The ninth annual MTN Business App the Year Awards took place virtually on 29 October. EasyEquities was announced as the overall winner while other apps took top spots across 15 categories. The winner of the new Best Youth App category was also announced - three apps entered this category and each walked away with their share of R100,000.
Photo by Autumn Goodman on Unsplash
EasyEquities is an app that provides the first step in a user’s investment journey. It aims to make the purchase of shares safe and easy and helps new and existing investors to stay on top of their investment portfolios with detailed account overviews and personalised reporting.
The app, which also placed first in the Best Consumer Solution category, walks away with the overall grand prize of an international trip to a tech-related destination valued at R200,000.
The winners in each of the categories:
- Best Women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics): Examsta - A learning platform that focuses on content-heavy subjects like geography and life sciences, cutting across the South Africa national curriculum and IEB curriculum. It enables learners to progress using gamification.
- Best Enterprise Solution: Checkers Sixty60 - This online shopping app allows a team of in-store shoppers to scan each product displayed on the screen’s device to complete the customer’s order.
- Best Incubated Solution: Technishen - An on-demand mobile platform where businesses and households can request support from a variety of technicians, ranging from IT support, electrical installation and maintenance, auto mechanics or plumbing services. The app uses geo-location to find a supplier within a 10km radius.
- Most Innovative Solution: BirdPro - This app can identify over 6,500 birds and includes more than 1,700 clear bird calls. The names of birds are available in all South African languages, as well as German, French and Portuguese.
- Best Health Solution: Lexie Hearing - This app allows customers who have purchased a pair of Bluetooth Lexie hearing aids to customise their unique hearing profiles. A two-minute clinically validated hearing check on the app automatically programmes the hearing aids based on results. It includes an animated, step-by-step instruction guide.
- Best Gaming Solution: League of Legends - An augmented reality game where a character appears and casts a spell or attacks another character and solves a puzzle. This turn-based, player vs player game sees bigger impact as harder puzzles are solved.
- Best Agricultural Solution: GreenFingers Mobile - This app replaces pen and paper and agroforestry management systems, enabling the digital management and finance of smallholder farmers in various value chains at scale. At its core, the platform allows field officers to collect farmer, household and transactional data. Its reforestation tracking tool incentivises farmers to plant trees and allows funders to invest directly into outcomes-based reforestation projects.
- Best Educational Solution: Xitsonga Dictionary - This solution provides users with thousands of words translated from Xitsonga to English. The app also shares the wisdom of the Vatsonga people by providing access to proverbs and idioms.
- Best Financial Solution: StokFella - This app enables stokvels to manage, consolidate, communicate, visualise and analyse their stokvel activity financials and any other related stokvel matters.
- Best 'South African' App: Bottles - While the Bottles app started out as a service for the delivery of alcoholic beverages, 2020 saw the app evolving to also deliver grocery items. In partnership with Pick n Pay, the app offers same-day and next-day deliveries. Users can browse through more than 5,000 products, all at in-store pricing.
Introduced this year was the MTN Business App Academy, which was created to mentor and upskill aspiring talent for futures in ICT. The aspiring developers had the opportunity to participate in a six-week online coding programme. They then went on to participate in a 72-hour hackathon in mid-September.
The winning solutions from the hackathon automatically qualified as finalists in two awards categories, namely the 'Best Breakthrough Developer' and the brand new 'Best Youth App' category for developers between the ages of 18 and 26.
The Matric Live app
took the top spot in the
Best Breakthrough Solution
A 21-year-old self-taught developer named Lesego Finger developed the app while still a student himself. With more than half a million users to date, Matric Live includes practice materials, study guides, learning resources and access to past papers for all Grade 10 to 12 subjects.
The inaugural winning app in the new Best Youth App
category was Guardian Health.
This solution consists of a patient app, a paramedic app and a management portal. The patient app allows users to request and track an ambulance, and input relevant medical history and prescription information, which is then sent through to the paramedic when an ambulance is dispatched. The paramedic app allows the emergency response team to receive the request, accept it and navigate correctly. The management portal enables the management and allocation of ambulances.
The developers of the Guardian Health App walk away with R50,000.
The runners-up, Huawei category, and People’s Choice AwardThe first runner-up in the new youth category is Phanda Ispani, who received R30,000. Phanda Ispani is a platform that uses a bot to connect job-seekers to recruiters, simplifying the job search process. The second runner-up, Scan & Go, won R20,000. This app provides a contactless way of connecting with other businesses through the creation of virtual business cards. Huawei also sponsored its own category. The winner was the My Pregnancy Journey app that empowers pregnant women with everything they need to know. This includes relevant health, exercise and nutrition information, as well as calculators and reminders to keep track of the mother’s and baby’s progress. This year’s People’s Choice Award, as voted for by the public, went to