Cell C’s Hangman series hopes to find South Africa’s next big innovator

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Hangman is Cell C’s latest attempt at a reality TV show and while we weren’t exactly fans of the Break The Net challenge from last year, the teasers released in the last few weeks about this online show had us curious.

Our curiosity stems from the fact that instead of trying to achieve some intangible goal of making a video creator go “viral” on YouTube, Cell C is looking to showcase entrepreneurs and the innovations they have created.

In short it’s like Shark Tank but that explaination is rather broad. “In a nutshell it’s about looking for South Africa’s next big idea” says Cell C’s executive marketing head Doug Mattheus.

Hangman will streamed online through Cell C’s Reality App (Android, iOS) rather than through traditional TV.

Cell C is not looking for serial entrepreneurs, or up and coming professionals. The firm wants folks who are plugging gaps in the market with innovative ideas.

Instead of simply pitching their idea to a panel of backers (who will help to decide the winner of the contest) viewers will be able to invest digital currency to support the contestant they feel is most deserving of winning this competition.

It’s basically a voting system that we’ll admit is quite novel.

Viewers will “invest” in an entrepreneur through something called “The Exchange”. Upon downloading the Cell C Reality App (which you can do right now) viewers will receive 100 000 points that they can use to invest. Cell C is giving viewers an incentive to participate by offering up data, cash, and a car as prizes.

Cell C has sourced a number of “captains of industry” to serve as the Backers on Hangman. The four backers include chairman of Shell South Africa Bonang Mohale, celebrity economist Iraj Abedian, billionaire Quinton van Der Bergh and Phuti Mahanyele.

The Backers. Bonang Mohale (top left), Iraj Abedian (top right), Phuti Mahanyele (bottom left) and Quinton van der Burgh (bottom right)

“Cell C is delighted to present this fully interactive and unscripted format with Hangman. It offers the opportunity for viewers to track innovator performance and invest ‘real time’ via a Cell C Stock Exchange App. They can also get involved ‒ up close and personal ‒ by helping contestants win their tasks. We are delighted that as an innovator, Cell C is continuing with the delivery of incredible content ,” Cell C chief executive officer Jose Dos Santos said.

So what are these contestants competing for? In short funding, R1 million in funding to be exact.

Entries for Hangman open today and will run until 21st July. The competition will start streaming online from 9th October and will wrap up on 11th December.

We’re quite excited about this competition because as you know we love startups and innovative ideas. Perhaps Hangman will transfer that passion over to a few more people.


Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.