NH Social Venture Innovation Challenge 2014

Keynote Speaker: Eric Schwarz

2014 Keynote Eric Schwarz

Eric Schwarz is the former CEO and Co-Founder of Citizen Schools and the author of the recently published book, The Opportunity Equation:  How Citizen Teachers are Combating the Achievement Gap in America’s Schools.  Schwarz is now working to establish a new public service college as well as serving as Executive Chairman of US2020, a national STEM mentoring initiative, and serving as a board member of Citizen Schools and Beyond12 and as Chairman of a small family foundation. 

Schwarz launched Citizen Schools in 1995 and the organization has grown into a leading force in educational innovation, partnering with middle schools across the country to expand the learning day for low-income children.  The organization deploys full-time AmeriCorps members, who are recent college graduates, and volunteer “Citizen Teachers,” who teach extended day classes in engineering, law, business, journalism, the arts, and more.  Citizen Schools was awarded Fast Company’s Social Capitalist Award in 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2008 and the Skoll Foundation’s Award for Social Entrepreneurship in 2005 and has been recognized by the White House and the federal Department of Education for its innovation and strong evidence of impact.  The program currently operates in 12 school districts across seven states.

In addition to The Opportunity Equation, Schwarz was editor of The Case for 21st Century Skills (Jossey-Bass) with Ken Kay of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills and wrote a chapter, “Calling All Citizens,” in The New York Times best-seller, Waiting For Superman.  Schwarz is also the author of “Realizing the American Dream:  Historical Scorecard, Current Challenges, Future Opportunities,” a widely cited essay examining social change efforts and the role of social entrepreneurs.  He has been tapped to speak across the country on education, social entrepreneurship, and social policy.  He has served as a member of the Massachusetts Board of Education’s Task Force on 21st Century Skills, the Center for American Progress working group on Expanded Learning Time, and the transition team of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick.

Prior to founding Citizen Schools, Schwarz served as a Public Service Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and as a Vice President of City Year.  He also served as national student director for Senator Gary Hart’s 1984 Presidential campaign and as a journalist and columnist for The Oakland Tribune and The Patriot Ledger, where he won two national awards and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.  Schwarz earned his B.A. at the University of Vermont and his Master’s in Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.  He lives in Brookline with his wife Maureen Coffey, and their two children.


Community Track:

Student Track:

First Prize: $10,000

Sensible Spreader Technologies

Andrew Jaccoma, Portsmouth, NH

Sensible Spreader Technologies is aiming to increase road safety, reduce wasteful dissemination of deicers and lessen our impact on the environment by integrating the latest available technologies into road maintenance equipment.

First Prize: $5,000

Amano’s Mobile Grocery Stores

Bradley Calabro, MBA Student, UNH, Paul College of Business & Economics
Shannon Calabro, Masters in Social Work, UNH, Graduate School
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Juan Florin, UNH, Paul College of Business & Economics

By creating vehicle-based stores which will operate in close proximity to homes, offices and community center, Amano Mobile Grocery Stores will be the most convenient grocery option for people who do not have easy access to traditional grocery stores by providing fresh, healthy and convenient food that gives people more options while minimizing the time required to shop.

Second Prize: $5,000

Harvest to Market

Andrew Walters, Fitzwilliam, NH
Kendre Rodriguez, Durham, NH
Tom Elliott, Durham, NH
Sean Matthews, Durham, NH

Harvest to Market provides a web platform which overcomes the fundamental logistical challenges associated with finding and buying local food. Through HarvestToMarket.com, farmers can efficiently serve a local consumer through easy‐to‐use web tools and email.

Second Prize: $3,000


Ian Gagnon, Undergraduate Senior, UNH, College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Michael Gingrich, Undergraduate Senior, UNH, College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Annette Conticchio, Undergraduate Senior, UNH, College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Devin Kheler, Undergraduate Senior, UNH, College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Faculty Advisor: Marc Sedam, UNH, Innovation and New Ventures

LiquiNet is aiming to solve the world water crisis with remote sensing devices which collect big data on water systems in developing countries. When clustered together the devices establish a network for the purpose of creating a utility payment system to maintain the water points, effectively increasing the longevity and sustainability of the water access points.

Third Prize: $2,500


Bob Marino, Portsmouth, NH
Nick Plante

BankLocal is an open-data social venture that utilizes publicly-available, federal data to provide Local Impact Ratings for every bank and credit union in the nation. For the first time, U.S. consumers will have the ability to take into account the impact that banks have on their community when deciding where to bank.

