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Got a solution to urban troubles? Win cash for it

FINANCIAL STANDARD
By James Wanzala | October 20th 2015

Registration is now open for the Ericsson Innovation Awards (EIA) competition.

For the first time, students and small businesses in sub-Saharan Africa can enter EIA’s global (though this is exclusive to students) and regional contests for cash prizes of 25,000 euro (Sh2.9 million) and 9,000 euro (Sh1.1 million), respectively.

The theme for both competitions is the future of city life, with entrants being given the opportunity to develop innovative ideas in collaboration with experts from the global communications technology firm, Ericsson.

By 2050, about 70 per cent of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas, with smart cities set to provide major opportunities to improve the lives of billions of people.

The competition is, therefore, focused on ideas that use ICT to improve the quality of urban life, and ensure future cities are creative, connected and sustainable places to live and work.

The regional competition, EIA Sub-Saharan Africa, is open to students and small businesses in the region, with each team limited to four members.

Registration will close on October 30, after which 10 semi-finalists will be selected by a jury. These semi-finalists will then present their ideas, and four teams chosen to go to Cape Town for the final round.

In South Africa, the finalists will again make presentations, with the winner to be announced on November 18.

The global competition is open to teams of two to four members, with only current students eligible to enter. Registration for this category closes on November 30, with 10 semi-finalists to be selected by December 18.

The 10 teams will work with Ericsson experts to develop a minimum viable product (MVP) and business plan for their idea. Four teams will then be chosen to participate in the EIA 2016 grand finale in Stockholm, Sweden.

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