Committed to connecting the world

WRC-23

ITU Innovation Challenges

​​​​​​​​​​Scale up entrepreneurship-driven innovation aligned to national development priorities​.​​​​

About The Challenges


"Among low-income economies, an average of 35 per cent of entrepreneurs state they started their businesses because they had no better option for work". ~Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2018 ​
 
Traditionally, significant investment has been made into helping foster “general" entrepreneurship, but supporting value-creating entrepreneurship, where the biggest opportunities lie, has lagged due to resource and opportunity constraints for digital innovators. 
 
When the COVID-19 pandemic shook the world, people's personal and work lives were disrupted, value chains were interrupted and national ambitions were challenged as whole economic sectors came to halt.  Yet, in many communities around the world, digital innovators were already working on a way to make the “new normal" something better for their communities. 
 
In WTDC-17 Output 3.4, ITU membership recognizes that “innovation is a powerful engine for development and for addressing social and economic challenges". Furthermore, it mandates the BDT to:
Through the ITU Innovation Challenges, countries can:
The ITU Innovation Challenges are an annual challenge held in partnership with stakeholders at both the national and international levels. They are an open global competition platform for innovators and ecosystem builders to present their ideas and projects, empowering them to transform their communities into thriving digital societies.
 
While the scale-up support provided to the winners depends on sponsors and partners, each challenge aims to ensure impact to inspire a community of digital change-makers focused on developing countries' issues. 

Evaluation Criteria

​After thoroughly reviewing all the final submissions, the jurors will select the winning ideas based on the following criteria:

Jury

The challenge submissions will be assessed by a jury of experts from composed of experts in governance, entrepreneurship, business development, communications and ICTs from ITU, and the private and public sectors. Experts in different fields were chosen to provide a holistic assessment of all submissions.​

Bootcamps

​Bootcamps are usually integrated into the agendas of any flagship events. These bootcamps are intensive sessions designed to help the challenge winners understand the technicalities involved in bridging the digital innovation divide and thought them new technical skills using the ITU Digital Innovation Ecosystems' frameworks. 

Bootcamp highlights include:

Get to know the mentors

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The mentor community is made up of ICT experts, ecosystem builders and former ITU Innovation Challenges winners. Click here to learn more!​​