With more than 5 billion subscribers worldwide, the mobile phone network is the world's largest distribution and communications platform. In recent years the fastest market growth has been in developing countries, laying a foundation for a huge potential user base for innovative mobile applications and services. This market is largely untapped because low-cost, high-value applications that have a direct and immediate impact on the developing world are still hard to find.
To respond to this development challenge, infoDev is working with the Government of Finland and Nokia to establish a series of mLabs around the world. The mLab network will ensure that locally relevant applications are created to meet growing demands among users in developing countries.
mLabs are an innovative way to foster enterprise creation, employment, and competitiveness by providing open spaces where entrepreneurs and programmers can find training, mentoring, technical expertise, and access to finance. Providing both incubation facilities and a network of like-minded and knowledgeable supporters, the infoDev global network of mLabs will accelerate the commercialization of innovations in developing countries.
The mLabs business plan is a tool to accelerate the planning and establishment of the labs, which are expected to generate revenues and sustain their services after an initial round of seed funding. However, mLabs are still required to design a customized business model and a service portfolio relevant to their own market conditions.
In addition to publishing the mLab business plan, infoDev will organize an mLab Business Planning Workshop during the Global Forum in Helsinki, June 2, 2011.
This initiative draws on infoDev's expertise in business incubation and technology entrepreneurship, and has been carried out as part of a joint Finland-infoDev-Nokia program on Creating Sustainable Businesses in the Knowledge Economy.
infoDev mLab Business Plan: