A month after Moto Republik hosted the Bots for Messenger Challenge 2017, two Facebook Messenger Bots made by Zimbabweans have been shortlisted.
PopTime Bot – Movie Companion and Sphinx The Gameave were selected among 60 finalists who participated in the Bots for Messenger Developer Challenge. The two were drawn from hundreds of entries received by Facebook across the Middle East and Africa.
The Bots for Messenger Challenge is a contest to recognize and reward developers who create the most innovative new bots on Messenger.
The 60 finalist teams each won a Gear VR and mobile phone, one hour of Facebook mentorship, and tools and services from FbStart (https://Developers.Facebook.com/fbstart), a Facebook program designed to help early stage mobile start-ups build and grow their bots. All student teams who made it to the finals won an additional $2,000.
According to Facebook, the finalists should resubmit their bots by June 2 to qualify to win. Each region will have three runner-up teams (one from each category) who will win $10,000 and three months of Facebook mentorship. Three winning teams from each category from each region will win $20,000 and three months of Facebook mentorship.
According to Facebook’s Head of Platform Partnerships for the Middle East and Africa Emeka Afigbo the challenge had more than 1,000 entries over two and a half months for the Bots for Messenger Challenge from developers and entrepreneurs across the Middle East and Africa.
About 20 Zimbabwean participants took part in the Zimbabwean leg of the Bots for Messenger Challenge held at Moto Republik in April.