SmartTechNXT helps next generation coders

On Thursday, July 14, 2022, Nuffic Neso South Africa organised the SA-NL Digital Innovation Challenge 2022. Laureen van Aswegen, Global Director – Intelligent Automation at SmartTechNXT, was a co organiser of the event.

Nuffic Neso is the Netherlands Education Support Office and the official South African representative for all matters related to Dutch higher education.

Nuffic Neso South Africa organises a wide range of activities, such as supporting Dutch students in South Africa, as well as South African students in the Netherlands through various programs and initiatives. Additionally, Nuffic coordinates professional collaborations between South African and Dutch stakeholders in the knowledge sector, such as the NRF- Nuffic PhD program, Living Labs, and the Alumni program.

SA-NL Digital Innovation Challenge 2022

As part of its activities, Nuffic Neso, along with The Southern African Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (SANEC) and Fontys University of Applied Sciences, organised the SA-NL Digital Innovation Challenge 2022. The challenge's theme was: How can we optimise digital education in the Western Cape, South Africa?" The virtual event was organised by Nuffic's Beverley Fanella and Huba Boshoff and included various facilitators, including SmartTechNXT’s Dr. Laureen van Aswegen.

The Speakers

Laureen is responsible for leading large-scale digital transformation programs. During the Challenge, she provided an overview of the process for creating innovative enterprises and how a scalable digital/tech enterprise can be built.

Huba Boshoff from Nuffic Neso spoke about VC financing for the future of digital enterprises.

South African entrepreneur and development specialist Daniel Maloba took participants through an interactive process from ideation to prototyping using a human-centred Design Thinking Lens.

Rama Raphalalani joined the team as an entrepreneur, researcher, and Allan Gray Orbis Foundation Fellow. Rama addressed topics related to entrepreneurship.

Tjade Moezelaar is the Chief Operating Officer of a leading digital marketing agency in South Africa and covered topics related to digitally marketing a new product or service.

Casper Schellekens, a senior lecturer at Fontys University of Applied Sciences, guided participants through the three-step process of turning an idea into a quick prototype.

The Challenge and Participants

The participating students were tasked with optimising digital education in the Western Cape, South Africa.

The students presented various ideas and concepts to address the challenge. The panel evaluated the student presentations based on criteria such as value proposition, uniqueness, and prototype presentation. Nika Coetzee and Rumi Onu were this years winners of the SA- NL Digital Innovation Challenge 2022. Congratulations! We wish you success on your digital entrepreneurial journey.