As a part of the Creating Sustainable Businesses for the Knowledge Economy (CSBKE) program, infoDev is seeking a qualified firm to design and coordinate a project that supports the internationalization of mobile application enterprises in the Africa and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECA) regions. To respond to this EOI please register your interest no later than 11.59PM EST on April 15th, 2013 via the World Bank's eConsult2 system, https://wbgeconsult2.worldbank.org, selection # 1101905.
infoDev is a Global Partnership Program, housed in the Financial and Private Sector Vice Presidency of the World Bank Group. Its strategic goal is to promote the growth of technology enterprises to enhance sustainable inclusive growth, competiveness, and jobs.
infoDev formed a public-private partnership with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and Nokia in 2009 to undertake a joint program on Creating Sustainable Businesses for the Knowledge Economy(CSBKE). The CSBKE program aims to increase the productive capacity of SMEs in developing countries in order to compete effectively in today’s global knowledge economy and contribute to sustainable development. The program focuses on enabling entrepreneurship in the agribusiness and ICT sectors, specifically mobile technology.
The program has garnered widespread international interest because of its innovative approach. As the core of CSBKE, infoDev piloted a network of four mLabs (Armenia, Kenya, South Africa, and Vietnam) and eight mHubs (Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kenya, Moldova, Nepal, Tanzania, Uganda, and Vietnam) across three continents.
mLabs aim to assist entrepreneurs in the mobile applications sector with converting their fledgling start-up enterprises into competitive firms. mLabs offer entrepreneurs office and testing space-, and provide them with technical training, as well as business development and mentorship services. mHubs create opportunities for networking and mentorship between the mobile applications entrepreneurs and the wider industry. The mLabs and mHubs also facilitate competitions and events necessary to create the cultural foundation for mobile innovation.
As part of CSBKE business incubation activities in the ECA region, infoDev is supporting the growth of a self-sustainable, regional network of business incubators, launching a business incubation impact assessment for eight countries in the region, well as providing targeted technical assistance to business incubators in order to build their capacity and develop new services for client companies. A growing interest in providing enterprise support services in the mobile applications sector has emerged as a results of work to date, also as it relates to support for youth entrepreneurship and job creation in the region. As a result of the CSBKE program, it is expected that incubators taking part in these activities will be able to provide international market access support for their client companies and to develop the business incubators’ client company pipeline by targeting young entrepreneurs.
Currently, while many mobile application enterprises are focused on their national markets, they are missing opportunities in other countries and regions as the use of mobile technology has exploded globally. Furthermore based on the recent forecasts, the mobile revolution is right at the start of its growth curve (refer to “Information and Communications for Development 2012: Maximizing Mobile” report at /en/Article.aspx?id=873).
Entering a new market, which is referred to as internationalization, is often the only path for significant growth for mobile application startups. Local markets can assist in the development and creation of the app along with verifying the need, but a key for many successful mobile application business models is acquiring a high volume of new users and customers.
Successful internationalization requires a feasible business model and an executable strategy, which are based on a thorough understanding of go-to-market tactics, product customization (i.e. localization), distribution channels (app store, local agents, partners, local hires, and offices), financing possibilities, and legal/tax frameworks (among others).
To catalyze internationalization within identified mobile innovation ecosystems in Africa and ECA, mobile application startup enablers (such as mLabs, mHubs, accelerators, incubators) will be utilized to provide assistance to their startup communities. In order to provide high quality assistance, these enablers require the necessary tools and content to provide training on internationalization, knowledge of various markets globally and within their regions, and a network of trusted stakeholders who can assist startups in executing internationalization strategies.
Project Objectives, Methodology, and Scope of Work
The ultimate objective of the Internationalization of Mobile Application Enterprises project is to expand the reach of mobile application startups in Africa and ECA outside of their national markets via executable strategies.
The Firms’ assignment is the design, facilitation, and coordination of a multi-stage competition and knowledge aggregation process on the topic of mobile application internationalization, which will include both local and virtual activities in pre-selected markets in Africa and ECA, and which will culminate in a Dragon’s Den- type pitch contest.
