ITU Telecom World launches ‘Young Innovators’ competition

ITU has launched the fourth edition of its popular ‘Young Innovators’ competition, seeking out talented young thinkers and social technopreneurs across the globe and encouraging them to showcase their innovative ideas at the upcoming ITU Telecom World 2014 in Doha this year.

The annual competition, which was launched in 2010, offers young people the chance to take part in workshops on entrepreneurial skills, opportunities to meet and network with leading ICT players and to showcase their projects at the InnovationSpace, a dedicated show floor pavilion at ITU Telecom World.

The first challenge of the 2014 edition focuses on ‘Local Digital Content’. Open to 18-30 year-old start-up founders from across ITU’s 193 member states, the competition is looking for the most promising tech start-ups that are inspiring the creation, aggregation or digitization of dynamic local content, particularly in non-Latin scripts.

Entries can be submitted by start-ups that are involved in script content, resolving the technical challenges of digitizing non-Latin scripts through innovative technologies, or pinpointing fresh uses for older technologies, such as optical character recognition, voice recognition or translation software.

ITU secretary-general Hamadoun I Toure said, “I am delighted to announce the first challenge of the latest edition of the ITU Telecom World 2014 Young Innovators’ Competition. Last year’s competition brought us inspirational concepts and projects from innovative young people around the world, all of which had significant potential social impact and impressive business potential.”

The first stage of the contest has been launched in partnership with Ooredoo, which is supporting Qatar’s hosting of ITU Telecom World 2014. With strong experience in encouraging relevant local content and inspiring start-ups across the MENA region and Asia, Ooredoo will provide invaluable support for the contest.

Sheikh Saud Bin Nasser Al Thani, CEO, Ooredoo Qatar said, “We’re excited to support this first challenge in the Young Innovators’ competition. We know that new digital content can inspire people and open new opportunities in their lives, and we believe strongly that each and every market deserves relevant content in their own languages that is tailored to their interests.”

Two start-ups will be selected as winners of this challenge by a selection committee of experts and invited to attend ITU Telecom World 2014. Prize money of up to $ 10,000 in the form of seed funding will be awarded to implement and bring to scale winning start-ups. The competition will comprise a number of different challenges, the first of which focuses on local digital content.

ITU Telecom World 2014 will take place from 7-10 December 2014 in Doha, Qatar.

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