Ericsson Innovation Award: Apply to win $10,000

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Application for the 2016 Ericsson Innovation Award is now open, and this year’s edition is targeted at student innovators and start-ups in sub-Saharan Africa that promote sustainability in the future of food, be it food production, packaging, information availability or distribution.

The theme of the Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa Innovation Awards 2016 is “The Future of Food.” This theme is hinged on the increasing and rapidly growing population of sub-Sahara Africa, which means food production will need to increase significantly in order to avoid the looming crisis of famine. To this end, Ericsson is encouraging young innovators and start-ups to capitalize on this opportunity to make a real difference by using technology and ICT to make a positive contribution towards food sustainability 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.
  • Video should 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 following 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.

This is a winner takes all event as only one winner will be chosen and announced at a cocktail event at the Cape Town Convention Centre on November 15. The winning team will get $10,000 an also showcase their innovative solution to a crowd of industry experts at this event.

Apply here to be part of the Ericsson Innovation Award competition.  

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