So right now, in a small conference room below my hotel room where I’m typing this post – teams from across the globe are pitching business ideas and technology start ups to a panel of “judges” – all of whom are experienced technologists and business leaders. The Intel Global Challenge pits young entrepreneurs from around the world against one another in a competition aiming to find the next big idea that can make the world a better place.
I’ve spent the last two days with the semi-finalists while they have been put through some rigorous training by some of the most respected minds in Silicon Valley, including Di-Ann Eisnor from Waze and co-founder of LinkedIn, Konstantin Guerike. The Intel Global Challenge is in its 9th year and is designed to motivate young entrepreneurs to develop innovative technologies that solve real world challenges while also building business models and moving technology out of university labs and into the market.
Competitors are judged on their business acuman, viability of their offering as well as its social impact. The majority of the ideas have impressed me and I wish I could share them all with you. For now, here are 3 that you might find interesting. I’ve let the young entrepreneurs share what it is they do in their own words. I was able to track down a fashion related competitor and a competitor that appeals to the moms. The first video though? My absolute favourite offering… so I’m sharing it with you for completely selfish reasons.
I love the idea of time currency. I also love the idea of a platform that ultimately lets us share knowledge for free. I chatted to Lorrana Scarpioni a little bit off camera and she mentioned the funding model would work with corporates paying to have their own Bliive channels. I think, if this came to the South African market, I’d definitely consider setting up a paid for channel for Tech Girl.
I don’t shop online all that often because I’m so afraid of purchasing ill fitting clothes. That’s where Fitterli comes in. Another interesting little tidbit – Daniel Mankowitz (who you see is this video) is representing Israel but grew up and studied in South Africa, making Fitterli the closest I’ll get to a home team, as SA didn’t make the semi finals.
An app and educational toys for kids… nothing new right? You have a point BUT I rather like Erika Brodnock’s (who you see in the video) approach to the business model. She isn’t selling an app to parents but rather an app to tablet makers, so it is preloaded on devices aimed at children. I think it is smart business. So I’m giving Erika a little punt (you can still download the apps in the iStore though so moms… do that). If Erika looks familiar it is because she was on the UK version of Dragon’s Den. Kind of rad if you ignore the fact that they were rather harsh about her business idea. Let’s hope she has polished her pitch since then.
I'd love to chat to you some more.
I usually send out a weekly mailer with a recap of blog posts but also some personal anecdotes. If you want to know about competitions or just catch up in a more personal setting then you might like to receive the mailer.