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The Red Bull Basement University program has been launched in South African campuses, providing university students with the opportunity to co-create innovative projects that improve student life.

Following a successful launch last year, Red Bull Basement University invites the next generation of innovators to challenge the status quo and use technology to create solutions that drive positive change on campus and beyond.

A global collaborative initiative, Red Bull Basement University will travel to almost 30 countries in 2019. All university students in South Africa who have an idea for how to use technology to improve student life will be eligible to participate and submit applications. Red Bull Basement University encourages creative students to apply, including makers, hackers, coders, architects, designers and engineers.

Through a voting and judging process, Red Bull Basement University will select the brightest ideas from student innovators in South Africa and help them bring those ideas to life. The winner will enter a five-week development phase to further evolve their idea and project with the support of designated mentors. The winner from each country will then be invited to the Red Bull Basement University Global Workshop, a four-day event comprised of lectures, workshops and mentorship sessions, all leading up to a final pitching competition and the selection of the global winner. The Red Bull Basement University Global Workshop 2019 will take place in Toronto, Canada from December 12-15.

Red Bull Basement University launched its inaugural program in 2018 with more than 300 universities and 16 countries participating. The student innovators have come up with innovative ideas, such as giving students greater access to voting in campus elections and improve metal recycling and waste collection. The global winning idea in 2018 was awarded to Team Vacant in Toronto, which designed a prototype that enables students to get real-time information on study space availability across different buildings on campus.

“As students, we found that study space inefficiency was an issue on campus, and we wanted to bring our peers a better environment to learn, socialise and grow,” said Anna Pogossyan, who won the Red Bull Basement University Global Workshop 2018 with her partner, Temirlan Toktabek. “Red Bull Basement University gave us the resources we needed to take our idea to the next level. Through the experience, we realised that we don’t have to stop at study spaces – we can use technology to advance the application of human-centered design in other environments.”

As part of 2019 program, Red Bull Basement University will launch a series of Launchpad events in September that aim to share information about the program and further inspire students across campuses in South Africa to turn their ideas into world changing solutions. Through lectures from social innovation experts /interactive programming, Red Bull Basement University will introduce the world of technology for good and encourage the change-makers of tomorrow to channel their creativity into ideas that can improve student life on campus and beyond.