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Round One Competition Awards

ROUND ONE COMPETITION WINNERS (April 2014 through February 2015)

PaisaBack is a unique mobile platform that drives healthcare-seeking behavior among women in India. Women earn digital points for seeking preventative care such as immunizations and anemia screening for themselves and their children. They can then exchange these points at participating retailers for mobile talk time and other products and services. PaisaBack will generate revenue by monetizing this exclusive group of technology empowered women and the network of retailers who accept digital points. Maternal and infant mortality rates are 2-4 times higher in India than in other developing countries. 75% of Indian women are malnourished. PaisaBack will help break this status quo.

Students: Swami Ganesan and Jaivardhan Singh

2016 team update: PaisaBack, now e-SHE has reached their 1,000 client mark in Madhya Pradesh, India franchise and are in the process of opening new franchises. Read about their updates and learnings

Terranga is a mobile app connecting travelers seeking unique experiences to locals offering insights into their lives. With Terranga, you can see the cities you visit through a local's eyes: join a pickup soccer game, check out street food or go salsa dancing. But we’re much more than an app. Terranga believes in the power of tourism dollars. Instead of paying for a packaged tour, travelers have more meaningful experiences and can help fund locals’ dreams. We envision a world made better by travel and travel made more impactful by contributing to the lives of thousands of locals.

Students: Tammy Lewin and Lindsay Litowitz

Read more about the announcement of the winners


SPRING 2014-WINTER 2015 COMPETITION FINALISTS

Madad is a social business powered by an online platform that brings technology and a business mindset to the Egyptian civil society, providing strategic planning and most importantly accessibility of much needed information to all stakeholders. Through operating an end-to-end crowd-funding platform, Madad offers transparency and accountability within the entire civil society sector ultimately revolutionizing a traditional approach of short-term charitable giving to long-term strategic investments.

Students: Salma Amer and Sameh Hassan                                                               

Open Government Tool Kit aims to create a “tool kit” of best practices based on the experiences of New York City, Rio de Janeiro and Mumbai, three of the most dynamic centers for “Big Data” innovation in urban policies in the world. The “tool kit” would be a platform for the exchange of ideas, code, and tutorials for the development of collaborative, data-driven solutions for urban policies to be used by urban policymakers throughout the world. It would be open to the general public, thus allowing and incentivizing civic hacking and data journalism initiatives as well.

Students: Guilherme Almeida de Almeida, Clara Cezar de Andrade, Sena Samerah Filsoofi, Nora Shannon Johnson, Sharmishtha Maheshwari, Anca Matioc, Eva Pereira, Joel R. Putnam and Bruna Santos

ShaadiKarma mission is to fill people, not landfills. We connect surplus food with people who need it the most and enable repurposing of food waste, thus reducing environmental and health hazards. India has over 200 million acutely malnourished people but $7 billion worth of food is wasted annually. Bangalore, alone wastes over 943 tons of wedding food every year that can serve 26 million nutritious meals. ShaadiKarma is developing a web, SMS and voice based low-cost system to create and connect a network of food donors, transporters and receivers. Through a seamless process, ShaadiKarma empowers wedding couples, caterers, event organizers and transporters to become agents of change in their communities.

Students: Anahita Arora, Sriram Gutta, Rachana Kumar, Linda Theander-Adam and Leah Verghese


SPRING 2014-WINTER 2015 COMPETITION SEMI-FINALISTS

In April 2014, eight semifinalist teams were chosen in the first competition of the SIPA Dean’s Public Policy Challenge. Semifinalist teams participated in bootcamps including Prototyping with Matt Weber, VP of UX and Design at Zoomdata; Financial Planning with Sarah Holloway, Director of SIPA Management Specialization, and Natasha Goldstein, Chief Financial Officer; Law and Startups with Stephen Davis, Business Law Department Partner at Goodwin Procter LLP; and Effective Pitching with Richard Fishman, Senior Counselor at Ashoka, Debby McLean, Managing Director at Golden Seeds LLC, and Chris Reim, Managing Director at Community Development Venture Capital Alliance. Teams were also provided support through General Assembly Courses, support funds and a team of Advisors. 

Government Tool Kit would create an online platform aimed at the exchange of problems and solutions related to big data analysis applied to urban policies.

Students: Guilherme Almeida de Almeida, Bruna Santos, Clara Cezar de Andrade, Nora Shannon Johnson, Sharmishtha Maheshwar, Sena Samerah Filsoofi, Joel R. Putnam.

Higher Education Affordability proposes a cost-comparison tool for colleges. Imagine a Kayak or Orbitz for higher education, with personalized information on the best value for consumers based on individual financial and academic profiles.

Students: Eva Pereira, Nalika Vasudevan, Justin Barbaro, Dina Ufberg. 

Madad is two-way online platform that connects Egyptian NGOs with donors.  Madad helps NGOs identify high-impact, sustainable projects, secure funds to carry them out, and report on results.  And Madad helps potential donors identify sustainable projects that promote crucial development goals and enhances transparency of the use of donor funds.

Students: Sameh Hassan, Salma Amer, Omar Kandil

Paisa Back would use mobile technology to strengthen urban healthcare policy initiatives.

