SqwidNet announces IoT contest for SA students


SqwidNet, a subsidiary of Dark Fibre Africa and the local licensed operator of French company Sigfox’s internet-of-things (IoT) solutions, has announced a competition open to South African university students — both undergrads and postgrads — with innovative IoT ideas. The winners will take home R20,000 and get to send one of their team to present their design in IoT Valley in Toulouse, France later this year.

So, what’s involved? First up, you’ll need to complete the entry form and outline your idea. If your idea cuts the proverbial mustard, you’ll be provided with hardware and software development kits, free access to SqwidNet’s IoT network and API access, and mentoring and support from both SqwidNet’s South African team and Sigfox’s Adoption & Evangelisation team.

Entries are open now and close on 27 May. Thereafter, SqwidNet and Sigfox will sift the wheat from the chaff, with the best entries proceeding to the second phase. Entrants will know whether or not they’ve made the cut by early June.

Those that make it past the first phase will have a month to develop their prototype and will need to submit their solutions design and present to the judges for evaluation. The overall winners will be announced at the beginning of August.

Phathizwe Malinga, acting CEO of SqwidNet, says projects should ideally focus on “environmental and animal protection, energy, health, transportation, and any other areas of sustainable development”.

All qualifying entries will be looked at by SqwidNet partners, which means even those that don’t win could be commercialised. SqwidNet will also offer participants access to their entrepreneurship programme, called (IOT)E and lets them register as Sigfox University Partners, which will allow them access to dedicated IoT-related content.

For a full breakdown of the rules, Ts & Cs and other pertinent info, head over to the dedicated challenge page on the SqwidNet website over here.


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