top of page
Search
  • Open Dreams

Report: The first edition of the Tech innovation Challenge (TiC)


Tech Innovation Challenge (TiC)

2021, Cameroon

Presentation File

06/5/2021


Contents


Introduction

TIC was created to build the competencies of Cameroonian youths. We are promoting an interdisciplinary approach to learning and skill development that transcends to cognitive fields and focuses and addresses real-world problems by means of the use of complex technological tools.  TIC in collaboration with the high tech 3D Printing Center, and Open Dreams has developed and built the competencies of Cameroonian youths in key tech areas through the summer coding Bootcamp and specialized mentorship programs. This summer coding Bootcamp involves providing the right foundation in technical skills for long-term impact. Our long-term impact is to own an innovative space (laboratory) where these youths can have access to our vast electronic materials to realize their ideas. So far, we have been training students, teaching and exposing them to 3D printing, mobile and web development, graphic designing, mentorship, and pitching through the summer coding Bootcamp. Our long-term impact is to own an innovative space (laboratory) where these youths can have access to our vast electronic materials to realize their ideas. 


TiC is an initiative of young and ambitious Cameroonians, dedicated to youth development and empowerment. Our mission is to build the next generation of creative problem solvers, innovators, tech  entrepreneurs and job creators for Cameroon and the world. This year, TiC set out on a mission, bigger than itself. A mission to discover and empower hundreds of young, brilliant and passionate innovators at the secondary school level across the national territory, through a revolutionary innovation challenge. TiC has a focus on empowering and building the capacities of youths to be more confident, resilient, and self-reliant problem solvers. By providing them with opportunities to learn the skills they need to emerge as tech entrepreneurs and leaders.


The first edition of the Tech innovation challenge (TiC) was organized under the patronage of the Ministry of Youth and Civic Education and in collaboration with Open Dreams. TiC is currently the most impactful technology contest for secondary school students in Cameroon. This competition has enabled motivated secondary school students to think, learn, design, build, test and refine mind-blowing solutions to some of the major problems their communities face. The best solutions were selected for a three day summit in Yaounde (political capital of Cameroon), where they received a two days training on soft skills and presented their mind-blowing solutions to a large audience and panel of judges during the finals of the competition.


From the 1st of February to the 10th of April 2021, secondary school students took part in the six phase Tech innovation challenge, which motivated them to add value to themselves and their communities. During this challenge, they worked on building prototype solutions to some pertinent community problems which mattered to them. Over 150 projects were submitted to the Tech Innovative Clubs’ social media platforms. After applications were submitted, the next stage was centered on refining, training, nurturing, and mentoring the young innovators through our youtube channel, bringing their projects from idea to realisation. 


During the last stage of the competition, the students submitted pitch videos and business plans through a google form and the best 15 teams were selected across the four regions that participated for the summit in Yaounde. This summit was held from the 8th to the 10th of April 2021. The North West, South West,  West and Centre regions were highly represented at this first edition. Selected participants benefited from an all-expense paid trip to Yaoundé, including lodging, accommodation and feeding for four days. 


Tic Summit participants from the regions


The first two days of the summit were dedicated to soft skill training, mentorship of participants and visits to some of the City’s major tech hubs (Tagus Drones). TiC Summit participants had the opportunity to learn new soft and hard skills, network with each other and mentors, visit amazing tech spaces, including the High Tech 3D printing Centre at Polytechnic, which happens to be the largest in Central and west Africa. Students were expected to take advantage of these experiences to improve upon their projects (which they eventually did because feedback from the participants proved so). 


It is worth noting that the TiC finals and award ceremony took place at ICT-University’s conference Hall on the 10th of April 2021. Present at the ceremony were the representatives of the Ministry of Youth and Civic Education, and the ministry of Research and Scientific Innovation; the Director of Open Dreams; the DVC of the ICT-University. This day the Conference hall was full and hosted over 100 guests, including the competing teams and the organizing team. The event which commenced with welcome speeches from the Chancellor of ICT-U, and the Minister of Youth and Civic Education, the president of TiC and the country director of Open dreams was marked by the mesmerizing project pitches, offered by the young participants. Modern and high quality technological facilities such as projectors, computers, and sound systems provided by ICT-U, made the event state-of-the-art! The presence of reputable tech stakeholders, Government officials and a CRTV media coverage team brought so much weight to the summit.


