SBIT Challenge 2016


The SBITC is a competition for teams of undergraduate and honours students now in its eleventh year. The teams receive a number of problems and have to write the programs to solve the problems in the Heats, while in the Final they are posed a problem and are encourage to develop an application using a specific technology. In 2016 it was an Amazon Echo. The Heats were run at the universities and the Finals took place at the Standard Bank headquarters in Gauteng.

For 2016, the competition format changed to reflect the ever-changing and fast-paced technology industry within the financial sector. This year while the Heats remained as for previous years, the Finals challenged the students to solve practical, ‘real-world’ problems using a new application in technology.


12 universities entered the Heats. Some universities entered more teams than other. The following universities took part:

1.            North West University
2.            University of Pretoria
3.            Rhodes University
4.            Stellenbosch University
5.            University of Cape Town
6.            University of KwaZulu-Natal
7.            University of Limpopo
8.            University of Western Cape
9.            University of Witwatersrand
10.          Walter Sisulu University
11.          Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
12.          University of Fort Hare



The 2016 Finals competition format encouraged students to solve practical problems using an Amazon Echo. Students were expected to develop a financial-industry relevant app for an Amazon Echo within two-and-a-half days. The top performing teams from each university were invited to attend the Finals in Johannesburg for a weekend. At the end of the weekend, the students were required to pitch their apps to a panel of judges who scored each team on the following criteria, all equally weighted:


  1. Engineering Excellence
  2. Creativity
  3. Financial Relevance
  4. Usability

The judges from Standard Bank were:

  1. Brendon Wilson – Head of Risk & Finance Technology, Head of Data
  2. Paul Robson – Head of Investment Banking Technology, Head of Client Coverage Technology
  3. Sean Doherty – CFO of Investment Banking
  4. James Nicolson – Head of Technology Architecture 

The competition was held at the Rosebank Crowne Plaza Hotel. Each team was assigned a suite where they could work throughout the weekend. During the weekend, the judges, proctors and support team from Offerzen moved from team to team to hear the ideas and offer assistance where appropriate. 

Awards Function

The award ceremony was held at the Crowne Plaza. All teams, lecturers, sponsors, judges, proctors and Standard Bank Technology Stratco were invited to attend the event. 


First Place: University of Western Cape – won R100 000 for their university, and each team member received a Dell Venue 11 Pro Tablet

Second Place: University of Pretoria – won R60 000 for their university, and each team member received a Dell Venue 8 Pro Tablet

Third Place: University of Witswatersrand – won R40 000 for their university, and each team member received a Dell computer monitor

Creativity Award: Walter Sisulu University – won an Amazon Echo

Engineering Excellence Award: UCT – won an Amazon Echo