Growth Economy Venture Challenge FAQs
1. Why is Nokia holding the Growth Economy Venture Challenge?
Nokia is a leader in enabling mobile technology to transform people’s lives for the better (through projects like Nokia Life Tools, etc.). Efforts like The Progress Project and the Nokia Growth Economy Venture Challenge endeavor to show the mobile community what is possible in order to focus the entrepreneurial spirit of innovators on accelerating transformation in these areas of the world. We see this Challenge as a win for Nokia, a win for the developer that is selected, and a win for their customers.
2. What are the criteria for selection of the finalists and eventual winner of the challenge?
- The mobile product, application or service must undeniably enhance the standard of living or lifestyle of the target customer.
- The target customer must be from a region of the world where the general daily per capita income is $5 USD or less.
- The organization that receives the $1 million USD investment must have shown that it has the potential to be a vibrant and successful business that will be profitable for itself and its investors (as judged through normal venture investment vetting procedures).
3. Does my submission have to be a software application? Does it have to be for a Nokia operating system/platform?
No, and no. Hardware, software, and services that are related to mobility and that meet the above criteria are all welcome.
4. As a developer in North America or Europe, why would I target an application, service or product at growth/emerging economies?
The growth economies of the world present a massive opportunity for mobile solutions providers as has been shown by the growth of the mobile sector in these areas in recent years. The total number of mobile users in these areas dwarf the total number of users in areas like North America and Europe, and continue to grow at a startling pace. New distribution channels, such as the Ovi Store, act as bridges between these very different markets opening up opportunities that did not exist just a few years ago. While creativity is needed to address these emerging market opportunities, Nokia firmly believes that an organization can have a vibrant and profitable business, and yet also add measureable wealth to their end customers.
5. I am not in North America or Europe, can I enter a submission into the challenge?
Yes. This is a global challenge. The winning organization will meet the above criteria and demonstrate that a $1 million USD investment is what is needed to help it reach its full potential, but home geography is not a factor.
6. Will the $1M USD all go to one organization?
Yes. We’re looking to accelerate that next big idea as quickly as possible and we’re putting up $1 million USD to help do just that.
7. What are the key dates around the challenge? Note: the deadline for submissions has been extended.
- Submissions open: Friday, January 8, 2010.
- Submissions close: Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 11:59pm PST.
- Finalist notification: August 2010.
- Finalist run-off: September 2010.
- Winner announced: 15 September 2010 at Nokia Developer Summit.
- Funding will be made available as soon as possible.
8. What is the "run-off" event?
Ten finalists will be invited to present their ideas and business models to a panel of Nokia business people and private angel investors and venture capitalists in September of 2010 (exact dates to be announced). This provides an opportunity for the innovators to receive business guidance and possibly other funding from participating angels and venture capitalists.
9. What information is it important for me to include in my application?
Nokia is requiring that you complete the online submission form, a completed Calling All Innovators Submission Template (a Microsoft Word document), and a corporate overview in the form of a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation (no specific template required here; brief yet informative presentations are ideal). Ideally you would also submit a small video (or link to an online video within the above materials) explaining your product, application, service and/or business.
In the above information we ask that you make clear:
- What your business, product, application or service is
- Company/organization history
- What the market opportunity is, how it serves the target markets of the Challenge, what the go-to-market strategy is, and how will revenue be generated
- A timeline of key milestones the company has achieved and aims to achieve
- What makes it unique compared to competitors and who you view your competition to be
- List of intellectual property assets; particularly patents filed, pending and awarded
- Any previous funding or investments the organization has taken
- How your financial model works, any existing financials (including cash flows/burns, balance sheets, projections, etc.), and how a $1 million USD investment would be utilized
- Who the founding team is and what their qualifications and backgrounds are
- Any Nokia "angles" for the business, existing Nokia ties, and ideal collaborations with Nokia (listing specific business units if possible) that could assist the business to be successful
10. What would my venture investment look like? How would it be structured?
The winner will receive the right to accept a $1 million USD investment award by Nokia, in the form of convertible note debt investment. Only one prize will be granted at the end of the Venture Challenge.
