Innovators challenged to create mobile solutions  that can raise the living standards of people in growth economies and benefit them.

Local innovators stand to win a million dollars in a new competition announced by leading mobile phone company Nokia. 
The “Growth Economy Venture Challenge’’ is part of Nokia’s global Calling All Innovators 2010 competition targeting innovators, with  participants expected to create a mobile product or service that raises the standard of living or enhances the lives of the local people.

The Venture Challenge, which is not limited to software or hardware that uses Nokia device or software platforms, will consider any submission that enhances the target growth economy and also provides a potential return on the investment. 

And since many emerging markets have varying degrees of mobile and Internet adoption, submissions can also expand beyond the mobile phone.

The prize money will be invested in a single winning organization with the best idea as decided by a combination of judges from Nokia Growth Partners, Nokia’s venture arm, and Forum Nokia- Nokia’s organization dedicated to third party developers and other innovators. 

Additionally, ten finalists from the contest will be invited to present their ideas and business models to a panel of Nokia business people and private venture capitalists. This will provide an opportunity for the innovators to receive business guidance and possibly other funding from participating venture capitalists.

The competition officially kicks off on February 1st and finalists will be announced by mid May 2010 while the final winner will be announced in June, 2010. The deadline for submissions is April 18, 2010. 

Nokia will accept innovative ideas in four main categories in the competition namely; Eco/Being Green applications that help to save the planet with innovative, eco-friendly uses, and Productivity applications that make life easier, and helps someone to be more efficient in utilities, business, or personal finance applications. 

The other category is Life Improvement applications that positively affect the daily lives of people living in developing countries by using the prevalence of mobile devices to teach children and illiterate adults critical skills, and agriculture health. 

The final category falls under Entertainment applications that bring out musical talent and show off the coolest multimedia features, including music, multimedia and games – to bring an element of having fun.

Announcing the competition in Las Vegas, Nokia CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo called on innovators to do good by bringing mobile solutions to parts of the world that can benefit most. He explained that mobile solutions can be quite profitable, but not exploitive, leading to financial “win-win” scenarios for both innovators and consumers. 
”We’ve seen what the tech community can do when it focuses on problems that are also opportunities”, Kallasvuo said. “We want to channel that energy toward improving lives in the developing world.”

As examples of innovations in growth economies, Mr. Kallasvuo spoke about several Nokia solutions and projects such as Nokia Life Tools, Nokia Tej and others that can be viewed at http://theprogressproject.com/. 

 “This competition is meant to bring out the creativity and innovation of local innovators to come up with locally relevant mobile phone technology solutions that can be applied to uplift the living standards of the people,” said Ms Agatha Gikunda, Nokia’s Solutions Manager for East and Southern Africa. 

Ms Gikunda said Nokia was ready to assist and collaborate with innovators with ground- breaking applications and solutions that could impact on the economy and help generate employment opportunities, especially for young people. Interested innovators can learn more and enter their submissions at www.callingallinnovators.com.

About Nokia Growth Partners

Nokia Growth Partners is a leading global growth stage venture firm focused on mobile technology, services and media. Nokia Growth Partners is funded by Nokia to provide superior returns and investments into companies, firms, and people that are changing the face of mobility, communications, and the internet. Nokia Growth Partners works closely with the promising companies adding value through deep domain expertise and network in the mobility market combined with many years of venture investment experience. Nokia Growth Partners offers companies in which it invests a global engagement model through its presence in the U.S., Europe and Asia. For more information visit: www.nokiagrowthpartners.com.

About Forum Nokia

Nokia’s global developer program, Forum Nokia connects developers to tools, technical information, support, and distribution channels they can use to build and market applications around the globe. From offices in the U.S., Europe, India, Japan, China, and Singapore, Forum Nokia provides technical and business development support to developers and operators to assist them in achieving their goal of successfully launching applications and services to consumers and enterprises. More information is available at www.forum.nokia.com.

About Nokia

Nokia is a pioneer in mobile telecommunications and the world’s leading maker of mobile devices. Today, we are connecting people in new and different ways – fusing advanced mobile technology with personalized services to enable people to stay close to what matters to them. We also provide comprehensive digital map information through NAVTEQ; and equipment, solutions and services for communications networks through Nokia Siemens Networks.

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  1. February 18, 2010 at 8:31 am — Reply

    Dear Sir/Madam,

    I would like to make a submission to participate in the competition. Can you kindly direct me to the office that will provide me with guidelines?


    Raychelle Injete

    • February 19, 2010 at 5:49 am — Reply

      @raychelle there is a link to the competition in the post. Click to enter 🙂

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