How to apply

It’s easy to apply. Just fill in the application form and send it with “2013 Young Innovators Competition” in the subject line. Remember, your submission must address one of our six Global Challenges:

  • Improve employment opportunities for young people and migrant workers

    High rates of youth unemployment are becoming a social emergency. How can ICTs improve employment prospects and protect young migrant workers seeking opportunities abroad?

  • Reduce food and water wastage at individual and retail level

    Almost a third of all food produced in the world is lost or wasted in current systems of food production and consumption. How can ICTS be used to reduce this waste?

  • Facilitate access to public services for the elderly

    Seniors use online services less frequently than other demographic sectors, limiting participation in society and public services. How can ICTs enhance access to public services for the elderly?

  • Improve natural disaster prediction and response

    Predicting natural disasters is vital to ensure correct preparations and an adequate response. How can ICTs improve current prediction systems and first responder communication systems?

  • Improve road safety for both drivers and pedestrians

    Around 1.3 million people die each year on the world's roads, millions sustain non-fatal injuries. How can technology make roads safer for all users?

  • Protect sensitive personal data and inspire the creation of local digital content

    Vast amounts of digital content, including cultural, educational, scientific and administrative resources, technical, legal and medical information is vulnerable to loss or misuse. Digital content in local languages is vital to drive development. How can ICTs protect digital content and inspire the creation of local content?

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Young Innovators Competition 2013. Credit ITU 

10 October 2013 – Ten young people from around the world will be honoured with a United Nations award recognizing their work as entrepreneurs and use of technology to change the world.

The recipients of the 10 Young Innovators Competition organized by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom come from a wide range of countries including India, Uganda and Viet Nam and have worked on diverse issues such as marine protection, reduction of food waste and immigration.

“These are bright young minds with creative technological solutions to developmental challenges both in their communities and in the wider world,” said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré.

Open to young social entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 and 26, the competition seeks innovative digital solutions in the form of start-ups or initial concepts meeting global developmental challenges. The winners will be heading to the ITU Telecom World 2013 a knowledge-sharing event for the global ICT community, which will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, on 19-22 November.

“Bringing the competition winners to the forefront of the global ICT stage at ITU Telecom World connects them with the event's influential audience, with the entrepreneurial experiences and with the success stories of their expert mentors and their peers from 2012,” said Mr. Touré.

“These are the connections and conversations that matter, with the power to make a real difference in the world.”

One of the winners is Keston Perry from Trinidad and Tobago, who started KUMBA, an interface connecting unemployed Caribbean migrants with technical skills based in the United Kingdom with Caribbean-based companies.

Nguyen Tran Hoang from Viet Nam will be honoured for the Land-Sea Digital Bridge – a digital radio communication system connecting fishing boats and shore stations.

Oscar Ekponimo from Nigeria created SalvageHub, a web and mobile platform to reduce food wastage at individual and retail levels.

Also from the African continent is the M-Tambula platform by Brenda Katwesigye, which provides the elderly with easy access to public services using Interactive Voice Response over mobile phones.

Thomas Kioko from Kenya will be recognized for his Nduru App – a one-stop mobile application to manage all aspects of road safety.

Ahmed Fawzi from Egypt was selected for his Al Dalilah Advanced Operational Global Positioning System (GPS) – an advanced tracking and first response system using meteorological data.

Hannah Judge from the United States will also be recognized for her use of geolocation technology, as she created Broad Street Maps, which produces individualized healthcare maps to support health organizations

In India, Varun Arora created Open Curriculum, an online platform for local educational material for standard, primary and secondary schooling.

Yvone Loremia from the Philippines was selected for her Tudlo Disaster and Emergency Application, a multi-purpose information platform for emergency and disaster situations.

Finally, the Timothy McDermott from Australia and Swaziland created SiSwApp, an English-SiSwati translation app aimed at migrant workers.

The judges received over 600 entries from 88 countries worldwide, and the winners were selected based on their possible social impact and potential for business success.

