Bryan Agbor Toko, a 21-year-old engineering student, has gone home with the sum of XAF 1 million as the first prize winner of the 2021 edition of the Nervtek Community Challenge. Bryan was among the 10 finalists who pitched their innovative projects at Mountain Hotel to a six-member jury on Saturday 17, July 2021. After deliberations on his Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Drawing Machine presentation, the judges decided to award him the first prize.
Bryan just defended his final-year project at the Faculty of Engineering and Technology at the University of Buea with the same project. He tells Cameroon Tech News that he can hardly believe he won the prize because the project was still vague. He explains that thanks to friends and family who believe in and love his idea, he did his presentation with confidence.
Though Bryan has been crowned the first prize winner, 2 other projects presented on that day went home with the same amount–XAF 1 million each, with Personal Health Companion and Agrobot emerging second and third prize winners, respectively.
About the CNC Drawing Machine & why it won the Nervtek Challenge
According to the judges, the best presentation was chosen with a focus on clarity of idea, business model, problem-solving, sustainability, relevance in the Cameroonian setting, and how feasible the project is.
With these criteria in place, Byan’s CNC Drawing Machine appealed to all judges. The device helps artists to produce better and many drawings within a short period. With the high demand for pencil portraits in Cameroon, most artists are always caught up with time and cannot satisfy their clients. The drawing machine produced by Bryan, an artist, allows artists to print portraits that look like those drawn with the hand within a short period.
“Apart from printing portraits, the machine can also serve as an art tutor for Biology and Geography students and others who need drawing in their professions.
“Since the speed of the machine can be controlled, these students can learn from the way the machine does the drawing and practice it too.
“Moreover, it can also act as a handwriting machine for those who are always required to submit handwritten applications,” Bryan explains to Cameroon Tech News.
Bryan’s solution stems from the fact that he couldn’t manage his time given that he has to shuffle between satisfying clients with drawings and finishing his final-year project.
About the Nervtek Community Challenge
The Nervtek Community Challenge is an annual competition for aspiring innovators in Cameron to showcase their inventions. It’s also an opportunity for them to gain some funding.
The theme for this year’s challenge was “The Role of Young Entrepreneurs in Building Sustainable Solutions for Development.”
The CEO of Nervtek, Nzometia Nervis explains the innovative projects they saw during last year’s competition prompted them to organize another this year. Fortunately, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) under its Recovery Program for the North West and South West Regions decided to sponsor the competition this year.
However, the challenge this year was not limited only to creatives from the South West region but organized for innovators across the national territory. The event at Mountain Hotel in Buea is undoubtedly the perfect event that brings together some of the brightest innovators in Cameroon.
The projects presented seek to solve problems from the Agricultural, Technological, Educational, Health and Social backgrounds with the use of technology. Though just 3 projects have been selected for funding, the others could do well with some support. Check out this list to find out the 10 finalists who presented at Mountain Hotel and how they were selected.
Nervtek community challenge finalists: How the 10 finalists were selected
During our chats with Bryan, he explains in a WhatsApp group where over 30 registered participants were included, that they were all expected to submit some documents and descriptions of their projects. These were to be accompanied by videos explaining their projects for proper scrutiny.
From their submissions, 10 out of the 30 projects were selected to pitch on the D-day.
However, the brains behind these projects had three-day business development and pitching session with experts who drilled them on how to develop their projects.
Mr Laye Mbunkur, Business Development Manager at one of the Tech Hubs in Buea, ActivSpaces, delivered Business Development and Entrepreneurship training, a session the participants described as an eye-opener.
“Seriously, if Nervtek had not organized that 3-day Bootcamp, many of us wouldn’t have known what and how to present on the final day,” one of the contestants at the Nervtek Community Challange explained. He added that it was from the Bootcamp he learned how to pitch like a business person.
Nervtek is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) founded by the winner of the 2020 Presidential Prize for the best innovation, Nzometia Nervis.
The NGO has 3 main programs:
- Nervtek Community
- Nervtek Education
- Nervtek Makerspace
The Nervtek Community, which organized the Nervtek Community Challenge, is made of young and dynamic Cameroonians who have as main objective to create impact through technology. They belong to different fields of study like computer engineering, electrical engineering, medicine, agriculture, law, and many others. They are outstanding in their respective fields and have decided to become youths with a difference, not just complaining and pointing blameful fingers, but consistently looking for solutions to the immediate problems around them.
Nervtek is focused on making its environment better through the help of Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, Robotics, and Machine Learning, which are demanding technologies for any community longing for development, with its founder being Cameroon’s Ambassador of Cybersecurity. Read more about Nervtek at https://nervtek.org/
For more inquiries, get to Nervtek via:
(237) 673 528 197
Molyko Buea, Cameroon
Don’t forget to check out the Cameroon Tech News Facebook page and learn about other contestants and their projects.