Students: Swami Ganesan, Greg Levin, Ritu Rajan, Conor Troy

ShaadiKarma seeks to develop a web-, sms- and voice-based, low-cost system to link the supply and demand of surplus food from weddings and other social gatherings, initially in India.

Students: Rachana Kumar, Linda Theander-Adam, Anahita Arora, Leah Verghese, Sriram Gutta

Terranga is a peer-to-peer web platform and mobile app that enables underemployed locals to become tour guides for international travelers. Leveraging online and mobile technology, our marketplace gives travelers the opportunity to discover and book unique experiences in emerging economies.

Students: Tammy Lewin and Lindsay Litowitz

Together seeks to develop an app that creates incentives for parents, teachers, and school leadership to increase collaboration in order to improve student reading outcomes in Grades K to 4.

Students: Harpreet Gill, Chengke Xia

UHRS ("Yours") Urban Health Repository System envisions a process for changing how society approaches environmental health outcomes, specifically asthma, by aggregating and making searchable existing sources of public data and working with public health and advocacy groups to develop new programs to improve health outcomes.

Students: Lori Hoepner, Hyunjin Kim, Madeeha Merchant, Gordon Ng, Christ Stoafer, Zhe Wen, Kiyeon Yoon, Min Zhou

Read more about the Finalists
 

Round Two Competition Awards

ROUND TWO COMPETITION WINNERS (Academic Year 2015)

RemitMas is a cash-to-savings digital money transfer service that transforms the way Latino immigrants remit. Customers will have the ability to send money home, deposit directly into savings wallets for their families' education, health and housing needs, and become better financial decision makers.

Students: Maelis Carraro, Lina Henao, Daniela Hernandez, Felipe Pacheco, Steven Pallickal

Spokey: Across America social, sporting, charitable, and community groups are faced with similar problems: falling membership dues and growing costs. Spokey is creating a hub where organizations can make extra cash by turning their vacant spaces into unique venues.

Students: George Hampton, David Santos de Padua, Gemma Peacocke

Read more about the announcement of the 2015 winners


ACADEMIC YEAR 2015 COMPETITION FINALISTS

See the AY15 Finalists video

PoaPost: This proposal outlines an alternative model for postal services in Kenya, as a private, for-profit company that offers not just post but a diverse range of services that include financial services and assisting in delivery of government documents to rural areas.

Adero Miwo Davis, Lauren Barrett

UrbanWatchers is a mobile app that revolutionizes the way in which users get information about their cities. This crowdsourcing app allows citizens to report problems on public goods and services and gives them user-tailored stats and alerts based on those reports.

Mario Campa, Rebeca Moreno Jiménez, Fernando Posadas Paz, Ashutosh Nanda

Yojana Wiki aims to be the most comprehensive repository of actionable information on government welfare programs in India. We want to connect users to the right programs, help them sift through the process of getting the benefit and act as an advocacy portal when it comes to expenditures and audits of welfare programs in the country.

Renu Pokharna, Hariharan Sriram, Ajith Das Menon


ACADEMIC YEAR 2015 COMPETITION SEMI-FINALISTS

Energy HackersBased upon the time varying energy demand of urban buildings, the local availability of solar and wind resources and the rooftop space available, Energy Hackers seeks to develop a software to find out the potential sites for renewable energy generation and storage. And then local clusters of interconnected buildings that can share this generated and stored energy among them will be mapped out to satisfy peak demands without buying high cost peak electricity from the grid.

Students: Aarabi Madhavan, Erifyli Nomikou, Shirin Jamshidi, Vijayakumaar Chandrasekar

eSwach is a data collection and analytics tool that will aid recycling companies, NGOs and the Government in Urban India, in strengthening the waste management channels and provide avenues for empowering semi-formal waste operatives.

Students: Jayant Narayan, Rana Roshni Singh Bandesha, Richa Maheshwari

Poapost: This proposal outlines an alternative model for postal services in Kenya, as a private, for-profit company that offers not just post but a diverse range of services that include financial services and assisting in delivery of government documents to rural areas.

Students: Adero Miwo Davis, Lauren Barrett, Katherine McGehee

RemitMas is an online payment platform and mobile application that provides an easy, safe, and innovative mechanism for migrants to channel remittances into savings accounts for education, health and housing with access to incentive-based financial education training.

Students: Maelis Carraro, Lina Henao, Daniela Hernandez, Felipe Pacheco, Steven Pallickal

Spokey: Across America social, sporting, charitable, and community groups are faced with similar problems: falling membership dues and growing costs. Spokey is creating a hub where organizations can make extra cash by turning their vacant spaces into unique venues.

Students: George Hampton, David Santos de Padua

Sumit: As the world transitions from the Millennium Development Goals to Sustainable Development Goals, SUMIT seeks to bolster the knowledge management infrastructure of the global development community through the creation of an open access management information systems.

Students: Matt Smith, Boris Maguire, Anca Matioc, Niels Bantilan, Elaine Kubik, Sophie Matte, Swetha Ramaswamy

Take Care is a social enterprise that delivers home-based professional healthcare service to the elders in China, especially to those in poor, childless, and other disadvantaged conditions.  It combines service recipients with service providers through an online community, integrates in a virtuously-cycled network of financial supplies and healthcare professional supplies.

