Vodafone Americas Foundation Call for Entries for Tenth Annual Wireless Innovation Project

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Vodafone Americas Foundation today, at SOCAP17, announced the opening of its tenth annual Wireless Innovation ProjectTM (WIP) competition, seeking the latest connected innovations designed for social good. The Vodafone Americas Foundation asks all entrepreneurs, startups, non-government organizations (NGOs), nonprofits and university projects to submit technologies that aim to solve critical issues facing the global community.


Online applications will be accepted from October 10, 2017 through March 2018, with winners announced in June 2018.


“As we celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Wireless Innovation Project, we’re looking forward to welcoming the latest technologies with potential to drive true social impact,” said June Sugiyama, Vodafone Americas Foundation Director. “The Wireless Innovation Project has helped propel many early stage ideas into real-world, life-changing innovations since the competition first launched in 2009, and this year we expect to see more impressive connected solutions and wireless technologies.”


Over the past 10 years, the Wireless Innovation Project has awarded $5.5 million to competition winners to help develop and scale their unique solutions to ultimately address critical issues affecting people in the most vulnerable areas. WIP-supported innovations have directly impacted more than 40 million individual lives across 40 different countries.


Each year, three winners are selected with first place awarded $300,000, second place $200,000, and third place $100,000. Past WIP winners have gone on to future success through international accolades, various industry prizes, and more than $9.5 million in additional funding following their involvement with WIP.


All nonprofits, universities, NGOs, and social entrepreneurs are encouraged to enter connected solutions and wireless-related technology projects that can positively impact the global community.


How to Enter

  • The application is available online.
  • The competition is open to nonprofit organizations, universities, NGOs, and social entrepreneurs with a 501(c)(3) status. If you are not a nonprofit, you must have a nonprofit partner.
  • Applicants compete for first, second and third-place prizes worth $300,000, $200,000 and $100,000, respectively.
  • Projects must be at a late stage of research, advanced prototype or field/market test; these can occur during the award period.
  • A panel of expert judges from the fields of wireless engineering, international development, social entrepreneurship and business will evaluate the finalists.
  • The mobile or wireless solution must have the potential to solve issues in the fields of education, health, access to communication, economic development and the environment/disaster relief.


Last year, WIP awarded $300,000 in first place prize money to PathVis, a Purdue University project, for its smartphone-based detection platform built to directly detect and help track infectious diseases afflicting over 250 million people worldwide. This detection technology uses a novel, breakthrough method to obtain results in less than 30 minutes which can provide aid organizations with real-time insights on potential disease outbreaks.


“Since being named a WIP winner back in June, we’ve been able to accelerate the development of PathVis and launch official field testing in Haiti,” said Tamara Kinzer-Ursem, Co-Founder of PathVis.


Jacqueline Linnes, Co-Founder of PathVis, added, “Without the support and funding from organizations like the Vodafone Americas Foundation and Wireless Innovation Project, we would not be able to bring our idea to life as quickly and advance our unique disease detection technology.”


Further details about the competition, eligibility, past winners, and the Foundation can be found at project.vodafone-us.com.


To follow the Vodafone Americas Foundation™ Twitter feed, visit @VodafoneProject.

To visit the Vodafone Americas Foundation™ Facebook page, click here.


About the Vodafone Americas Foundation

The Vodafone Americas Foundation is part of Vodafone’s global network of 27 foundations. It is affiliated with Vodafone Group. In addition, the Wireless Innovation Project, the Vodafone Americas Foundation supports programs in the United States to Improve People’s Lives, Support the Development Sector, Spark Innovation, and Empower Women and Girls. For more information, please visit: www.vodafone-us.com.


About Vodafone

Vodafone Group is one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies and provides a range of services including voice, messaging, data and fixed communications. Vodafone Group has mobile operations in 26 countries, partners with mobile networks in 49 more, and fixed broadband operations in 17 markets. As of 30 June 2017, Vodafone Group had 523.5 million mobile customers and 18.5 million fixed broadband customers, including India and all of the customers in Vodafone’s joint ventures and associates. For more information, please visit: www.vodafone.com.


Photo courtesy of Anoto AB.

Source: Press release

global development, NGOs