Fondation Botnar

The Botnar Challenge

The Botnar Challenge

How can we improve the health and wellbeing of young people in Tanzania using AI and digital solutions?
10,000 CHF

Challenge Overview

The Challenge

"How can we improve the health and wellbeing of young people in Tanzania using AI and digital solutions?"

We run this challenge twice, in parallel: the World Summit AI track and the Sahara Sparks track!

For each track, two finalist teams are selected to send two members to the respective conferences, World Summit AI in Amsterdam (Netherlands) or Sahara Sparks 2018 in Dar es salaam (Tanzania). At these renowned and progressive conferences, you get the chance to mingle with experts, challenge your concept and pitch your idea.

Each track yields one winning team, each receiving 10’000 CHF (Swiss Francs) to realise their idea.

Do you have an idea of how to approach a relevant problem with AI or other digital solutions? Build your team and join our challenge!

Why you should apply now:

  • You have the chance to travel to and participate at leading conferences with innovators and experts
  • You have the chance to win 10'000 CHF in seed money for your concept
  • You have the chance to be coached by innovation experts from Creaholic and Sahara Ventures and learn about Human Centered Design tools and Lean Startup methods
  • You have the chance to solve a relevant problem and make a difference



Your Journey



Phase Date Description
I. Application until July 31st Teams can apply with a NABC concept description and a team introduction uploaded via heroX.
II. Semi‑Finals August 6th - September 9th Semi-Finalist teams receive coaching from innovation experts and local partners to validate assumptions and iterate their concept.
III. Finals September 13th - October 13th Finalist teams join World Summit AI or Sahara Sparks 2018 to challenge their concepts in expert workshops and pitch their idea to a jury.
Winning teams will be announced at the end of this phase.
IV. Realisation from October 13th Winning teams receive coaching and seed money to make this concept reality. E.g., implement the solution or pitch the solution to somebody who takes idea forward.




About the sponsor

Fondation Botnar ( is a charitable foundation established with the core purpose to improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people in growing secondary cities around the world. 

We were founded in Basel in 2003 by Marcela Botnar with the aim of continuing the philanthropic work of the Botnar family for the benefit of children worldwide. We want to ensure that every child has the right to enjoy good health, balanced nutrition and quality education in order to lead a dignified life as a thriving citizen who positively contributes to society.

We're working to achieve our vision by: 

  • Bringing diverse local partners together with young people to transform secondary cities in thriving and safe urban spaces fit for children
  • Investing in AI and digital solutions to accelerate the transformation of modern healthcare as it moves from the hospital to the home. 
  • Funding research worldwide and creating learning hubs in key secondary cities where talent development, innovation and creativity are enabled.


About World Summit AI

World Summit AI is the world’s leading and most important summit for the entire AI ecosystem from Enterprise to Big Tech, Startups, Investors and Science. Fom applied solutions for enterprise, to mind-boggling innovation, to heated discussions on AI ethics and AI4Good, World Summit AI will tackle head-on the most burning AI issues for 2018 and beyond.

World Summit AI is the world's leading AI summit. 140 of the world's top AI brains will speak at this conference. More info: 

  • Date: October 10th – 11th, 2018
  • Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands


About Sahara Sparks 2018 + AfriLabs AGM

Sahara Sparks is the largest innovation and technology entrepreneurship event in Africa. The event is an avenue for discussion around technological trends and the use of technology to impact the community and drive positive changes. The event also provides a platform for African startups to pitch and showcase their products to investors and potential partners. 2018 is themed, "Innovation in The Data Age". 

2018 event is organized in partnership with AfriLabs. AfriLabs is the largest network of innovation spaces and tech hubs across the African continent. Sahara Sparks brings together young African leaders in Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship in one platform. This year’s event will bring together speakers, investors, startups, and attendees from across the African continent.

  • Date: October 11th – 13th, 2018
  • Location: Dar es Salaam, Tanzania



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