N.H. Social Venture Innovation Challenge Finalists Compete Dec. 5


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Monday, November 27, 2017

DURHAM, N.H. – From a field of 96 entries, 16 teams – eight in the student track and eight in the community track – have been selected to advance to the final round of the 2017 New Hampshire Social Venture Innovation Challenge. The finalists will compete Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017, beginning at 8:30 a.m. in Holloway Commons at the University of New Hampshire. Learn more about each team in these videos.

In addition, UNH’s annual Social Innovator of the Year award will be presented to New Hampshire native Clara Miller ‘72, director and president of the Heron Foundation, which helps people and communities help themselves out of poverty. Miller, widely recognized as one of the most innovative and influential people in the social change field, will deliver a keynote address entitled “A Revolution of Capital: Connecting Money with Social Good” in the Memorial Union Building’s Strafford Room at 11:15 a.m. immediately following the final round presentations.

The events are free and open to the public but space is limited and registration is required. The finalists will compete for $27,500 in cash prizes, plus in-kind prizes worth more than $40,500. 

The finalists in the student track include undergraduates with a diverse set of majors. The teams’ ideas span a diverse set of issues including special needs education, and educational outcomes, water quality, methane recovery, food waste, beekeeping, healthcare for underserved populations and reproductive health for college students.

Finalists for the community track proposed ventures spanning issues as diverse as local farming and food, accessibility, education, senior care, college access, volunteerism, obesity prevention and behavioral health.

Major supporters of the challenge include Kennebunk Savings, the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation Pierce Atwood, and Timberland. Additional support is provided by Alpha Loft, CCA Global, Monadnock Paper Mills, New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility, the New Hampshire Business Review, New Hampshire Clean Tech Council, Normandeau Associates, PixelMEDIA, and ReVision Energy. The live final round will be judged by a panel of social venture experts, including notable New Hampshire leaders, as well as judges from outside the state.

The Social Venture Innovation Challenge (SVIC) engages aspiring and practicing student and community social entrepreneurs in designing novel, sustainable, business-orientated solutions to some of society’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. The SVIC is an idea-stage competition with the goal of inspiring innovative, solution-orientated thinking and providing a forum to shine a light on these ideas.

The program is a collaborative, interdisciplinary event, organized at UNH by the Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise, and co-hosted by the Carsey School of Public Policy, the Peter T. Paul College of Business & Economics, UNH Sustainability Institute, UNHInnovation, and Net Impact UNH.

The University of New Hampshire is a flagship research university that inspires innovation and transforms lives in our state, nation and world. More than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 71 countries engage with an award-winning faculty in top ranked programs in business, engineering, law, liberal arts and the sciences across more than 200 programs of study. UNH’s research portfolio includes partnerships with NASA, NOAA, NSF and NIH, receiving more than $100 million in competitive external funding every year to further explore and define the frontiers of land, sea and space.