A panel of judges (one set)


The first prize in the Tech innovation challenge 2021 was awarded to Akoh Fridav (Frido Tech) and his remote-controlled robot aspirator. His robot could rotate at an angle of 360° and could be controlled from a distance of over 5 meters, which proved the utility of the device for home cleaning. He was awarded a cash prize of 100,000 FCFA.


The second prize of the Tech Innovation Challenge 2021, went to Bissai Philomene, Philemon Tebo and Romantic Lonfonyuy from team OMS (Online marketing system), who built a platform to help the farmers sell their agricultural produce online. The platform aims at improving farmer’s productivity and income. They were rewarded with a cash prize of 75,000 FCFA.


The third prize was awarded to team Automatic light control system. The system looked to improve on the current street light control systems, in order to better the state of security system in Bamenda. A major improvement was the ability to limit electricity wastage. This team went home with a cash prize of 50,000 FCFA.



The winners of this pioneer edition were handed certificates, and will receive a 2-week training during summer holidays at the ONGOLA Fablabs. The Ministry of Youth and Civic Education promised to enroll the various participants at the different multipurpose youth empowerment centers in their respective regions. The finalists of this year’s edition will also receive a 2 to 4 years mentorship and follow up from Open Dreams who plans on connecting them with academic mentors and easing their access to educational opportunities around the world.


A new rendezvous was taken for next year April 7th to 9th 2022 for the TiC Summit 2022. 


The participants at Polytechnic Yaounde


Objectives of the Tech Innovation Challenge

TiC in organizing the Tech Innovation Challenge, has the following objectives;

  • Scout for and promote innovative and creative technology related projects from very young students(aged 13 - 20) in  Cameroon.

  • Expose passionate young students to numerous opportunities of support, mentorship, and incubation, from tech companies. This is to enable the students to achieve success with their various projects.

  • Promote the students to national and international eyes, which could lead to opportunities that will be significant in helping them fine-tune their projects and ideas.

  • Motivate and encourage many other secondary school students to dive into problem solving and  the field of technology.

  • Enhance the students' capacities by training them on key introductory Business and technological skills they’ll need to emerge in the future as Tech entrepreneurs and leaders..



Programme and speakers

The Tech Innovation Challenge (TiC) took place from the 1st of February to the 10th of April, 2021. The first five phases of TiC principally took place online, with Social media and electronic mails leading the way. The remote piece of this project went on as follows;

Phase 1: Participants submit their Project/Ideas/solutions in teams, via 1:30s pitch videos - to the Tech Innovative Clubs’ digital platform. 

Phase 2: Registered participants are guided towards developing the first draft of their business  model for their projects. 

Phase 3: Competitors are mentored towards developing or improving upon their prototypes and respective business models through videos on our YouTube Channel.

Phase 4: Competing teams submit the final pitch videos of their projects.

Phase 5: Triage of the best projects/solutions, by the TiC organizing team. Gathering participant teams in Yaoundé for the final phase of the Innovation challenge, the three-day TiC summit.



Programme and speakers for the TiC Summit (8th to 10th of April 2021)


Day One (Thursday 8th April 2021)

Highlights of this day: Training on Soft Skill at Open Dreams Center, and Training on 3D printing and New Technologies at the 3D Printing Center Polytechnique. 

Day one of the TiC summit unfolded as follows;

Welcoming Participants:

Mr. Bill Agha officially welcomed the participants with a warm welcoming speech. He reiterated the fact that these innovators were the very best of the hundred students from across the national territory. The Country Director of Open Dreams, James Akaba, took the floor to further welcome the participants to the summit.

Phase 1: Presentations on Soft Skills for Innovation

  1. PowerPoint presentations: The following PowerPoint presentations were made, in quick succession;

  • Introducing Soft skills and their relevance  by Bill Agha

  • Design Thinking for Innovation   by Bill Agha

  • Drafting a Business Model by Nfebe Bless Shu

  • Networking by Ngosong Clement

  • Communication (Public Speaking) by Ayuba Garba and Chancelyne Wulseh Yein. 


