m:lab By John Kieti / March 28, 2012
$20,000 up for grabs in the Mobile MicroWork Challenge
infoDev, a global partnership program in the World Bank, focusing on technology entrepreneurship and job creation, in February 2012 launched m2work for East Africa. Backed by funding and support from UKaid and the government of Finland, M2Work is a worldwide online challenge and a joint project of infoDev and Nokia’s Ideas Project. It asks for innovative ideas for mobile applications that enable people in the developing world to become microworkers.
infoDev uses its vast network of Mobile Applications Labs (mLabs) and business incubators to help tech entrepreneurs from a seed-stage idea to a thriving start-up that creates sustainable jobs. One of these is m:lab East Africa. It is one of infoDevs’ five mlabs in the world. m:Lab East Africa is intended to serve the East African countries of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and Southern Sudan.
M2Work aims to fuel the race for the best ideas and to spark a goal-oriented, global discussion on mobile microwork. Entrepreneurs, developers and creatives need to submit their ideas before April 2, 2012 for a mobile micro-work application that has market potential and can have a meaningful impact.
The ideas need to tackle existing problems or needs that can be addressed by micro-work. Ideas may be submitted alone or as part of a team. It is not just an individual challenge, teams and small organizations with fewer than 50 employees can participate as well. Any tech-savvy students and innovative young entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and experienced professionals ‘hungry’ for new business, are encouraged to submit their ideas.
With individual cash prizes of up to US$20,000, organizers of the challenge will be assembling a high-profile jury consisting of representatives of Nokia, the World Bank, academia, the micro-work industry and the wider technology investment sector, who will select the prize winners. A total of US$ 40,000 in prize money, with an individual 1st prize of US$ 20,000 will be awarded. The m2Work jury will also award spot prizes and regional cash prizes. The six finalists, who will receive coaching before a final pitching event, from whom the main prize winner will be selected, will be announced on April 25.
The jury will judge all submissions based on the criteria of potential development impact, innovativeness, feasibility and clarity of presentation. They will decide who will be awarded the prizes based on this criteria.
After the announcement of Grand Prize Winner on 18 May, 2012, the global m2Work hackathon from 18-20 May, 2012 will commence. The 48 hour global microwork Hackathon will be organized in the five InfoDevs’ mLabs around the world. The Objectives of the Hackathon will be to help best m2Work ideas to gain momentum toward a sustainable business through a prototyping event, Help ideators to find complementary talent (especially technical skills) and to identify talented team(s) to gain from pre-incubation services offered by mLab.
M2work gives the East African tech community an advantage to also submit their applications for Pivot East and vice versa. Pivot East is an initiative of the mLab East Africa that aims to bring focus on the Mobile developer and entrepreneur community in East Africa. It’s a regional mobile apps. developer competition which will culminate in a pitching conference on 5th and 6th June 2012. The competition also gives companies the opportunity to showcase their applications to Operators, Venture Capital Community, Angel Investors and the ICT community at large, and at the same time the chance to win prize money of up to USD 50,000 for their companies and applications.
For more information, visit m2Work’s official website, www.ideasproject.com/m2Work
To apply for Pivot East please Visit www.pivoteast.com
Note: This article is cross posted from the Pivot East Blog
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