Barclays has today launched an innovation challenge called the Barclays Africa Challenge seeking ideas and innovations in Fin-tech. The challenge dubbed the Barclays Africa Supply Chain Challenge, is open to individuals, teams and startups based in Africa with the overall winner getting a prize of $10,000. The innovation challenge is part of a global initiative called the Barclays Rise Innovation program seeking the “next big thing” in financial services.
The innovation is centered around transparency in supply chain, an idea propagated by block chain technology. Block chain technology is one of the ideas that has allowed for the thriving of bitcoin globally. For those who are less familiar with the ins and outs of the currency, an explanation of Bitcoin functionality reveals that the blockchain is a “general log of transactions” on which “you can see all transactions that have ever taken place or ever will take place.” In other words, if Bitcoin is used in a financial transaction, that transaction is permanently recorded in a public space. And this concept, of an incorruptible universal record and tracking system, has already become an important tech application for a number of budding businesses.
To participate in the competition, entrants will require a solution that promotes transparency between the seller and the buyer. Barclays is encouraging the use of BlockChain or Distributed Ledger in creating these solutions. The challenge limits the age of the entrants to between 18 and 35 years. The finalists will then have a member of their team flown to South Africa in November for a pitch to a panel of experts, where winners of the challenge will be awarded with a prize of $10,000. entry into the competition is open between 24th July and 18th September 2015. To participate, users are asked to visit thinkrise.com for more information on registration.