Social Innovation Challenge 2017 Award Winners

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.

The winning teams focused on solving a wide spectrum of issues impacting both communities as well as the environment. Here is a quick overview of their proposals:


Amniotic Wraps, Niranjanaa Jeeva, Ella Stimson, Julie Yip (Prize: $1,000, Global Impact & Impact Without Borders, and Hera Hub In Kind Prizes)

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, Anthony Shao, Alex Chuang, Andrew Booth (Prize: $2,000, Torero Impact & Connect In Kind Prize)

CARE Technologies is developing a device that can facilitate the electronic transfer of patient health records across medical facilities, leading to increased quality of care.
View CARE Technologies' round 2 video.

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 & Mission Edge In Kind Prize)

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 & Moves the Needle In Kind Prize)

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, Lauren Franklin, Charlotte Vitak (Prize: $5,000, USD Women Innovators & Hera Hub In Kind Prize)

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

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 & Mission Edge In Kind Prize)

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, 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, Jordan Schultz (Prize: $4,000 Wireless Impact, $1,000 Global Impact, $3,000 Torero Impact & Connect In Kind Prize)

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.

In addition to the cash winners, three finalist teams were awarded in kind prizes: 

  • Greyble aims to facilitate high-impact water conservation and improve drought resilience with its residential greywater recycling technology. Winner of the CleanTech San Diego and Impact without Borders In Kind Prizes. 

  • JDoe offers a truly anonymous reporting solution for sexual assault survivors. Winner of the Moves the Needle In Kind Prize

  • Nature Unplugged aims to create a more conscious youth by reigning in the use and addiction to technology and by helping them reconnect with nature. Winner of the Mission Edge In Kind Prize

2017 SIC's Awards Ceremony was held on Friday, May 5th, 2017 in the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice Theatre. 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.

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