Social Innovation Challenge 2012 Winners and Finalists

Out of the 52 applicants in the Social Innovation Challenge 2012, 30 applicants were chosen for the semi-finals. A panel comprising of senior members from Grameen Foundation, PETCO, and Nika Water selected 12 finalists to compete for $30,000 to advance their social ventures.


Eat Better Today, Teresa Smith (Prize Money: $10,000)

The Eat Better Today program is a mobile catering food truck that will provide the convenience of twice-daily healthy food delivery to homeless individuals. The homeless will be able to utilize their Cal-Fresh benefits to purchase hot healthy prepared meals. 

Aiko & Egor, Casey Hoffman (Prize Money: $7000)

Aiko & Egor is See Beneath, Inc.’s first educational and engaging product designed specifically for children with autism. The focus animation can be used to help teach simple imitation and is highly engaging for children with autism. 

Farming to End Poverty, Innocent Rugaragu (Prize Money: $5000)

Farming to End Poverty is a zero waste hybrid ari-business. Building on the knowledge villagers have used for generations, introducing sustainable and profitable corn and sunflower will create community around a manufacturing and retail process.

Nutri-Fort, Kristina James and Amber Zimmerman (Prize Money: $5,000)

In El Cercado, Dominican Republic, we plan to produce and sell a nutritional supplement, Nutri-Fort (a healthy, high-caloric snack to fight malnutrition). Our model provides an exemplar through the use of women’s cooperatives to establish.

Social Transformation Through Mediation, Anna Zamec, Chris Voets and Sharia Walker(Prize Money: $1,500)

Mediation training for Saudi female lawyers will allow Saudi women to participate in the judicial system. Such skills will assist in resolving conflicts without the need of being in a courtroom and will boost women’s participation in and beyond the legal sphere.

Performers for Progress, Madeline Vann and Tom DeCarlo (Prize Money: $1,500)

Performers for Progress has raised over $23,000 to fund an arts program in an Oakland middle school and build three wells in India. The program aims to foster leadership in students, provide opportunities for student empowerment through the performing arts, and raise funds/awareness.


Category Art

CPI-Kenya, Moni Wanjiku Kinyua

CPI Kenya invites children from different ethnic communities together to build peace. Most of these children grow up with negative enemy images from their communities. CPI Kenya, creates an opportunity for these children to meet, interact and trains them to embrace tolerance and diversity.

Category Art

Mali Mamas, Rachel Lataitis

Mali Mamas is a social business connecting isolated artisans to our everyday lives through the transformation of original craft. We connect non-profit organizations working in isolated communities with consumers through U.S. designers and brands.

Category Art

Rock-It, Sean Dempsey and Zack Miller

Rock-It is an automated bikesharing program to be implemented in San Diego, California. A customer walks up to a rack, swipes a card, removes a bike, and rides the bike – depositing it at any other Rock-It rack.

Category Art

Anomaly, Gabe Adibe

GD Anomaly Comics is part of a larger company that is focused on creating positive social change by manufacturing products that consumers not only enjoy, but raise awareness about social issues that each and everyone one of us has the power to affect in a positive way.

Category Art

Street Prose, Calvin Blair

Street Prose is a collective effort of the USD Student Homeless Alliance and the St. Vincent's Writing Group. Its mission is to empower the homeless in San Diego or who have experienced homelessness in the past by providing gainful employment and a platform for the expression of free speech through journalism, creative writing and artwork.

Category Art

Together We Overcome, Jill Ferguson and Andrew Morrison

Born out of our desire to help the women and children in the Lake Volta region, Ghana, T.W.O. provides a steady job to the single mothers in the area which helps to end child slavery at its source. For every bag sold, a backpack with school supplies is donated to a child to help support the U.N. Millennium Goal of universal primary education.