Startupbootcamp (SBC) Cape Town and RCS Group held a water-saving hackathon to commission technology from the wider Cape community in a bid to push back Day Zero (the day an entire city runs out of water).
The H2O (Hack Two Day Zero) event hosted executives from top corporates who engaged with entrepreneurs, students, concerned citizens and local government.
“There is no doubt that collectively, people who have a passion to solve real issues, make a difference. This weekend’s hackathon was testimony to that. The participants came from a variety of backgrounds with different skills, but all had a desire to build real solutions,” comments Paul Nel, Chief Partnership Officer and CFO of Startupbootcamp Cape Town, “It is vital that we as a community work together on solutions. By providing the environment to do so, we are assured of change. It was so beautiful to see the creative minds crafting the ideas into tangible opportunities.”
Young entrepreneurs collaborated to come up with the best water-saving tech solutions. TapOff, one of the teams in attendance, created an online platform that aimed to inform, empower and gamify residential water use so residents use 50 liters or less water per person per day. Another team, Golden Flow, decided to demonstrate the ability to close the loop on unrecycled water.
By recycling treated effluent, the company developing ways of making the use of grey water more easy and efficient. Another team also dabbled in recycling grey water with a residential filtration system. Another team in attendance, Water Tickets, looked at solutions that could be put into place should Day Zero become a reality. They offered a simple solution for reserving time slots at water collection spots, and an additional feature to enable neighbours, friends, or members of the community to collect water on behalf of people who are unable (including sick and elderly).
The brain-child of team TinyLoop that walked away with the grand prize. TinyLoop won with their innovative shower system that enables ones to shower for as long as they would like while still using less than 10 liters of water. By reducing the water wastage associated with showers, their system is a potential game-changer.
“TinyLoop is a closed-loop shower system that recycles (less than) 10 liters of water for a continuous, guilt-free shower experience. It allows you the opportunity to enjoy showering while staying well below the current Level 6B water restrictions allocation of 50 liters per person. TinyLoop is also the first proactive step towards combatting the “new normal” of water scarcity and a growing population in the Western Cape and South Africa,” explains Thomas Bartleman, Head Designer for TinyLoop, “The Startupbootcamp Hackathon offered us the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from individuals with vastly different backgrounds and experiment with new ideas regarding the product. The mentorship from Startupbootcamp, their corporate partners, and the sponsors was just as valuable.”
“The prize money will mainly be used to improve the product capabilities, with some of it allocated to exploring better filtration and production capabilities. ThundaFund, one of the sponsors, will also provide their expertise in the crowdfunding space to help us connect with the Cape Town community and get the product to market,” states Bartleman.