offering internships to graduates. Rendani loves reading historical books and travelling.
Cyber Security Intern, CSIR
Dineo hails from Mpumalanga, initially came to Gauteng to study medicine but ended Computer Systems Engineering as her second preference in which she found something she has always been passionate about growing up, that being Machine-Learning/ Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Electronics.
She also does software development, data analytics and develops IoT systems. I am a Computer Systems Engineer by qualification.
As a graduate, Dineo seeks to grow her capacity in the world of Tech through learning and hands-on engagement platforms. In 2016, she led a project that was developed and exhibited to the CEO of IBM (Ginni Rometty).
Founder and CEO, TheAppchemist
Melvin Appchemy's charismatic CEO and co-founder. Having started coding at the age of 13, he became a professional software developer right after he completed high school.
With a victory of a few competitions and hackathons under his belt, Melvin is also a Nokia Developer Champion. He enjoys Android and iOS development, but also publishes some Blackberry and Windows Phone apps.
Mobile & Web Developer, Crunching Code
Mazi Muhlari is a social entrepreneur. He builds technological solutions that strive to alleviate some of the social inequalities that we are exposed to in South Africa. His main aim when building solutions is inclusion and making sure that my solutions are accessible by any citizen in our country via channels such as smartphones, USSD, sms, VOIP, etc.
He runs a company called Crunching Code that I use as a medium to drive my ambition to connect every South African citizen. Some of the challenges that we tackle with our solutions include:
Android Engineering Lead, Dynamic Visual Technologies
Rebecca is the Android Engineering Lead at Dynamic Visual Technologies. She qualified cum laude from the University of Johannesburg in 2012 with a BSc (Hons) in Information Technology.
Since then she has worked at a few different companies developing their custom software solutions, such as DStv's On Demand Android App. She has also developed an Android app for Book Dash that contains free kids books.
Rebecca frequently travels to speak at conferences about development and she most recently spoke in Switzerland about developing for the Internet of Things. Last year in March, she was awarded the status of a "Google Developer Expert" being the first female in Africa to get this recognition. Since then, she has received other notable awards. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with others and has a passion for Google Technology.
Product Developer, Old Mutual
Reabetswe (Rio) Bodiba was born and raised in Pretoria. He patented an invention for a universal remote that you can call with a cellphone at the age of 12, making him arguably the youngest person to register a patent in South Africa. (bitly.com/riosfamouspatent)
A few years later, through a suggestion from his Headmaster, Rio took an IQ test and was given the opportunity to skip 1.5 years of school, taking him from the end of Gr.8 to the middle of Gr.10.
In the middle of matric, Rio weaseled himself into a job at Geekulcha.When he wasn't at school, he was working.
With this experience, Rio skipped the usual university process.
Instead he continued working for Geekulcha on various projects, he then applied and made it into The Digital Academy's Barclays Africa unit as the youngest intern there and the only intern without a university certification and boulstered his team to first place by a large margin.
Rio's currently working on a hair&beauty startup that reached the Top 8 at the 2016's Gauteng Accelerator Programme competition, he's working on revolutionizing insurance as a product developer in Old Mutual Insure's Digital Solutions & Innovation team and he's also piloting an agritech solution in the next few months.
Most Valued Professional, Microsoft
Born and raised in Durban, a product of the local public schools. studied Electronic Engineering: Computer System. He would like to think of himself as the average Geek just with 4x more caffeine pumping in his system.
He has always been fascinated by technology and science, recalls taking over his parent's library cards because he always wanted to borrow more books than he could on his junior card at the time. Priven considers himself lucky to be introduced to programming at school, at the time it was a new subject just introduced. Since then he never stopped. Got into university and found himself spending more time at the IT dept entering their hackathons and attending their events. Attending all these events, he very quickly became aware of the community and started to involved himself more in it. This resulted in him becoming a Microsoft Student Partner(MSP) which helped propel him further than he would have imagined.
