Are you ready to be The Next Big Thing in Kenya?

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Do you have a great idea?

Is your idea an innovative idea that will change the world?

Are you ready to be The Next Big Thing in Kenya?

Many people have great ideas that could change the world. But most are either scared to share their idea because they are not sure it will work or they do not know where they can share their ideas and get the funding to make the idea work.

What if there was a platform for you not just to talk about your idea but also to get support, sponsorship, and mentorship? Wouldn’t you immediately register so that you can have a chance to win some sponsorship and make your idea work?

Well the opportunity is here. The Next Big Thing idea competition which is organized by the Nation Media Group is currently in its 4th edition and running upto the 5th of February 2015.

the next big thing

All you have to do is go to the website www.nextbigthingbd.com to create a profile with your bio and contact details. Give the idea details as per the evaluation criteria. The ideas will be looked at by judges who will grade them, and give comments. The best ideas will then be picked for the competition.

The main prizes

The best idea in the media and entertainment category will win a cash prize of USD 3000 from The Business Daily. All the 10 finalists will also receive legal and advisory services. All the finalists and their selected ideas will be featured in a special pullout in the Business Daily and will also be featured in a television show on NTV.

Kenya Climate Innovation Centre  (CIC) is sponsoring 3 categories: Agribusiness & Agri-processing, Renewable Energy, and Water & Sanitation. The prizes to be won add up to $90,000 for the 3 categories.

Kenyatta University’s Chandaria Business Innovation and Incubation Centre  will provide incubation to the 3 top ideas that they like best.

The Nailab will incubate the top 2 ICT category finalists.

Winners in the Agribusiness, Renewable Energy, and Water & Sanitation categories may also receive (where necessary) a proof of concept grant of USD 25,000 from the Kenya Climate Innovation Center.

The biggest prize will be a chance to pitch your ideas to investors and get mentorship, support, and investment. This opportunity will be awarded to the top 10 finalists picked by a panel of experts.

If you have any questions check out the FAQs on The Next Big Thing.

The overall evaluation of the idea will depend on 6 broad areas which include:

1. The Problem – whether there’s an existing challenge that needs to be addressed.
2. The Idea – an introduction to the creative element that seeks to address the problem.
3. Originality – whether it’s a fresh perspective taken to address the challenge and execute the Idea.
4. Potential to Change Lives – what will the impact of the idea be?
5. Commercial Viability – the potential of the idea to generate revenue for not just it’s creators, but its backers and more as well.
6. Skills required – whether the inventor possesses the necessary talent or training to execute the idea well.

Previous winners include Charles Muchene’s smart Jacket which transmits signals from motorcycles using radio waves to indicate which side one is turning to and makes riders more visible to other road users.  This helps to reduce road accidents. Brothers Godfrey and Alex Mativo’s E-lab sanitation which turns electronic waste like old computers and phones into usable products like shoes and jewelry. This project also created employment for the youth.

To find out more about previous winners and their ideas check out The Next Big Thing pullout from 2014.

You can follow and contribute to the conversation on social media using the hashtag #TNBT2015.

As you may have noted all the previous winners for 2014 were men. Women please apply. Don’t be shy and keep your ideas to yourself. It’s your chance to be The Next Big Thing.

“You have to really be courageous about your instincts and your ideas. Otherwise you’ll just knuckle under, and things that might have been memorable will be lost.” Francis Ford Coppola

I came across this great animation video on where great ideas come from. Many people are scared of sharing their ideas because they are scared of others stealing their ideas (I saw such a comment on the timeline last week). But what they do not realize is that by sharing an idea you get a chance to get feedback on what you can do better. This saves you lots of time that you could have been spending looking for solutions to some of the problems the idea may have on the way to making it a success. By sharing your big idea with experts you can create something truly magnificent.

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