World Bank

Deadline: February 24

D4D is offering $100,000 in prize funding towards selected winners with solutions to the inaugural Mission Billion Challenge, with the top prize of $50,000. Anyone, anywhere who has a solution to this critical Challenge should apply here by February 24.

Background

How can digital identification systems in developing countries be better designed or adapted to protect people’s privacy and empower them with greater control over their personal data?

Despite significant progress in recent years, one billion people are still unable to prove their identity, and many more have forms of identification that cannot be reliably verified or authenticated. In an increasingly digital age, lack of trusted identification often results in exclusion from economic opportunities and a variety of social and political rights.

ID4D, an initiative of the World Bank, is seeking innovative ideas and solutions to these problems by launching the Mission Billion Challenge powered by MIT Solve, which will focus on a single pressing issue each year. For the inaugural Mission Billion Challenge, ID4D will start with an issue at the heart of digital identification design: privacy and user empowerment of their identification. As countries and development partners strive to provide identification to millions of people, there is an opportunity to inform the design of digital identification systems to enhance data protection and provide individuals with greater control over their personal data. This challenge aims to surface practical and cost-effective ‘privacy by design’ features that can be embedded in digital identification systems.


Read this paper on Privacy by Design to learn more about the issue.

Watch this video to learn more about the Mission Billion Challenge.

For more information and to apply for the Challenge, please visit the ID4D Mission Billion Challenge page. For questions about submitting to the Challenge, please email missionbillionhelp@solve.mit.edu

Happy solving!


 

L’Afrique Excelle connects startups from Francophone Africa with mentors and investors. They support you to raise up to $5M from investors and link you to expertise from leading investors, entrepreneurs, and sector experts.

They are looking for 20 scalable technology ventures in the late seed or pre-series A stage, well-positioned for growth and cross-border expansion in the Francophone Africa markets, and looking to raise between $250K and $5M.

Deadline: January 4th, 2019

What’s in it for you?

L’Afrique Excelle will provide selected startups with:

  •  Structured access to Francophone Africa-focused investors throughout the program and at a Venture Showcase at VivaTech in Paris
  • Mentoring from two successful entrepreneurs or investors (international and local) to develop accurate company valuations, financial forecasts, risk management, and customer acquisition strategies. Access to other expertise is provided based on your specific needs.
  • The opportunity to engage with investors, domain experts, and corporate partners as well as peers at two all-expenses-paid residencies – in Mali and in France.
    Support in developing investment packages so you’re ready for investment following the program.
  • Knowledge through curated content designed to teach you everything you need to know about marketing, financing and market expansion.

Criteria For Eligibility

  • Your start-up is for profit and registered, with a team of at least three people
  • A digital or tech product/service currently available in the market
  • Either based in or deriving at least 75% of turnover in one or several of the following Francophone Africa markets: Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, DRC, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, and Togo
  • You have a very strong management team
  • You can demonstrate tangible traction, evidence of revenue and potential to scale
  • You are seeking investment capital in the range of $250K – $5M
  • While there will be exceptions, most likely your start-up has already received investment capital, as debt or equity, or received grants from donor organizations or prize money from competitions.

Language Component

The main language of the program is French, so fluent French is a requirement for participation. The application has to be submitted in French, the interviews will be in French, and the majority of Mali and France residency sessions will be in French. The final pitch at the Venture Showcase, however, has to be delivered in English, so an intermediate level of English proficiency is desirable.

What is Expected From Participants

The 20 finalists are expected to participate in the one-week residency in Mali (March 25-30, 2019), where the final cohort of 10 will be selected. The selected 10 startups will proceed with the rest of the program and are expected to:

  • Engage regularly with mentors (4-6 hours a month) over 6 months.
    Remember it’s a two-way street – both mentors and mentees learn and commit to this relationship. In many cases, we expect these relationships to last long after the program has ended.
  • Over 6 months, participate in up to 5 virtual webinar sessions run by global experts with inputs from leading African and US investors and successful entrepreneurs.
  • Participate in the one-week residency in France (May 13-18, 2019), including the Venture Showcase at the VivaTech event in Paris
  • Engage with your peers part of the cohort, along with mentors, investors and strategic partners.
  • Come with an open mind and be willing to learn and collaborate

SELECTION CRITERIA

The criteria for selection are as follows:

  • Commercial Value of your Product/Service (25%) – The company addresses a real problem in the market. The digital or tech solution is different from others in the industry. The product or service is catalyzing social change.
  • Strategy for Growth (25%) – There is potential to expand locally and into new markets. We can see demonstrable progress and your startup is scalable.
  • Management (25%) – The team has the qualifications needed to make the business successful.
  • Market Traction & Financials (25%) – We will evaluate the market traction and potential market size. We’ll also look at the business model, revenue streams and unit economics, and if any outside funding has been raised before.

Application Portal: Click here to apply now.


 

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