While an MSP, he managed to host 100s of hackathons, boot camps, competitions etc and I was extremely fortunate to travel to Microsoft HQ in Redmond Seattle as well as Bahrain repping the SA student scene. Now having transitioned from MSP(Microsoft Student Partner) to Microsoft MVP(Most Valued Professional), he works with a broader community, both students and professionals as well as providing Microsoft feedback on future releases. Growing the community and spreading cool tech things is what I do which leads me to my newest addiction, Bots.
I've been hacking away at conversational Bots for the last 6-8 months and it has been fascinating so far. Spoken about the new platform in a few different forums from a symposium to an AI meetup.
Very recently a bot I've built called Poli which helps users find nearby police stations caught the attention of Facebook in a Bots for Messenger challenge.
Projects Coordinator, EWB UP
Sonwabile Sigenu is a 21 year old final year Mechanical Engineering student, from Bloemfontein, and
Projects Coordinator for Engineers Without Borders University of Pretoria (EWB-UP). He is also a
mentor for UP students doing their community engagement projects through the phenomenal JCP
Has been involved in community engagement since his schooling years and has now grown into a driver of community engagement, most especially in the township of Mamelodi, Pretoria, through several initiatives and organizations.
He has been recognised by the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong as a remarkable leader within the community engagement space having been accepted as a delegate at the Global Youth Leaders Summit of 2017 for community engagement and social entrepreneurship.
He believes that through creativity and innovation steered by social consciousness, South African youth can become leaders that strive to help their country fulfill its potential while addressing the inequality it battles with. He enjoys learning about everything engineering and finds interest in philosophy and entrepreneurship.
Sonwabile hopes that in the imminent future youth in townships and villages can be afforded equal opportunities to explore their interests and build their dreams to mould the future of their communities.
Fashion Designer, The Luxury Craft
After completing her honours in Computer Science at Wits, attending a fashion pop-up event gave her tech side a new found passion in e-commerce specifically in the fashion space. She describes herself as a tech entrepreneur with a soft spot for fashion.
Seeing the lack of assistance with the many social media brands selling on facebook and instagram, she made her first steps into the e-commerce space by designing and implementing an e-commerce platform which she then used to launch her own online store (theluxurycraft.com) which specialising in custom printed clothing. She also runs a company which manufactures clothing for a few brands in South Africa.
She states that her first love will however always be programming remembering fondly from the very first lines of code she ever wrote in high school and how she could not put down her laptop once she started coding. If she is not threading a new fashion piece, she is writing threads, building applications to assist in the running of e-commerce stores.
Fighting mediocrity, one thread at a time.
MD and Founder, Educade
Cleverly disguising educational content in arcade-style games, Regina Kgatle is blurring the boundaries between learning and play. Her company, Educade, offers a selection of games that are suitable for the national curriculum, and each game is housed in an Educational Arcade Machine made from e-waste and other recycled materials.
Educade emphasizes the positive role of teaching through technological platforms and the importance of play as a learning incentive. Over time, Kgatle hopes, her arcade games will not only address gaps in the education system, but will also instill a love of learning in the children who play them.
Android Facilitator, CodeTribe
He considers himself an experiment of the digital age; living proof of concept of what the internet can create.
Born of a teacher and clerk, Sihle, grew up with learning and writing around him. He had a curiosity about him - ahead of his time and always in trouble with his teachers over schoolwork. He never did much of it. He was a smart kid that couldn't be tamed. He wasn't wild, he just never played ball with the norm.
Therefore it only made sense that in varsity he studied the very same thing he didn't like: teaching. He did well, too. Got job offers from 2 prominent private high schools in Pretoria by his second year of varsity but that's not what kept his desk light on at night.
Granted, B.Ed Natural Science is no walk in the park. However, it was his computer. It wasn't backlit like the MacBook and Alienware he dreamed of but it was enough.
It was enough to learn how to code and code really well.