  1. Zoom Presentations: Participants immensely benefited from two remote presentations via the Zoom platform. Presentations from ;

  • Mr. Isthier Claudury, who talked about “The right Attitude to inculcate as an Engineer to ensure positive change,” While

  • Mambo Joy presented her experiences as a girl in Tech.

Phase 2: Training on 3D Printing at the Polytechnic  High Tech 3D printing Center

TiC summit organizers, facilitators and participants moved over to 3D Printing Center Yaoundé, where they were warmly welcomed by the staff of the Polytechnique led by Ing. Momyuy Ivo and Ing. Kameni Ariel. 

Day two (Friday 9th April 2021)

Phase 1:  Continuation of Training on Skills for Innovation

Phase 2: Visit to Tagus Drones (A civil drone company in Cameroon)  

Phase 3: Field Testing of Prototypes

Day three (Saturday 10th April 2021): D-Day of the Summit 

Project Pitching and Award Ceremony at the ICT-University. The event ended with the symbolic handing over of cash prizes to the various winners, certificate of participation and family pictures.


ICT DVC Handing one of the prizes

Accommodation

Selected participants were brought together in Yaoundé for the summit. All expenses including transportation, accommodation and feeding for their four-day stay in Yaoundé were taken care of by the TiC. Furthermore, participants were lodged in Hotel Palacio for the entire duration of the event(4 days). 

Marketing, media and promotion


We connected with most of the students through our network of computer science teachers across the country. The internet was our principal means of marketing and promotion. Given the colossal use of social media platforms by the Cameroonian youth, The TiC’s Facebook and Twitter pages were the major platforms for marketing,

communication, sensitization, and projection submission. WhatsApp messenger forums also played an immense role in remote communication, coordination, and planning of the event, amongst the various members of the organizing team – who happened to be dispersed within and without the national territory. Our youTube Channel and online forums also served as excellent means of mentorship, guidance, follow-up and training of participants for the challenge. 


The huge boost and support we received from the Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV) cannot be undermined. CRTV was an indispensable arm of our marketing and media promotion. We were accorded interviews on so many different shows, including Bon-Weekend, Midi-Life, etc, opportunities for us to talk about the Challenge and the summit, to all Cameroonians. 


Sponsorship and support

The Tech Innovation Challenge (TiC) was self sponsored and benefited from a lot of support and collaboration from Open Dreams, CRTV, ICT University, National Higher Polytechnic Institute, NewSeta, Targus Drones, Sama Care and Miss Philanthropy 2021.

TIC Organizing Team

Tech Innovative Challenge was organized by a group of audacious and ingenious Young Cameroonians, under the canopy of the Tech Innovative Clubs. Key to every successful initiative is team work, crowned with proper guidance and leadership. The Leadership, dynamism, courage, determination and ambition of Bill Agha, lead Organiser and President of TiC, was a major fuel for the success of the challenge. Bill Agha worked closely and incessantly with the following wonderful youth leaders;

  • Project Manager: Ayuba Garba

  • Finance Accountants: Lenora Kelen, Faith Nchotu.

  • Tech Team: Fabrice, Kapol Brondon Wills , Desmond Ndifon

  • Marketing and Communication: Boujique Joel, Isaac Georges, Titus AB, Mohammed Moumi, Wills Brandon, Mbun Desmond

  • Mentorship and Coordination: Queenal Ayaba, Callis Vishiti, Chancelyne Wulseh,  Nfebe Bless Shu.

  • Operation and Logistic Team: Callis Vishiti, Lenora Kelen, Pam Patience, Nformi Melvis, Mathias 

  • Volunteers: Liz Lum, Tata Joel, Bryan Pangsui, Akimbom Love, Odilon, Velma, Henry, Bernice, Bless, Eliza, Ghislaine, Hannah, Kelly Pierrette, Mafor Anna, Ngoh Princely, Norbert, Onya Erwin, Osric, 



Project Outcomes

The outcomes of the TiCSummit are as follows:. 

