Red Bull Basement University picking SA’s best student ideas to compete in Canada

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If you’ve never heard of the Red Bull Basement University, it’s a branch of the company which is focused on finding innovative ideas from people at tertiary institutions across the globe.

While it skipped South Africa last year for its global competition, Red Bull Basement University did not in 2019, and held launchpad events at four different campuses across the country in September.

Now it’s time to whittle the number of entrants down to the finalists, with judging for this phase of the global competition taking place during the second week of November. The local judges are Lebo MadiseSiphumelele Zondi and Allan Pead, with all three looking to select innovative ideas that are designed to improve student lives. In order to pick the South African winner, Red Bull will lean on social media to decide which idea is the most innovative.

Having travelled to 30 countries this year for the competition, Red Bull explains that winners in their respective country will receive a five-week development phase to further evolve their idea and project with the support of designated mentors.

The winner from each country will then be invited to the Red Bull Basement University Global Workshop, which is a four-day event comprised of lectures, workshops and mentorship sessions, all leading up to a final pitching competition and the selection of the global winner.

“As students, we found that study space inefficiency was an issue on campus, and we wanted to bring our peers a better environment to learn, socialise and grow,” explain last year’s winners Anna Pogossyan and Temirlan Toktabek about their time at the workshop.

“Red Bull Basement University gave us the resources we needed to take our idea to the next level. Through the experience, we realised that we don’t have to stop at study spaces – we can use technology to advance the application of human-centered design in other environments,” they add.

This final phase of the global competition will take place in Toronto, Canada from 12th to 15th December.

Here’s hoping a South African idea can go all the way.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Editor of Hypertext. Covers smartphones, IoT, 5G, cloud computing and a few things in between. Also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games when not taking the hatchet to stories.


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