Students: Susan Zheng, Jackson Guannan, Wencan Jin, Liyang Xu

UrbanWatchers is a tool that allows citizens to report problems on the provision of public goods. Taking advantage of user-generated internet data, the application produces an index that enables pedestrians and bicyclists to compare the security, environment, and connectivity of streets.

Students: Mario Campa, Rebeca Moreno Jiménez, Fernando Posadas Paz, Ashutosh Nanda

Yojana wiki seeks to collate information on various Indian government welfare programs and develop a portal which would, upon entering the right data fields, generate information for a potential beneficiary on all programs s/he might be eligible for.

Students: Renu Pokharna, Hariharan Sriram, Ajith Das Menon
 

Round Three Competition Awards

ROUND THREE COMPETITION WINNERS (Academic Year 2016)

Easy Solar (formerly Azimuth Solar) is a social venture with the aim of reducing energy poverty in urban and peri-urban areas of West Africa, particularly Sierra Leone. Targeting under-served market segments, Easy Solar provides cheap, clean and reliable solar energy to its customers by making solar lamps and solar home systems affordable via rent-to-own and pay-as-you-go payment plans. Leveraging mobile-money as a convenient, safe and transparent payment option, Easy Solar will furthermore generate instant credit scores based on the payment history of its customers. By pursuing its innovative and sustainable business model, Easy Solar therefore reduces carbon emissions, improves the health of its customers, and contributes to local economic development.

Students: Nthabiseng Enyonam Mosia, Eric Silverman, Alexandre Tourre

NaTakallam, (we speak in Arabic), is a social venture that pairs students learning Arabic with displaced Syrians for conversation-focused sessions over the internet. Through this online platform, Arabic learners have the option of practicing their speaking skills, with full flexibility concerning the timing, length, and format of their sessions. They also engage in a unique cultural experience while providing Syrians with an enriching part-time work opportunity.

Students: Aline Sara, Reza Rahnema, Aimee Chen, Niko Efstathiou, Sherif Kamal

Cigonn is the first pay-per-use tablet sharing system that spares students the unaffordable upfront costs of purchasing an Internet device in developing countries. It works similar to libraries in universities, substituting book with tablets. Students will be able to either use tablets in Cigonn spaces on campus or rent them from off-site use. Leveraging an innovative user intervace, Cigonn enables students to access their own Cigonn accounts and retrieve their data and projects for each use. 

Students: Olivier Bennaim, Alexandre Zeitoun

Read more about the announcement of the 2016 winners
 

ACADEMIC YEAR 2016 COMPETITION FINALISTS

See the AY17 Finalists video 

Concourse Markets is an online platform and a robust data organization system that enables multiple community lenders to lend to a single project. Community lenders provide a full array of financial products to communities redlined by larger banks and where unbanked rates are highest. Yet, capital constraints limit these institutions’ capacity to lend to large profitable projects in their own communities. With syndication as an option put back on the table by Concourse Markets, lenders can better deploy capital and make financial markets more inclusive.

Students: Anuar Juraidini

Nansen will allow refugees to complete simple legal processes and protection needs through a mobile device. By customizing its interface to support different language and applications, Nansen will also have broad applicability in complex emergencies across the world.

Students: Selim C. Sazak, Z. Sila Sonme, Baris C(an) Kayaalp
 

ACADEMIC YEAR 2016 COMPETITION SEMI-FINALISTS

Azimuth Solar is a social venture with the aim of reducing energy poverty in urban and peri-urban areas of West Africa, particularly Sierra Leone. Targeting under-served market segments, Azimuth will provide cheap, clean and reliable solar energy to its customers by making solar lamps and solar home systems affordable via rent-to-own and pay-as-you-go payment plans. Leveraging mobile-money as a convenient, safe and transparent payment option, Azimuth will furthermore generate instant credit scores based on the payment history of its customers. By pursuing its innovative and sustainable business model, Azimuth Solar therefore reduces carbon emissions, improves the health of its customers, and contributes to local economic development.

Students: Nthabiseng Enyonam Mosia, Eric Silverman, Alexandre Tourre

Cigonn is the first pay-per-use tablet sharing system that spares students the unaffordable upfront costs of purchasing an Internet device in developing countries. It works similar to libraries in universities, substituting book with tablets. Students will be able to either use tablets in Cigonn spaces on campus or rent them from off-site use. Leveraging an innovative user intervace, Cigonn enables students to access their own Cigonn accounts and retrieve their data and projects for each use. 

Students: Olivier Bennaim, Alexandre Zeitoun

Civic Innovation Fellows Program (CIF) is launching a collaboration between the Manhattan Borough President's Office, local non-profit BetaNYC, the CUNY Service Corps, and Manhattan's Community Boards to bring local government into the 21st Century. We are developing a curriculum that accomplishes three goals: Training CUNY students the basics of agile development and open data analysis; Bringing digital resources to Community Boards to improve their data-driven decision making; Improving local service delivery and community engagement in New York City. The program will be openly licensed and constructed in a manner to eventually serve all 59 Community Boards in New York City, and will include mapping tools, open data resources, introduction to software development philosophies, and leadership training.