Outcome on Participants:

  • All registered participants of the summit from day one gained massive exposure for their projects, through the TiC’s marketing media and promotion platforms. We believe that all the projects deserved attention, and were given that attention.

  • Participants were challenged and motivated to transform their ideas, imaginations into concrete projects that could serve as life-changing solutions for their communities.

  • Participants acquired so many essential soft skills through our youtube channel and onsite for the selected participants including prototyping, communication, team work, time management, design thinking, business modeling, community service etc.

  • Students gathered personal and professional experience through visits to reputed tech hubs in the country, and exchange with enterprise CEO’s

  • They also had first hand-on training experience on the use and functioning of high class technology and 3D printing at the High Tech 3D printing Laboratories.


Outcome on Organizers:

  • Mentorship opportunity: Team members of Tech Innovative Clubs and the organizers of this challenge had the exciting opportunity to help, support and mentor very enthusiastic, young innovators.

  • Event planning experience

  • Skill and personal building

  • A chance to serve the community; Community service!

Outcome on the Community:

  • Community will benefit from the amazing innovations and realizations of the young entrepreneurs from the summit.

  • All Participants and winners especially, will contribute to sensitizing, grooming and motivating other students to open up their creative and innovative sides.

  • Community benefits from trained problem solvers and innovators, who will be role models for so many other youths.

Challenges Faced throughout the TiC

  • Lack of sufficient funds to run all event activities.

  • Punctuality problems: From Participants, some organizers and event guests at the summit. 

  • Improper security measures at the hotel.

  • Lack of proper Documentations.

  • Lack of a TiC office to ease planning, correlation, management and documentation.

  • Ineffective publicity in the media. Lack of media coverage for the award ceremony.

  • The absence of a TiC website for proper communication, management and promotion.

  • Difficulty finding an appropriate environment for project demonstrations.

  • Limited sensitization accounted for the absence of student representatives of the other regions at the summit.

Future Recommendations

TiC Summit 2021, was the beginning of something great. The first of many editions of this particular revolutionary youth innovation Challenge. For continuity and improvement, we must evaluate and criticize ourselves and what we are continually doing. After proper deliberation, these are some of the recommendations for future successful organizations of the Tech Innovation Challenge (TiC) and the TiC summit.

  • Improving Marketing, Media and Promotion: The CRTV media platform, together with our social media platforms did a great job of marketing, communication and promotion, but proved to be inappropriate for project submission. A TiC website is primordial for continuity. Also the Ministries, delegations and school authorities should be involved in the sensitization of students and awareness building.

  • Funding and Sponsorship: TiC and TiC summit organizers have to brainstorm and come up with better means of funding and sponsorship – applying for National and International grants, improving communication with potential sponsors, etc. The earlier the money comes in, the easier and better it is to have things in order.

  • Timely Launch and Role definition for subsequent editions: Clear role definition should be done from day one. Team members should be aware of their entire responsibilities well in-time, while follow up is essential as well.


Conclusion


The TiC summit was beyond reasonable doubt, the Youth technology challenge of the year, in Cameroon. This project showed how resourceful the very young amongst us can be from the participants to the organizers of this challenge, all of them being youths. The future five to ten years from now can only be bright if we the youths build ourselves and enhance our capacities to be able to handle the responsibility and challenges of the future. We are very grateful to all the stakeholders from the ministry of youth and civic education, to Open Dreams and all the other organizations and institutions and enterprises who supported us in this initiative, this comes to prove the will you have to see the young grow to lead a brighter future and we say a big thank you. During this whole event which was 3 months long, one thing we realized is that in the process we identified and enhanced the capacities of Cameroon's youngest and finest very young talents and we don't aim at ending here. We believe this was the beginning of a greater beginning for the good of our country and the world. God being our helper, we are committed to following up these young talents while actively looking for avenues through which we can further follow them up and provide opportunities for them so in  4,  5 years from now they may emerge as Tech entrepreneurs and leaders. Cheer, long live TiC.

- Bill Njoh Agha | President | TiC Foundation



39 views0 comments

コメント


bottom of page