Addis Abeba — This year’s Solve IT 2023 kicked off across six cities in Ethiopia, boasting an impressive 2,000 plus number of registrations. As the competition progressed, 12 outstanding projects emerged as the finalists in the city hub competition and these 12 projects underwent preparations for the ultimate stage of Solve IT, known as the bootcamp.
Having addressing local community challenges with local innovative solutions through various
entrepreneurial approaches as its main target, Solve IT has forged strong partnerships with the US embassy and Dashen bank and has been able to reach a vast number of universities, colleges, and TVET students and graduates in six cities: Addis Abeba, Bahir Dar, Dessie, Jimma, Wolaita Sodo and Dire Dawa.
Solve IT is a nationwide innovation competition by iCog Anyone Can Code(iCog-ACC) is supported by the U.S. Embassy Addis Abeba and Dashen Bank and targets young visionaries between the ages of 18-28 with the aim of decentralizing technology in order to build a tech-savvy community and promote the use of technology as a tool for social change and development. Since the foundation was laid, Solve IT reached over 3700 youths and supported them to explore, experience, learn, and create something meaningful for themselves and their community.
Solve IT’s aim is to nurture, energize and encourage young people and startups across Ethiopia. In particular, Solve IT will provide support by extending helping hands to tackle the entrepreneurial hindrances startups encounter in their business venture, by decentralizing entrepreneurial opportunities with the support of Business Training, Mentorship, Seed Funding, Investment Networking, and Bootcamp events. The project’s major activities include providing applied training including (soft skills, product/service thinking, entrepreneurial skills, business pitching), and impactful mentoring.
These projects showcase the Solve IT innovation competition’s remarkable breadth, encompassing transformative ideas in education, healthcare, agriculture, and technology. From revolutionizing school transportation systems to developing AI-powered tools for assistance and fraud detection, these projects demonstrate the vast potential of innovation to address real-world challenges in a variety of industries.
The Bootcamp served as the final phase of the competition, bringing together the 12 city hub competition finalists in Addis Abeba, all expenses covered for an intensive program to prepare them for the finale. During the event, participants prepared to present their business ideas to the judges, and they also took part in training, educational visits, and various experiential exchanges. Finally, the winners of the final round of the Solve IT innovation competition, selected from among the boot camp participants, will receive a total of 1 million Ethiopian birr.
Who will win this year’s IT project? Building a technologically advanced society and promoting the use of technology as a tool for social development and change are our shared responsibilities.