Students: William Colegrove

Concourse Markets is an online platform and a robust data organization system that enables multiple community lenders to lend to a single project. Community lenders provide a full array of financial products to communities redlined by larger banks and where unbanked rates are highest. Yet, capital constraints limit these institutions’ capacity to lend to large profitable projects in their own communities. With syndication as an option put back on the table by Concourse Markets, lenders can better deploy capital and make financial markets more inclusive.

Students: Anuar Juraidini

FoodChief is a mobile application that provides users with a wide selection of healthy, delicious recipes and helps them plan and budget their weekly meals and grocery trips. FoodChief's social mission is to help make a healthy cooking lifestyle more accessible to everyone, especially for those who are budget-conscious.

Students: Lily Zhou, Alejandra Tarazona Zambrano, Luc Bonnafous, Andrew Pfender

Nansen will allow refugees to complete simple legal processes and protection needs through a mobile device. By customizing its interface to support different language and applications, Nansen will also have broad applicability in complex emergencies across the world.

Students: Selim C. Sazak, Z. Sila Sonme, Baris C(an) Kayaalp

NaTakallam, (we speak in Arabic), is a social venture that pairs students learning Arabic with displaced Syrians for conversation-focused sessions over the internet. Through this online platform, Arabic learners have the option of practicing their speaking skills, with full flexibility concerning the timing, length, and format of their sessions. They also engage in a unique cultural experience while providing Syrians with an enriching part-time work opportunity.

Students: Aline Sara, Reza Rahnema, Aimee Chen, Niko Efstathiou, Sherif Kamal

Open Force aims to revolutionize workforce development for young adults previously involved in New York City’s criminal justice system by equipping them with in-demand technology skills through a rigorous, yet supportive, computer training program. Our program will provide court-involved 18-25 year-olds with sufficient technical and professional skills for immediate placement in entry-level IT jobs with the prospect of continued growth. In addition, the Open Force app will support our students through active learning modules, professional training, and a planner to keep track of responsibilities and appointments. Open Force aims not only to help court-involved youth simply re-enter society, but also enjoy lifelong career success in New York City's increasingly tech-driven economy.

Students: Vincent Quan, Jourdan Howard Janssen, Lindsay Fuller, Audrey Yu, Sonya D. Rubin, Sarah Lux-Lee

RenJi is a career-networking platform dedicated to facilitate students’ networking and job search with an elegant and systematic solution: Mentorship. Through the proposed mentorship-matching algorithm embedded into our relationship management system, we provide not only an effective career-couching program, but also promising tools to assist users’ network exploration. We believe the proposed platform will allow users to take full advantages of their professional networks and land suitable jobs, and ultimately mitigate the rampant over-skilled and job mismatching issues in today’s world.

Students: Brian (Yi-Ho) Chen, I-Hong Jhuo, Nikhita Kumar, Gabriel Agostini, Lucy (Chia-Jung) Lin

Semper Analytics is an intelligence assessment management platform and analytics package serving the US Intelligence Community.  Semper streamlines intelligence production processes while ensuring assessment integrity from inception to ultimate dissemination to policymakers.  Semper enforces best practices while providing an ultimate system of record for future discovery and outward facing applications that leverage underlying structured data and metadata from assessments.

Students: Jacqueline Burns Koven, PJ Hubbard
 

Round Four Competition Awards

ROUND FOUR COMPETITION WINNERS (Academic Year 2017)

FiveOne Labs: 4.8 million Syrian refugees now sit outside Syria’s border in neighboring countries, or are making the perilous boat journey to Europe. In this era of growing humanitarian need, the most sustainable solutions must leverage the latent talent, skills, and capacity of displaced communities and define refugees as agents of change rather than beneficiaries. FiveOne Labs, an online startup incubator,  will empower a new generation of refugee and conflict-affected entrepreneurs to create sustainable livelihoods. FiveOne Labs participants will enter a three-month long incubation program that includes training in business development, marketing, and design thinking; mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs and impact investors in New York City and the Silicon Valley; and the opportunity to compete for seed funding at the end of the program. 

Students: Sophia Burton, Alice Bosley, Patricia Letayf

HelmetSmart is a technology company whose mission is to encourage motorcyclists in India to wear helmets while riding to eliminate preventable traffic-related injuries and deaths. We provide a telematics-based, helmet-safety solution for the motorcycle and health insurance industries, corporate HR departments, and logistics companies. Our solution is comprised of a device that attaches to motorcycle helmets and tracks helmet-wearing and riding behavior, a mobile app where riders upload their data, and an online analytics dashboard where companies access individuals’ riding and helmet-wearing activity. Our corporate partners can then incentivize prudent riding through adjusting insurance premiums or offering corporate benefits for those who ride safely. In India, traffic accidents kill thousands of people every year and leave many more injured and unable to provide for their families. In fact, one person dies every four minutes on India's roads. HelmetSmart will help break this status quo and save lives.

