Judges for this year’s Huawei Apps UP competition have been announced.
The judging panel for Southern Africa will consist of:
1. Maurice Lau, founder of Silicon Burg International;
2. Peter Matthaei, CEO of Namola;
3. Annette Muller, CEO and founder of Flexyforce;
4. Ranka Jovanovic, editorial director and founding member of ITWeb; and
5. Andrew McHenry, Co-chair of Mobile Monday South Africa.
They will also represent Southern Africa in the Middle East and Africa regional judging panel.
The Apps UP judging panel is selected carefully and is made up of individuals who represent a unique combination of skills, backgrounds, and talents in App development, education, and technology.
The panel is tasked with selecting the best in App development, focusing on the power Apps have to bring about changes to the way people navigate their lives with the help of technology. Their aim is to pick Apps that prompt curiosity, inspire others, and perfectly blend technology with everyday life.
Why should App developers enter this competition?
Maurice Lau shares that entering the Huawei Apps UP competition would be a no-brainer. “Every App developer wants their App to be featured, exposed, and used. With Apps UP not only will this be accelerated, but there are prizes to be won too. Furthermore, the way Huawei approaches Apps in their AppGallery makes them my favourite App store.”
Peter Matthaei agrees with Lau’s sentiments. “The Apps UP competition is a great opportunity to showcase and create awareness of your App. It’s also a great way to learn from experts through feedback around your App.”
With the Apps UP competition, developers from Middle East & Africa, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America and China compete against one another for the chance of winning a share of US$1 million in prize money.
Winners are also eligible for additional rewards, such as HUAWEI AppGallery promotional resources, HUAWEI Cloud resources and revenue sharing opportunities for paid HMS Core capabilities.
Ranka Jovanovic adds, “With Apps UP, local developers have an opportunity to get their developed Apps exposed to global markets.”
Apps that contribute to solving societal obstacles are a necessity
The remarkable thing about technology and the overlooked resources behind it, such as developers and entrepreneurs, is how they manage to find gaps in markets and make a difference.
On the African continent there are many opportunities to explore this, such as health, education, transportation, sanitation, and safety and security, where technology has already played a tremendous role.
“Technology is not only an enabler, but an enhancer. From my experience, I think it is important to note developers and entrepreneurs can only solve the bigger problems such as health, safety, and education if they are supported. This means support from governments, support from the targeted industry/businesses in that industry, support from private investment and support from the users. The real magic is if this all does come right, but in my opinion if there really is a will then the possibilities are endless,” says Lau.
The judges acknowledge the importance of this competition. For Matthaei, it’s all about how technology ties into various aspects of everyday living.
“With ‘software eating the world’ (as Marc Andreessen, the founder of Netscape and well-known investor famously says), all aspects of our lives start having digital components. This is both a great responsibility — because we want to make sure that we provide real value to our users, don’t abuse their trust, and don’t create a whole host of new problems — and a great opportunity to create simple innovative solutions to what in a pre-digital world were very hard or even impossible problems.”
What the judges are looking for
Here’s what the judges are hoping to see from this year’s entries:
“Innovation – original ideas that solve real-life problems” – Ranka Jovanovic
“I love seeing the creativity and skills of local and regional developers. I also find it inspiring to see how many developers are tackling real-world problems and coming up with interesting and unexpected solutions” – Peter Matthaei
“As judges, we are provided with the criteria to score the submissions, but personality I look for innovation. Innovation can be applied in so many ways and when done correctly is pure brilliance. Previously many of the Apps we use today merely came down to functionality and popularity. Innovation disrupts and hence would be what I will be looking for” – Maurice Lau
“I’m hoping we see some surprises this year, Apps that are unique, and that tackle the Covid-19 pandemic, what’s been happening in Africa, specifically South Africa. I hope that the developers have used this time during the lockdown and maybe having more free time on their hands to do something cool, unique and groundbreaking that tackles this pandemic in any small or great way” – Andrew McHenry
How to enter
Aspiring and existing developers who are ready to make their mark on the African continent and on the world are urged to click here to take the first step.
All Apps must be developed by integrating HMS Core and submitted by 5 September 2021.
The panel of judges will pre-select work based on social value, business value, user experience and originality. From there, the top 20 shortlisted Apps in each region will be made available to the public to download and vote for their favourites on the competition’s official website or HUAWEI AppGallery before making their way to the global finals in October.