N.H. Social Venture Innovation Challenge Finalists Compete Dec. 2

Monday, November 29, 2021

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DURHAM, N.H.—From a field of 84 college students from across the state, nine teams have been selected to advance to the final round of the 2021 New Hampshire Social Venture Innovation Challenge (SVIC) at the University of New Hampshire. The finalists will compete virtually Thursday, Dec. 2, 2021, beginning at 9 a.m. Learn about the teams and their ideas in these videos.

The finalists will compete for $15,000 in cash prizes and be judged by a panel of social venture and sustainability experts. The SVIC engages aspiring and practicing student social entrepreneurs in designing novel solutions to some of society’s most pressing sustainability challenges covering the full spectrum of social, economic and environmental issues. 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.

College students are not only deeply aware of the issues facing their generation, but they are also committed to be the changemakers capable to bringing innovative solutions. The teams propose ideas that span issues such as addressing the climate crisis through initiatives on energy education, recycling water to reduce waste, reducing Great Bay water pollution, reduction of single use plastics, and eliminating microplastics from the ocean. Teams will also present ideas for reducing accessibility barriers for students, addressing food insecurity and reducing grocery store waste, and supporting companies pursuing B Corp certification to improve their sustainability practices.

The competition is entirely funded through the contributions of sponsors and would not be possible without their help. Major supporters of the SVIC include Alnoba, Timberland and Kennebunk Savings; additional supporters include CCA Global Partners, Prime Buchholz, NH Businesses for Social Responsibility, and the Maurice Prize for Innovation.

The program is a collaborative, interdisciplinary event, organized at UNH Changemaker Collaborative and co-hosted by the Carsey School of Public Policy, the Peter T. Paul College of Business & Economics and the UNH Sustainability Institute. Additional collaborators include a record number of UNH faculty who embedded the SVIC into their fall courses; Ian Grant, executive director of UNH’s ECenter, who served as advisor to many teams who advanced to the final round; and Drew Bonfiglio, co-founder of Emzingo, who led an intensive credit-bearing human-centered design course for students entering the SVIC.

The winners of the SVIC will be announced Thursday, Dec. 2, beginning at 12:30 p.m., immediately following the 2021 Social Innovator of the Year Award and keynote address. The keynote address will be delivered by UNH’s 2021 Social Innovator of the Year, Tulaine Montgomery, co-CEO of New Profit Inc., who will deliver a timely keynote on Bridging the Resource Gap for Entrepreneurs to Transform America’s Most Inequitable System.

Both events are free and open to the public, and registration is required.

The University of New Hampshire 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. As one of the nation’s highest-performing research universities, UNH partners with NASA, NOAA, NSF and NIH, and receives more than $110 million in competitive external funding every year to further explore and define the frontiers of land, sea and space.