Students: Michael Alvarino, Olivia Marie Arguinzoni, Wayne Kunze, Sukumar Muramula, Malgorzata Rejniak, Kathryn Uhl

I-Care is an online platform that utilizes technology and medical data to provide disabled senior citizens and their families with more and better choices. We provide online training courses both for professional caregivers seeking to gain employment and for family caregivers stepping into caregiving roles for loved ones. We then match seniors with registered professional caregivers according to their medical record, special needs and location.

Students: Xinwei Gao, Seungwook Kim, Fang Liu, Yue Wang, Sihan Zhang
 

ACADEMIC YEAR 2017 COMPETITION FINALISTS

CiteMe is a mobile application that uses standard smartphone technologies to involve citizens in carefully tailored, results-driven field data collection. Our vision is to help citizens find and engage in projects that they want to contribute to—and to give them the tools they need to do it. When you join the CiteMe community and participate in a Challenge, you'll gain experience in different fields, collect data in the field using the photographs, GPS, and audio/visual capabilities of your smartphone, and peer-review data logged by other participants. All of the data collected in-app will be made publicly available (though the research organization that posted the challenge gets the first crack at it). At the conclusion of the challenge, all of the data that meet a set confidence threshold (driven by community review) are compiled and delivered to the organization that posted the challenge. When that organization uses those data in their research or other official operations, you’ll earn experience that builds your reputation in the community as well as real-time updates on the project you contributed to. You’ll also get a formal citation on your public CiteMe profile. 

Students: Alexei Gittelson, Johnathon de Villier

Demoperate is an online social platform for citizens to collaborate, network, and engage with one another and with their local governments to create, showcase, and comment on community projects, local infrastructure needs and improvement ideas. We will leverage a Kickstarter approach to crowdsource community project proposals and apply a Change.org e-participation model on a hyperlocal platform to champion local community improvement ideas.  Demoperate’s unique social network model encourages citizens to garner support from neighbors, friends, and community members in an open and transparent environment that can signal to public office holders of the real needs of the community. Local governments will also be able to use this platform to seek public feedback on existing project proposals and identify the projects with the highest measured social return on investment. Demoperate is the leading force for the next stage of citizen-government e-collaboration initiatives that will turn citizen-driven ideas into reality.

Students: Andy Chen Wang, Srujan Routhu, Shreemathi Tumkur, Andrea Venzon, Moritz Wussow

SunCommunity is a matchmaking platform that connects potential consumers and suppliers of solar technology in developing countries. SunCommunity aggregates high-end urban consumers to strengthen their negotiation capacity and thereby reduce the selling price of solar technology. Further, SunCommunity will lever these transactions to bring electrification to rural communities through an innovative financial model.

Students: Gabriel Guggisberg, Anders Enghild
 

ACADEMIC YEAR 2017 COMPETITION SEMI-FINALISTS

Beyond the Board is a dual-component professional development resource for teachers in developing and remote areas, as well as in emergency and post-emergency situations. Our teacher training resources include pre-developed modules that focus on pedagogy rather than content — on “how” to teach, instead of “what” to teach. Beyond the Board’s platform also offers ongoing support to teachers through a web and mobile platform. This platform enables teachers to connect with mentor or partner teachers who provide support as they implement new teaching methods. We believe that all children should have access to quality education, and that quality education starts with quality teaching.

Students: Daniele Selby, Tabatha Pilgrim Thompson, Alexandra Wilcox

By Your Side is a remote parenting tool aimed to improve the frequency and quality of communication between migrant workers residing in cities and their children left behind in rural areas in China, with the hope to improve mental well-being of migrant worker families. Over 60 million children in China (1/5 of all Chinese child population) face long-term separation from their parents due to the country's rapid urbanization; similar phenomenon are also observed in other developing countries. As a result of parent absence, left-behind children are at higher risk of developing mental health issues (even suicidal tendencies), school drop-out and human trafficking. By Your Side will educate, prompt and enable migrant worker parents to gather crucial information of their children on a regular basis, facilitate two-way communication and provide overall emotional support, potentially through a combination of mobile app and wearable device technologies. 

Students: Rui Zhang, Rui Huang, Zhenyi Stephanie Shi, Alexandrea Logan, Yingxin Ye, Akshit Mehta

CiteMe connects researchers seeking data on a wide variety of natural features with a community of citizen scientists who collect and verify primary data through our mobile application. Users download the application to their smartphone, then use it to collect photographs, geographical coordinates, notes, and audio-visual recording to meet specific Challenges posted through the application by vetted research organizations. The app community verifies data points through a fun and sophisticated internal “peer-review” system that provides an internal screening mechanisms and generates a high-confidence data set while enabling users to gain experience and establish their reputation within the community. Depending on the needs of the organization, the Challenge could involve virtually any kind of data that can be collected using smartphone technology by non-experts, including identifying and geo-tagging particular environmental hazards, documenting occurrences of rare or endangered plants, or tracking the distributions of invasive species. When an organization uses verified data in an official capacity, the users responsible for the data are rewarded with a “Citation”— a unique symbol representing that organization that appears in their public CiteMe profile.

