Explore, a new joint initiative launched by the Explore Data Science Academy (EDSA) and AlphaCode, aims to plug South Africa’s gap in data science skills.
The programme, described by its creators, as a ‘mini MBA’ , will see 20 entrepreneurs go through an intensive six-month data science-training and coaching programme, where they will learn how to design a 10X business (business with exponential growth potential) along with the core digital skills needed to build a fintech organisation.
This will be followed by three months of intense business training, where their fintech ideas will be reviewed, assessed and refined.
The programme is offered at no cost to the candidates and includes a stipend to cover major living expenses during the year.
Ideas that got candidates selected include:
- a peer-to-peer blockchain-based authentication system for debit orders;
- a medical platform which enables low-income individuals to access quality healthcare in the private sector;
- a mobile payment app that allows parents to pay their children’s school fees while enabling them to save for their eventual tertiary education.
“The calibre of applicants and their ideas was impressive, demonstrating the depth of talent that exists within South Africans of all backgrounds,” said Shaun Dippnall, co-founder of the Explore Data Science Academy.
“Each participant is matched with a seasoned fintech entrepreneur as a mentor who will assist them with their business pitch.
“This is so that the entrepreneurs are given access to the best coaching and mentorship available with a view to their idea being accepted into the AlphaCode Incubate programme, which will offer further support.”