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Winners of the YBI Innovation Challenge announced

Catalin Parascan
Catalin Parascan    

We are pleased to reveal the winners of the inaugural YBI Innovation Challenge

Run by Youth Business International (YBI) and supported by Accenture and the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) of the Inter-American Development Bank, the Innovation Challenge set out to challenge YBI members to propose new ways in which they can improve the support services offered to young entrepreneurs in four areas: mentoring, training, access to finance and access to markets.

The two winning projects, which were selected by an expert-judging panel and YBI member voting, each receive a USD $40,000 cash grant and 12 hours of consultancy support to allow them to test their ideas and develop a Minimum Viable Product (MVP1).

The YBI Innovation Challenge entries were judged based on:

  • Problem validation – the level of understanding of the end beneficiaries, their needs and desires, and the proof of validation of the problem the project is trying to address.
  • Compelling solution – the uniqueness and innovativeness of the solution.
  • Viability of implementation – the knowledge and capability of the team implementing the project and the technical feasibility of the solution proposed.
  • Sustainability and scalability – the ability of the organisation(s) to take the project forward and scale it after the implementation phase.

“It has been an incredible experience to see such a wealth of great submissions from our members across the world. The quality of the applications received demonstrates a great appetite for developing new products and services that are adapted to the ever-changing world of work” – Anita Tiessen, Chief Executive Officer at YBI.

And the winners are…

Aliança Empreendedora: MEU NEGÓCIO

MEU NEGÓCIO is an application that provides practical, gamified guidance to young entrepreneurs in the early stages of their businesses. The application will give entrepreneurs access to practical and simple management tasks and challenges, share technical knowledge and tools, and track their progress.

"Technology is at the core of our strategy as our aim is to continually scale and  impact more entrepreneurs. However, developing new digital tools is a challenge for not-for-profit organisations. The YBI Innovation Challenge will enable Aliança Empreendedora to make important steps in achieving our strategy. Through our application, we want to break the initial barriers that young entrepreneurs face at the beginning of their journey thus creating an autonomous and empowered network." - Florian Paysan, Impact Evaluation Coordinator, Aliança Empreendedora

Futurpreneur Canada, Youth Business Germany and Youth Business Spain (consortium): My Youth Business Market

My Youth Business Market aims to create a support system for entrepreneurs and smaller businesses attempting to access new markets and establish relationships for cross border co-operation, with an emphasis on building trusting relationships between international collaborators.

“We are extremely thrilled to be one of the two winners of the inaugural YBI Innovation Challenge. It is a great honour and opportunity for Youth Business Spain, Futurpreneur and Youth Business Germany to work collaboratively on an innovative service that connects entrepreneurs around the world allowing them access to international markets.” – Carles Massot Cardona, Network Manager, Youth Business Spain

“For the first time, the YBI Innovation Challenge allowed our organisations to work on developing a joint service that serves young entrepreneurs. Through My Youth Business Market we want to connect entrepreneurs from Germany, Canada and Spain and allow them access to international markets so that their businesses can grow, become more sustainable and create more jobs.” – Joerg Schoolmann, Director of Partnership Development, Youth Business Germany

The judging panel for the YBI Innovation Challenge was comprised of Hannah Mansour, Innovation 4 Society Lead at Accenture, Maritza Vela, Project Specialist at MIF, Bob Dorf, Lean Innovation and Customer Development Expert and Dianne Cornes, Director of Network Members at YBI.

Anita Tiessen also added: “We would like to congratulate and thank all members who entered their ideas into the Innovation Challenge this year. The depth of knowledge and passion that their submissions conveyed was truly inspirational, making our judges’ tasks of selecting the two winners extremely difficult. Of course, none of this would be possible without the support of our incredible partners, Accenture and the Multilateral Investment Fund, who I would like to thank on behalf of the YBI network for enabling us to run this initiative.”

The two winning projects will be implemented between September and November 2018 with a view of sharing their results in early 2019.

1 A Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is 'a development technique in which a new product is developed with sufficient features to satisfy early adopters.'

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