Dimension Data partners with Red Bull Basement to spur innovation among Kenya’s university students

IT solutions and technology provider, Dimension Data, and its parent company NTT, have partnered for the second time in a row with Red Bull Basement to empower the next generation of university students to innovate for good.

Today’s students are driven by entrepreneurial ambitions and a purposeful desire to make a positive impact. The program encourages the next generation of diverse thinking by finding innovative solutions that deliver progress against categories based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

(TOP: The Kenyan team, Culture Capture, of Abdul Rahman  – left – and Rawlins Hamisi  – right – from USIU and KU respectively made it to the top 10 global teams last year and also won the global community award).

As the Official Technology Services Partner of Red Bull Basement’s fourth program, Dimension Data and NTT will enable participants to co-innovate by providing hybrid event services that combine the best of in-person and virtual experiences, mentorship, and detailed insights into the world of data-driven technology. NTT’s Cloud Communications Division will provide a virtual platform for live and hybrid events. NTT Disruption will enhance the Global Final by transporting students into a 3D space using VR/AR technologies so attendees can collaborate, brainstorm, and realize ideas in a virtual world.

In Kenya, the universities that will take part in the innovation program include University of Nairobi, Jomo Kenya University of Agriculture (JKUAT), Kenyatta University (KU), United States International University (USIU), Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA), Strathmore and Daystar.

Richard Hechle, the MD for East and West Africa, Dimension Data said: “Innovation is part of our organization’s DNA. Our parent company, NTT Group, invests $3.6 billion every year into researching new technologies that will change the world for the better. We’re also passionate about supporting emerging ideas, diverse thinking, and co-innovating with purpose-led organizations. Supporting initiatives like Red Bull Basement gives us an opportunity to inspire students in our local universities to pursue technology-driven careers where they, too, can follow their passions to make a real difference in the world.”

He added: “Red Bull Basement complements our approach to innovation and we are proud to note that during last year’s program, Kenyan innovators Culture Capture made it to the top 10 global teams and also won the global community award. This year, we’re focused on providing added support to inspire even more students to innovate for good and encourage more women/female representation throughout the program.”

Over the past 18 months, events have taken on a whole new meaning and purpose. With size and proximity on gatherings limited, businesses across all industries have looked for alternative ways of bringing people together safely. Red Bull Basement increased participation by 143 percent in 2020 compared to 2019, showcasing how virtual and hybrid events, provided by NTT, break down location-specific and physical space barriers to scale the reach and positive impact initiatives like Red Bull Basement can have.

With over 20 years of experience delivering unforgettable global digital events, NTT continues to partner with world-class platform providers and data-savvy applications to offer unrivalled technology solutions. NTT has helped hundreds of organizations transform traditionally in-person events, online, and provided an optimum infrastructure environment coupled with world class service to meet the changing needs of our digital world. Most recently, NTT partnered with ASO to create a digital twin of the Tour de France, thereby redefining the fan experience, and creating the world’s largest connected stadium.

The goal of Red Bull Basement is to provide young innovators with an opportunity to use technology to tackle global issues. The program is open to university student teams aimed at developing technology-based solutions for a brighter future. Student teams from each of the 45 participating countries can tap into resources such as mentoring, workshops, networking events and more – all leading up to the Global Final, taking place from December 13 – 15, 2021.

Mentorship is a key part of NTT’s role in the program and as the Official Technology Services Partner, NTT employees will select a wildcard team who demonstrates their commitment to innovative thinking and will mentor them to the Global Final. Last year, NTT selected and are still supporting ROBOCEAN, whose young innovators are pioneering a new generation of sub-sea robotics to help restore ocean ecosystems.

ROBOCEAN’s Founder and Director, Niall McGrath, comments: “What started as an interest in our natural world quickly became a passion for conserving biodiversity and tackling climate change. NTT’s support throughout the program was critical to our success and our ability to start prototyping our concept. The difference between a good thing and a great thing is the positive impact that it has on the world around us, and we want to do great things for planet Earth.”

This year, NTT will identify another wildcard team to support, mentor, and participate in the 2021 Global Final. To learn more about NTT’s partnership with Red Bull Basement, please visit here.

Red Bull Basement empowers student innovators in all areas of study to kickstart their ideas using technology to drive positive change. Participants open their opportunities with an inside track to networking, collaboration and expert mentor workshops, supporting their aim to innovate at university today and disrupt the world tomorrow. In the culmination of the 2021 edition, teams from 45 countries will engage with thought leaders, entrepreneurs and visionaries from around the world as they bring their ideas to life at the Global Final.

In 2019, NTT launched NTT Disruption, a new company dedicated principally to the creation and development of disruptive solutions leveraging exponential technologies to generate a positive impact on people’s lives. Its goal is to “create today what matters for tomorrow”. It is already working on new solutions involving including: jibo, a social robot oriented to B2B2Human; Zela, an acceleration initiative that uncovers a zero-latency world; Growthland, a platform to enable digital content as a service – connecting brands with the best available open talent; and Cokoon, an experience enabler and manager for intelligent and immersive spaces and distributed workforces.

NTT provides unique offerings in cloud-enabling networking, hybrid cloud, data centers, digital transformation, client experience, workplace and cybersecurity. The firm employs more than 40,000 people in a diverse and dynamic workplace that spans 57 countries, trading in 73 countries and delivering services in over 200 countries and regions.


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