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The selected students will travel to MIT in Boston. The selected students will travel to MIT in Boston.

30 seconds for Mexico: 15 passionate youths sought for MIT course

Contest seeks technology-based projects that can have a positive impact

Fifteen young Mexicans will get a chance to attend a course at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to develop a technologically-based social or environmental-entrepreneurship project.

Telecommunications company AT&T México, business accelerator New Ventures and the MIT-based Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values are the joint sponsors of the 30 Segundos por México (30 Seconds for Mexico) competition that launched today.

It is looking for “passionate young people who through the use of technology and innovation have a proposal to positively impact our country.”

The competition is divided into three stages.

Those interested in participating first have to go to the 30 Segundos por México website and upload a 30-second video in which they briefly outline their technology-based idea to overcome a social or environmental problem faced by a community in Mexico.

Participants also have to fill in a questionnaire to give more details about the project they wish to pursue.

From the videos that are uploaded, 50 young people will be selected to take part in workshops in several Mexican cities in October at which they will receive tips on how to improve their projects from the New Ventures team and a range of entrepreneurs.

Following the so-called boot camps, 15 would-be social entrepreneurs will be chosen to travel to the United States to undertake a course offered by the Dalai Lama Center at MIT in Boston, where they will have the opportunity to work with experts to identify the tools needed to further develop their projects.

30 Segundos por México is a project that really excites us. It will allow us to find passionate young people who want to have a positive impact on our country using technology and innovation . . . Thanks to the alliance between AT&T in Mexico and the MIT Center, the proposals of these young people could become reality,” said Armando Laborde, a partner at New Ventures.

Alejandra Menache, a senior manager at AT&T México, said the objectives of the competition are reflective of the company’s own values.

“. . . We’re looking for agents of change . . . We want to promote entrepreneurship in Mexico and social innovation through technology. Our social responsibility strategy is based on five pillars through which we want to generate a positive impact in the country,” she said.

Those five pillars — health and wellbeing, education, business acceleration, environment and security — will be taken into account when judging the competition entries.

The 30 Segundos por México registration period opened today and will close on August 31.

The basic requirements to be eligible to enter are to be of Mexican nationality, aged between 18 and 29, to have a passport and visa to enter the United States that are valid until May 2019 and be able to speak English at an intermediate level.

Source: El Universal (sp)

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