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Do you have an innovative idea that could positively change the lives of millions of people in your country and the world? Well, this might be your chance to do just that. Silicon Valley’s part university, part think-tank, part business-incubator, Singularity University is on the prowl for South African talent.
In a partnership with Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), a division of FirstRand Bank Limited, Singularity University invites local entrepreneurs, leaders, scientists and engineers to apply for its Global Impact Competition, and stand a chance to travel to Silicon Valley.
According to a recent press release sent to Ventureburn, RMB chief executive James Formby says that the partnership with SingularityU South Africa GIC forms part of its ongoing drive to promote innovative thinking and entrepreneurship:
The pace of change in today’s business environment is accelerating, requiring companies to constantly seek new ways of doing things and adopt exponential and disruptive technologies. We believe this competition will encourage the development of new ideas and technologies which is not only good for business, but will also play a role in addressing some of the world’s greatest challenges.
The SingularityU South Africa GIC focuses on the following global grand challenge areas: learning, energy, environment, food, health, prosperity, security, water, space, disaster resilience and governance.
Applicants are challenged to come up with an idea or project that uses technology to solve a global grand challenge.
Singularity University chief executive, Rob Nail, says that partnerships like these are very important:
By holding a South African GIC we can identify a diverse and talented group of innovators in the country who will attend the 10-week programme at Singularity University where we can provide a broad, cross-disciplinary understanding of disruptive technologies and empower them with the tools, knowledge, skills and mind-set needed to deliver real humanitarian impact at multiple levels.
The winner of the competition, who will be selected on 6 April, will be invited to participate in the Summer 2016 Singularity University Global Solutions Program (GSP) in Silicon Valley. The second to fifth place finalists will benefit from the competition by having access to the FNB Business Accelerator programme, which will provide business support and individual guidance for three months.