Women led tech companies honoured at the MTN App Awards

So last night, I attended for the first time, the sixth edition of the MTN Business App of the Year Awards. The gala event hosted in Johannesburg was attended by members of the app development community, and other related stakeholders.

I was expecting a really serious crowd because half of the people in the room are what we call "nerds" but to my surprise, the crowd was as wild as the app they were creating. Trevor Noah lite, I mean, Robby Collins was the MC. He was funny and I loved it that he engaged with the audience.

This app development competition is the biggest and most prestigious in South Africa.

“The MTN Business App of the Year Awards gives expression to our quest to contribute meaningfully to the search for innovative digital solutions that will help address some of the socio-economic challenges we are facing. As a leading telecommunications company, we are always mindful of how technology can foster entrepreneurship, drive economic growth and be leveraged as an enabler for myriad industries,” says Mandisa Ntloko, General Manager of Enterprise Marketing: MTN Business SA

The panel was made up of business leaders and experts in their respective fields.

Shyft was named as the overall winner of this year’s MTN Business App of the Year Awards. Shyft was created for Standard Bank with the aim of completely transforming customer experience.

This year, new categories were introduced in line with the evolving technology landscape. The inaugural winners and those recognised in these categories were:
  • ‘Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)’ Solution 
Two apps and the women responsible for developing them were recognised in this category.

The ORU Social solution is a multi-purpose social network platform tailored for SMEs with great professional appeal.

TouchSA is all about connecting SMEs with opportunities locally and internationally. With Trade and Industry alliances in international countries, the app is a great platform for South Africa’s small unknown businesses.

Category winners were:
  • Best Enterprise Solution: TransUnion 1Check
TransUnion identified a need in the market for a low cost, real-time, easy-to-use mobile management tool which not only reduced high printing costs, but closed the gap between fluctuating market values and monthly publishing lead time of their book. In addition, the software provides the financial industry and insurance providers with real time, up-to-date data for vehicle and insurance decisions via web services or via the app. 
  • Best Consumer Solution: OrderIN
OrderIn is a food delivery app. Users are able to order meals via the app, and have their meals delivered in minutes. They can also order ahead and collect or pay in person. 
  • Best Incubated Solution: EcoSlips
EcoSlips converts ordinary paper slips into digital advertisements that pop up on consumer cell phones. Retailers are able to link their point-of-sale systems to EcoSlips and send transaction slips digitally from any pay point to consumer cell phones. Paper slip waste is reduced and a new advertising platform provides opportunities to grow any business in the retail sector. 
  • Most Innovative Solution: InterGreatMe
InterGreatMe is an identity management platform, providing users with control of their identities across financial services, telecomunications, insurance and credit providing companies. The platform also allows businesses to comply with FICA, RICA, NCA and POPI laws. 
  • Best Breakthrough Developer: Zulzi
An on-demand delivery platform for anything around the consumer’s area. Zulzi is an online digital mall which links the consumer up with a personal shopper who will deliver to the customer within an hour. Lunch, dinner, groceries, pharmaceuticals or anything else can be ordered. 
  • Best South African App: Hey Jude
Hey Jude is a real human assistant that lives on your smartphone. Whatever you need, Jude is there to assist you, be it booking restaurants, organising tradesmen or finding information - you name it, Hey Jude does it.
  • Best Gaming Solution: Pick ‘n Pay’s Super Animals 2
This solution allows users to meet the all new South African Super Animals, brought to you by Pick n Pay!
  • Best Agriculture Solution: The TreeApp South Africa
TheTreeApp has found ways of utilising simple English and straight forward visible attributes that anyone can use as search criteria.
  • Best Health Solution: WatIf Health Portal
This portal is a new and inventive way of delivering healthcare to the man on the street.
  • Best Education Solution: Awethu Project
The Awethu Project App is a mobile business tool aimed at educating one million people in developing economies on how to start and grow a business.  The primary objective is to stimulate job creation through entrepreneurship.

Furthermore, this year more than 48 000 votes were cast in the People’s Choice category.  South Africa’s favourite app is Zulzi.

For more information about the Awards, the overall winner and the winners in each of the 12 categories, go to appoftheyear.co.za, or MTNBusinessZA on Twitter and follow #MTNAppAwards.