Eight social ICT start-ups win ITU Telecom World 2014 Young Innovators Competition

Date: Mon, 11/24/2014 - 18:23

Eight social ICT start-ups win ITU Telecom World 2014 Young Innovators Competition
Young social entrepreneurs to participate in accelerator programme at ITU Telecom World in Doha and win seed funding

ITU Telecom has announced the winners of its fourth annual Young Innovators’ Competition. Open to young social entrepreneurs between ages 18 and 30 from around the world, the competition sought innovative digital solutions with positive social impact to four challenges, focusing on developmental issues and technologies. The winners will be heading to ITU Telecom World 2014, the leading networking, solutions showcasing and knowledge-sharing event for the global ICT community in Doha, Qatar, 7-11 December.
From over 822 entries for four Challenges from 99 countries worldwide, submitted on a dedicated platform powered by Crowdicity, eight start-ups and concepts were selected on the basis of social impact and potential for business success:

Challenge 1 on Local Digital Content with Challenge Partner Ooredoo
•    TeleMuseum – Lorna Okeng, Uganda: online virtual museum preserving and digitalizing African local content, oral traditions, and culture in cinema
•    Incept – Safouan Ben Jha, Tunisia: interactive, multilingual augmented reality app for museums and historic sites

Challenge 2 on Open Source Technologies for Disaster Management
•    Social Media Coordination (SoMeC) – Hemant Purohit, India: web app to identify social media influencers and improve disaster response coordination
•    NAJI – Your Mobile Is Your Saviour – Sahar Pakseresht, Iran: app and bracelet using body sensor networks to locate people missing in natural disasters

Challenge 3 on Smart Cities & Climate Change with Challenge Partner WHO
•    Making Sense of Sensor Technology – Vratul Kumar, India: wireless smart sensor technology applied to waste disposal networks
•    Matti – Jeisson Díaz, Colombia: GPS-based social app to raise awareness on recycling and climate change

Challenge 4 on the Internet of Things with Challenge Partner IEEE IoT Initiative
•    Unplugged – Marvin Arnold, USA: developing a secure decentralized information exchange platform to rival the Internet
•    CONNECTED ECO – Fatoumata Kebe, France/Mali: solar-powered sensor providing real-time analysis of soil conditions and irrigation needs

At ITU Telecom World 2014 in Doha, the Young Innovators Competition winners will take part in an accelerator programme to take their projects to the next level via one-on-one sessions with start-up mentors and business experts, hands-on workshop training and peer mentoring from the winners of the 2013 competition. Based on their performance during the Young Innovators Pitching Session, each winner will be awarded up to USD 10,000 for start-ups and USD 5,000 for concepts.
In addition, the competition winners will have space in a dedicated pavilion on the show floor, the InnovationSpace, where they will have the opportunity to display their work alongside other social innovations by former winners and a community of global inventors, and where they will host two thematic days during ITU Telecom World 2014: 

Young Influencers Day – 7 December
In collaboration with the Doha Hub of the Global Shapers Community, a World Economic Forum initiative, the ITU Telecom World Young Innovators Programme will gather young influencers from across the region along with young entrepreneurs to explore the potential of ICT in mitigating global challenges, and discuss "What are the Driving Forces for Innovation and Social Change". All young people interested in joining the inter-active panel discussions are welcome to attend.

Start-up Day – 9 December
The day is dedicated to start-ups, entrepreneurs and discussions on taking one’s project to the next level, organized in partnership with ictQATAR Digital Incubation Centre. The focus of the day will be on financing and investment, including a session on how to reach out to investors and what to be aware of when doing so. By bringing together guest innovators and their start-ups from all over the world, this day demonstrates the Young Innovators Programme’s commitment to the power of collaboration and knowledge-sharing in changing the future for the better.
“These bright young minds have found creative technological solutions to developmental challenges both in their communities and in the wider world,” said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré. “The innovative social start-ups, winners of the competition, as well as alumni from previous years, are an inspiration to all delegates, guests and participants in ITU Telecom World. Their resolve to improve their community and enthusiasm to spread the idealism of their ventures is truly impressive.”
ITU Secretary-General elect Houlin Zhao added:  “Expanding the spotlight from winners of the competition to promising local and regional start-ups, touching base with young thought- and business leaders through partner programmes, reinforces ITU Telecom World as a key platform for interaction, not only for the current big players in the ICT sector, but also for the new and emerging disruptive leaders of tomorrow.”

Above, image credited to ITU

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