USD's Social Innovation Challenge 2014 Awards

In 2014, the Social Innovation Challenge awarded $73,500 to eight outstanding projects.

Eight student winners were awarded $73,500 at the Awards Ceremony on May 2, 2014. The 2014 SIC had participants from University of San Diego, Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego City College, San Diego State University, and  University of California, San Diego. From a total of 115 teams, 52 advanced to the semi-finals, and 16 finalists were chosen to compete with a live pitch in front of a diverse group of judges. 

The SIC final judges were represented by:

Jenny Craig, Founder, Jenny Craig Inc.
Siyamak Khorrami, Founder & President, SkyRiver I.T.
Ned McMahon. Founder & CEO Primo Wind Inc.
Keith Muhart, Director of Marketing, Qualcomm Ventures
Peg Ross, Vice President, Global Human Resources & Organization Development, PCI Global
Kapil Sharma, Senior Managing Director, North America, Tata Sons Ltd.
Teresa Smith, SIC 2012 & 2013 winner; Founder, Dreams for Change
Necla Tschirgi, USD Professor of Practice, Human Security & Peacebuilding
Michelle Weinger, CPC Executive Advisory Board Member
Peter Zahn, President and Director, Moxie Foundation

Additionally, all finalists received the opportunity to crowd fund on our partner Indiegogo page. Winners were given the opportunity to apply to Connect's Springboard and to enter into the EvoNexus incubator.

Green Room, Eric Cross (Prize Money: $15,000)

Eric Cross envisioned, Green Room, an out-of-the-box learning environment that provides underprivileged students with the advanced resources needed to develop green technology projects in their neighborhood by inspiring students to explore STEM fields.

Read Green Room's answers to the five Round 1 questions

Watch Green Room's pitch video

View Green Room's Roadmap to Success.

Rice Pollution Solution, Abdalla Almulla, Miluska Garcia, Chase Mcquarrie, Clay Mosolino (Prize Money: $20,000)

The team of Rice Pollution Solution strive for reduction of heavy metals in rice to lower the potential of cancer and to improve food quality throughout the world by implementing a retention pool on the top terrace of rice paddies.

Read Rice Pollution Solution's answers to the five Round 1 questions

Watch Rice Pollution Solution's pitch video

View Rice Pollution Solution's Roadmap to Success.

G.R.O.W.I.N.G., Andrew Rae (Prize Money: $5,000)

Andrew Rae's idea, G.R.O.W.I.N.G., is a dynamic job placement program, which offers culturally appropriate opportunities to refugee farmers and entrepreneurs from Burma living in San Diego who may otherwise be unemployable in the region.

Read G.R.O.W.I.N.G's answers to the five Round 1 questions

Watch G.R.O.W.I.N.G's pitch video

View G.R.O.W.I.N.G.'s Roadmap to Success.

Pacific CleanTech, James Pendarvis, Benjamin Patterson (Prize Money: $5,000)

Pacific CleanTech is a veteran owned and operated sustainable solutions company with a mission to create jobs for veterans through assisting businesses in becoming more environmentally sustainable.

Read Pacific Clean Tech's answers to the five Round 1 questions

Watch Pacific Clean Tech's pitch video

View Pacific Clean Tech's Roadmap to Success.

2014 San Diego Track Winners

WE Do Good Logo

W.E. Do Good, Alex Nogle, Darla Rossi, Ezequiel Galindo, Ryan Medina, Robert Schneider, and Kevin Semo (Prize Money: $10,000)

Rossi and Schneider's idea, W.E. Do Good, is developing an extremely affordable, portable, and durable mechanical thesher to improve the difficult, time-consuming, unsanitary, and resource-inefficient harvesting of teff for farmers in Ethiopia.

Read W.E. Do Good's answers to the five Round 1 questions

Watch W.E. Do Good's pitch video

View W.E. Do Good's Roadmap to Success

Vena Logo

Vena, John Walsh, Tim Perry, Zac Fowler (Prize Money: $10,000 & $1,000 Social Global Mobile Live Audience Choice Award)

Vena, is a low-cost, scalable, zero energy water harvester for developing regions lacking access to potable water. A biomimetic design modeled after the cacti, it uses differences between below and above ground temperatures to trigger a dew point.

Read Vena's answers to the five Round 1 questions

Watch Vena's pitch video

View Vena's Roadmap to Success

Art Without a Roof Logo

Art Without a Roof, Mitchell Gilbert, Matthew Wayne, Ryan Zomorodi (Prize Money: $2,500)

Art Without a Roof provides socially conscious people with apparel if used with creative designs from artists impacted by homelessness. Profits are cycled back to fund education and art therapy for the youth without a roof.

Read Art Without a Roof's answers to the five Round 1 questions

Watch Art Without a Roof's pitch video

View Art Without a Roof's Roadmap to Success

2014 Awards Ceremony

2014 SIC's Awards Ceremony was held on Friday, May 2, 2014 in the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Theatre.
The opportunity to meet finalists in the Rotunda started at 4:00 p.m. followed at 4:30 p.m with the Awards Ceremony Program of Finalists Pitches, $72,500 Awards, and the $1,000 Social Global Mobile 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 Cheryl K. Goodman, Founder & CEO of Social Global Mobile, LLC. The Spotlight speaker was Emily Moberly, Founder and CEO of Traveling Stories.

Cheryl K. Goodman Cheryl K. Goodman
Emily Moberly Emily Moberly
Following 1.5 minute pitches from each finalist, Social Global Mobile sponsored a Live Audience Choice Award. In addition to that, Qualcomm Ventures sponsored eight Toq Smartwatches to eight finalists as part of a raffle. The awards presentation was followed by networking with our community of supporters including representatives from Connect, EvoNexus, and San Diego Social Venture Partners as well as our judges, mentors, Executive Advisory Board members, and SIC participants.