Student Innovators and Startups can win $10,000 in the Ericsson Innovation Awards 2016

October 13, 2016
3 min read

Ericsson has opened the registration portal for the 2016 sub-Saharan Africa Innovation Awards. This year's call for entries is targeted at student innovators and startups from across the region to enter the regional contest to win $10,000.

The goal for the 2016 sub-Saharan Africa Innovation Awards is to find innovations that promote sustainability in the future of food, whether it be in food production, packaging, information availability or distribution.

This year, the theme is “The Future of Food” giving participants an opportunity to develop and showcase innovative ideas that would impact an industry with great potential in the region. The sub-Saharan Africa Innovation Awards is looking for the latest innovations in the future of food.

Team CHURA 2015 Winner – ERICSSON Innovation Awards Sub-Saharan Africa
Team CHURA 2015 Winner – ERICSSON Innovation Awards Sub-Saharan Africa

Team Chura from Kenya was the winner of the Ericsson Innovation Awards 2015 for sub-Saharan Africa. Their innovation was an App that allows users to trade airtime for money and enables simultaneous distribution of airtime to multiple phone numbers on multiple networks in Kenya. They took home the prize of $10 000.

Young innovators and start-ups can take advantage of this opportunity to make a real difference by using technology and ICT to make a positive contribution towards sustainability in the food sector in sub-Saharan Africa.

Team Requirements:

  • To partake in the student category, team members need to be registered students at a tertiary institution on October 1, 2016.
  • Your team must be a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4. Students from all years and all fields of study are eligible to participate, including PhD students. Diversity is encouraged in teams and members can be of different nationalities, universities and fields of study.
  • If you wish to partake in the startup category, your annual turnover must be less than $800,000.

Business Case requirements:

  • Your business case will need to include: a product description, a problem statement and solution, a financial analysis and a sustainability analysis.
  • It should be no longer than 3 pages.

Video Submission requirements:

  • You will need to submit a video or provide a link to a video of your innovation.
  • Video must be no longer than 3 minutes.
  • The video needs to show what the innovation is, and how it works through a demonstration.
  • Also include an introduction of you and your startup.

(Please note that the video does not need to be a professional production, but needs to meet the following specs: landscape orientation and quality of 720p or 1080p. It can be filmed on a high quality smartphone.)

The jury will evaluate submissions based on the follow criteria:

  • How well the innovation addresses the theme “The Future of Food”. What specific problem is stated and how does the innovation solve this problem in a unique manner?
  • The impact of the innovation on sustainability levels/ how socially responsible is the innovation.
  • How well the team members have collaborated – teams with members from different universities, fields of study, backgrounds and nationalities will have an edge in the jury process.
  • The level of scalability of the innovation to be deployed in different markets or user segments (consumers and/ or organisations). This includes the reach of the innovation (global, regional, local).
  • The financial implication of the innovation. The financial analysis in the business case should verify this. Does the innovation generate revenue or will it be used for cost reduction?
  • Ease of development and speed to market. This should be explained in the business case.
  • The impact of the innovation: ease for potential customers to deploy (account for time, change of behaviour, money). This should cover the benefits of this innovation (e.g. user benefits, efficiency).
  • Demonstration of the innovation and standing by this idea through a lite-prototype or minimum viable product. This needs to be submitted in the 3-minute video.

If you got what it takes, you can apply for the 2016 sub-Saharan Africa Innovation Awards. The closing date for entries is Monday 31st October 2016. Ten semi-finalists will be selected by the Ericsson jury from the online entries. All participants in the regional competition, who meet the global criteria, are automatically entered into the global Ericsson Innovation Award competition.

One winner will be chosen and announced at a cocktail event at the Cape Town Convention Centre on November 15. The winning team will also showcase their innovative solution to a crowd of industry experts at this event.

I love telling stories using text, pictures and videos. It's all about the little details.
I love telling stories using text, pictures and videos. It's all about the little details.
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