RAN Team facilitated the Big Ideas Information Session at Makerere University on October 11th, 2017

Big Ideas at Berkeley launched the annual Big Ideas Innovation contest in September 2017 which is open to undergraduate and graduate students with creative solutions that address social challenges. This is the 5th year Makerere University students are participating together with other California based campuses in USA. All through the years, this incredible opportunity is extended to participants within Makerere University through the RAN innovation lab as a focal point in Africa.


To that end the  RAN team facilitated an Information Session on October 11th 2017 at Makerere University College of Computing and Information Sciences – New Innovation and Incubation lab where over 65 participants from different discipline’s converged to listen to Mr. Phillip Denny, the Big Ideas Manager at University of California  Berkeley via a video conference call.


Participants listening to Mr. Phillip Denny, the Big Ideas Manager at University of California Berkeley via a video conference call.

Participants were taken through the fundamentals of the competition; they were briefed on how to write their proposals and given tips on expectations from the Judges. Phillip also mentioned that “Every year, student teams from Makerere win prizes and judge accolades from the contest” making reference to some of the innovative solutions like the Pedal Tap and the Pneumonia Jacket that have benefited from this competition.

It was an insightful session and many students asked questions to gain clarity on the competition. Some of the interesting questions that featured were on Intellectual Property issues, proposal structure and team formation.

Big ideas is an early-stage university-based innovation contest that connects students with mentorship, training, and funding resources needed to successfully conceptualize, deploy, and scale social innovations.  This years’ competition will be receiving applications until November15th 2017. The contest awards up to $300,000 in prizes across 40-50 winning teams annually. Since 2006, the competition has inspired over 1,400 student-led projects aimed at solving the world’s most pressing problems. This year’s contest categories open to Makerere University students include;

We encourage all student innovators and budding entrepreneurs to tap into this opportunity.  Details are shared on: http://bigideas.berkeley.edu/ and you can also send your questions to: bigideas@berkeley.edu or physically visit us at the RAN innovation lab  on Plot 28 Upper Kololo Terrace – Makerere University  School of Public Health Annex to get support with proposal writing and so much more before the due date.

Thank you all partners for the far we have come and more specifically, thank you University of California-Berkeley for this strong and impactful collaboration through the Big Ideas Contest. We look forward to continuous excellent work together as we strive to positively transform the communities.