The total purse for prizes is $1 million.
innovateAFRICA is designed to find and nurture ideas that have the potential to empower ordinary African citizens by transforming journalism and the media industry into more digitally savvy civic watchdogs.
Winners will therefore receive more than just cash grants. They will also receive a combination of technical advice and software development support from Code for Africa’s affiliate technology labs across the continent, along with business and editorial mentorship from industry experts at CFI, the Media Development Investment Fund and the Global Editors Network (GEN), and additional support for winners to market their innovations to a wider African and world audience.
Once winners have produced working prototypes and proof-of-concept for their ideas, they will be given the opportunity to showcase their innovations to venture capitalist funds for possible additional investment.
Winners will receive cash grants of between $12,500 and $100,000, depending on the potential impact and the operational requirements of the project. Each project’s operational requirements will be spelled out in a detailed budget that shortlisted finalists will be required to file in the 2nd phase of judging. Finalists will receive feedback from innovateAFRICA’s technical review panel to help them develop this budget and a related business plan.
CFI, the Media Development Investment Fund and the Global Editors Network (GEN) will provide winners with one-on-one mentorship and technical advice from some of the world’s leading media strategists. innovateAFRICA will also host regular webinars and Q&A sessions with industry specialists mentors, while technology labs affiliated with Code for Africa will offer grantees co-workplace, feedback on technology designs / solutions, and developer support to built aspects of their projects.
Code for Africa will also offer access to its own in-house team of award-winning international data journalists and digital strategists, for advice on everything from storytelling to user interface (UI) design and user experience (UX) strategies.
The innovateAFRICA grants that winners receive will function as seed capital for innovators to kickstart their projects. Once they have produced working prototypes with some degree of proof-of-concept, winners will be given the opportunity to pitch their projects to the Media Development Investment Fund’s (MDIF) for possible additional investment.
An invitation to pitch to MDIF is in no way a commitment to funding or investment.