2017 USD Social Innovation Challenge Awards

In 2017, the Social Innovation Challenge awarded $41,000 to ten outstanding projects.

Ten social venture proposals were awarded a total of $41,000 in seed funding at the Social Innovation Challenge Award Ceremony on May 5th, 2017. The 2017 SIC had participants from University of San Diego, San Diego State University, Point Loma Nazarene University, University of California San Diego, Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, CETYS, Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla and Technologcio de Monterey- Guadalajara. From a total of 76 teams, 49 advanced to the semifinals, and 17 finalists were chosen to compete with a live pitch in front of a diverse group of expert judges.

The SIC final judges included:

  • Amit Kakkad, PhD, Director, Center for Peace and Commerce, USD
  • Gloria Sandvik, President, Sandvik and Associates
  • Jessica Kort, Founder, Foothold Foundation, 2016 SIC Winner
  • Keith Muhart, Director of Marketing, Qualcomm Ventures
  • Mike Williams, Director, Changemaker Hub, USD
  • Odesma Dalrymple, PhD, Assistant Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, USD
  • Shannon Frank, Director, Market Strategy & Operations, Veyo Logistics

In addition to the $41,000 in cash prizes, winners were eligible for the following in kind prizes:

Amniotic Wrap logo

Amniotic Wraps, Niranjanaa Jeeva, Ella Stimson, Julie Yip (Prize: $1,000, Global Impact)

Amniotic Wraps aims to eliminate postpartum depression and improve the communication and connection between the mother and child using bio-feedback.

View Amniotic Wraps' round 2 video.

Care Technologies Logo

CARE Technologies, Anthony Shao, Alex Chuang, Andrew Booth (Prize: $2,000, Torero Impact)

CARE Technologies is developing a device that can facilitate the electronic transfer of patient health records within and across medical facilities, leading to increased quality of care.

View CARE Technologies' round 2 video.

Fundacion Gaia Logo

Fundacion Gaia, Antonio Irastorza, Darinka Carballo, Frank Ortiz, Madison Coronado, David H. Lopez-Sandoval (Prize: $1,000 Mexico Impact, $1,000 Global Impact, $3,000 Torero Impact)

Fundacion Gaia aims to curb the vicious cycle of homelessness and substance abuse in the people deported from the USA to Tijuana, Mexico.

View Fundacion Gaia's' round 2 video.


IR-Sonic, Khoa Vu, Michael Girard (Prize: $2,000, Torero Impact)

IR-Sonic is developing a device to supplement or replace the traditional cane, and enhance a blind person's mobility.

View IR-Sonic's round 2 video.

My Story Logo

My Story, Lauren Franklin, Charlotte Vitak (Prize: $5,000, USD Women Innovators)

My Story aims to create a platform for people to share their experiences through storytelling and connect with people around university campuses.

View My Story's round 2 video.

Recyclinator Logo

Recyclinator, Jordan Custodia, Cassandra O’Shea, Matthew Penning, Sean Bennet (Prize: $2,000 Global Impact, $5,000 Local Impact)

Recyclinator offers carbon dioxide reclamation suited to the scale and budget of craft breweries and helps them grow sustainably.

View Recyclinator's round 2 video.


San Diego STEAM, Jasmine Sadler (Prize: $5,000 Local Impact)

San Diego STEAM aims to increase representation of women and African Americans in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics & Art through education, exposure, and encouragement.

View San Diego STEAM's round 2 video.

Tipi Logo

Tipi, Daniel Risso Elliot, Fernanda Peralta (Prize: $2,000 Mexico Impact)

Tipi offers flexible jobs for women with children, addresses the absence of food security, and creates social awareness in Guadalajara, Mexico.

View Tipi's round 2 video.


TIPS, Carlos Campos, Katia Davalos (Prize: $2,000 Mexico Impact, $1,000 Wireless Impact. $1,000 audience choice award)

TIPS aims to reduce the technological gap that exists between teachers and students in many schools in Mexico by equipping the teachers with tools and training needed to deliver a 21st century education.

View TIPS' round 2 video.

Trash Tracker Logo

Trash Tracker, Jordan Schultz (Prize: $4,000 Wireless Impact, $1,000 Global Impact, $3,000 Torero Impact)

Trash Tracker is developing an innovation that can increase residential recycling rates using cloud database and behavioral analysis.

View Trash Tracker's round 2 video.

2017 SIC's Awards Ceremony was held on Friday, May 5th, 2017 in the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Theatre. The Ceremony started at 4:00 p.m. with an opportunity to meet semi-finalists in the Rotunda, followed by the Awards Ceremony starting at 4:30 p.m that included Finalists Pitches, annoucement of the winners of $40,000 in award prizes, and the $1,000  Live Audience Choice Award in the Theatre. The ceremony was followed by a Networking Reception in USD's Garden of the Sea.

The event was curated by Dr. Amit Kakkad, Director, Center for Peace and Commerce.