Mozilla’s Equal Rating Innovation Challenge is hoping to answer one question: how do you connect four billion people to the internet?

Okay, perhaps that might not be the easiest question to answer but it is an important one, which even Mozilla concedes, cannot be answered alone.

For that reason Mozilla has launched this competition which is offering a total of $250 000 (~R3.5m) in prize money to the most innovative ideas which seek to bridge the digital divide. This money along with mentoring from an expert will be used to bring these ideas to market.

“We seek to engage entrepreneurs, designers, researchers, and innovators all over the world to propose creative, engaging and scalable ideas that cultivate digital literacy and provide affordable access to the full diversity of the open Internet,” Mozilla wrote in a blog post.

Mozilla is looking for connection solutions that include consumer products, mobile services and infrastructure solutions.

How to enter

Submissions for the Equal Rating Innovation Challenge open on 1st November on the Equal Rating website and will close 6th January 2017. Judges will then select five semi-finalists which will be mentored from mid-January to early March where they will present their projects.

The semi-finalists will present their projects at a Demo Day which will be live-streamed and the public will be able to vote for what they think is the best project. These public votes will be considered by the judges but the winners will be decided by them and announced at the end of March 2017.

The overall winner will receive $125 000(~R1.7m) to develop their solution and the first runner up will receive $75 000(~R1.05m). There is also a $30 000 (~R422 000) prize for the most novel idea and the last two semi-finalists will receive $10 000(~R140 000) each.

Mozilla has also said that it will hosting a series of webinars on the Equal Rating website that inform potential applicants about the challenge details.

Good luck to all who enter.

[Image – CC BY 2.0 Blaise Alleyne]