Apply for the Commonwealth Digital Challenge 2019: Media Tech Accelerator

The Elizabeth R Media Fund’s Commonwealth Digital Challenge for 2019 is now open.

The challenge, run by Thomson Foundation, is an annual competition aimed at helping young, aspiring and tech-savvy entrepreneurs from the Commonwealth to develop an app, digital idea or tool to improve the work of, or solve challenges encountered by, journalists, communicators and media organisations within the Commonwealth.

The challenge is open to individuals or teams of no more than three, all candidates must be aged between 18-30 on May 3, 2019, when entries close.

The challenge is comprised of four stages.

  • Stage one: Launch

    • Entrants will be asked to submit a 500-word statement with illustrations. These illustrations can be any one of a six-slide PowerPoint (or similar) presentation, a two-minute audio file or a two-minute video file. This statement should be an outline of the mobile application or digital solution that both details the proposal and identifies its practical usage.
  • Stage two: First judging

    • The initial longlist from the original entries will be selected by Thomson Foundation in conjunction with the judges, who will then choose six shortlisted applicants to go through to the next stage of the competition.
    • The six participating groups/individuals will be invited to present a webinar of their proposal to Thomson Foundation and its Commonwealth-wide independent judging panel. This will include a detailed Q&A session.
    • The most successful three, in the opinion of the judges, will receive support and online mentoring over a four-month period.
  • Stage three: Development
    • The development period, which includes virtual mentoring, will take place from 3 June to 27 September, 2019. During this period there will be a number of mentoring sessions.\
    • All three competitors/competing groups will be invited to present the progress of their ideas in the last week of September, during the final stage of mentoring, and to a panel of leading industry experts.
  • Stage four: Winner
    • The winning individual or group will be invited to the UK in November, all-expenses paid,and will be given help to develop their mobile application or digital tool.


Online, United Kingdom


  • An opportunity for young innovators and entrepreneurs to find new ways of improving media through the use of technology.
  • The most successful three will be chosen to receive support and online mentoring by Thomson Foundation consultants over a four-month period.
  • The winning individual or group will be invited to spend a week in the UK in November, and will be given help to develop their mobile application or digital tool.


  • Applicants must be citizens of a Commonwealth member country, excluding the UK.
  • The competition is open to anyone aged between 18 and 30 at the time of the competition deadline, which is 3 May, 2019.
  • The competition organisers may request documentation to verify an entrant’s age.
  • The competition is open to individuals and groups of up to three people.
  • All submissions and presentations to be undertaken in the English language.
  • First judging will take place in the week starting 22 May, 2019 and applicants must be available for a webinar presentation during that week.
  • The three groups/individuals chosen to take part in the four-month mentoring must be able to travel to the UK in November 2019, should they be the eventual winners.
  • The timing of virtual mentoring sessions will be scheduled wherever possible at the convenience of all participants but ultimately will be dependent on the availability of the mentor.
  • The overall winner will be required in the UK in November. If travel during this time is not possible, the prize will go to the second most successful applicant or group.

Eligible Regions: Commonwealth countries except UK


Apply online through the given link.

Application Deadline: May 3, 2019 (30 Days Remaining)


Written by Olumide Owaduge


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