callingallinnovators.com by Nokia
The Nokia Growth Economy Venture Challenge is awarding the entrant with the best idea for the emerging markets a $1 million investment from Nokia.
They have fielded lots of local teams to research markets around the world and have found that Nokia needs to help make local solutions viable to increase phone usage. The world’s biggest cell phone maker has sold more than 750 million basic phones in the emerging markets over the last five years. The 1616, costs around $32, a month’s wage in many countries. Yet it sells in huge number, thanks to customized services that makes it far more useful in emerging markets. In India, Nokia has set up a system, Progress Project, to allow small business (like farms) to send transactional data back and forth via text message. So whole businesses are running on cell phones, with farmers in rural areas able to auction off onions in western India. Nokia Money service brings together payments on a global scale. It isn’t tied to a single bank, carrier, or country. It’s important because 75 percent of the world’s people still haven’t sent an email. The company hopes that developers will create many more apps that can be useful in different regions of the world, from Sesame Street educational phone apps to local business directories. (CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo at CES)