Have a Great Idea? Nokia Might Pay $1,000,000 for It


This morning I got a chance to cover the Nokia keynote for GigaOm and the big news wasn’t about devices. Instead it was all about why Nokia continues to focus on developing nations, and I’m glad I got to see the explanation. Several mini-presentations showed me  how much technology I take from granted. We’re constantly on the lookout for the latest tech and hottest hardware with the best specifications. And yet the most basic of phones can do so much more. Perhaps not in terms of functionality, but definitely with regards to making life better. Here’s an excerpt of what I wrote earlier:

“Crop monitoring, pricing, weather tracking and the sending of currency from a handset are promising types of applications for developing areas, according to Kallasvuo. Today, many of these tasks can be done with Nokia Life Tools on a basic phone costing $32 — still a large sum in developing areas, but the investment can pay dividends. Advanced apps like Nokia Tej on a basic handset allow for supply chain orders through mobile phones, removing paperwork and other obstacles in already challenged lands.”

I recommend a look at the Nokia Progress Project to see the positive impact Nokia is making. The company is clearly dedicated to “connecting people” and I see that now more than ever after today’s event. It’s commitment is now backed up by a Global Economy Venture Challenge with a one million dollar investment to the winner. Nokia is looking for an application idea that helps make life easier and provides upward mobility for people that live on less than $5 a day. As I read the details, you don’t need to be a developer (although that would likely help), so if you’ve got an idea, you might want to submit it. The whole idea is that developers can both “do good business and do good” at the same time.

Hard currency aside, I walked away from today’s keynote with a new perspective on Nokia’s global commitment. It gave me pause when I think about how so many of us focus on their declining smartphone market share. Clearly, there’s more to business than market share — making a positive impact on people’s lives is part of the success equation as well.


krunal malkan

Good evening sir, I am from India. I have made an mobile device through which an revolution can be made in coumnation field, and appling this device your company can make unbelable money and even good name in mobile field. So I hope you may reply soon and even promise me that you will be fare in this deal and pay for it. So as soon as i received your mail i will reviled the next step of this devices

Vasudev Ram

Good post. Glad to see you highlighting such topics. I agree that such initiatives can (and already have) made a lot of difference. I see it and read about it as a ground reality here in India, daily – the amount of difference cheaper mobile access is making to the lives of less economically well-off people, how it is enabling them to earn their living better.

  • Vasudev
Alpha Lim

Really cool, how they’re trying to do something for the developing world.

Similarly, a company *from* the developing world is sponsoring app development *for* the developing world.

YTL Communications is holding a Global Developer Challenge dubbed mYprize, for ideas leading to apps, devices and content for its upcoming nationwide rollout of 4G broadband in Malaysia.

They’re offering prize money amounting to US$1 million for the top ideas. And they’re open for entries as of yesterday.


Hopefully you could help spread the word and aid this initiative for a developing country as well!

Loved the article, as someone coming from the developing world ;).


Great post Kevin. It’s nice to see stories like this getting some attention on a tech site.

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