ITU Telecom World is a global event which brings together policy makers, regulators, industry leaders, SMEs and entrepreneurs to explore accelerating ICT innovations for social and economic development. The Young Innovators Competition is an integral part of the event which recognizes gifted young entrepreneurs who have ideas for innovative social enterprises, as a result of development challenges
Young Ogbonnaya Bassey’s startup – SolarKobo, came out tops from a pool of 124 applicants across 34 countries. Bassey is joint winner with Ugur Can Bastik, a young entrepreneur from Turkey who built TactiX, a tactile smartphone for the blind. They have both been invited to attend the Intel-sponsored in Budapest, Hungary between October 12-15, 2015 for an opportunity to pitch their ideas, participate in workshops, benefit from a year of ongoing mentorship, and win seed funding.
SolarKobo is an innovation that will allow small businesses and families benefit from solar systems for relatively low monthly fees and will use single board devices for remote monitoring and customer payment systems. This will be achieved through the provision of solar powered systems with zero-upfront financing in Nigeria as a cheaper, more reliable and cleaner electricity source than the private gasoline generators which are widely used to supplement the insufficient public electricity supply.
According to Bassey, “Most of the ingredients for our success exist. The need is critical, the demand for our solution is proven, the technology is tested and we have a sustainable model. We applied to the Young Innovators Competition to create awareness for our cause, get seed funding, investment, mentorship, and access to help from Intel in developing smarter systems.”
The Vice President and General Manager, Governments and World Ahead – Intel Corporation, Gordon Graylish said about the competition: “We are extremely honoured to be part of such a great initiative. We are even more impressed with the fantastic work from the young innovators. As a company, we are always looking to work with the brightest minds to make a positive impact, develop new technologies and make a difference. Part of this is creating new jobs in ICT and helping these fresh ideas to thrive. The brilliant ideas put forward – whether it is helping the blind to communicate in a digital world or encouraging more people to use solar power – show great ambition and we are proud to provide Intel architecture to bring these ideas to life.”
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