USD Announces 16 Finalists Competing to Win $75K in the 5th Annual Social Innovation Challenge

Students from across San Diego propose innovative solutions to social, economic and environmental challenges

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Sixteen finalists for the University of San Diego’s 2015 Social Innovation Challenge (SIC) have been selected for an opportunity to win $75,000 of seed funding. The SIC, a student social venture competition organized by the USD Center for Peace and Commerce, works with students to generate ideas for innovative ventures that respond to a social or environmental issue of their choice. Social ventures may be for profit, nonprofit or hybrid models with a domestic or international focus. The seed funding may be used to launch or expand social ventures.

The Social Innovation Challenge is celebrating its fifth year supporting student-driven social innovation and its second year as a regional competition open to students throughout San Diego County. The list of 2015 finalists includes very unique venture propositions ranging from developing an off-grid water purification system for small communities, to improving HIV treatment monitoring, to empowering youth through an online art education platform. The finalists will present their live pitches to a panel of judges on April 28, 2015. The pitches will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Parking permits are available from the Main or West entrance kiosks.

Eight finalist teams from the University of San Diego will compete in the $40,000 USD Track. Donors for the prizes include the Verizon Foundation,, John and Nancy Jo Cappetta, the Price Foundation, the Purcell McNamara Foundation and Pacific Western Bank.

Additionally, the eight teams that advanced to the finals in the San Diego Track hail from San Diego State and the University of California, San Diego. They will compete for up to $35,000, made possible by a generous donation from the Moxie Foundation. Submissions to the San Diego Track also included students from Cal State San Marcos, National University and Point Loma Nazarene University.

The 2015 SIC Finalists are:


USD Track:

CAPE, Foxbat Dynamics, GodFreds Foundation, H2gO, ILORI, OneGoal-Bring Pro Soccer to Yuma, SIMPLE SEAT BETTER LIVES and SmartyPants Wear


San Diego Track:

Bystanders To Upstanders, Cameroon Empowerment Program, Combatting HIV Transmittance in Mozambique, Africa, Evocado, People’s Potty Project (3P), The Free Artists Network (FAN) and ViVaScope

More information about the finalist projects can be found here:

The winners of the $75,000 of seed funding will be announced at the 5th Annual SIC Awards Ceremony on May 1, 2015, when each finalist team will give a 90-second fast pitch and the audience will choose a crowd favorite.