The Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF), an arm of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), says it has selected 30 innovations to further compete for its Changemaker Challenge 2017.
The USPF Changemaker Challenge 2017 is a nationwide competition open to innovators, software developers, UX designers, students and other ICT enthusiasts in Nigeria.
The objective of the challenge is to empower Nigerian youths by challenging them to create technology-driven solutions for the needs of their communities and the nation at large.
According to the fund, five entries each from the six geopolitical zones have pre-qualified for the National Finals of the USPF Changemaker Challenge 2017.
It posted on its website on Sunday that the submitted entries from each region were assessed based on certain criteria.
“The entries were assessed based on originality of the idea, level of innovation, local content, pitch quality and impact as well as documentation and video.
“Congratulations to the pre-qualified teams who have already been contacted by the USPF Changemaker Challenge 2017 Team, with invitations to the National Finals and instructions on next steps.
“For those that did not pre-qualify from their respective regions, we will like to encourage them to upgrade their solutions as well as continue to innovate.
“Truly, innovative solutions will invariably attract opportunities for investment, mentorship and eventual success,’’ it said.
It stated that the USPF National Finals will hold in Lagos from Oct. 27 to Oct. 28, 2017.
According to the fund, Nigerian youths are tasked through the competition to engage their ingenuity to solve relevant problems and bring positive change through creativity and innovation.
“The intention is to encourage participants to tackle a selection of identified problems based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as they apply to Nigeria, and offer working solutions to them.’’
It said that top three finalists would be selected by a panel of judges at the finals and would win N2, 250,000 cash prizes.
“The 1st prize winner will go with N1,000,000, the 2nd prize is N750,000 and the 3rd prize, N500,000; the winners will all get acceptance into incubation programme.
“The incubation programme will involve mentorship, a two-week entrepreneurship boot camp and support in attempting to get the three final solutions to market.’’ the fund said.