University of San Diego Announces 16 Finalists Competing to Win $75K in the 5th Annual Social Innovation Challenge

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 Tuesday, April 28. 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 University 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, SmartyPants Wear and and East African Fellowship Program

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, when each finalist team will give a 90-second fast pitch to special guests from the San Diego social innovation community.

The SIC Award Ceremony is free and open to the public. Seating is limited; RSVP on the SIC website


About the University of San Diego

The University of San Diego sets the standard for an engaged, contemporary Catholic university where innovative Changemakers confront humanity’s urgent challenges. With more than 9,000 students from 69 countries and 50 states, USD is the youngest independent institution on the U.S. News & World Report list of top 100 universities in the United States. The university's eight academic divisions include the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Business, the Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering, the School of Law, the School of Leadership and Education Sciences, the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science, the Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, and the Division of Professional and Continuing Education. USD's Envisioning 2024 strategic plan capitalizes on the university’s recent progress and aligns new strategic goals with current strengths to help shape a vision for the future as the university looks ahead to its 75th anniversary in the year 2024.