Hi, I'm Sihle Mabaleka; a digital age experiment and mobile geek. I'm a self taught computer programmer and mobile aficionado. I currently work for mlab Southern Africa, as an Android Facilitator at CodeTribe - a skills development academy targeting out of school, unemployed and recently graduated youth in the ICT sector.
I love teaching, I love learning. I don't think there should be rules and limitation around it. My short term goals are being one of the youngest Scrum Masters in the world and to give a TedX talk. Hopefully, we'll cross paths. I can't wait to hear from you.
He is the founder of a tech startup named MegaDose, An Effortless Online Marketing & M-Commerce Platform positioning itself as becoming one of the top local online commerce gateways, providing our clients with the convenience of having an online marketplace at their fingertips which is based at mLab within The Innovation Hub.
You can refer to me as an aspiring entrepreneur, engineer and tech fanatic born in Attridgeville, Pretoria West, South Africa. Currently I am nearing the finish line of completing my computer systems engineering course at Tshwane University of Technology.
He enjoys attending Hackathons during spare time. He a developer. Yes!! A “Geek at heart” with a few accomplishments of publishing 3 applications on the Google Play store to date. He also enjoys and love solving people’s everyday problems that they come across. e.g. Kana What’s That Gesture (KWSTG) which he was awarded 3rd place at the Rhok hackathon and later selected as a GAP ICT Semi- Finalist concept in 2015, including MegaDose which was selected as a SAB KickStart finalist concept in 2016/2017 just to name a few.
Facilitator, mLabSA Cape Town
Lebo started off with developing apps targeting devices that run on the Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 platform where she acquired knowledge and skills that can be used in executing any software development project. Her primary role at the moment is that of a Facilitator and representative of mLab SA in the Western Cape region.
In that role her goal is to provide entrepreneurs and mobile developers with the support they need to develop innovative mobile applications and services; furthermore, she is mostly involved in the co-creation of new innovative solutions working with talent from academic institutions and partners in Industry through the Demola Network program.
In 2015 she founded her own company and named it after her popular developer name, Fruitymo. FRUITYMO is an Edu-Tech company whose main focus areas are: Learn, Develop and Consult. The Learn division is where her passion lies the most: Teaching people how to code. To date, she has been fortunate to have taught over 500 learners how to code from as young as 7 right through to university level.
The Develop division of the company focuses on software development projects for SMEs and lastly, the Consult division is where free-lance developers and SMEs seek project management advice.
Project Manager, GirlHype
Thoko Miya is a Project Manager at GirlHype NPO, an organization based at Lookout Hill Khayelitsha in Cape Town. Girlhype teaches young women from the community of Khayelitsha coding, programming, and mobile apps development.
Thoko organizes workshops, summer school programs and in weekend programs. She ensures makes sure that these courses run smoothly ensuring that the young learners get the most optimal learning experience.
Hardware Developer, Technovera
An inventor from ekasi, Soweto. Nkuleleko is a final year student from the Tshwane University of Technology with a great interest in electronics systems development. He has attended various hackathons creating solutions that matter for the community.
Nkululeko’s curiosity and his willingness to learn from other people led him to participate in various extracurricular activities such as the Geekulcha Hackathon 2015 and 2016, Tech4Africa Hackathon 2015, TUT Hackathon 2015 and was a mentor for the 2016 Geekulcha VacWork program where he helped build a Water Management System that was able to detect between clean and dirty water, thus saving clean water that could have been wasted.
He likes to see development wherever he is, he later started a student organization, Engineers Without Borders-TUT in 2016 with his friends, where he led the organization as a Chairperson, the role he cherished and served with distinction. His passion for using technology to improve life and solve problems led him to build a robot that helps blind people navigate around.
When Nkululeko is not glued to his computer, he spends time with family and friends, if not, he plays with his two dogs, which sometimes leads to him thinking of innovating for animals, something he is also passionate about. For him, this is just the beginning.