Challenge Grant Awards
2022 Competition & Awards
In October 2021, ten semi-finalist teams were chosen in the ninth competition of the SIPA Dean’s Public Policy Challenge. Semifinalist teams participated in bootcamps including Prototyping, Financial Planning, Law and Startups and Effective Pitching. Teams were also provided support through funding and a team of Advisors. In February 2022, five finalist teams were selected to further refine and develop their projects. Winners of the ninth round of competition were announced in April 2022.
SiMaggie: More than 4,600 tons of organic food waste are produced every day in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. Unfortunately, only 10% of it is properly managed, leaving more than 4,000 tons of waste ending up in landfills daily. Meanwhile, our fish and poultry farmers are struggling to afford the increasingly expensive animal feed. SiMaggie aims to establish a circular economy, by converting untreated organic waste into a sustainable source of protein and affordable feed for the fish and poultry industries with the use of technology to optimize maggot cultivations.
Students: Romauli Butarbutar, Lili Nur Indah Sari, Muhammad Rifqi Febrian
Sortile: Sortile is looking to automate the sorting of post-consumer textile waste. We are using spectroscopy, machine learning and computer vision to sort textiles by fiber composition, color, and other features. Our ultimate goal is to vastly increase the amount of textile waste being recycled enabling circular fashion and decreasing the amount of textile waste landfilled.
Students: Louisa Fruehauf, Julieth Sanchez, Constanza Gomez, Agustina Mir
Energia+ is an online platform that aims to make use of data related to the volume of water remaining in reservoirs in Brazil and, through the nudge model, encourage the conscious consumption of water and electricity in households, seeking to present customized information in a structured and simple way to citizens regarding their own consumption and on the updated situation of the reservoirs that supply them. The expected result is that there will be a reduction in the consumption of water and electricity in homes that have the nudges model active.
Students: Ester Hee Kim, Daniel Rocha Correa, Luis Gustavo Perez Fakhouri
Isokonnect: In Rwanda, around 40% of the food produced is lost or wasted. This is startling, given that around 35% of Rwandans are malnourished. Our solution – Isokonnect, is a tech-based platform that provides small-scale retailers and local vendors of agricultural produce, meat and dairy in Kigali markets affordable, pay-as-you-go access to a climate-friendly and energy efficient cooling system. Isokonnect helps vendors sell their produce and save money while also reducing food waste and carbon emissions.
Students: Jessica Peck, Kelsey Ray, Kohei Kawabata, Roza Muluken Azene, Sindhura Chakravarty
Sourceable, an online platform and mobile application, empowers, connects, and supports citizen journalists in areas of conflict and crisis. Through strategic partnerships, Sourceable serves journalists, human rights professionals, and legal advocates by providing verified documentation in the forms of photos, videos, texts, and audio recordings. Leveraging cutting-edge verification technology, Sourceable addresses the challenge of documenting, verifying, archiving, and sharing newsworthy stories, focused on human rights violations, humanitarian crises, and human-interest stories, all in real-time to Sourceable's paid subscribers.
Students: Lena Arkawi, Susanne Prochazka, Namir Ahmad, Silvana Zapata-Ramirez, Parv Joshi, Siddhant Kumar
Bcare is an online platform that will facilitate childcare for children 6 months to 6 years-old, community networking, and the upskilling of residents in lower middle-class neighborhoods of Bangalore and Delhi in India. Bcare will focus on providing caretakers with training and information to ensure that children can receive the resources and care they need while also creating a digital platform where community members can organize childcare arrangements that allow them to meet their financial and personal needs. The service will connect certified caregivers to individual families and businesses seeking to implement creches, allowing caregivers to find consistent employment. It will connect parents and guardians to certified caregivers by sharing the names, contact information and credentials of those available, allowing them to contact each other to arrange the details of caretaking services.
Students: Madeline Ninno, Manasa Hanumanth Rao, George Cherian, Valentina Castro, Shreya Gupta
CryptAid is a socially conscious investment platform designed to create wealth for self and others using crypto coins as a medium. It is a relatable investment platform for generations who care about equity and believe in sharing wealth. Our targeted groups are millennials and gen z currently trading or will potentially trade in crypto coins globally for wealth creation and they will be offered curated live case studies of families with help of partner non profits who will need money for future centric social issues like climate refuge, reskilling due to automation job loss etc. While a user of CryptAid is investing on the platform, they will be offered an opportunity to invest a small portion for an under-resourced family living in another part of the world as well. It is a first of its kind social impact investing option for the crypto community to play a vital role in shaping an impartial world in future.
Students: Diora Bradford, Katherine Santana, Vincent Lokra, Lacie Pierre, Mohit Raj
Kaarya: Internal migrant workers often lack educational and professional training and mostly hold informal jobs as daily wage workers. The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light that this group is vulnerable to technological shift and they are not equipped to navigate the shift in the job market. We want to promote reskilling of migrant laborers in India through web-based learning, Kaarya. Kaarya is a mobile and web-based application that will bridge migrant workers’ demand to up-skill by providing training on basic digital skills. Kaarya will also provide job search support, such as resume building, mock interviews, and will help them access customized aggregated job openings, based on their industry and location preference.
Students: Ivan Mahardika, Muskaan Sofet, Nisha Karki
Mojo is an edtech platform that utilizes AI to make the higher education selection, preparation, and application process more accessible for students of all backgrounds, especially those who don't have college guidance counselors. Our Machine Learning technology creates customized college recommendations for students to consider based on student interests, academics, financial-aid and scholarships, and community through an interactive platform.
Students: Kathleen Xie, Dakshesh Thacker, Amira Mandwee, Smaranjit Ghose
Safal (“success”) is a mobile platform that helps students find desired, affordable, and accessible post-secondary education pathways. The platform uses a machine-learning algorithm that maps out possible career paths based on inputs such as student’s demographics, academic performance, and stated career interests. Through the platform, Safal aspires to fill the void in academic advising and support available, particularly to students from low-income households in India.
Students: William Maxwell Mayo, Danran Chen, Sangeetha Ramanathan, Poorvaja Sundar, Newman Cheng