Students: Alexei Gittelson, Johnathon de Villier

Demoperate is an online social platform for citizens to collaborate, network, and engage with one another and with their local governments to create, showcase, and comment on community projects, local infrastructure needs and improvement ideas. We will leverage a Kickstarter approach to crowdsource community project proposals and apply a Change.org e-participation model on a hyperlocal platform to champion local community improvement ideas.  Demoperate’s unique social network model encourages citizens to garner support from neighbors, friends, and community members in an open and transparent environment that can signal to public office holders of the real needs of the community. Local governments will also be able to use this platform to seek public feedback on existing project proposals and identify the projects with the highest measured social return on investment. Demoperate is the leading force for the next stage of citizen-government e-collaboration initiatives that will turn citizen-driven ideas into reality.

Students: Andy Chen Wang, Srujan Routhu, Shreemathi Tumkur, Andrea Venzon, Moritz Wussow

FikraHub: 4.8 million Syrian refugees now sit outside Syria’s border in neighboring countries, or are making the perilous boat journey to Europe. In this era of growing humanitarian need, the most sustainable solutions must leverage the latent talent, skills, and capacity of displaced communities and define refugees as agents of change rather than beneficiaries. FikraHub, an online startup incubator (“fikra” means “idea” in Arabic),  will empower a new generation of refugee and conflict-affected entrepreneurs to create sustainable livelihoods. FikraHub participants will enter a three-month long incubation program that includes training in business development, marketing, and design thinking; mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs and impact investors in New York City and the Silicon Valley; and the opportunity to compete for seed funding at the end of the program. 

Students: Sophia Burton, Alice Bosley, Patricia Letayf

HelmetSmart is a social business powered by smart helmet technology and an online platform, with a mission to encourage motorcyclists in India to wear helmets through a financial incentive structure. With the use of smart technology, we will be able to track a person's helmet wearing behavior and record it to an individual online account. Based on the user's safety record, he or she will be eligible to participate in an incentive structure in the form of a corporate-sponsored periodic lottery. In India, traffic accidents kill thousands of people every year and leave many more injured and unable to provide for their families. In fact, one person dies every four minutes on India's roads. HelmetSmart will help break this status quo and save lives.

Students: Olivia Marie Arguinzoni, Wayne Kunze, Malgorzata Rejniak, Kathryn Uhl

The Hyperlocal platform will connect you with people living in your building, to share or rent the things you need instead of buying them. Cities drive massive production of manufactured and perishable goods. Many of these products are rarely used and eventually thrown out, resulting in unnecessary carbon emissions, resource depletion and landfill. By allowing city-dwellers to communicate and share things, HyperLocal will enable more sustainable consumption patterns.

Students: Jay Bhankharia, Kunal Mahajan, Benjamin Jai-Ming Tan, Mihir Prakash

I-Care is an online platform that utilizes technology and medical data to provide disabled senior citizens and their families with more and better choices. We provide online training courses both for professional caregivers seeking to gain employment and for family caregivers stepping into caregiving roles for loved ones. We then match seniors with registered professional caregivers according to their medical record, special needs and location.

Students: Xinwei Gao, Seungwook Kim, Fang Liu, Yue Wang, Sihan Zhang

Schools' Voice is an online platform (app and website) that will empower Brazilian teachers and students by enabling them to share their views on the educational system they are part of. The basic idea is to collect inputs from schools, such as complaints and suggestions, and allow civil society to pressure government for change and government itself to have on-the-ground geo-referenced data about the day to day of its educational units. On one hand, the platform will allow teachers and students to share, anonimously or not, aspects of the schools that impact the quality of education: violence, infrastructure, parents participation, adequacy of curriculum, students' learning, need for their psychological monitoring and others. On the other hand, Schools' Voice will deliver this time-referenced data to the public through maps, graphs and tables -- allowing for better and more targeted policies. It will allow both teachers and students to communicate their needs and suggestions without intermediaries. Additionally, this intervention could also have the effect of motivating teachers, since one of the great causes for their dissatisfaction is the feeling that their views on the educational system were not being listened to, as shown by a study conducted by the Lemann Foundation in Brazilian public schools in 2014.

Students: Alessandro Passos, Daniel Barros, Yusuf Yavu

SunCommunity is a matchmaking platform that connects potential consumers and suppliers of solar technology in developing countries. SunCommunity aggregates high-end urban consumers to strengthen their negotiation capacity and thereby reduce the selling price of solar technology. Further, SunCommunity will lever these transactions to bring electrification to rural communities through an innovative financial model.

Students: Anders Enghild, Gabriel Guggisberg

Trust Psychology aims at providing access to a trust-based online international psychological community, specifically designed at Chinese college students, between the ages of 18-25. This online platform will provide access to mental health resources, as well as the added benefit of confidentiality and anonymity. In the long run, Trust Psychology plans to work cooperatively with Chinese university mental health care system, and be efficiently engaged in youth mental counseling and therapy based on psychology-related big data.

Students: Shan Huang, Shanqing Tan, Mei Wang, Joshua Elder

Round five Competition Awards

ROUND five COMPETITION WINNERS (academic year 2018)

A4ED leverages mobile and block chain technology to ensure inclusive and secure learning for every refugee student using existing records software and standardized secondary completion exams. This centralized system makes it possible to store and transfer educational data and digital transcripts for students, educational institutions, employers and the UN. 

