Two innovators and entrepreneurs from South Africa, Dr Carlos Rey-Moreno and Tim Human, are among the five selected finalist of Mozilla’s Equal Rating Innovation Challenge. A $250,000 innovation challenge that seeks to identify and reward innovative solutions that seek to get more people online.
The Mozilla competition, which was announced last year, had 98 submissions from entrepreneurs from across 27 countries around the world. The bulk of the submissions (60%) came from Nigeria, USA, Brazil, India, and Kenya. The two finalist South Africans had the following submissions:
- Ø Tim Human: His project, Afri-Fi, is a Free Public Wi-Fi, geared to making Project Isizewe a financially viable project. It intends to do so by connecting brands to the untapped, national audience from particularly the low-income communities who would otherwise not afford internet connectivity.
- Ø Dr Carlos Rey-Moreno: His submission was Zenzeleni ‘Do it for yourselves’ Networks (ZN). A bottom-up telecom cooperatives society that enables the disadvantaged rural folks in South Africa to self-provide themselves affordable communications networks. At a fraction of the standard cost other operator pay to set up the same kind of network.
The two entrepreneurs, Dr Carlos and Tim, will join other finalists for an 8-weeks-long mentorship program from the Mozilla community. They will be taken through topics like policy, engineering, business, and design by the Mozilla community.
The mentorship session will be followed up by a Demo Day, a one-week-long open voting for the public. The public will vote for the best innovation from the five finalists that impress them the most. Voting will be done online at this link.
From the votes cast, the winners of the challenge will be announced. The Best Overall Winner will walk home with $125K, the Best Overall Runner-up will get $75K, and the Most Novel Solution will get $30K. The winners will be announced at the RightsCon on March 29 in Brussels, Belgium.