During the project, participating mobile application enterprises as well as startup enablers are expected to significantly increase their skills and capacity related to key internationalization aspects. In addition, the content and knowledge that are created during the project implementation will need to be systematically collected and shared, for both mobile application enterprises as well as the startup enablers.
All responsibilities will be overseen by infoDev, including external communications and PR, as well as monitoring and evaluation activities.
The Firm is expected to contract six startup enablers pre-identified by infoDev, to host and run events for local mobile startup communities and provide technical assistance for mobile application enterprises as part of the overall competition. Each startup enabler will nominate a contact person who will act as a local lead throughout the project.
The Firm must disburse, allocate, and manage a USD $10,000 budget with each of the six pre-identified enablers (total of USD $60,000; if for some reason a pre-selected mHub or mLab is not able to host the local activities, an alternative organization could be selected, but the selection will need to be made in consultation with infoDev).
In addition, the Firm must allocate, disburse, and manage a total of USD $20,000 as prizes for the best competition participants, divided into two USD $10,000 prizes for each regional winner.
The estimate for the amount of work for the Firm is 100 days.
The multi-stage internationalization competition is expected to include the following parts:
Part 1: Project Preparations, Design and Content Development
Preparation of detailed project plan and event program and curriculum, along with the content necessary to execute the project.
Part 2: Launch Bootcamp
The public launch of the project is expected to happen on May 27, 2013 at infoDev’s Global Forum in East London, South Africa (http://www.globalforum2013.co.za)
Part 3: Building Awareness and Selecting Teams via Local Bootcamps
After the Launch Bootcamp, 4 African and 2 ECA- located enablers are expected to hold awareness building events and local Bootcamps. During the local Bootcamps, the enablers will select 18 participating mobile application enterprises for further training as actual competition participants.
Part 4: Training and Coaching Participating Competition Teams
The selected 18 enterprises are each required to prepare an executable strategic plan for internationalization, as overseen by the startup enablers with support from the Firm. After a first submission, 9 finalists will be selected to pitch their strategies at the Dragon’s Den event. During both phases, the participating competition teams will be provided with virtual and local face-to-face training and coaching in order to improve their plans as well as their final pitches.
Part 5: Dragon’s Den Event
The nine finalists from Africa and ECA are expected to participate in a Dragon’s Den pitching event at theinfoDev supported Internationalization Workshop in Moldova around October 2013.
May to November, 2013.
Submitting Expressions of Interest
To respond to this request for EOI, interested Firms must provide information indicating that they are qualified to perform the services (description of similar experience and track record, staff profiles, experience and networks across developing markets and mobile technology industries, etc).
Important qualification criteria include demonstrated expertise and experience in the following areas:
- In-depth knowledge and experience with internationalization of technology products/services, more specifically with mobile technology (apps, web, etc)
- Strong understanding of operating and business environment of – and preferably experience in working with – enterprise enablers, such as mHubs/mLabs, startup accelerators, and business incubators in developing countries and emerging markets
- Background in providing mentorship and coaching to technology startups in the developing world and emerging markets
- Experience in planning, organizing, and running competitions and capacity building events in both face-to-face and virtual settings
- Experience designing and delivering course curriculum, and implementing training activities in the developing world and emerging markets context.
- Proven track record of creating and executing community-building, outreach and partnership strategies
- Strong online marketing experience through traditional and social media outlets
- General understanding of monitoring and evaluation methodologies and the ability to assist in data collection and analysis
- Financial and legal ability for contract and budget management on a global scale
To respond to this EOI please register your interest no later than 11.59PM EST on April 15th, 2013 via the World Bank's eConsult2 system, https://wbgeconsult2.worldbank.org, selection # 1101905. Based on responses to this request for EOI, a shortlist of applicants will be invited to submit a full technical and financial proposal based on a detailed request for proposals. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.