SA tech start-up bags African innovation award, R3m Facebook funding

(Cape Town) – A local start-up company is making waves on the continent for their work helping empower youth with computer skills and software development principles.

GOOD NEWS: The leading app, website, service or idea that best meets the needs in two categories, Education and Economic Empowerment, won U.S.$150,000. (Image source: ENCA)

Founder of Hyperion Development, Riaz Moola explains that the company was the only South African business to scoop up an Internet.org Innovation Challenge in Africa award last week.

Hyperion Development was awarded a R3 million grant for Innovation in the Economic Empowerment division of the Facebook-funded awards.

“What we do has quite a social impact. We provide education that can empower people economically. Not just South Africa, but in other parts of Africa.” – Riaz Moola.

The start-up helps people learn coding and equips them with highly inaccessible software development skills, Moola says.

Hyperion Development offers an online course programme to those who can afford, at a fee, and uses some of the money raised to provide free courses to those without means.

“We’ll sell some of our course to high-income demographics, and use some the money fund free education to low-income groups.”

Moola debunks the myth that software developers require a strong aptitude for maths or science.

“It’s perfectly possible for someone to become a coder without having maths, or even a matric.”

He describes a great demand for coders in all country’s sectors, and recognises the positive socio-economic impact these skills and job opportunities bring.

“Every single industry, from banking to media, needs coders and there aren’t enough in South Africa.”

Hyperion Development will use their prize winnings to expand on their work and plan to grow internationally.

This story was sourced from CapeTalk