Mozilla asks for so­lu­tions

East African Business Week - - LETTERS/PERSPECTIVE -

Mozilla is ask­ing en­trepreneurs, de­sign­ers, re­searchers and in­no­va­tors to pro­pose cre­ative and scal­able ideas for con­nect­ing more peo­ple to the In­ter­net, built on lo­cal knowl­edge and ex­per­tise.

“At Mozilla, we be­lieve the In­ter­net is most pow­er­ful when any­one – re­gard­less of gen­der, in­come, or ge­og­ra­phy – can par­tic­i­pate equally. How­ever, the dig­i­tal di­vide re­mains a clear and per­sis­tent reality,” Katha­rina Borchert Mozilla’s Chief In­no­va­tion Of­fi­cer said re­cently.

The Equal Rat­ing In­no­va­tion Chal­lenge will sup­port promis­ing so­lu­tions through ex­pert men­tor­ship and fund­ing of $250,000 in prize monies split into three cat­e­gories - Best Over­all (based on scal­a­bil­ity), Best Over­all Run­ner-up and Most Novel So­lu­tion (based on ex­per­i­ment with a po­ten­tial high re­ward).

Sub­mis­sions are open from Novem­ber 1, 2016 to Jan­uary 6, 2017 and will be judged by a group of ex­ter­nal ex­perts. The first round of se­lec­tions will be an- nounced by mid-jan­uary 2017. Se­lected fi­nal­ists will re­ceive men­tor­ship for their projects be­fore they demon­strate their ideas in March 2017. Fi­nal win­ners will be an­nounced by end of March 2017.

Borchert said, “This chal­lenge is de­signed to spur in­no­va­tions for bring­ing the mem­bers of the Next Bil­lion on­line. The Equal Rat­ing In­no­va­tion Chal­lenge is fo­cused on iden­ti­fy­ing cre­ative new so­lu­tions to con­nect the un­con­nected. These so­lu­tions may range from con­sumer prod­ucts and novel mo­bile ser­vices to new business mod­els and in­fra­struc­ture pro­pos­als.”

Mozilla has launched www.equal­rat­, a web­site of­fer­ing ed­u­ca­tional con­tent and back­ground in­for­ma­tion to sup­port the chal­lenge. In the com­ing weeks, Mozilla will also stream a se­ries of we­bi­nars stream to fur­ther in­form po­ten­tial ap­pli­cants about the chal­lenge de­tails.

Borchert said, “Con­nect­ing the un­con­nected is one of the great­est chal­lenges of our time. No one or­ga­ni­za­tion or ef­fort can tackle it alone. We must come to­gether and col­lab­o­rate to build in­no­va­tive and scal­able ways to bring In­ter­net ac­cess to the Next Bil­lion - and the other bil­lions, as well.”

So­lu­tions can be con­sumer prod­ucts and mo­bile ser­vices

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