The Inclusive Innovation Challenge (IIC) is the flagship initiative of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy (IDE) that awards over one million US dollars in prizes to Inclusive Innovators, organizations around the world that are using technology to solve a grand challenge of our time — to create shared prosperity by reinventing the future of work.
With over hundred of applications that were submitted in earlier this year in March, a panel of over 160 judges were selected for the judging process that scored and commented on application selecting, ending up with only 16 applications that emerged as the finalists and will later advance to the Champion Committee.
Among the 16 finalists, 5 African startups made it including;
- Kenyan incubator, iHub who managed to be finalist in the Skills & Matching category.
- South Africa’s Nomanini in the Financial Inclusion category – enables informal merchants and agents to facilitate a range of mobile and banking transactions.
- Nigerian’s Tuteria in the Income Growth & Job Creation category – provides a peer-to-peer online platform that connects person that are seeking to learning anything with verified local teachers that can teach them to earn extra income.
- While in the Technology Access category were Rwanda’s ARED; that have developed a business in a box solar kiosk to empower power at the base of the pyramid using a franchise business model, and Nigeria’s video-based online learnig platform; Dot Learn – which works reliably and affordably in Africa through an ultra data-lite encoding technology.
On October 12th 2017, winners will be announced during a gala event that will be held at HUBweek in Boston. Only four will be declared Grand Prize Winners and each will receive USD$150,000 (approx. UGX) while the remaining 12 finalists will each receive USD$35,000 (approx. UGX) each.
According to reports by TechMoran, during the IIC Celebration, renowned leaders in the Inclusive Innovation movement will Keynote focused on how to ensure that the benefits of digital progress are shared by all.
Some of the featured speakers to keynote at the event include Eric Schmidt; Executive Chairman of Alphabet Inc., Sheila Marcelo; Founder and CEO of Care, Leila Janah; Founder and CEO of Sama Group and LXMI, to mention a few.
Here are the 16 finalists in four different categories:
Skills Development & Opportunity Matching
Income Growth & Job Creation