Social Innovation Challenge 2017 Final

In 2017, the Social Innovation Challenge (SIC) awarded $41,000 in seed funding and a host of in-kind prizes to ten outstanding social venture proposals.



Ten winning student teams received $41,000 in seed funding for their social ventures at the SIC Award Ceremony held in the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Theatre on May 5th, 2017. The opportunity to meet semi-finalists in the Rotunda started at 4:00 p.m. followed at 4:30 p.m. with the Awards Ceremony Program of Finalists Pitches, $40,000 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. This event was curated by Dr. Amit Kakkad, Director, Center for Peace and Commerce.

Participants in the SIC 2017 included student-led teams from Centro de Enseñanza Técnica Y Superior University (CETYS), El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego State University, Tecnológico de Monterrey (ITESM Guadalajara), Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC), Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla (UPAEP), University of California San Diego, and the University of San Diego. Starting from 76 teams in the first round, 49 teams advanced to the semifinals, and 17 teams competed in the final 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, SIC 2016 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 seed funding, winners were eligible for the following in-kind prizes as well: