Saturday, 1 March 2014

Smart UK Project: Searching for the UK’s Most Innovative Mobile Companies

Real innovation in mobile is not about faster processors, bigger screens or faster networks.  These are just the enablers.  The real innovation comes from how you use these.
Think about train times on your phone.  What makes this so compelling is quick access to real time information that works out where you are and where you are going and brings this together in a user friendly format.
Last year I was a judge for Smart UK Project, an initiative run in association with UK Trade & Investment that searches for the UK’s Most Innovative Mobile Company.  I am a huge fan of this competition because it is not all about technical innovation but any innovation in mobile that has the potential to have a global impact.  The UK is chock full of great mobile innovation – think ARM to name but one.  This competition helps the smaller companies that are bubbling under to come to the fore.
Last year’s winner was OpenSignal, a crowd-sourced app for checking your mobile coverage and building an accurate map so users don’t have to rely on the dodgy maps produced by the mobile networks.  The year before it was Datawind – a company bringing ultra-low cost tablets to emerging markets.
This year the competition is open again and you have around a week to complete your entry.  It is free to enter and shortlisted companies get significant media exposure in advance of and at Mobile World Congress.  The judging panel is full of mobile industry experts like Mike Short of Telefonica and Roy Gunter of Mobility Ventures. Seriously don’t underestimate the value that comes with just being involved in the process, even if you don’t win — the networking and the access to brilliant contacts is worth it alone.
There’s more information on how to enter here. It’s free and you should be able to knock out the entry form in a good few minutes.
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