12 USD Teams Advance to the Global Social Innovation Challenge Semi-Finals

GSIC semi-finalist team tackling waste in the shoe industry

This week, the Center for Peace and Commerce announced the 12 semi-finalist student teams that will vie for the chance to win up to $10,000 in seed funding and represent USD at the Global Social Innovation Challenge (GSIC) Final. The two USD Finalist teams will compete against the top two teams from 25+ universities for $50,000 in funding to launch their world-changing idea. 

In alignment with the U.N.'s Sustainable Development goals, the semi-finalist teams are tackling issues such as food waste, housing for disaster victims, sexual harrassment in athletic culture, tire recycling, and digital literacy for refugees – just to name a few. 

Each team submitted to Round 1 of the GSIC which focuses on "The Problem." Teams created a summary of their problem analysis and identified opportunities for innovation within the gaps in the issue area. Expert judges reviewed the submissions and selected winners based upon the depth of the teams' analyses. 

The 12 USD GSIC Semi-Finalist teams are: 

  • In the Lyme Light, Patricia Cosulich - Advocacy for Lyme Disease Patients
  • Solve Smoothies, Austin Hirsh - Food rescue to reduce food waste
  • Pyggy, Ana Dominguez - Financial literacy for Latino youth
  • Athlete Initiative, Amy Kame and Robbie Beyer - Preventing sexual misconduct in collegiate athletics 
  • Kite, Julia Stewart and Nisreen Al Sabie - Empathy for justice-involved individuals
  • Brothers Reborn, Ian Western - Mental health for men 
  • Kidz Kans, Jessie Brummett - Reducing food waste
  • Digital Learning Program, Casey Myers - Digital literacy for refugees 
  • Stride, Grace O'Brien, Tyler Schiller, Camille Morales - Reducing waste in the shoe industry 
  • LifeBox, Charles Bullard, Blake Dunkleberger, and Chad Mulhall - Emergency disaster housing
  • QuakeSAFE, Maddie Nelson, Trey Stead, Allie Campos, and Rolando Mendivil - Reducing earthquake impact on Haitian housing 
  • Team Revolution, Erickson Goff and Chadmond Wu - Curbing illegal scrap tire disposal 


GSIC Participants

Semi-finalist teams will spend the next month preparing their Round 2 submissions, which focus on "The Solution." They will meet with numerous coaches to refine their social business model, assess their enterprise's financial sustainability, and perfect their pitches. 

All semi-finalists will give a 90-second pitch of their idea at the USD Showcase on May 3rd from 4-6pm in the KIPJ Theater. The Showcase will culminate in the announcement of the two winning teams that will go on to represent USD in the Global Final, June 14-16 at USD. 


RSVP for the USD Showcase here!


Rachel Christensen