UNH Announces Winners of Statewide Social Venture Innovation Challenge


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Friday, November 30, 2018
SVIC 2018 Student Winners

The winning student team in the Social Venture Innovation Challenge at UNH was LUX: Safer Dating. From left to right: Alan Brown, vice president, community relations & CRA manager, Kennebunk Savings; UNH mechanical engineering students Christin Badylak-Reals, Sean McLoud, Mark Torpey and Julie Berberian. 
Photo credit: Perry Smith Photography

DURHAM, N.H.—The winners of the University of New Hampshire’s sixth annual NH Social Venture Innovation Challenge were a team of four UNH engineering students who proposed an idea that integrates wearable technology and location tracking to mitigate dating sexual violence; and in the community track, a team that proposed an independent quick-deploy means of communications with emergency crews and family during natural disasters. Winners took home prizes of cash and services worth over $50,000.

Designed to be a social innovation accelerator, participants develop original proposals for creative, financially sustainable solutions to some of society’s most pressing sustainability challenges. 

“Truly impressive,” said Jeffrey Ashe, an SVIC judge and respected social innovation practitioner and thought leader, of this year’s entries. “This underscores my belief that smart people passionately interested in a problem can come up with outstanding solutions. The format of the exercise stimulates creativity.”

Entries this year included innovative solutions to issues spanning from ocean clean up and indoor farming with differently-abled employees, to addressing food insecurity in N.H. and reducing the cost and environmental impact of textbooks.

“We know that effective solutions to society’s most insidious problems will increasingly need to come from collaboration—across private and public sectors, and across fields and disciplines—and this challenge not only encourages that type of innovation, but shows what it can accomplish,” said Fiona Wilson, executive director of the Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise at UNH.

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.

“We are honored to support this competition,” said Gerardine Ferlins, president/CEO of Cirtronics, a new sponsor. “It is a natural fit for us and our values. The UNH Center for Social Innovation & Enterprise and the SVIC are taking creativity and pragmatism and applying them to the realm of solving social issues.”

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, 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.

A full list of winners in each track is below and all of the 2018 finalists videos can be viewed here.

Student Track

  • First prize: LUX: Safer Dating, a dating app that integrates wearable technology and location tracking to mitigate dating sexual violence. Mechanical engineering students Christin Badylak-Reals, Sean McLoud, Julie Berberian and Mark Torpey
  • Second prize: True Vote, a mobile and web application that would enable voter participation on a daily basis as well as encourage all politician accountability was proposed by UNH student Elizabeth O'Malley, economics and international affairs
  • Two teams tied for third: Janas Analytics, software that would be one of the first proactive solutions to predicting global migrant crises proposed by UNH student Sarah Jarrar, anthropology. The second team was The Potential for Leaf Waste, who proposed an on-campus leaf and food waste composting system at Colby-Sawyer College. Team members included Colby-Sawyer environmental science students Rebecca Budrock, Anna Hubbard, Cameron Lynch, Colby Reardon and Timothy Gablosky

Community Track

  • First prize: TheHive, an independent quick-deploy network that any wifi enabled device can access, giving users a means of communications with emergency crews and family proposed by UNH alumnus Devon Crawford ’18 and Jack Nichols both of Milford
  • Second prize: UNH Fish Feed NH, which utilizes aquaculture to support NH's food insecure. Team members included UNH alumna Eileen Liponis, ’95G and Jayson McCarter, Paul Morrison, Moriar Webster and Maddy Webster, all of Manchester.
  • Third prize: Growing Hope, a U.S.-based organization that supplies portable milk crate garden boxes to South Sudanese refugees in the Bidi Bidi camp was proposed by Emanne Khan of Concord,
    Abigail Wilding of Bedford and Sarah Mullins of Contoocook

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. 

Editor's Notes: 

PHOTOS FOR DOWNLOAD:

Community Track 1st Place.jpg

https://www.unh.edu/unhtoday/sites/default/files/media/svic_2018_winner_community.jpg
Caption: The winning community team in the Social Venture Innovation Challenge at UNH was TheHive. From left to right: Alan Brown, vice president, community relations & CRA manager, Kennebunk Savings; and UNH alumnus Devon Crawford ’18 and Jack Nichols, both of Milford.
Photo credit: Perry Smith Photography

Student Track 1st Place.jpg

https://www.unh.edu/unhtoday/sites/default/files/media/svic_2018_winner_student.jpg
Caption: The winning student team in the Social Venture Innovation Challenge at UNH was LUX: Safer Dating. From left to right: Alan Brown, vice president, community relations & CRA manager, Kennebunk Savings; UNH mechanical engineering students Christin Badylak-Reals, Sean McLoud, Mark Torpey and Julie Berberian.
Photo credit: Perry Smith Photography