N.H. Social Venture Innovation Finalists Compete for $50,000 in Prizes Nov. 29


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Monday, November 26, 2018
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DURHAM, N.H.—From a field of 95 entries, 16 finalist teams—eight each in the student and community tracks—have been selected to advance to the final round of the New Hampshire Social Venture Innovation Challenge (SVIC) Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. in Holloway Commons at the University of New Hampshire. Learn about these teams and their ideas to solve pressing sustainability problems in these videos.

UNH will also present its annual social innovator of the year award to Marina Kim, co-founder and executive director of Ashoka U, an initiative of the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs. Kim will deliver a keynote address on the issues facing higher education institutions as they work to equip the next generation with the knowledge and tools to be successful in tackling humanity’s most pressing social and environmental challenges. She will discuss how the world is in the midst of transformation—driven by technology, globalization, and generational trends—and how the nature of work, education, and leadership are shifting as a result. The awards and keynote address will be held in the Memorial Union Building’s Strafford Room at 11:15 a.m. immediately following the final round presentations.

All events on Nov. 29 are free and open to the public, but space is limited and registration is required. The finalists will compete for $27,500 in cash, plus in-kind prizes worth an additional $22,500. The live final round will be judged by a panel of social venture experts, including notable New Hampshire leaders and judges from outside the state.

The finalist teams in the student track propose ideas that span issues such as health disparities experienced by the food insecure, predicting migrant crises, creating intergenerational programs, efficient small farming, safe housing for transient groups, composting leaf waste on college campuses, and voter participation.

Finalist teams in the community track propose ventures spanning issues as diverse as gender inclusive clothing, textbook costs, intersectional feminism spaces and experiences, a leadership center that addresses global challenges, garden boxes for South Sudanese refugees, community services information standardization, emergency communications, and aquaculture to feed the state’s food insecure.

Major supporters of the SVIC include Impax Asset Management | Pax World Funds, Kennebunk Savings, Pierce Atwood, and Timberland. Additional supporters include, AMI Graphics, CCA Global Partners, Cirtronics, Cole Haan, Monadnock Paper Mills, New Hampshire Businesses for Social Responsibility, New Hampshire Business Review, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, New Hampshire Clean Tech Council, New Hampshire Tech Alliance, Normandeau Associates, Pete & Gerry’s Organic Eggs, PixelMEDIA, Prime Buchholz, and ReVision Energy.

The 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. It 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 organized at UNH by the Center for Social Innovation & 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, health and human services, 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.