SA contestants chosen for semifinals of Mozilla Equal Rating Innovation Challenge


Two South Africans, Tim Human and Dr Carlos Rey-Moreno, have been chosen to represent the nation at the Mozilla Equal Rating Innovation Challenge semifinal.

Founder of RLabs, Marlon Parker, commented on the emerging trends across the semifinalists as well as his role as a judge.

“Not giving people access to information creates a socio-economic divide, not just a digital divide. Every person on the planet needs to have hope, which is what the internet is for,” said Parker in a press release to Ventureburn.”It gives you information, it gives you a choice, it gives you an option. This is why I wanted to be a part of this Challenge and become a judge.”

Two South Africans have made their way to the semifinal of the Mozilla Equal Rating Innovation Challenge

The following entrepreneurs and startups were chosen to compete in the semifinals:

  • Prof. Abhay Karandikar (Gram Marg Solutions for Rural Broadband) – specialises in open source low-cost hardware which uses TV’s White Spectrum to provide broadband access to rural communities.

  • Steve Song (Freemium Mobile Internet) – is a business model telecoms company aiming to provide free 2G to the world.
  • Tim Human (Afri-Fi) – aims to make their Project Isizwe sustainable by connecting various communications brands to disadvantaged communities.
  • Bruno Vianna (Free Networks P2P Cooperative) – aim to establish networks that allow for access to the internet in rural communities which would thereafter support itself through cooperative fees.
  • Carlos Rey-Moreno (Zenzeleni Networks) – Zenzeleni Networks uses bottom-up telecommunications cooperatives which give disadvantaged communities the chance to self-provide affordable communications at a smaller cost to that of other operators.

Each team will receive mentorship for eight weeks, which will cover a wide variety of topics such as policy, design, and engineering.

Entrepreneurs were evaluated against criteria of compliance with Equal Rating which included: affordability, accessibility and empathy. Furthermore, they were also evaluated against technical feasibility, scalability, user experience, differentiation as well as the potential for fast development and their team potential.

Featured image: nd1mbee via Flickr 



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