Nigerian Wins Young Innovators Competition At ITU Telecom World 2015
By Emeka Aginam
A Nigerian, Ogbonnaya Bassey has won the young innovators competition in the ITU Telecom World 2015 Young Innovators competition sponsored by Intel.
The Young Innovators Competition is an integral part of ITU Telecom World events and seeks gifted young entrepreneurs with ideas for innovative social enterprises, in response to a series of development challenges. The event brings together policy makers, regulators, industry leaders, SMEs and entrepreneurs to explore accelerating ICT innovations for social and economic development.
The winning entries, which were selected from 124 applications across 34 countries, will see Bassey attend the Telecom World 2015 event, a global ICT innovation platform for government, corporates and SMEs to be held between Monday, October 12 and Thursday, October 15 in Budapest, Hungary.
Bassey’s entry SolarKobo is an innovation that will provide solar power 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.
The innovation will also allow small businesses and families to benefit from solar systems for relatively low monthly fees and will use single board devices for remote monitoring and customer payment systems.
With excitement, Bassey stated that, “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.”
Speaking on the competition, Vice President and General Manager, Governments and World Ahead, Intel Corporation, Gordon Graylish said “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.”
Similarly, the ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao said, “Single board technologies are driving transformation in the field of ICTs. ITU is happy to work with this growing global community of makers and creators to harness these technologies to positively impact lives.”
Zhao added that the winning entries were selected on the basis of their demonstrated innovation, business potential and clear social value proposition, and he was delighted to see entrepreneurs making use of ICTs for such a wide range of development goals, from improving accessibility for the disabled, to health care, expanding access and solar power.
Intel will be providing a supply of their single board devices, including Microcontrollers, Microcomputers and sensor packages to the shortlisted applicants to help them prototype their designs and will also provide the winners of the challenge with additional seed funding, single board devices and support from the company to help develop their designs into the bases successful companies. The winners will also have the opportunity to showcase and pitch their innovations to potential investors at the ITU Telecom World 2015 event.
The second winner of the competition was Ugur Can Bastik from Turkey whose entry, TactiX is a single board powered smartphone which focuses on connectivity through cellular wifi and mobile internet connection.