Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Representing South Africa, Nelson Mandela University students Randolph Meth and Kwanda Jakalase will receive resources and mentorship for developing their visionary idea to make an impact on campus and beyond.
South Africa has a new team of student innovators in the international spotlight, as the Solar Mitha Generator from Nelson Mandela University has been named one of 38 finalists in the global Red Bull Basement programme for 2020. Red Bull Basement invites tech innovators and student entrepreneurs to innovate on campus today and disrupt the world tomorrow by realising creative ideas to drive future change.
Worldwide, more than 3 800 student teams from all areas of study applied for the 2020 programme by submitting a video explaining their idea. In South Africa, a public vote narrowed the field to 24 top ideas from various universities. After careful consideration, a panel of judges chose the idea of Meth and Jakalase to represent the country.
The idea is a solar powered Generator called the Mitha Solar Power Generator which uses solar energy to power up appliances through solar PV panels and batteries.
It is a portable Uninterrupted Power Supply that can power the charging of devices like phones and laptops. It can also be used to power lights, kettles and microwaves. It has an expandable battery system and can be controlled via WiFi.
“Our vision as students and entrepreneurs is clear - we want to provide clean and affordable alternative energy to better our country and continent. We aim to ensure that there is a provision of sustainable solutions to the current and future socio-economic issues related to electricity. As students of  Mandela University, we seek solutions that are practically feasible and economically viable for on campus life as well as the community at large” said Randolph and Kwanda, students in the Faculty of Business & Economic Sciences.
From 2 November to 9 December 2020, the finalist teams will refine their ideas in a development phase, with access to resources including a workspace at the Port Elizabeth Dimension Data office, mentorship programmes and a global network of innovators.
The purpose of the workspace mentorship at Dimension Data is to provide the finalists with valuable support to help them tap into their knowledge and skills while enabling them to innovate with a purpose.
Besides the young innovators and student entrepreneurs from 36 countries, two wildcard teams will be chosen from partners HONOR and NTT Ltd., the Global Partners of Red Bull Basement and Dimension Data as the local partner.
The culmination of the students’ participation will come in December, when our students join the other finalist teams at the Red Bull Basement Global Workshop.
In this virtual experience, they’ll forge business relationships and networking connections with access to some of the world’s most visionary thought leaders. And they’ll pitch their ideas for social change and disruptive technology to the experts.
Siya Kolisi, the Springboks rugby team captain whose Kolisi Foundation works to drive positive change in South Africa, believes in the value of student ideas and is excited to see what innovations the Red Bull Basement participants will produce. “It's important to have a platform where you can express your ideas. That's a powerful thing,” says the dynamic social innovator. “You don't have to be in a certain position – you can make a difference in your own community. And it doesn't matter how big or small as long as you're making a change, and you're fighting for something that you believe in.”
Keep up with Red Bull Basement online to get updates on the Global Workshop and find inspiration from student innovators and leading global change-makers - redbullbasement.com