Annual contest honors ingenuity

Friday, December 13, 2019

A digital platform to help educators use experiential education to improve students’ lives and a micro-franchise that delivers vitamin supplementation to people in Haiti were the winners of UNH’s seventh annual NH Social Venture Innovation Challenge (SVIC).

Kendra Bostick ’23 and Bryn Lottig took home the top prize in the student track with Kikori, a digital platform that improves students' social, emotional and academic outcomes with experiential education activities.

Since its founding in 2013, the SVIC has seen participation from more than 1,200 contestants and provided over $300,000 in funding and resources to winners.

First place for the community track went to Haley Burns ’20. Her project, V'ice Haiti, delivers affordable vitamin supplementation to the people who need it most by employing Haitian youth and mothers as micro-franchisees.

Designed to be an idea accelerator, participants in the SVIC develop early-stage concepts for creative, financially sustainable solutions to society’s most pressing sustainability challenges. Entries this year included ideas to grow sharing economies and supportive communities, increase educational opportunities, produce and distribute healthy, local food, and support clean energy.

Lead sponsors of the SVIC include Impax Asset Management, Kennebunk Savings Bank, Nixon Peabody and Timberland. Additional supporters include AMI Graphics, CCA Global Partners, Cirtronics, Clean Energy NH, Cole Haan, Lonza, MegaFood, New Hampshire Business Review, NH Business Finance Authority, New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility, NH Charitable Foundation, NH Community Development Finance Authority, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs, Prime Buchholz, ReVision Energy and W.S. Badger.

Since its founding in 2013, in partnership with Nobel Prize laureate Muhammad Yunus, the SVIC has seen participation from more than 1,200 contestants and provided over $300,000 in funding and resources to winners. The program is a collaborative, interdisciplinary event, organized at UNH by the Center for Social Innovation & Enterprise, a joint venture between the UNH Sustainability Institute, the Peter T. Paul College of Business & Economics, and the Carsey School of Public Policy.

This year’s winners include:

Student Track

First Prize: Transform Classrooms with Kikori, an easy-to-use digital platform that helps educators improve their students' social, emotional and academic outcomes with experiential education activities. Proposed by UNH doctoral student Kendra Bostick, education, 2023.

Second Prize: Ambrosia Fabrics, nontoxic and sustainable furniture fabrics made from hemp and bamboo. Proposed by UNH student Christian Hollis, undeclared, 2020.

Third Prize: New Hampshire Toy Library Network, a college student-run initiative to support equitable access to toys. Proposed by UNH student Marisa Rafal, masters in public policy, 2020.

Community Track

First Prize: V’Ice Haiti, delivering affordable vitamin supplementation to the people who need it most by employing Haitian youth and mothers as micro-franchisees. Proposed by UNH student Haley Burns of Durham, business entrepreneurship, 2020.

Second Prize: Community Toy Chest, provides environmentally sustainable alternatives for toy consumption with community play and education space and toy rentals. Proposed by UNH alumni Hannah McBride ‘07, ‘13G of Concord and Jessica Forrest ‘19G of Concord.

Third Prize: Wildcats Willing, a food repurposing initiative designed to transport UNH Dining food that is safe and edible to local NGOs. Proposed by UNH students Brennan Williams ‘19 of Manchester, anthropology and John DeAngelis ‘20 of Wells, Maine, anthropology.

Videos of the 2019 finalists can be viewed here.

Photographer: 
Perry Smith | Freelance Photographer