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For Innovative Tech SME: ITU Digital World Awards

1 week 6 days ago

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has opened applications for the ITU Digital World SME Virtual Awards 2020, which will take place online for the first time. The awards will help innovative small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) hone pitching skills, showcase solutions, make key connections, foster investment and gain valuable United Nations recognition, all by virtual means.

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"The COVID-19 crisis has underlined the importance of digital technologies in our lives, and now, more than ever, fast-moving, responsive and innovative tech SMEs need our help to keep their creative ideas flowing. I therefore encourage talented SMEs from across the globe to enter the ITU Digital World SME Virtual Awards, and benefit from this valuable platform of knowledge sharing, networking and visibility", said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao.

Any startup or SME with an innovative tech solution in one of the following four sectors can apply for the Awards Here:

  1. Connectivity: innovative solutions to increasing universal access to the internet.
  2. Smart cities, smart living: using digital tech innovatively to improve urban life and beyond in areas such as energy, transport, planning, food management, commerce and education.
  3. E-health: using technology to improve healthcare through remote diagnosis and treatment, care in the home, monitoring and prevention.
  4. Digital finance: ICT-based initiatives focused on increasing and improving access to the economy for the banked and unbanked.

All eligible applicants will be able to join a virtual programme of masterclasses, with shortlisted entrants then able to pitch live online to an expert jury of investors, business and tech specialists. Winners will receive UN recognition, online visibility, a certificate of achievement, and an access pass to join the ITU Digital World 2021 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam, in the last quarter of 2021 to take part in the event's SME programme in person.

Speaking of the opportunities offered by the awards, the 2018 winner, Sabelo Sibanda, Co-Founder and CEO of Tuse Applications from South Africa, said: "​Winning the award has given us unparalleled exposure, access to markets, finance and new opportunities - it has truly been a game changer for our business."

The deadline for applications is 16 October at midnight CET. Masterclasses for all eligible applicants will then take place in November 2020, followed by pitching sessions and the announcement of winners in December 2020.

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