Uganda Communications Commission invites Ugandans to apply for financial assistance to support innovative ideas

Uganda Communications Commission invites Ugandans to apply for financial assistance to support innovative ideas

The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) established the Incubation Support Initiative (ISI) as a strategic mechanism through which promising and emerging ICT businesses as well as ‘high impact’ ICT innovations can be financially supported in advancing communications services in Uganda.

UCC invites Ugandans (individuals or organisations) to apply for financial assistance to support innovative ideas or innovative ICT incubators.

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS 2015

Innovative Ugandans (individuals, teams or organisations) can submit their applications for the following:

A. Seed Funding

Seed funding is available to applicants with innovative ideas that apply or seek to develop broadcasting, postal or telecommunications services. Under this, financing shall be provided to the innovators as contribution to the capital requirements of:

  • Validating their innovation;
  • preparing their prototypes;
  • working on enhancements of the product; and/or
  • conducting tests and trials.

Financial assistance under this category shall be provided to successful applicants up to a maximum of USD 15,000.

B.Incubation Promotion Subsidy

The incubation promotion subsidy is available to existing innovative incubators that wishes to enhance its incubation services. An applicant (institution or company) must be serving ICT incubates and providing the following services:

  • Linkage of incubates to investors, customers, peer firms and specialised innovation organizations locally and/or internationally.
  • Assistance in accessing funding;
  • Supportive infrastructure such as work space, laboratory facilities, plant and equipment;
  • Shared services (e.g. internet);
  • Technical expertise and marketing support
  • capacity building in technical and business/entrepreneurship skills

Under this scheme, financial support shall be extended to facilitate the following areas:

  • Plant and/or equipment for use by incubatees
  • Development of laboratories and other testing facilities
  • Specialist resources required by multiple incubatees
  • Training facilities and resources

The maximum subsidy amount to be advanced to an incubator under this stream is USD 45,000.

ELIGIBILITY

A. Seed funding

To qualify for consideration of the grant, the applicant must:

  • Be a Ugandan citizen and based in Uganda,
  • Have an innovative idea that is harnessing or developing ICT (broadcasting, postal or telecom) services or devices. Only proposals of ideas at the validation stage or beyond shall be considered,
  • Must be an incubate to an existing incubator or demonstrate willingness to access incubation support,
  • Demonstrate availability of co-financing or access to additional finances required,
  • Have passion and ambition to start a new company or develop a new product in the ICT sector

B. Incubation promotion subsidy

Applicants under this category must be:

  • Legally established organisations in Uganda with documented evidence;
  • Providing incubation services in Uganda with its incubates also based in Uganda
  • Having at least one full time director that is Ugandan and shall constitute at least 20% of the management team;
  • Having a proven management team with the necessary experience and expertise to effectively groom innovative start-ups;
  • Having access to matching private capital to meet the objectives of the incubation program. Endorsement letters from participating organizations should be attached to the application and should state their level of participation and their financial and/or in-kind support to the endeavour;
  • Already operational and housing incubates that are involved in Communications/ICT;
  • Having a unique value proposition that caters specifically to nurture innovative ICT start-ups.

SUBMISSION OF APPLICATIONS

Individuals, teams and/or organizations wishing to apply for financial assistance must download the relevant application forms from the Uganda Communications Commission website as follows:

Applicants shall then be required to complete (fill) the requisite application form and attach supporting documents such as the business and expenditure plans, product development / marketing plans, financial statements, revenue forecasts, legal certificates and CVs accordingly.

Applicants MUST sign off the application form to confirm that the information provided is complete and accurate.

The filled and signed application forms should then be placed in a sealed envelope clearly marked “Application for Incubation Support Initiative grant” and addressed to:

Uganda Communications Commission
UCC House,
Plot 42-44, Spring Road, Bugolobi
P O Box 7376,
Kampala, Uganda

The forms and details of the application requirements are available on the UCC website.

Applications are to be submitted no later than 5pm Friday 30th January, 2015.

SELECTION OF WINNERS

All submitted applications shall be screened to confirm their conformity to the rules for submissions and eligibility requirements under each category.

The eligible applications shall then be subjected to a detailed assessment by an independent evaluation committee against the respective evaluation criteria.

The criteria to be used in selection of applicants for seed funding shall include:

  • Potential/viability of the proposal or entry
  • Creativity and innovativeness of the idea being fronted
  • Benefit to Uganda’s ICT sector and/or society
  • Composition/strength of the proposed core team
  • Clarity of implementation milestones for the project
  • Evidence of supplementary funding

The criteria to be used in selection of applicants for the Incubation Promotion Subsidy shall include:

  • Demonstrated performance of the incubator, capacity of core team and management effectiveness
  • Availability of resources (infrastructure and technical)
  • Quality, scalability, and sustainability of the operational strategy
  • Value proposition/addition
  • Clarity of milestones and or targets for the incubator
  • Level of risk to proper execution of the grant agreement
  • Evidence and sufficiency of supplementary funding

Successful applicants in the different funding categories shall be duly notified of the grant approval within three (3) months after the elapse of the submission deadline. UCC reserves the right to conduct any due diligence during the selection process, and its decision is final.

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