Third Prize: $1,000

Pee Bus

Taylor Walter, Undergraduate Senior, UNH, College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Riley Paquette, 2014 Graduate (Undergraduate), UNH, College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Catie Taylor, Undergraduate Senior, UNH, College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Thomas Brigham, Undergraduate Junior, UNH, College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Kevin Gardner, College of Engineering & Physical Sciences

PeeBus aims to remove urine from the wastewater stream, recycling it to provide a resource for local farmers, to decrease the cost of nitrogen removal at the treatment facility, and aid the health of locally impaired water systems.

Judges Special Prize: 

Waste Not Want Not    

Ilona von Karolyi-Ross, Portsmouth, NH
Charlotte Mason, Lowell, MA

Waste Not Want Not attempts to address the disparity between food waste and food access by aggregating edible food produce, perishables, and discarded packaged foods at the retail level, and transforming it into healthy, delicious, nutrient-rich prepared meals to be sold at a “food truck” takeout restaurant.

 Judges Special Prize:

Nawa Deep (Lead to Free From Lead)

Deepesh Duwadi, Undergraduate Sophomore, Colby-Sawyer College (Biology)*
Nawaraj  Shahi, Undergraduate Sophomore, Colby-Sawyer College (Environmental Studies)*
Faculty Advisor:  Jennifer White, Colby-Sawyer College (Environmental Studies)


Lead to Free From Lead aims to educate villagers in Nepal about the harmful effects of lead acid batteries used in solar home systems, and the results of improper disposal, as well as establishing a new disposal mechanism.


Economic Information Exchange

Anthony Comito, Manchester, NH)

Economic Impact Rating is a market-driven approach to job creation and economic growth, using a patented form of supply chain analysis, which identifies the propensity of a product to create jobs and economic growth within a specified geographical area, allowing businesses to use a certification mark to highlight economically impactful products to consumers.


Eternal Ag. Technologies (EAT)

Matt Smith, COLSA, Durham, NH
Amy Bannon, COLSA, Durham, NH
Amanda Sundheimer, CHHS, Durham, NH)

EAT proposed diverting food waste and other organic materials from landfills to a state-of-the-art heat recovery composting facilities and high tunnel systems capable of producing different revenue streams, ultimately leading to a food production system that is significantly less reliant on outside inputs, reduces negative externalities by redirecting waste streams, increases local food production of healthy produce, has a more diversified product mix, and is scalable and replicable even in urban environments.

Foss Manufacturing Company, LLC

William Russell, Concord NH
David Rowell, Hampton, NH
Mark Gauthier, Hampton, NH

Foss Manufacturing is proposing a scalable model of recycling that combines education and competition in school systems to radically shift the perceptions and rates of recycling. By partnering with schools to create recycling hubs, Foss will engage with students, teachers, and school organizations to communicate and educate about the impact of recycling, how PET is recycled and processes, and how the resulting products are made.

Imagine Institute

Kiley Donohue, CEPS, Durham, NH*
Kayla Santello, CEPS, Durham, NH
Emily Hutchinson, CEPS, Durham, NH
Brandon Fall, CEPS, Durham, NH

To help combat the issue of too few women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) fields, Imagine Institute is a line of toys for girls ages 6-9 that focuses on young adult characters attending a school called Imagine Institute. At Imagine Institute students learn by doing, and are sent all over the world by their professors to learn their area of study by solving real world problems.

HAH Visionaries (Hg Remediation)

Marion Harrington, Durham, NH*
Tate Hartmann, Durham, NH*
John Andrews, Durham, NH

HaH Visionaries will develop a chemical catalyst that will be taken to scale on an industrial level that will hinder toxic mercury emissions currently produced by coal plants, thus reducing the harmful effects of mercury on both human health and wildlife.

The Food to Fuel Project

John Heavisides, CEPS, Durham, NH*
Herbie Smith, CEPS, Durham, NH

The goal of the “Food to Fuel” project is to harness the potential of the vast amount of food waste produced every year to produce clean fuel sources and fertilizers, thereby reducing its contribution to climate change and landfill space.

Monadnock Community Solar Initiative

John Kondos, Spofford, NH*
Doug Walker, Harrisville, NH*

The Monadnock Community Solar Initiative is developing the first community solar project in the Monadnock region, and developing models for local citizens to implement CS projects, an initiative which will provide local alternatives to fossil fuel energy sources; a hedge against rising fuel costs; reduced carbon emissions; greater resiliency and energy independence.


Toby Dewhurst*, CEPS, Durham, NH*
Dan Savage, CEPS, Durham, NH

ThoughtSoko is a web-based platform that allows users to earn money by solving creative challenges posted by businesses. This platform is engineered in a way that encourages users to donate the cash that they earn directly to the charity of their choice.