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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Nigerian SolarKobo wins ITU Young Innovators Competition

SolarKobo, a startup, invented by young Ogbonnaya Bassey emerged winner out of a pool of 124 applicationas across 34 countries in an International Telecommunication Union (ITU) organised Young Innovators Competition ITRealms reports.
  
Bassey is joint winner with Ugur Can Bastik, a young entrepreneur from Turkey who built TactiX, a tactile smartphone for the blind. They have both been invited to attend the Intel-sponsored in Budapest, Hungary between October 12-15, 2015 for an opportunity to pitch their ideas, participate in workshops, benefit from a year of ongoing mentorship, and win seed funding.

ITU Telecom World is a global event which 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 the event which recognizes gifted young entrepreneurs who have ideas for innovative social enterprises, as a result of development challenges

SolarKobo, ITRealms gathered, is an innovation that will allow small businesses and families benefit from solar systems for relatively low monthly fees and will use single board devices for remote monitoring and customer payment systems. This will be achieved through the provision of solar powered systems with zero-upfront financing in Nigeria as a cheaper, more reliable and cleaner electricity source than the private gasoline generators which are widely used to supplement the insufficient public electricity supply.

Bassey said, “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. 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.”

ITU Secretary-General,  Houlin Zhao, said,  “These talented young people have made great use of ICTs to meet a wide range of development goals, and their innovations have the potential to impact lives for the better. Start-ups such as these have a key role to play within our ICT ecosystem and I am very pleased that ITU Telecom World 2015 is providing them the global platform to showcase their innovations.

The Vice President and General Manager, Governments and World Ahead, Intel Corporation, Gordon Graylish, ITRealms learnt, said about the competition: “We are extremely honoured to be part of such a great initiative. We are even more impressed with the fantastic work from the young innovators. As a company, we are always looking to work with the brightest minds to make a positive impact, develop new technologies and make a difference. Part of this is creating new jobs in ICT and helping these fresh ideas to thrive. The brilliant ideas put forward – whether it is helping the blind to communicate in a digital world or encouraging more people to use solar power.

Cyriacus Nnaji/ED,OPs

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