At ITU Telecom World the winners will take part in a programme to take their projects to the next level via one-on-one mentorship sessions with start-up mentors and business experts, hands-on workshop training, peer mentoring from the winners of the 2012 competition, and the opportunity to showcase their projects to the event’s influential audience.

ITU Telecom organizes global events for Governments, industry leaders and regulators that form part of the world’s ICT community. The first ITU Telecom event was held in 1971 and ITU Telecom marked its 40th anniversary in 2011.

Young Innovators Competition 2013

An integral part of ITU Telecom World events, the Young Innovators Programme works with promising start-ups run by young people from all over the world who are using technological innovation to improve the social reality of their communities.

Each year, the Young Innovators Competition invites new start-ups and concepts to compete for one of the ten prestigious places in the programme. Chosen by a committee of world-class experts from public, private and academic sectors, the ten winners join the ITU Telecom World event for a four-day accelerator programme of pitching sessions, hands-on workshops and mentoring – plus the chance to win up to USD 10 000 in funding.

But it’s not just an annual competition. It’s a community. Which is why the winners of the 2012 competition will be joining this year’s winners in Bangkok to report back on the development of their projects after a year of mentoring and to offer the benefits of their experiences as peer-mentors to the class of 2013.


Young Innovators Competition 2013 winners

With over 600 applications from 88 countries, identifying the ten best entries responding to one our global challenges has not been easy. So we’re delighted to be able to announce the 2013 winners joining us at ITU Telecom World in Bangkok:

  • Al Dalilah Advanced Operational GPS represented by Ahmed Fawzi from Egypt – an advanced tracking and first response system using meteorological data

  • Broad Street Maps represented by Hannah Judge from the USA – producing individualized healthcare maps to support health organizations

  • Kumba Connect represented by Keston Perry from Trinidad and Tobago – an interface connecting unemployed Caribbean migrants with technical skills based in the UK with Caribbean-based companies

  • Land-Sea Digital Bridge represented by Nguyen Tran Hoang from Viet Nam – an HF digital radio communication system connecting fishing boats and shore stations

  • M-Tambula represented by Brenda Katwesigye from Uganda – providing the elderly with easy access to public services using Interactive Voice Response over mobile phones

  • NduruApp represented by Thomas Kioko from Kenya – a one-stop mobile app to manage all aspects of road safety

  • Open Curriculum represented by Varun Arora from India – an online platform for local K12 educational material

  • SalvageHub represented by Oscar Ekponimo from Nigeria – a web and mobile platform to reduce food wastage at individual and retail levels

  • SiSwApp represented by Timothy McDermott from Australia/ Swaziland – an English-SiSwati translation app aimed at migrant workers

  • Tudlo Disaster and Emergency App represented by Yvonne Loremia from the Philippines – a multi-purpose information platform for emergency and disaster situations

Accelerator Programme and Master Class in Innovation

The Young Innovators Accelerator Programme is specifically designed for the winners of the Young Innovators Competition. It aims to equip them with the necessary skills and knowledge to jump-start their enterprises and take their start-up companies to the next level.

For the duration of ITU Telecom World 2013, the winners will be closely supervised by their mentors, who will organize interactive workshops and one-on-one sessions. In addition, within our Master Class of Innovation local and international partners such as Expara, Hubba and ICN Business school will organize sessions on a range of highly-relevant topics including Design Thinking, Scaling of Social Enterprises, Go-To-Market Strategies for Start-ups, and PR on a Low Budget for Start-ups.

All the sessions will touch on the central themes of social entrepreneurship : enterprises responding to the needs of a community, future thinking, and designing in a sustainable way with forward-looking ideas.

The climax of the accelerator program is the Big Pitch Session taking place on November 20th in the InnovationSpace WorkSpace, where the winners will pitch their ideas, and the winners of the 2012 Young Innovators Competition will report on their progress.

The Mentors

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