The first DLI Innovation Challenge Window targeted both organisations and individuals/startups from all over Tanzania. The call for applications started on October 25th, and the window closed on November 20th, 2016 at 2400 hrs midnight. The very first Challenge Window attracted a total of 723 applicants: 190 from registered organisations and 533 from startups and individuals. Of these applicants, 33 organisations and 131 startups and individuals successfully applied. From these successful applicants, those that met the eligibility criteria included 11 organisations and 118 startups and individuals.
A panel of innovation and health experts from Tanzania evaluated these eligible applications against the DLIIC evaluation criteria (listed in the Applicant Resource Book). This panel of judges selected the top scoring applications for the final shortlist. The 4 organisations and 22 startups and individuals who comprised this shortlist then had a chance to pitch their ideas to the judges live in Dar es Salaam. This pitching event was held on Saturday, December 3rd, 2016 at the Data Lab (dLab) University of Dar es Salaam (Co-ICT) College of ICT in front of distinguished judges. Senior executives from the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) attended as observers.
What was our favorite part of this process? You! The creative and innovative people that we met throughout the first Challenge Window give us energy and spark our excitement. During the Outreach and Engagement process, our project team met 688 local developers/innovators (including 124 women) in face to face forums at universities and innovation hubs/incubators to explain the DLI Innovation Channel. We also interacted with hundreds of you on social media, sharing about this opportunity and answering your questions about the ins and outs applying for a DLIIC grant. This dialogue environment allowed us to help those of you with inquiries concerning the Challenge, how to fill in the application form and submit your ideas. You can access all the conversations on our Facebook and Twitter pages. We hope you continue engaging with us and keep that energy coming in the second Challenge Window, coming soon in March 2017!