Rwanda Developmental Board (RDB) in partnership with Korea International Co-operation Agency (KOICA) has rewarded 15 best startups. The awarded emerged the best out of the 40 startups that have been undergoing a six-month training and incubation programme at the recently unveiled innovation centre which is focused on audio-visual technology. The centre is located at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC Kigali) in Kicukiro District. The startups were selected from four different categories including, product-market fit, which comprised of four startups and initial market entry, which was made up of three startups. Others were from the category of product certification fee with three startups and product prototype category which had five start-ups. The best startups were rewarded with a cash prize ranging from $1,000 to $2,000. Claudette Irere, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of ICT and Innovation, urged the innovators to incorporate the acquired skills in the labour market. She urged the startups which did not make it among the 15 best not to be discouraged from pursuing their innovation. She advised them to seize the opportunities given to them including leveraging on the available facilities, equipment and mentors to expand their ideas. Felix Siboniyo, the Head of Single Project Implementation Units at the RDB, said that since March this year the innovators were put under an intensive programme. “The young people you see here have worked so hard to achieve this milestone, and I encourage each of them to continue working hard because as a nation we have believed in them and also invested in them,” he said. KOICA Deputy Country Director, Myung Keun Choi, said the young innovators can be fruitful if they exercise their fundamental skills. Speaking to the winning Start-ups, he pointed out that they should grab the opportunity that the country has offered to them. With the diversity in todays’ era where ICT is emerging as the centre of economic growth, globally, young nationals are expected to promote the audio-visual industry, he said. Pacifique Nshimiyimana, the Founder of ZoomByte, a videography and photography project—is among the young winners in the second category who won $1800. He plans to use the funds to expand his network and reach out to institutions that can help him grow his company. “I want to first thank the government for providing space for us, this personally helped me to spend my time thinking hard what I could possibly do with the opportunity provided, “In less than a year I have seen positive feedback from my clients. I have also increased my products. An example I now host a TV documentary show four times a week.” Nshimiyimana said. Another cohort is expected to enrol in January next year.