The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has extended the deadline for submission of applications and entries into the 2023 Talent Hunt through a Hackathon to Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023.
NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, Dr Reuben Muoka disclosed this in a statement on Friday in Abuja.
Muoka said the deadline for applications into the contest, which opened on September 1, 2023, and initially closed on Sept. 22, 2023, has now been extended to close on the last day of September 2023.
According to him, the approval of the extension window was to give ample time for more prospective and viable startups to tidy up their solutions in the required format for submission.
He said: “This would enable more upcoming technology entrepreneurs to participate in the competition.
“The talent hunt is one of the means through which the Commission gives concrete expression to its Strategic Vision Plan 2023-2025.
“By encouraging the development of new technologies and indigenous content through cutting-edge research to stimulate sustainable economic growth and development in Nigeria.”
Consequently, he said, the commission had invited the Tech Hubs, and Innovation-Driven Enterprises (IDEs) in Nigeria to enroll their start-ups and their solutions in the third edition of the NCC Talent Hunt Research through a Hackathon.
Mouka said that the research focused on three (3) thematic areas such as Blockchain-enabled Data Protection Solutions for Enhancing Regulatory Compliance.
He said that others were Technology Solutions for the Elderly and People with Disabilities, and Technology Solutions for Renewable Energy in Rural Areas.
He said: “The NCC Talent Hunt Research through Hackathon leverages Emerging Digital Technologies to facilitate the development of home-grown innovative solutions and local content development in the telecommunications sector while fostering economic growth and social advancement in Nigeria.
“The competition enables the translation of novel ideas into the development of hardware/software solutions that address industry and societal challenges.
“The best three solutions, one from each of the three areas listed above will receive grants of N10 million each for the development of the solutions.
“The Commission has set out eligibility criteria for those seeking to participate in the competition, which include that the Enterprise applying must provide a certificate of registration with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC).
“The Enterprise must not have previously received support from the Commission.”
He said that the project should have clear relevance to one of the three thematic areas above and must provide a clear problem statement, proposed solution, and roadmap to deployment.
“Other requirements include a proof of concept (which may also include technical feasibility of the idea with diagram, algorithm, existing models, or case studies.
“The solution must be novel with the applicant making a declarative statement on ownership of the intellectual property.
“The solution including prototype development shall be concluded within 6 months of receipt of the Grant and must propose a detailed commercialisation plan of the prototype.
“The Entry Submission format indicated that the proposal must include ideation,
“Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and solution, Current Sweat Equity Investment, Product-Market Fit status, Verifiable Go-to-Market status, Growth Feasibility Assurances, Maturity Model and Timeliness; and Exist time: Disaster Recovery, where applicable
He said that all applications should be made online and must follow the stipulated entry format, adding that there is no financial cost to participating in the competition.
The director said that full control and ownership of the intellectual property of the developed solutions remained with the commission.
Mouka said: “The entries must be made by a Tech Hub/Innovation-Driven Enterprise that must show evidence of the relationship with the Start-up/solution being entered.
“A 4-page Executive summary of the project concept, a 3-5 minute video of the pilot project, names, age, contact details, passport photos.
“Profile of all team members and the website (if available) as well as an E-mail address of the applicant.
“All interested and qualified enterprises should submit requested documents in a zip folder to https://ncc.gov.ng/talenthuntresearchhackathon2023 with the subject of the mail titled “Submission from <business name>” and the zipped file named after the business.”