Students: Shanna Crumley, Stephanie Doctor, Gemma Torras Vives

Learn2Earn is a communication tool that helps spread public awareness on crucial issues among millions of people outside the reach of the internet (presently about half the world’s population). Through the innovative use of technology, Learn2Earn allows content to go viral on the more widely available cellular network that is used for phone calls and SMS. Listeners are incentivized to understand infomercials on important public concerns such as spread of diseases by providing them with free mobile talktime if they successfully answer a quiz on the infomercial. To enable word-of-mouth growth of the network, listeners are provided with additional mobile talktime for every phone number they refer that also ends up passing the quiz. Our platform thus makes the dissemination of public information interactive, widespread and truly effective.

Students: Devansh Mehta, Audrey Misquith, Takanori Otsuka, John Shin, Mohamed Zeeshan


ACADEMIC YEAR 2018 COMPETITION FINALISTS

A4ED leverages mobile and block chain technology to ensure inclusive and secure learning for every refugee student using existing records software and standardized secondary completion exams. This centralized system makes it possible to store and transfer educational data and digital transcripts for students, educational institutions, employers and the UN. 

Students: Shanna Crumley, Stephanie Doctor, Gemma Torras Vives

Learn2Earn is a communication tool that helps spread public awareness on crucial issues among millions of people outside the reach of the internet (presently about half the world’s population). Through the innovative use of technology, Learn2Earn allows content to go viral on the more widely available cellular network that is used for phone calls and SMS. Listeners are incentivized to understand infomercials on important public concerns such as spread of diseases by providing them with free mobile talktime if they successfully answer a quiz on the infomercial. To enable word-of-mouth growth of the network, listeners are provided with additional mobile talktime for every phone number they refer that also ends up passing the quiz. Our platform thus makes the dissemination of public information interactive, widespread and truly effective.

Students: Devansh Mehta, Audrey Misquith, Takanori Otsuka, John Shin, Mohamed Zeeshan

Mindr runs talks, workshops, classes and events led by global experts, where crying babies are welcome. Described as the 'TED talks of the parenting world' by Fox 5 and Time Out, Mindr is disrupting the experience of urban parenting by creating opportunities for professional, intellectual and personal growth in a baby-friendly environment. After developing a strong community and events base in New York and London, Mindr is now developing an app to take this concept global, connecting new parents in urban centers worldwide to like-minded groups and high quality content.                                  

Students: Rebecca Abramson, Sarah Lux-Lee

MONICA Energy: Thirty-five percent of U.S. carbon emissions come from electricity generation and use in the United States. MONICA Energy addresses this challenge of global climate change: our social enterprise is a virtual assistant platform with an integrated phone application and website that simplifies the household clean electricity switch. Using voice activation and geolocation, customers on our platform can easily auto-switch to a new renewable electricity company. We also use behavioral science insights to offer customers preferred renewable energy service provider options available in their location, helping to frame their decision and give them a successful nudge to switch to a renewable electricity company. We aim to disrupt the dirty energy industry by bringing energy consumers a personalized experience, driving large-scale emissions reductions and clean energy growth. By the end of year three of operations, we will be avoiding over 400,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually, which is equivalent to over 11 million trees grown for ten years.

Students: Marisol Leos, Jeffrey Lepley, Faria Sami, Stephanie Ullrich

WeCare is aimed at creating individual philanthropy to solve some of the largest public policy issues in emerging and developed markets. Our initial geographic focus is Japan, given its unique culture where wedding guests pay some money to attend and receive a souvenir/gift in return. Our idea is to create a platform that will channel that money spent on the return gift to a pool of funds/organizations working on issues threatening the social fabric of Japan. Based on our success in Japan, we plan to expand the business to other life events like birthdays and funerals, and other countries that have elaborate celebrations for their life events and are simultaneously burdened by development challenges. Ultimately, the goal of this business is to create a stronger third sector and create a new way to showcase people's value to the society. 

Students: Noopur Desai, Hisato Tamiya, Yuko Teramae

 

ACADEMIC YEAR 2018 COMPETITION SEMI-FINALISTS

A4ED leverages mobile and block chain technology to ensure inclusive and secure learning for every refugee student using existing records software and standardized secondary completion exams. This centralized system makes it possible to store and transfer educational data and digital transcripts for students, educational institutions, employers and the UN. 

Students: Shanna Crumley, Stephanie Doctor, Gemma Torras Vives

Farmerce is a digital knowledge-sharing platform that leverages data-driven insights to aggregate stakeholders of the agricultural value chain in India. With lower yields, lack of access to high quality inputs and information asymmetries, farmers in India are limited in their agricultural productivity.  Farmerce is initiating the process of transforming agriculture into a sustainable and organized sector of employment using a human-centered design mobile platform. Our mission is to build the capacity of farmers to increase efficiency, reach new markets and ultimately increase their incomes and community livelihoods. 

