Application Opens for USPF Changemaker Challenge 2017

The Universal Service Provision Fund (USPF)  Changemaker Challenge 2017 is a nationwide competition open to innovators, software developers, UX designers, students, and other ICT enthusiasts from all over Nigeria. The objective and goal of the Challenge is to empower the Nigerian Youth by challenging their tenacity to create technology-driven solutions for the needs of their Communities and the nation at large.

An additional objective is the empowerment and encouragement of women to further participate and contribute within the ICT and technology innovation arena. While it is currently a male-dominated domain, women more than have the capacity to excel within that space, and the USPF Innovation Changemaker Challenge aims to encourage more female input.

The intention is to encourage participants to tackle a selection of identified problems based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as they apply to Nigeria, and offer working solutions to them. Officially known as ‘Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, the SDGs are a set of 17 “global Goals” which include ending poverty and hunger, promoting good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and energy, economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, and peace and justice for all, amongst other things.

Participants will therefore be required to create intelligent solutions addressing any of the following areas:

Agriculture and Creation of Mass Employment: In the production, storage, or distribution of Food.
Environment: Oil & Gas, Flood, Erosion/Climate Change.
National e-Data on Poverty, Diseases, Security.
Health/Lifestyle: Medical Doctors Information Exchange Tool; Health Insurance, etc.
Epidemic Mobility Tracking Solutions: e.g. Ebola, Lassa Fever.
Disease Destroyer Games: Educational games on disease eradication. e.g. Malaria, Polio, HIV.
Education: Virtual Education, e-Library & e-Learning Systems.
Intelligent Technologies for Scientists, Science Teachers, Engineers, etc.
Girls4Tech: Interactive solutions aimed at getting young girls interested in technology and innovation.
Fraud Whistle-blowers: Enabling or assistive technology.
Information Technology: Communications Quality of Service.
National Security: Cybercrime and Cybersecurity Solutions, etc.
e-Government: Government Automation Processes.
e-Commerce: e-Transactions, Payment Systems, etc.
Team Composition

The USPF Innovation Changemaker Challenge 2017 is a team-based competition, so a team (minimum of 2, maximum of 4) is the accepted qualification for entry. (An individual shall not qualify or be accepted as a team). The competition is open to students, starts-ups, and others.

USPF seeks to encourage more gender diversity in technology innovation, so participating teams are encouraged to include at least one female IT enthusiast as member of the Team. It is not mandatory, but the inclusion of at least one female member will confer a slight advantage to any team in the form of extra points from the jury. However, all female team members must be bona-fide and useful members of the team, and should not be simply included as a token.

The minimum required skill sets for each team are as follows:

Programming Skills
User Experience Design (Graphics)
Project Management
Note that a team member may possess more than one of the skill sets above, and multiple team members may possess the same skill, e.g. programming. Also note that each team member is not required to possess all the skills. As long as all required skills are present within each team regardless of how they are distributed, the team will meet the skill requirements.


If a team has more than one innovative solution in its portfolio, they may make up to a maximum of 2 separate entries/submissions. The entries can be in any of the specified categories, i.e. both entries can be in the same category, or they can be in 2 separate categories. Any team with more than 2 entries will have all their entries disqualified.

National Coverage

This Contest would be staged in Two Phases.

Phase I: Regional Contest.

Phase II: National Finals.

The USPF Innovation Changemaker Challenge 2017 is a national competition, and there must be adequate representation from all the regions of the country. Teams will therefore be expected to indicate the geopolitical region they represent during registration. The top 5 teams from each region will be shortlisted and invited for the national finals. However, in the event that any geopolitical regions do not produce up to 5 viable entries, the next best teams from the other regions will be included to attain 30 teams.


30 teams will be shortlisted and invited for the national finals, and will be given up-scaled requirements to shoot for in preparation for and during the Pitch Event. The top 3 finalists will be selected by a panel of judges at the event, and will win the following prizes:

1st Prize – N1,000,000* plus acceptance into incubation programme

2nd Prize – N750,000* plus acceptance into incubation programme

3rd Prize – N500,000* plus acceptance into incubation programme

* Monetary prize includes product completion and cash.

The incubation programme will involve mentorship, a 2-week entrepreneurship boot camp, and support in attempting to get the 3 final solutions to market.


All teams invited to the national finals will have their travel expenses refunded (more details will be provided closer to the time), and will be entitled to hotel accommodation for the duration of the event.


Closing date for registration: 14th August 2017

Pitch Event Finals Date: 28th – 29th October, 2017

Click here to apply

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