Ogbonnaya Bassey (from Nigeria) and Ugur Can Bastik (from Turkey) have been announced by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and Intel as the winners of the of the final ITU Telecom World 2015 Young Innovators Competition challenge.
The duo are expected to take part in ITU Telecom World 2015, the global ICT innovation platform for government, corporates and SMEs to be held from October 12 to 15 in Budapest, Hungary.
According to the ITU, the winning entries were selected from 124 applications from 34 countries on the basis of their demonstrated innovation, business potential and clear social value proposition.
“Ogbonnaya Bassey’s entry, SolarKobo, provides solar power systems with zero-upfront financing in Nigeria as a cheaper, more reliable and cleaner electricity source than the private oil generators that are widely used to supplement the insufficient public electricity supply. It will allow small businesses and families to benefit from solar systems for relatively low monthly fees and will use single board devices for remote monitoring and customer payment systems.”
Ogbonnaya Bassey’s entry, SolarKobo, provides solar power systems with zero-upfront financing in Nigeria as a cheaper, more reliable and cleaner electricity source than the private oil generators that are widely used to supplement the insufficient public electricity supply. It will allow small businesses and families to benefit from solar systems for relatively low monthly fees and will use single board devices for remote monitoring and customer payment systems.
Ugur Can Bastik’s entry, TactiX, is a single board powered smartphone which focuses on connectivity through cellular WiFi and mobile Internet connection. With a tactile display it can display shapes, smileys and 100+ braille characters. With a new kind of braille typing area, one can write rapidly in braille using the phone. There are multi-functional hotkeys on the side areas which can be set up beforehand. It will include braille interfaces for social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter.
“Most of the ingredients for our success exist: the need is critical, the demand for our solution is proven, the technology is tested and we have a sustainable model,” Bassey stated. “We applied to the Young Innovators Competition to create awareness for our cause, get seed funding, investment, mentorship, and access to help from Intel in developing smarter systems.”
The motivation behind TactiX was to change the social perception of companies and organizations about developing devices for the handicapped. “No one can say that sightless persons can currently participate in social life as can others,” said Ugur Can Bastik. “Developing technology to give them complete access to communications can not only impact social lives, but also academic achievement and employment.”
Intel will be providing a supply of their single board devices, including microcontrollers, microcomputers and sensor packages to the shortlisted applicants to help them prototype their designs. They will be providing the winners of the challenge with additional seed funding, single board devices and support from the company in helping to develop their designs into the bases of successful companies.
The two winners will receive seed funding, as well as networking, showcasing and pitching opportunities with potential investors at ITU Telecom World 2015. The event brings together policy makers, regulators, industry leaders, SMEs and entrepreneurs to explore accelerating ICT innovations for social and economic development.
The Young Innovators Competition is an integral part of ITU Telecom World events and seeks gifted young entrepreneurs with ideas for innovative social enterprises, in response to a series of development challenges.