11. What sort of support would I get from Nokia to help my business succeed?
If the winning organization is a software application developer:
- A $1 million USD investment award (not grant or gift)
- Normal levels of business guidance and assistance from Nokia that a company would expect from an investor motivated in seeing the winning organization succeed
- Public relations promotion as part of the Calling All Innovators campaign, with possible further public relations support depending upon ongoing circumstances and opportunities as they relate to Nokia, Forum Nokia and Nokia Growth Partners
- Marketing exposure across Nokia web properties and related Nokia promotions as a winner of a Calling All Innovators award
- One year complimentary membership into Forum Nokia’s highest level of support – Pro Accelerator – which includes a dedicated business development resource and technical support resource
- OVI Store distribution
12. When will the money be disbursed to the winner?
As soon as is feasible. Exact timing will be determined by the unique circumstances surrounding the winning organization. Timing of monetary transfers varies in duration depending upon geographies and governmental regulations.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Forum Nokia Calling All Innovators contest all about?
Calling All Innovators is a global developer competition designed to inspire creativity and change. It challenges developers to create applications and services for Nokia mobile devices in the following four categories:
- Eco/Being Green – Like its name implies, this category challenges developers to help save the planet with innovative, eco-friendly applications for use on Nokia devices.
- Entertainment – Here’s your chance to submit apps that rock, and show off the coolest multimedia features that are available on the latest Nokia mobile devices. This includes music, multimedia and games.
- Productivity - This category seeks mobile applications that make consumer’s daily lives easier and help them to be more efficient, such as utilities, business, or personal finance applications.
- Life Improvement - This category seeks applications that positively affect the daily lives of people living in developing countries, and may include education, agriculture, health and more.
2. Who can participate in the contest?
The Nokia Calling All Innovators competition is open to all mobile and web application developers worldwide. Nokia employees are not eligible to participate in this contest.
3. How do I submit my application for the contest?
First, check out the contest categories to determine which category best fits your skills and interests. Then, create an application, a piece of content, or a Web Runtime widget that works on Nokia mobile devices. Finally, submit your entry to the contest before the deadline on 10 June 2010.
4. How will you evaluate the mobile applications and services submitted to the contest?
A panel of judges will review all of the contest entries, and choose the finalists and winners according to the following criteria:
- Quality / Functionality: the application or service must be fully functional and run successfully on Nokia devices and platforms (Series 40, Nokia Symbian devices, or Maemo devices).
- Uniqueness, novelty value and innovativeness: display creativity in applications, use established technology in a unique way.
- Usability / Creativity: leverage latest technologies to demonstrate superior design and ease of use (UI, graphics, etc.)
- Commercial Viability / Market Potential: ability to fulfill users' needs, customer adoption.
5. Who decides who will receive the prizes?
The winners will be selected by a panel of Nokia judges, based on the criteria of creativity and innovativeness; ease of use and design; quality and functionality; and commercial viability and market potential.
6. Which tools should I use to create applications, widgets, or services, and where can I get them?
You can find tools, documentation, training and much more at the Forum Nokia web site. It's free to join, and when you register as a member, you can make the most of Nokia's extensive development, testing, signing, go to market, and community resources.
Forum Nokia provides everything you need to get started with developing applications, content, or services for Nokia devices. There are several tools, documents, and code examples to help develop applications for the Series 40 platform, the Symbian platform and the Maemo platform, as well as for developing with Qt.
7. Can I submit more than one application to the contest?
Yes! You can submit as many applications to the contest as you see fit. Of course, we only want to see your best work, so make sure you submit applications that have what it takes to win the top prizes this year.
8. What are the important dates for the Calling All Innovators 2010 contest?
- Contest starts: 1 February 2010
- Submission deadline: Midnight (EDT) on 10 June 2010
- Announcement of winners: 15 September 2010 at Nokia Developer Summit
9. How can I be sure that I select the right category for my app?
We have tried to make the categories for applications submissions very clear and easy to follow. Please review all four application categories carefully before you submit your app to the contest. And good luck to you!
10. Can I enter an application that requires additional hardware, access to a proprietary server, or a specific operator service (SIM card) to function?
Yes, as long as it will be possible for Nokia’s judges to properly test your application. You will be responsible for supplying any additional hardware or materials, etc., as needed.
11. How can I make sure my app will work properly on Nokia devices?
We encourage you to make use of Remote Device Access testing as a part of your due diligence before submitting your app to the contest for judging. There are two services available to you for this purpose – please make time to use one of these services, as it will help to ensure the overall quality of your submission
12. How can I get more information?
You can share your thoughts and ideas about the contest with other developers at the Forum Nokia discussion boards.