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ITU Telecom World 2015 shines spotlight on global innovation

Young Innovators Competition winners showcase technologies, pitch
ideas and accelerate innovations

Budapest, 14 October 2015 – In an action-packed programme of workshops, pitching sessions and collaborations, ITU Telecom World 2015 Young Innovators Competition winners networked, shared ideas and benefited from expert mentorship to help accelerate their innovations globally. The programme took place at the ITU Telecom World 2015 event, which is taking place from 12-15 October in Budapest.

The Young Innovators Competition onsite programme provides an unprecedented opportunity to connect, share experiences and learn from participants across the industry, including with other SMEs and start-ups present at the event, from developed and developing countries alike.

“These talented young people have made great use of ICTs to meet a wide range of development goals, and their innovations have the potential to impact lives for the better. Start-ups such as these have a key role to play within our ICT ecosystem and I am very pleased that ITU Telecom World 2015 is providing them the global platform to showcase their innovations,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao.

“The Young Innovators are an inspiring group. Every time I speak with them, it's a window onto a generation of young people willing, ready and able to answer the challenges of the future using innovative technologies. They are absolutely a group of young people to watch, they're going to change the world, and they know it,” said Tayo Akinyemi, CEO, AfriLabs Foundation, and Young Innovators Competition Mentor.

The programme kicked off with an innovation hub tour held by Kreater, a leading social innovation agency, covering a range of key entrepreneurial aspects. The next day the innovators attended a one-day design thinking workshop, which focused on key success factors for social entrepreneurs and how to balance their goals with the objectives of donors and the needs they strive to serve. The workshop was presented by SAP, who will also support the ITU Telecom World Young Innovators programme with a new challenge focusing on Healthcare and Big Data in 2015/16.

The learning experience continued with workshops covering topics from time management to live events, pitch preparation, guerrilla marketing and the benefits and pitfalls of bootstrapping a venture. Workshops were hosted by NESsT, Jan Samuelsen, Caroline Meaby, and Clement Charles.

At the event, Young Innovators Competition winners showcased their winning entries in the InnovationSpace, shared views, and met and networked with delegates in ITU Telecom World 2015 Forum debates and dialogues. They also took part in the Acceleration Platform, a specially-designed day of dialogues between government, industry and SMEs, including capacity-building, networking and pitching sessions for Competition winners and SMEs participating at the event.

“The Acceleration Platform is a great way to offer new resources to the tech entrepreneurs at ITU Telecom World. Bringing together the industry leaders and decision makers with the local entrepreneurship community and a rising global generation of social entrepreneurs shows why ITU Telecom World is the place to have the kinds of conversations the Acceleration platform seeks to initiate,” said Christian Schellenberger, Managing Director, Berliner Strategen.

The week’s activities will culminate with Next Generation Day, taking place on the event’s final day. Organized by ITU together with Hungary’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Ministry of National Development, the day brings university students, young entrepreneurs and ICT professionals to ITU Telecom World 2015 to explore first-hand the future of ICT, in an interactive programme of workshops, panel discussions and live demos.

Moving forward, new collaborations have been set in motion for the next Young Innovators Programme, with a challenge launched in cooperation with the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and GIZ (Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit) seeking young social entrepreneurs with big ideas on how to apply technology to help improve the lives of refugees and people displaced by situations such as war, oppression, and natural disaster. The challenge with SAP, acting on the mandate of the SAP University Alliances programme, was also announced at the event.

The Young Innovators competition is hosted on http://ideas.itu.int, powered by the Young Innovators Competition’s crowdsourcing partner, Crowdicity which brought together some 12’200 young people from around the world for this year’s competition.

For more information, please contact:

Lucy George
Media Coordinator,
ITU Telecom World 2015
mobile +36 70 683 1434
email lucy.george@itu.int 
Sarah Parkes
Chief, Media Relations and Public Information
tel +41 22 730 6135
mobile +41 79 599 1439
mobile +36 70 683 1433 Local Mobile
email sarah.parkes@itu.int   
Alfons Pich
Media Coordinator,
ITU Telecom World 2015
mobile +36 70 683 1454
email alfons.pich@itu.int  

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