Innovation Challenge Award
Course(s) Offered: Internet-based solutions (app, website, online service)
Course Level: Contest, Challenge
Country to Study in: Online
The Internet.org Innovation Challenge in Africa supports Internet.org’s vision of a connected world. To this end, the goal of the Challenge is to recognize individuals and organizations that are working on internet-based solutions to promote education and economic empowerment in countries throughout Africa.
The Challenge will encourage the development of apps, websites and online services that provide real value for people.
The Challenge is focused on African communities, and two pillars (Education/Learning and Economic Empowerment) because five of the ten fastest growing economies in the world are African countries. The challenge hopes to insure that communities in these quickly growing economies are well-equipped with internet technologies for learning and economic empowerment.
Individuals and organizations around the world are eligible to participate so long as their applications, websites or services are designed to meet the needs of the above mentioned categories. (Note: Residents of countries where the United States has trade restrictions will not be eligible. See the “Rules” section on the official website for complete details.)
Entries will be judged based on innovation, impact, scalability and launch-readiness.
- Innovation: How original, groundbreaking or creative is the app, website or service?
- Impact: Will the app, website or service impact numerous lives in meaningful ways?
- Scalability: Does the app, website or service scale technically? What percentage of the designated population will it reach? Is the content localized? Is multilingual support available?
- Launch-readiness: How soon will the app, website or service be publicly available, beyond prototypes and limited trials, if it isn’t already? If it’s already publicly available, how stable and consistent is its performance?
Selection of winners will take place at the judges’ sole discretion.
Citizens and residents of ALL countries worldwide (EXCEPT residents of countries where the US has trade restrictions)
Areas of focus
The Challenge will encourage the development of apps, websites and online services that provide real value for people under the following pillars:
- Learning/Education: Apps, websites or online services that make use of technology to inspire and deliver learning
- Economic Empowerment: Apps, websites or online services that help to advance the economic strength and ability of communities
Number of awards / Prize benefits
One Innovation Challenge Award prize in the amount of $150,000 USD will be presented to the app, website or service that the judges determine best meets the needs of each of the two categories: Learning/Education and Economic Empowerment (2 awards total).
Each of the Innovation Challenge Award winners will also be eligible to receive more than $60,000 USD in tools and services from FbStart, a Facebook program designed to help early stage mobile startups build and grow their apps.
In addition, two Impact Award prizes in the amount of $50,000 USD will be presented to two apps, websites or services designed for each of the two pillars (4 awards total).
If you have more than one app, website or service that serves the needs of the designated populations, you may enter more than once. However, a maximum of one prize will be awarded to each individual or organization.
Method of Application
You may develop your app, website or service on any platform, so long as it works on a mobile device. Keep in mind that the platform you choose will affect your application’s potential reach, which is a consideration in the judging process. In order to maximize your potential reach, consider widely accessible platforms like mobile web and Android. If you are looking for a hosting platform, Parse offers free application tools and limited hosting.
Please review the Internet.org Innovation Challenge rules carefully before entering.
You must send a signed copy of the rules to firstname.lastname@example.org in addition to the online application form on the official website (link to it is below).
Internet.org will begin accepting entries on December 1, 2015. All entries must be received by May 1, 2016.
Winners will be announced in September 2016.
As already noted above, five of the ten fastest growing economies in the world are African countries. Internet.org believes that education and economic empowerment will enable equitable economic growth and development in these communities.
Your app, website, or service can be in any language; Internet.org encourages you to provide local and multilingual support. However, your application and all supporting materials must be in English.
Your app, website or service must be in a working state. Internet.org cannot accept prototypes. If your submission is not yet publicly available, be sure to include the timeline for public launch as part of your entry.
Application Deadline: 1 May 2016
Open to International Applicants:Yes