Awards, Competitions, Funding Grants

The Young Innovators Competition 2014

ITU Telecom World 2014 is looking for gifted young entrepreneurs with ideas for innovative social enterprises. The winners will receive up to USD 10,000 in seed funding, as well as business workshops, networking, showcasing and pitching opportunities with potential investors at ITU Telecom World in Doha followed by a mentorship programme throughout the development year to help their businesses to thrive.

Submit your Ideas at

itu telecom world 2014


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Young Innovators Competition?

The Young Innovators Competition is a platform for innovative ideas and digital creativity. It shows how young people, fresh thinking and talent for technology can provide real-world solutions to real-world problems and change the future for the better. Innovation is showcased on a truly international stage and innovators receive a whole range of benefits crucial for developing their enterprise.

What is the Young Innovators Programme?

The Young Innovators Programme is far more than a competition; it builds a cohesive community of highly talented 18-30 years old social entrepreneurs from all around the world. Winners are invited to take part in post-event activities, report back on the development of their project and get feedback from mentors and peers.

Who can apply?

The Competition is open to individuals from Members States of the ITU (see

Applicants must not be an employee (or member of an employee’s family or household) of ITU nor holding an offer for future employment with ITU. Winningprojects from ITU Telecom World 2013 are not eligible; winning concepts could be submitted as a start-up with a business plan.

What is the age limit?

Applicants must be older than 18 and younger than 30 years old at the time of entry.

What do I need to submit?

For Challenge 1 Local Digital Content, we need a short summary of your idea and your business plan as an attached file. If you do not provide the business plan at submission or are unwilling to have it submitted publically, we will request it if you advance in the challenge.

How many submissions are allowed?

You can submit as many entries as you wish.

Can I send my submission in my native language?

All applications must be submitted in English.

Are projects submitted by groups of people accepted?

Yes, but only one person will be invited to the event. Please register the person who will represent you when submitting your initiative – and give more information about your team as you fill out the information boxes.

What is a start-up?

A start-up is a enterprises with on-going operations showing preliminary results (e.g. prototypes) and in need of support to scale their impact.

I don’t have a full business plan. Is that a disadvantage?

For Challenge 1, you need to submit a full business plan (format is up to you). It must not be longer than 5 000 words.

Do I need to be sufficiently knowledgeable in ICT to enter the competition?

Not at all! But it helps if you know somebody who is and is willing to help you implement your submission.

How much money can I win?

Start-us can win up to USD 10,000 . The level of funding will be determined by the Selection Committee based on the need expressed by the applicant, the quality of the submission (innovativeness, business potential, social impact potential, likelihood of success) and the result of the presentation and the interview.

Don’t forget that there are other benefits you can’t put a price tag on: please see the next point!

What are the other benefits?

 An invitation to come to ITU Telecom Wowrld 2014 in Doha, Qatar and be present on the show floor.

At the Event:

Mentorship: one-on-one sessions with top level representatives of various sectors.

Hands-on Workshops: training sessions focusing on entrepreneurship.

Networking: opportunities to build relationships with top ICT names from industry, governments, academia and peers.

Visibility: Access to our dedicated pavilion on the showfloor, a strategically-located stand where Young Innovators can showcase their concepts and start-ups, interact with event participants, and attend workshops.

Interviews & Presentations: Finalists will be interviewed and asked to present their submissions to the Selection Committee (consisting of the mentors) and an audience of event participants. Finalists will be evaluated and ranked to determine their award.

After the event:

Funding: Start-ups will receive up to ten thousand US Dollars.

Mentorship: Access to our network of mentors for a period of one year.

Networking & Knowledge Sharing: Access to our growing Young Innovators community through multiple channels.

Visibility: Winners’ submissions will be featured on the event website. Winners will have the opportunity to regularly update their feature with progress reports as projects are implemented. They will also be encouraged to provide quarterly reports to enable the organizer to better assist them.

Do I have to pay to enter?

No purchase or payment of any kind is required to enter or win this Competition.

What are the Evaluation Criteria?

The Selection Committee will evaluate submissions using four criteria: Innovativeness, Business Potential, Social Impact Potential and Likelihood of Success.

What if I need a visa?

We will facilitate the visa application process for winners.

Is my stay at the event paid?

Yes, all ten finalists will receive a fellowship to facilitate their participation in ITU Telecom World 2014. The fellowship will cover travel and accommodation expenses and include a daily subsidiary allowance (DSA).

What do I have to deliver as a winner?

Winners will have the opportunity to regularly update their feature with progress reports as projects are implemented. They will also be encouraged to provide quarterly reports to enable the organizer to better assist them.

To Top