The Executive Council of The Opportunity Exposure (OpEx) Prize ‘Made for the World’, has launched the maiden edition of the OpEx Prize Competition.
With a prize money of GH¢10,000 each for 10 finalists, the competition seeks to unleash Ghana’s tech potential by unearthing and sponsoring young Ghanaian technology entrepreneurs or ‘Techpreneurs’ who are using technology and have sustainable business models which could be scaled up.
The OpEx Prize Competition is a collaboration between Dalex Finance and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR) Institute for Scientific and Technological Information (INSTI) and Technology Development and Transfer Centre (TDTC). It covers the thematic areas of finance, agriculture, health and education with the objective to give young Ghanaians between the ages of 18 – 35 years the opportunity to leverage technology for wealth creation.
According to research by the International Data Corporation (IDC), the global information technology industry was on pace to reach US$5.2 trillion in 2020 and beyond with economies, jobs and personal lives becoming more digital and connected.
The OpEx Prize Competition has the mission to create industry-changing technology that brings us to a better, safer and more sustainable world and a vision to constantly ignite creative and innovative tech solutions that are scalable and sustainable.
Who qualifies to participate in The OpEx Prize Competition?
Ghanaians aged from 18-35 years, one application to be submitted per applicant, show ownership of project or solution, show existence of a minimum viable product and services (only products and services using technology).
The Application process is open from March 3 to April 3, 2021 (1 month).
The application stages:
- Submission of application – applicant must make sure to submit the links to all required documents and videos granting access or the required permission to allow 3rd party access to the links).
- Initial Shortlisting (9th – 19th April 2021) – Applicants will be shortlisted, bringing the number to 20 people. Shortlisting will be done based on the following criteria: whether or not the applicant presented a clear and focused product and or service, if the product and or service would have social impact, has the potential to bring system change and scalable. Successful applicants will be contacted.
- Aptitude Test, Pitching & Judging (26th – 30th April 2021) – Successful applicants will be invited and given the opportunity to pitch their products and or services to a panel of judges. Each judge on the panel, will be looking out for that “X-factor” that makes the applicants product and or service stand out. Ten (10) applicants with the highest score at the end of the pitching session will then make it to the next round as the finalists.
- Training Exercise (3rd May – 7th May 2021) – The ten (10) successful finalists will undergo a week-long training exercise to orient and impact the necessary skills and knowledge.
- Announcement of Finalist (7th May 2021). The ten (10) will go on to receive the GH¢10,000 cash prize as well as mentorship during a six (6) months incubation period from 1st June – 30th November 2021 (subject to terms and conditions).
- The CSIR-INSTI Makerspace will serve as the Incubating Centre, providing world-class facilities and conducive environment with experts to support the successful finalists.
As a co-innovative facility, it is equipped with state-of-the art equipment and expertise required to transition the “Innovation Valley of Death”. This will provide prospective startups and innovators in the OpEx Challenge the opportunity to prototype and test their ideas at a lower cost leveraging on shared resources and expertise.
Kenneth Thompson, CEO of Dalex Finance, touching on the essence of the OpEx Prize, stressed that without technology-led innovation, especially youth-led innovation, no economy can sustainably grow.
“The OpEx Prize Competition aspires to empower the Ghanaian youth for national development and wealth creation through the provision of creative and innovative tech solutions that are scalable and sustainable.”