Students: Nadia Asgaraly, Robert Lehmann, Yuvraj Singh, Sophia Sunderji

FutureFit: 25% of all CO2 emissions worldwide comes from buildings. To address this, FutureFit provides an all-in-one marketplace platform for building retrofits and energy efficiency upgrades. Using property information and energy consumption data input by users, FutureFit develops customized solutions that detail emissions reduction and cost savings tactics, government incentives, vendor options, and comprehensive financing packages. FutureFit connects property owners with easy, trusted, and customized energy solutions to reduce their building’s carbon footprint and save money.

Students: Nathaniel Hoffman, Elizabeth Font, William XU

KLISI is an online marketplace system that connects electricity technicians with commercial and industrial, as well as residential, customers in Indonesia who require their services. We create value by providing a fast and expedient service at competitive price while helping the Indonesian power market in getting more qualified talents. Our value propositions for our stakeholders include a platform for commercial & industrial, as well as household, customers in procuring qualified electrician on a real-time basis; vast supply of field technicians and electricity operators with various skill sets; online training and certification for prospective electricians, in which the course materials are developed and provided by industry experts; and a channel for certified electricians to find a job that meets their unique talents.

Students: Sheldon Cheng, Tasya Kamila, Akhmad Sani

Learn2Earn is a communication tool that helps spread public awareness on crucial issues among millions of people outside the reach of the internet (presently about half the world’s population). Through the innovative use of technology, Learn2Earn allows content to go viral on the more widely available cellular network that is used for phone calls and SMS. Listeners are incentivized to understand infomercials on important public concerns such as spread of diseases by providing them with free mobile talktime if they successfully answer a quiz on the infomercial. To enable word-of-mouth growth of the network, listeners are provided with additional mobile talktime for every phone number they refer that also ends up passing the quiz. Our platform thus makes the dissemination of public information interactive, widespread and truly effective.

Students: Devansh Mehta, Audrey Misquith, Takanori Otsuka, John Shin, Mohamed Zeeshan

Mindr runs talks, workshops, classes and events led by global experts, where crying babies are welcome. Described as the 'TED talks of the parenting world' by Fox 5 and Time Out, Mindr is disrupting the experience of urban parenting by creating opportunities for professional, intellectual and personal growth in a baby-friendly environment. After developing a strong community and events base in New York and London, Mindr is now developing an app to take this concept global, connecting new parents in urban centers worldwide to like-minded groups and high quality content.                                  

Students: Rebecca Abramson, Sarah Lux-Lee

MONICA Energy: Thirty-five percent of U.S. carbon emissions come from electricity generation and use in the United States. MONICA Energy addresses this challenge of global climate change: our social enterprise is a virtual assistant platform with an integrated phone application and website that simplifies the household clean electricity switch. Using voice activation and geolocation, customers on our platform can easily auto-switch to a new renewable electricity company. We also use behavioral science insights to offer customers preferred renewable energy service provider options available in their location, helping to frame their decision and give them a successful nudge to switch to a renewable electricity company. We aim to disrupt the dirty energy industry by bringing energy consumers a personalized experience, driving large-scale emissions reductions and clean energy growth. By the end of year three of operations, we will be avoiding over 400,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually, which is equivalent to over 11 million trees grown for ten years.

Students: Marisol Leos, Jeffrey Lepley, Faria Sami, Stephanie Ullrich

Tibetucation is an online platform that provides Tibetan students aged 3-18 with courses of different disciplines and at all levels in Tibetan. Besides, it also includes language courses, like Mandarin, and other practical courses, such as career development, farming and herding techniques. With the use of Tibetucation, Tibetan kids will have more access to education and thus their academic performance will be improved.

Students: Qiansong Xu

Unbias is a data-driven, mobile friendly platform that provides fact-checking services targeted at curious citizens, journalists and civic activists. To begin, will be used to verify campaign promises for current Members of Parliament in India and later expand to uncovering data-related inconsistencies across mainstream news media in multiple languages. Through this we hope to introduce accountability and transparency in India's political processes and discourse, and act as a tool to counter the proliferation of fake news. 

Students: Mahua Bisht, Debashree Poddar, Atishay​​ Sehgal, Gayathri Vijayaraghavan

WeCare is aimed at creating individual philanthropy to solve some of the largest public policy issues in emerging and developed markets. Our initial geographic focus is Japan, given its unique culture where wedding guests pay some money to attend and receive a souvenir/gift in return. Our idea is to create a platform that will channel that money spent on the return gift to a pool of funds/organizations working on issues threatening the social fabric of Japan. Based on our success in Japan, we plan to expand the business to other life events like birthdays and funerals, and other countries that have elaborate celebrations for their life events and are simultaneously burdened by development challenges. Ultimately, the goal of this business is to create a stronger third sector and create a new way to showcase people's value to the society. 

Students: Noopur Desai, Hisato Tamiya, Yuko Teramae

WeServe.io is a crowdfunding platform that empowers activists and social entrepreneurs by channeling the power of their social networks to create sustainable impact. By breaking down big funding goals into small tasks and opening projects to public collaboration, WeServe.io turns social networks into grassroots task forces that are operational across borders. The platform can be used to kickstart a social enterprise, organize an emergency response operation, or even convert mere buzz into constructive action. 

Students: Eric Courier de Méré, Liad Eshkar, Virginia Garcia, Fatima Lucia Uriarte Cacere