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Call For Mentors

The IEEE’s Connecting the Unconnected Challenge is a competition to identify and award innovative ideas and early-stage concepts that have the potential to connect the 3.7 billion unconnected people across the globe. By recognizing and supporting innovative individuals or organizations, we can work to increase access and reduce the digital divide for those most impacted.

As a volunteer mentor, you would provide valuable advice to our competition awardee or finalist, who is also a budding social entrepreneur looking to address this important global problem. Your mentorship could mean the difference between a brilliant concept “on paper” and a successful real-world deployment that provides life-changing benefits to the unconnected/under-connected communities! Depending on your background, you will be providing guidance on business strategy, financial sustainability strategy, go-to-market and other business development planning, expansion strategy, overarching technical advice, and/or other areas.

The mentorship program will launch during or shortly after the CTU Summit (3–5 November 2021). We anticipate that you will be engaging with the CTU awardee or finalist over several mentoring sessions during a 3–4-month timeframe (e.g., checking in once a month). We also anticipate that you will update the CTU Organizing Committee on at least one occasion with an update of your progress.

To join us, please contact us at ieee-ctu@ieee.org with a brief introduction of yourself and the area(s) of mentoring of interest (e.g., technical, business model, deployment, local knowledge, etc.). Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any question about the program. It would be our pleasure to have you join our team.

CTU Mentorship Information Session

  • Virtual & free
  • October 20, 2021 (Wednesday) 10:00am – 11:00am EDT
  • Agenda:
    • Connecting the Unconnected Challenge
    • What advice is needed?
    • Benefits of being a mentor
    • Mentorship structure and format
    • How to be an effective mentor?
    • What to expect from the mentees?
    • How to sign up to be a CTU Mentor?
    • Q&A
  • Register at:  By invitation, please email us at  ieee-ctu@ieee.org

CTU Mentors

Sampathkumar Veeraraghavan

(IEEE Humanitarian Activities Committee)

Mei Lin Fung

(People Centered Internet)

Paul Garnett

(Vernonburg Group)

Vint Cerf


Dilip Krishnaswamy

(Reliance Jio)

Jeff Evans

(Georgia Tech)

H Sama Nwana


Jeffrey Yan


John Matogo


Frank McCosker

(Global Good Net Works)

Ed Knapp

(American Tower)

CTU Mentorship Committee

  • Sara Agarwal
  • Nelson Wasilwa
  • Chris Ng
  • Catherine Kimambo