Center for Peace and Commerce

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Social Innovation Challenge

The San Diego Social Innovation Challenge Banner

The Social Innovation Challenge (SIC) promotes, guides, and supports student-driven ideas to launch or to contribute to existing social enterprises by for-profit, hybrid and nonprofit organizations, locally and abroad.  The SIC has awarded $158,000 in cash prizes to students since its inception in 2011.

All University of San Diego students at the graduate and undergraduate levels are eligible to apply. The 2014 Social Innovation Challenge awarded $50,000 to USD students, and also expanded to include an external "San Diego Track" open to students from San Diego State University, University of California, San Diego, Point Loma Nazarene University, and the San Diego City College. The Moxie Prizes of up to $17,500 and Outerwall Prize of $5,000 were awarded to students in the San Diego Track. In 2015 the Social Innovation Challenge will award $75,000 to fund student social ventures.

We encourage interested students to participate in our Idea Labs series to learn more about how to take an idea to action.

Do you want to positively change the world, but don't know where to start? In this funny and impassioned TED talk, Ernesto Sirolli proposes that the first step is to listen to the people you're trying to help, and tap into their own entrepreneurial spirit.

Watch our promotional video for the 2013 Social Innovation Challenge:

2015 Social Innovation Challenge 

Big Ideas Wanted. Reward $75,000

2015 Dates

Round 1 Application: Monday, February 16, 2015

Round 2 Written Plan and Video: Monday, March 30, 2015

Final Pitch Judging: Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Awards Ceremony: May 1, 2015

2014 Awardees

Learn about our eight awardees who won a total of $73,500 including the Live Audience Choice Vote by visiting 2014 Awards or our platform:

2013 SIC Awards Ceremony
Qualcomm Labs Live Audience Choice Vote