NIRDA, in partnership with the Ministry of Information Technology and Communications (MITEC), the Rwanda Information Society Authority (RISA) and GIZ’s Digital Solutions for Sustainable Development Program (DSSD), supported the Smart Kigali Challenge – a competition aimed at encouraging the development and emergence of novel and innovative solutions to build smart cities and support cross-sectoral development.
The event took place from September 28th to October 1st and was facilitated by Impact Hub Kigali. Out of the 151 teams that applied to participated, ten were selected to participate in the challenge. The pre-selected teams comprised of innovators building solutions across the fields of Health, Agriculture, Education, Disability, Mobility, and Waste Management, participated in a boot camp that comprised of mentor sessions, training on design thinking, and field visits. The design thinking workshop urged participants to approach their prototype with people-centered design and the field trips brought participants face to face with their ultimate client/customer and allowed them to gain insight in terms of the specific needs of their target customers.
On the last day, teams presented their prototypes and pitched their solutions to a panel of judges. In the end, three teams, Team SKYROCKET, Team BINARY EARTH and STES Group, were awarded seed funding grants amounting to $3000 USD each and were provided with expert mentorship to enable them to develop their ideas into complete prototypes over three months. The three winning groups will work at GIZ-supported innovation hub, “DigiCenter.”