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Software developers shape skilful solutions

Written by More Matshediso

Two young South Africans have started a software development company to respond to digital world demands, and they are helping companies locally and abroad.

Siyabonga Tiwana (29) and Tyrone Adams (28) founded Skywalk Innovations five years ago, with no start-up capital or investment.

It initially operated from a university research laboratory until the founders could afford their own office space in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Today the company has an annual turnover of over R3 million, has created permanent jobs for seven people and hires a few more on a temporary basis.

Skywalk Innovations is a software development company that specialises in developing mobile and web applications for clients in South Africa, the United States, Namibia, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Software development is the process of creating and maintaining applications, frameworks or other software components. It involves conceiving, specifying, designing, programming, documenting, testing and bug fixing.

“Many South African businesses wanted to adopt new technology but the costs were extremely high and still are. Most businesses were using technology solutions that were built out of Africa and that alone was a contributing factor to the cost,” he said.

To address this challenge, they started the business, which builds technology solutions from scratch.

“We also build native Android and cross-platform Apple Inc. products. We provide end-to-end solutions from business analysis, software development, support and maintenance, hosting, change and project management,” he said.

The company has offered its services to clients in both the private and public sectors.

A United States-based shareholder and non-executive director, Marco Piovesan, recently joined Skywalk to help attract more business from abroad.  

Tiwana grew up in Nkomazi in Mpumalanga and studied Information Technology (Software Development) at Cape Peninsula University of Technology. He previously worked as a mobile apps developer but resigned to start Skywalk Innovations with Adams.

“We believe in the youth as the future of Africa, and with the right mentorship and guidance, we can make a difference,” he said. 

The company received funding from the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) which helped them buy equipment. It also formed a partnership with the NYDA to offer regular training programmes to entrepreneurs at no cost to the NYDA and the trainees.

For more information about this programme, applicants can contact the NYDA on 0800 52 52 52 or email info@nyda.gov.za