Speaking of unorthodox ways to find funding, the following is a great example:
Having read Ushahidi Co-Founder’s Erik Hersman’s article: From Kenya to Madagascar: The African Tech Hub Boom , Hank Marshall from the Arizona Commerce Authority, US, wanted to reach out to African entrepreneurs, techpreneurs and innovators so that they too, can participate in this grant program. He says:
“I was very intrigued…I fully recognize Africa’s potential and I am a huge advocate of innovation diplomacy. I wanted to bring [.. ] attention to the leading Innovation Grant Program run in the US – operated by the Arizona Commerce Authority. It is called the Arizona Innovation Challenge. We give away $3 million a year ($1.5 million every 6 months) to innovative companies. We believe innovations is not just the future, it is also the future for Arizona. …
…We recognize that true examples of innovation can be found in every corner of the world. We want our program to be able to serve as a revered and respected outlet for aspiring entrepreneurs who are looking for that unique opportunity to pit their offering against those of fellow innovators in a competitive environment – much like real life. – Hank Marshall, Arizona Commerce Authority, US.
We would be delighted to have African applicants and utimately, African winners!
Below are the application details:
The Arizona Innovation Challenge is an investment in the minds of talented entrepreneurs in Arizona and around the world. The ACA awards $3 million annually to the most promising technology ventures that participate in the Arizona Innovation Challenge (awards may range from $100,000 to $250,000). Companies in the following technology sectors may apply: advanced materials, advanced manufacturing, aerospace and defense, bio and life sciences, clean-tech and renewable energy, and information technology.
Apply for the fall Arizona Innovation Challenge beginning August 15, 2012.
Follow ACA on Twitter to keep updated on the Innovation Challenge.