Nº 3 2013 > Young Innovators

ITU Young Innovators Competition

Winning entries will receive up to USD 10 000 in funding and can showcase their innovative ICT solutions to global challenges at ITU Telecom World 2013

ITU Young Innovators Competition

ITU has launched its third Young Innovators Competition offering talented social technopreneurs the opportunity to present their ideas to industry leaders at ITU Telecom World 2013 in Bangkok this November — as well as winning funding, mentorship and ongoing support.

Open to 18–26 year-olds worldwide, the Young Innovators Competition is looking for innovations that use cutting-edge information and communication technologies (ICT) to help solve one specific global challenge among the six identified by ITU in partnership with other specialized United Nations agencies and leading private-sector players. The six global challenges are:

  • Improve employment opportunities for young people and migrant workers.
  • Reduce food and water wastage at individual and retail level.
  • Facilitate access to public services for the elderly.
  • Improve natural disaster prediction and response.
  • Improve road safety for both drivers and pedestrians.
  • Protect sensitive personal data and inspire the creation of local digital content.

These challenges reflect spheres of life where the need for improvement is urgent and where ICT could provide wide-ranging benefits. The competition seeks pragmatic, market-oriented, scalable solutions making use of connected technologies, such as augmented reality, mobile apps, 3D printing or geospatial tracking.

Entries may be either in the form of a concept, with well-researched or documented ideas that have not yet been implemented, or a start-up that is already up and running but in need of funding to take it to the next stage.

To enter the competition, simply complete the application form available at http://world2013.itu.int/participate/innovate/ and send it to young.innovators@itu.int with “2013 Young Innovators Competition” in the subject line. Entries must be received by 30 June 2013, 24:00 GMT +2.

Ten winners selected by a committee of experts will be offered the chance to attend ITU Telecom World 2013, which will be held on 19–22 November in Bangkok, Thailand, with the theme “Embracing Change in a Digital World”. Telecom World is the platform for high-level debate, networking and knowledge-sharing, as well as an ICT showcase.

The winners will work with our partners from both public and private sectors to develop their initiatives and refine their solutions within the global market in the run-up to ITU Telecom World 2013. At the event itself, they will enjoy mentoring and pitching sessions, workshop training on entrepreneurial skills, opportunities to meet and network with leading ICT players, and the chance to showcase their projects on a dedicated showfloor pavilion. Prize money in the form of seed funding will be awarded up to USD 10 000 to implement and bring to scale winning start-ups, and up to USD 5000 to realize winning concepts.

“This competition for young ICT innovators represents a wonderful opportunity to uncover creativity, innovation and talent in solving serious challenges that impact upon us all,” said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré. “We look forward to supporting and fostering new, creative thinking and fresh ideas, and showcasing them on the world-class stage at ITU Telecom World 2013 in Bangkok.”

For further details about the competition and the application procedure, please see http://world2013.itu.int/event/innovation/. You can also visit the Young Innovators Facebook page or contact us directly at young.innovators@itu.int.


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